Before we look forward, we also look back over the past 365 days, to see who the winners and losers were in the very complex world we live in. Happily, the personalities in our orbit are kind enough to provide us with more than enough raw material.
First, here are the winners of 2013:
• U.S. Sen. Charles “Chuck” Schumer. Nobody appears more on television on Sundays than the senator. He gets more exposure than the stars of TV’s “Homeland.”
• Schumer’s colleague in the Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand. Even though she didn’t win her battle to change the sexual harassment policies of the military, Gillibrand took on many powerful people in her own party, and got commanders stripped of their power to overturn military convictions.
• U.S. Rep. Peter King. Being a moderate conservative in the Republican House of Representatives means you have a bull’s-eye on your back. But King is a true professional who tells it like it is. He is a breath of fresh air in the middle of a circular firing squad.
• U.S. Rep. Steve Israel. He has one of the toughest political jobs in the country. He raises money for dozens of potential congressional candidates and travels all over the country to do it. A two-party system is good for America, and Israel works tirelessly to keep it alive.
• U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop. Bishop will always be a target in a very competitive district. He manages to do his job, and ignores the bullets and arrows thrown at him.
• Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Even though some of his proposals, like banning large soft drinks, were a little crazy, many city dwellers will be telling Bloomberg how much they miss him in the years ahead.
• Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano. Resisting any property tax increases is a risky tactic, but it propelled Mangano to a second term. Now the hard work starts.
• Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone. Anyone who says he has an easy job is crazy. Bellone badly wants to keep Suffolk County alive, and he is willing to take the risks to do it.
• State Sen. Dean Skelos. A lot of people predicted that Skelos’s pact with a handful of Senate Democrats wouldn’t succeed, but it did. He helped shape many of the important proposals that got through the Legislature in 2013, and never lost a fight.