The year that was: The good, the bad and the funny

Mon Dec 23, 2013 7:10am EST
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By Barbara Goldberg

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden congratulated the wrong man on being elected mayor of Boston and college football star Manti Te'o publicly mourned the death of a girlfriend who never was.

While U.S. headlines in 2013 were dominated by the Boston Marathon bombs, Edward Snowden leaking government secrets, and the disastrous rollout of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, the news also brought plenty to laugh about.

In the category of "Politicians Behaving Badly," former Congressman Anthony Weiner's campaign to become mayor of New York City tanked when news broke that the Democrat, who resigned from Congress in 2011 after a sexting scandal, was at it again - this time using the name "Carlos Danger." The X-rated déjà vu inspired a play called "The Weiner Monologues.

On the West Coast, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner made the headlines with what came to be known as the "Filner Headlock." After asking a woman for a date, he came up behind her and wrapped one arm around her in an embrace that was more World Wrestling Entertainment than Kama Sutra. Sexual harassment accusations followed - from nearly 20 other women, resulting in Filner's resigning, getting sued and being sentenced to home confinement.

A foot-in-mouth moment occurred on the November night Massachusetts state Senator Marty Walsh was elected mayor of Boston. As new mayor Walsh prepared to greet supporters, another Marty Walsh - a Boston public affairs consultant - saw an unfamiliar 202 number pop up on his cell phone.

"Congratulations, Marty, you son of a gun. You did it!" he heard the voice of the U.S. vice president shout gleefully, before he realized his mistake.

In October, the federal government shutdown led to some strange stories, including the blackout of the wildly popular online Giant Panda Cam at the National Zoo in Washington and the furloughing of poison ivy-eating goats in New Jersey and New York.

Months later, the fumbled launch of whipped up a search for the "Obamacare Girl," who was re-named "Glitch Girl" after her smiling face remained frozen on the home page that frustrated millions of computer users.   Continued...

New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin attend a news conference in New York, July 23, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer