The past year proved -- yet again -- why we love politics. There was the sublime (the country and its politicians' reaction to the shootings in Newtown, Conn.) and the ridiculous (virtually everything else). We spent a few days gathering a series of pictures that tell the story of the year in politics. Our picks are below. What did we miss?

1. President Obama's second inauguration was the high point of his year.

President Obama arrives at the ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

2. Soon, scandal was everywhere. There was Benghazi.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

3. There was the NSA. There was the IRS. And there was even "umbrella guy."


4. Things on the foreign policy front weren't much better.

President Obama (L) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G8 Summit at Lough Erne in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland June 17, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

5. Then this happened.

This Dec. 3, 2013 photo shows a woman in Washington, D.C., reading a message indicating that a connection cannot be established with the insurance marketplace internet site. AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIER

6. Also, this happened.

President Obama (right) and British Prime Minister David Cameron pose for a selfie picture with Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt next to first lady Michelle Obama during the memorial service of South African former president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium (Soccer City) in Johannesburg on December 10, 2013. AFP PHOTO / ROBERTO SCHMIDT

7. The one piece of good news for President Obama was that Republicans in Congress were even worse off.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

8. Ted Cruz became the face of the "no retreat, no surrender" crowd after leading a nearly 24-hour-long filibuster to stop President Obama's health-care law.

Republican Senator from Texas Ted Cruz exits the floor of the Senate after speaking for more than 21 hours in opposition to the Affordable Care Act in Washington, DC USA, 25 September 2013. EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

9. It didn't work. But it did lead to a government shutdown that Republicans got blamed for.

A U.S. Park Police officer stand guard in front of the closed Lincoln Memorial, October 1, 2013 in Washington, DC.Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

1o. All of which led to John Boehner's "Are you kidding me?" moment.

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

11. Add it all up and you get a Congress that's less popular than car salesmen. Yes, really.

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

12. Outside Washington, things weren't any better. Anthony Weiner did it again.

New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, left, listens as his wife, Huma Abedin, speaks during a news conference at the Gay Men's Health Crisis headquarters, Tuesday, July 23, 2013, in New York. The former congressman says he's not dropping out of the New York City mayoral race in light of newly revealed explicit online correspondence with a young woman. AP Photo/Kathy Willens

13. And the world met Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

City of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford addresses the media outside office in Toronto on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, after the release of a video. A new video surfaced showing Ford in a rage, using threatening words including "kill" and "murder." Ford said he was “extremely, extremely inebriated" in the video, which appeared Thursday on the Toronto Star’s website. AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Nathan Denett

14.  . . . .

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford yawns during an executive committee meeting in Toronto December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Aaron Harris

15. It wasn't all bad news for politics and politicians though. Chris Christie had a great year.

In this Nov. 5, 2013 file photo, Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie celebrates his election victory in Asbury Park, N.J., after defeating Democratic challenger Barbara Buono. AP Photo/Mel Evans

16. And New Yorkers fell in love with the de Blasio family.

In this Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 file photo, New York Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio embraces his son Dante, left, daughter Chiara, second left, and wife Chirlane McCray after polls closed in the city's primary election in New York. AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File

17. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton looks like he is having  a good time alongside Vikings owner Zygi Wilf.

Photo courtesy of Glen Stubbe. Minneapolis Star Tribune

18. And Joe Biden always has a good year. Always.

Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images