Winners and Losers of 2012
Lydia Callis became an internet sensation during Hurricane Sandy. The main sign language interpreter for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, she instantly won fans by passionately signing what Bloomberg was saying, coupled with facial features that gave her a fan base that even led to a parody skit on “Saturday Night Live.” Bloomberg thanks Callis for her presence before he begins to speak.
Even though he may have upset his base while doing it, New Jersey residents agreed that Chris Christie was a great leader after Hurricane Sandy. According to CNN, before the storm, 55 percent of residents said that he was doing an excellent or good job, and after, that number boosted to 70 percent. The blustery governor had previously criticized President Barack Obama’s leadership style, but after Obama came to the state shortly after the catastrophe, he praised him on national television. Despite some grumblings that he was giving the president a boost a week before the election, he insisted he was not interested in politics, just helping the state.
Although the political power of Occupy Wall Street dwindled this year, they resurged in an inspiring way after Hurricane Sandy. The group marshaled their organization and crowd forces to help those in need in places like Staten Island and the Rockaways, quickly getting together locations to bring donated items and people to carpool them to affected sites. In many places, residents said that Occupy Sandy locations were the places they were able to get food and supplies, and the group was still at it this month, collecting cleaning and food supplies.
This sports star rocked the world of Knicks fans and pun lovers everywhere, as his astronomical rise on the team gave way to a slew of “Lin”-focused puns. “Linsanity” took over New York as stores rushed to stock his jersey, new fans cheered when he came onto the court or onto to their television screen, and his humble demeanor garnered extra points among nice-guy lovers everywhere. The euphoria, however, was short lived: he headed to Houston in July.
Mayoral candidate and city comptroller John Liu did not have a good year. A grand jury subpoenaed records from his campaign in November after The New York Times reported that many donors raised question, such as listed donors who said they never gave to Liu. Federal agents arrested a fundraiser, Xing Wu Pan, charging him with fraud, and they also charged his campaign treasurer, Jia Hou, with fraud and obstruction of justice. Liu has promised an internal investigation.
Donald Trump, long self-described as a man of big ideas who is vocal about all of them, spent much of the year criticizing President Barack Obama. In October, he promised a “big announcement” about the campaign, which turned out to be a much-lampooned $5 million offer to write a check to charity if Obama would release college and passport letters. He even kindly extended the offer after the hurricane, in case that crisis had otherwise occupied the president’s attention. After Obama won re-election in November, Trump called the election a “total sham.” Many criticized his remarks, and the Daily News reported that those critics included his children, who asked him to calm down his remarks.
Few fanbases went through more torture this year than those who rooted for the Jets. Even after being eliminated from playoff contention in Week 15 the team has filled the tabloids with one embarrassing story after another. The torture all began back in March when the team traded for spiritual superstar Tim Tebow and ignited a quarterback controversy with incumbent Mark Sanchez for no discernable reason. The season ends with Tebow trying to get out, Mark Sanchez being shopped in a trade and Jets fans curled up in the fetal position, praying for a true savior — preferably one who can throw a 15-yard out route.
Anna Gristina, 43, went from a soccer mom of four in upstate New York to an inmate in prison clothes behind bars this year. Accused of running a prostitution ring from an Upper East Side apartment, the photo of this “Soccer Mom Madam” adorned covers of the city’s tabloids, with reporters staking out her home in Monroe, N.Y. She avoided a long-term prison sentence, pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge. She was released under her time served at Rikers Island. She is now reportedly pondering penning a tell-all book.