#10: Harry Reid
Unlike the other nine politicians to be named on this countdown, Harry Reid does not have a history of playing politics with the media. He did, however, recently dabble in such a way that immediately made him a household name for all the wrong reasons.
During the 2012 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney infamously came under scrutiny for refusing to divulge more than two years of tax returns, even in spite of the practice by presidential candidates of releasing twelve years originating with his own father, George Romney.
It was already known by then that Romney held assets in the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, and other such locations well known as tax havens for the wealthy.
Romney's subsequent refusal to comply immediately raised speculation, including theories that he had other, potentially criminal assets he did not want the American people to know about, or that he may have falsified his eligibility to run for Governor of Massachusetts.
The most likely theory was that Romney's tax returns would have demonstrated what was, by then, considered common knowledge to the Democrats: That the tax code unfairly favored the rich.
The controversy of Romney's tax returns was already there and growing rapidly out of itself just out of Romney's simple refusal to put the issue to rest. Which is why Reid's commentary on the issue was not only petty, it was completely unnecessary.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Harry Reid alleged that an investor in Bain Capital, where Romney was CEO from 1991 to 2002, told him that Romney did not pay any taxes for ten years.
By Reid's own admission in the exact same interview, he could not verify whether or not that was true, and his statement wound up sufficing only as a headline-grabbing dare to Mitt Romney to release his tax returns and prove him wrong.
It not only served no purpose: It had the opposite effect. Instead of addressing the issue (which was continually being brought up by the press anyway), Romney and his political allies instead started attacking Harry Reid and the Democrats for the unsupported accusation.
Mr. Reid, if you should happen to read this, I have only one thing to say to you: You're better than that. Don't ever let this happen again.