Top 10 mistakes of Election 2010

We all make mistakes. But in the world of politics, it’s an art form. Here’s our list of favorites from Election 2010, in no particular order, and focused on mistakes that could affect the outcome of a race.

Alex Sink’s ‘cheating’ episode during debate

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    Alex Sink (l.) and Rick Scott at the 'cheating' debate in Tampa, Fla., Oct. 25.
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In the Oct. 25 debate between Florida’s gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Alex Sink looked at a text message on a smart phone handed to her during a commercial break – a violation of debate rules. Cheating! cried her Republican opponent, Rick Scott.

The next night, Ms. Sink told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that she looked at the text because her daughter is in Europe, and she thought it might be from her. CNN went to the videotape, turned up the audio, and learned that she was clearly told it was a message from “Brian” – the aide whom she had fired for sending the message.

Seems like small potatoes, compared with the $1.7 billion fine Mr. Scott’s former health-care company had to pay in the ‘90s for Medicare fraud. But Sink has been running as the squeaky clean candidate, so any blemish is magnified. And it’s the tightest governor’s race in the country: The latest average shows them 0.1 percent apart. Every blip matters.

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