The Top 10 Politics Stories of 2011

More
Atlantic writers survey the biggest stories on their beats See full coverage

The only thing predictable about the political landscape in 2011 was the size of the stories. It was a year of intense emotions and bitter feuds. Congress stalemated over and over on routine budgetary matters, creating a crisis environment. Occupy Wall Street launched, camping in parks around the country and facing pepper spray and batons in chaotic street protests that raised serious questions about the militarization of post-9/11 police forces. Anthony Weiner resigned after a sexting scandal. David Wu stepped down, too, and Herman Cain improbably became a presidential primary front-runner before withdrawing in the face of adultery charges. America finally got Osama bin Laden, killing him in a daring raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan. But Obama's support continued to decline. And while the year got off to a bad start when Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot point-blank in the head on Jan. 8 at a Tucson Safeway, her courage in the face of injury and astonishing partial recovery provided an inspiring, bittersweet coda to the year when she sat for a television interview in November. A look back at the year that was:

Jump to comments
Presented by

Garance Franke-Ruta is a former senior editor covering national politics at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In