Happy New Year’s Eve, PPFA readers! Just like last year’s final post, this is a great time both to reflect and to also look ahead. Let’s do the latter first.
When I wrote 2017’s year-end column, I previewed Presidential Politics for America’s year to come. I promised an analysis of the 2018 Midterms, a topic I tackled with perhaps too much regularity considering its predictable outcome. I also promised the continuation of the top 30 figures in Western history countdown, and 2018 gave you numbers 20 through 11.
In 2019, as promised, we’ll be getting to the Top 30’s top ten. And folks — in just the last couple weeks I finally finished writing them! (Well, the rough drafts anyway.) Therefore, unlike the first time around when I had to quit halfway through, the reboot will finish the job. What a load off! (I’ve even “pre-published” them to dates scattered over the next ten months, just in case I die or get even more brain damage.) The tenth most influential figure in Western history will debut a week from today as 2019’s first post, and after that you can expect one entry per month until it’s all over — six years after it started.
Will 2019 also see PPFA continue to cover the burgeoning 2020 presidential race? As always, I don’t see how I’ll find the time, but I usually do. Readership has climbed for four consecutive months, which helps. (It also helps that this site is called Presidential Politics for America.) We’ll see!
Anyway, onto the list of the day: PPFA’s ten most read posts of 2018. See you next year!
Dishonorable mention: 1968 (January 1) — The year’s first post had the last 364 days to be one of 2018’s ten most read posts, but it clocked in at just 16th. How embarrassing. Still, I’m including it here as a reminder of how fast this year went by. It doesn’t feel like a full year ago where I looked back at all the 50th anniversaries we would experience in 2018.
10. America’s Top Five Secretaries of State (March 19): Oh yeah, this one was fun. I had some good jokes in there. I need to more top fives. This one was inspired by Rex Tillerson’s resignation, which was purportedly amicable although we knew better after undenied report that he called President Trump a “moron.”
9. Mexican Politics for America (April 2): Here, Latin America correspondent Nathan Paluck answered my questions about the exciting Mexican presidential election that turned out to be a blowout. I’m still way too proud of the post’s title.
8. Charles Martel (#13) (September 24): My “Top 30” is generally less popular than political posts, but it does have two ambassadors on this list. The Martel entry was aided by an appreciated tweet from the incredibly talented writer David Frye, author of this year’s “Walls.”
7. Could You Imagine If… (A Very Brief Pondering on Partisans & Their Media) (March 12): This post did surprisingly well considering I was basically just calling everyone a hypocrite. Side note: March 12 to April 2 was clearly a good run — three top-ten posts!
6. The Rural Takeover of Washington (September 3): Wherein I looked at the collision course between democracy and the Constitution. Dark.
5. FAQs: Impeachment (December 17): Wherein I looked at how the impeachment process works. Wow, a December post made the top five? I wish I could place a bullet graphic next to it.
4. A Piece of History Between Each of the Countries Paired in the World Cup’s Round of 16 (June 28): If you need a description after reading that title, I don’t know what to tell you.
3. Five Fascinating Lifespans (December 4, 2017): This post was actually from 2017, but it caught a bit of fire on Twitter in April. It had more hits that month than it totaled in the four months since it was posted.
2. The Presidential Line of Succession (May 7): Random, right? For some reason people seem really interested in the possibility of disaster striking the executive branch of the federal government.
1. Queen Elizabeth (#19) (February 5): Like Charles Martel needed a talented author’s social media shout-out to make the top ten, so, too, did Queen Elizabeth. In this case, the author was my father, the social media outlet was Facebook, and the location was a message board about early British colonial America. Thanks, Dad!
Nine months later, Tillerson described how jarring it was “to go to work for a man who is pretty undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things, but rather just kind of says, ‘This is what I believe.’”
The President of the United States responded by tweeting Tillerson was “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell.” My fellow Americans: the two most important members of your executive branch!