By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s that time of year, when our thoughts turn to giving thanks with family and friends, football, and turkey. But let’s face it, turkey isn’t just a Thanksgiving thing. We’re surrounded by them all year long.

So in the spirit of the season, we present our annual series of lists of the Top Turkeys of 2019, starting today with an arduously culled selection of the leading turkeys on the national scene:

1) Mick Mulvaney

As acting White House Chief of Staff, Mulvaney’s job is to guide and protect the president. But in his first year on the job, he didn’t quite seem up to either task.
It was Mulvaney who turned up the Ukraine scandal probe to full boil with his ill-advised confirmation of the infamous quid pro quo at a press conference. Trading arms for political favors? “We do that all the time with foreign policy,” said Mulvaney. “And I have news for everybody, get over it, there’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.”

At last check, no one was getting over it, and Mulvaney has reportedly emerged as a leading presidential scapegoat for the fiasco.

2) Robert Mueller

The special counsel overseeing the Trump/Russia investigation has had a long, distinguished career. But its climactic moment, his July testimony about his report on the Russia probe, was a dud.

Mueller made it clear he didn’t want to be there. “The report is my testimony,” he said, and the document was impressive. But to the dismay of Democrats and the delight of Republicans, Mueller in person was not.

3) Beto O’Rourke

“We can begin by fixing our democracy,” the former Texas congressman said in a video announcing his presidential candidacy. But it quickly became clear democracy wasn’t the only thing that needed fixing.

O’Rourke’s political judgement was suspect. He wasted precious months playing Hamlet, and when he finally jumped in he seemed underwhelming and overmatched. But he’ll be remembered for a debate sound bite Republicans will want every Second Amendment absolutist to hear: “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”

4) Rudy Giuliani

President Trump seems devoted to Giuliani, his personal lawyer, even though Rudy just can’t seem to stop talking… and talking… and talking.

Remember when he told an interviewer “I never said there was no collusion between the campaign and Russia”? That was just one of countless moments where Giuliani’s diarrhea of the mouth got himself and his client in trouble.

Billable hours are billable hours I suppose. But jeez – what a turkey!

Jon Keller

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