December 31st, 2008
08:15 AM ET
11 years ago

From Obama-mania to Palin power: '08's top political stories

Barack Obama's campaign inspired a huge grassroots movement and broke fundraising records.

Barack Obama's campaign inspired a huge grassroots movement and broke fundraising records.

(CNN) - From an historic presidential election to a wealth of political scandals, 2008 has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Here's a look back at some of the top political stories of the year.


From a junior senator from Illinois to the next president of the United States, Barack Obama broke down barriers and inspired an unprecedented grassroots movement in 2008.

He defeated one of the most powerful families in politics to get the Democratic nomination, and easily took down long-time Sen. John McCain in the general election.

Obama's campaign was marked by his eloquent speeches, passionate supporters and worldwide fanfare for the Democratic candidate.

The Democrat's ground team helped him smash fundraising records and sail into the White House, making him the first African American to win the presidency.

Palin power

Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal, Joe Lieberman - they were considered the front-runners for the No. 2 spot on the Republican ticket. But, in one of the biggest surprises of the year, John McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

The first-term governor went from obscurity to superstar fame overnight. She energized the Republican base and brought record crowds to McCain's campaign events.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Sarah Palin
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. pam Eugene OR

    How can you run down 2008 in political stories and not even mention our worst President in history! No mention of Bush at all.
    That seems odd to me.
    Thanks for the laughs Sarah. You are the gift that keeps giving!

    December 31, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. grahame

    This is a weird woman.

    I suppose that being an sick egocentric sociopath should give her an alibi. But it does not excuse this moron with the IQ the same as her shoe size from using her kids as props.

    It's sad really and just points up the stupidity of people who think of her as some kind of roll model.

    Face it people life is not a soap opera no matter how much lipstick you put on the turkey/moose killing pig

    December 31, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. Casey- New Hampshire

    Obamashow- I guess if the rise of Obama was a biblical prophesy it wouldn't have made any difference how we voted, would it?

    December 31, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  4. obama-mama

    Janet: that butterfly you felt in your stomach was actually a cringe....

    December 31, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  5. Dem with Love For McCain

    Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal, Joe Lieberman — they were considered the front-runners for the No. 2 spot on the Republican ticket. But, in one of the biggest surprises of the year,
    ****************************************************************************John McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.....And That is why he had to go home wagging his tail behind him!!! I admire Senator McCain......Sarah Palin, Rick Davis,and Steve Schmidt are responsible for Senator McCain losing the election with Nasty ads and attacks.Senator McCain is A MAVERICK and Sarah is A BETCHA and A WINK WINK

    December 31, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. former republican

    Its people like YOU is why I am no longer a registered Republican! President Elect Obama is NOT a Muslim! President Elect Obama is NOT mentioned in Revelations! If you actually read the Bible YOU would know the TRUTH!! Your lies, slander, etc., is what is driving people from the Republican party in droves!!!! We need to unite this party, and the best way to start is by telling the TRUTH!!!

    Gov. Palin was John McCain's "Hail Mary!" It didn't work, and in fact not only hurt him, but the entire Republican party. If she wants to help the future of the GOP...then she needs to stay away from D.C!

    December 31, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  7. knowlege

    I don't like Republicans and never will

    December 31, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  8. karo

    sarah palin is nothing more than a miley cyrus of the time. like pat boone was in the 50's and 60's. white folks, well the majority would not play blk music in there house per orders of the white man of the house. so its like the republicans latched on to sarah palin rather than support or get behind a african american. this is why country music is off the charts and they make mad money. because a high % of the cacuasian bro and sis won't support anything blk. if its white its alright, you brown stick around , [green cards are on the way] but if your blk "GET BACK"

    December 31, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  9. jeremy

    the bible is a freaking story book that small minded people seem to believe really happened , give me a break. and get that idiot that thinks obama is in revelations... what are you smoking must be the good stuff!

    December 31, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. Moses

    I initially liked Palin, but the more that I learned about her, the less I liked. I'm an independent and would have considered McCain with a more responsible choice as his VP. I do think that Obama is an impressive individual and I'm looking forward to a president with integrity and intelligence. We're going to need both to get us out of this mess. It’s a shame that so many ignorant people are blinded by skin color. Being the first black president will mean very little if he isn’t successful and I’m sure that he realizes that. He seems to be off to a good start with his transition. It’s too bad that he can’t start sooner; we seem to have an empty seat at the White House at the moment. Where is Bush?

    December 31, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. Once you vote black

    Irritated in Fl, Pat, and Welcome to the ...
    You guys brougth this on yourselves. You let a Black Muslim Non Citizen beat you at your own game. If your grip on the nation was that weak you deserve what you get. Stop crying and watch his dust. If there is anything left after 4 years you can have it. But if he does well then perhaps we are better off with the likes of Barack Husain Obama in control. Lord knows what the W people can do. We have seen it up close for the past 8 years. The war, Katrina, basic rights, the economy, environment ect. God Bless the Muslim form another land.

    December 31, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. HF from PA


    Good LORD...did you get past the 2nd grade? If English is your 2nd language then my hat is off to you...if not, it certainly explains your love for Sara.

    December 31, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. Once you vote Black

    I like his ability to tease complex issues apart until he finds the very best solution and then move forward. That he puts opposing thinkers in a room and strains the very best out of them for the good of the objective. And that he enjoys this process.

    December 31, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  14. Maggie in NY

    Janet NY – She left the little town of Wasilla with $22 million in debt, due to building the sports complex on land that the town didn't own! Thanks, but no thanks, you betcha! *wink*

    December 31, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  15. malabar

    out with the old- kennedys, bush family,
    in with the new- palin and obama
    i'll keep d clintons though
    thanks for the drama blagojevich, the new administrarions connections are already providing much needed hilarity to
    a sour puss nation of winners who still cry and losers that shine brighter every time obama says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT ANYTHING... GREAT TRANSPARENCY, AT LEAST THE HYPOCRITE IN HIM DIDN'T WAIT TILL JAN 20

    December 31, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Pam

    The only thing memorable about Sarah Palin was the fact that the majority of American voters were able to see through the expensive wardrobe, high heels and makeup to find there was nothing there!

    December 31, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Willy Brown

    Obama will be like a bad penny a week after he gets into office.

    December 31, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. MK

    How funny it is that the right believe that on January 20th President obama will unveil himself and we will have to walk in lock step with him to the mosque and pray to allah? Poor souls, poor lost souls. I wonder how many will take themselves out on that day and go to hell before they realize how wrong they are.

    December 31, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  19. chuck

    Ask Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Bobby Jindal, Joe Lieberman how they feel about Sarah Palin now? Or better yet how McCain slapped all of them in the face with his pick of Palin.

    December 31, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. dittohead with forty names

    Its been a crazy year here on the ticker too.Its not bad enough that Richard Rohne uses so many names on these posts, but he also talks and applauds himself with other names both male and female.He makes me laugh.He truely does have multiple personality syndrome.I just wish he would seek the help he needs,And not from the guy he considers his savoir,Rush.

    December 31, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  21. tick...tock....

    Think 2008 was rough – wait until 2009.

    All you spacy liberals don't understand a economic hiccup, and you will turn it into a real mess. All the year we will be led by a half-wit who is only there because people thought his skin color was "purty". Is it really too much to ask for a president who doesn't stutter and can complete a full sentence. I cannot figure out how people see him as a good speaker. It must be low expectations...Happy New Year, now time to live will your ill advised choice.

    December 31, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  22. AL+

    To all the Obama haters: I can almost say for sure that if Obama came to your house and said " I will have dinner with you and sleep over for one night,but you would have to sacrifice your first born". You would look at your first born and say something like "sorry kid,but you gotta go. You know your starting to like Obama. I'm starting to see less and less haters on here,so that meens he's getting his messege across to everybody.You just got to love him. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERY BLOGGERS!

    December 31, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  23. Once you vote black

    You guys have been wrong about everything for the past 9 years. You did not think Obama could win, you voted for Bush twice, you thought Palin would change things for McCain. How on earth can you think anyone is listening when you predict that Obama will not do well. I'll tell you what. Use your best judgment, come up with a plan, and do the opposit. Its your only chance of survival.

    December 31, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. Sally

    I still have nightmares thinking that Palin could have actually gotten into the White House.

    Thankfully, the American People have spoken and voted against her.

    Palin is almost as scarey as Hitler!

    December 31, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  25. Now Go And Sin no MORE!!!

    Pat December 31st, 2008 10:28 am ET
    Obama-Mania – Support Blago until no longer politically convenient, support REV Wright until no longer politically convenient, support Grandmother until better to throw her under the Obama bus. Ayers, Phlegler, Daley etc. Either this is the most corrupt person ever fixing to be President or is so gullable the Putin's, Chavez's and Kim's of the world are fixing to walk over him like a door mat.
    ****To–Pat You, Rush ,Sean, and Palin are Idiots
    show some RESPECT His Grandmother is no Longer here , Mr Obama loved his Grandmother ......Now Bush said he could look into Putin's eyes and see his Soul and Putin dished him cuz he could see he was an Idiot Speaking of Corrupt ..Bush .Rove, Libby and You ****

    December 31, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
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