Funniest ad of the year.

Best new food blog of the year.

Shortest pledge not to run negative ads. “Despite his mantra to stay ‘positive,’ Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich took a swipe at rival Ron Paul on Thursday, suggesting that the Texas lawmaker’s political base consists of ‘people who want to legalize drugs.’”

Lamest effort to lower expectations. “Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Thursday seemed to be lowering expectations for the upcoming Iowa caucuses, saying he’d be happy with a third or fourth place finish.” Didn’t he say he had the nomination all wrapped up?

Clearest hint yet. “Chris Christie says that while he and Mitt Romney have never discussed a potential vice presidential role for the New Jersey governor, it would still be ‘presumptuous’ for him to turn his back on the possibility.”

Worst endorsement judgment. “[Jon] Huntsman, who is currently polling in fourth place in New Hampshire, has now picked up endorsements from three of the state’s papers: the Monitor, the Keene Sentinel and Valley News. [Independent John B.] Anderson, who was also polling fourth in the 1980 New Hampshire primary race, had won endorsements from the same three papers (and a host of smaller ones.)”

Slimiest endorser in Iowa. “Prior to making his endorsement, influential Iowa conservative Bob Vander Plaats approached Rick Santorum and asked him to consider dropping out of the Republican presidential race, the candidate said Wednesday.CNN first broke the news Tuesday evening that Vander Plaats, the president and CEO of The Family Leader, asked Michele Bachmann to consider dropping her bid or joining forces with another candidate.” Vander Plaats denies the allegations.

Sunniest candidate in the field right now. “Mitt Romney, seemingly happy with how the Republican presidential campaign is playing out, is not explaining or apologizing for TV attack ads paid for by his allies that have damaged his chief rival’s political standing 12 days before the Iowa caucuses. Whether he’s the true frontrunner or not, Romney is acting like one. He refuses to be dragged into debates about the campaign’s tone, high-stakes brinksmanship in Congress over a payroll tax dispute — or into a one-on-one debate sought by Newt Gingrich.”

Most compelling evidence that money follows success in politics. “Mitt Romney is set to close out the fourth fundraising quarter of the year with his largest haul yet of at least $20 million . . . Instead of the Newt Gingrich surge prompting donors to hesitate, it impelled them to give more, two sources said, mirroring fear among establishment Republicans of the former House speaker capturing the nomination.” Gingrich was plainly the best thing to happen to Romney in this race.