Cross-posted with The Morning Delivery.
The year began on an uplifting note with Barack Obama sworn in as the 44th U.S. President and the first African-American elected to the nation's highest office.
It was all down hill from there, however.
2009 quickly became known as the year of the Great Recession; with jobs shed at an alarming rate (unemployment the highest its been in 26 years), fears of banks on the brink of insolvency, foreclosures at an all-time high, reduced credit availability for consumers, shrinking investor confidence, and a marked decline in business and consumer spending.
It was also the year of men behaving badly, whether it was Alex Rodriquez admitting he took steroids to Mark Sanford flying off to Argentina to fall into the arms of his real "soul mate" or David Letterman's confession he has slept with young female staffers.
These indiscretions, however, pale in comparison with the stunning revelation that Tiger Woods has been leading a double life away from the golf course, one that involves multiple affairs with an assortment of women unbeknownst to his wife Elin.
By far, the biggest shocker of the year came during the summer with the tragic news that the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, died from a drug overdose at age 50, just weeks away from launching his worldwide comeback tour.
Not all the news in 2009 was so bleak. In fact, there were some remarkable success stories: the world (thanks to YouTube) learned who Susan Boyle was; Brett Favre came back from the dead; Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed as the first Hispanic U.S. Supreme Court justice; and Tom Delay showed America, if only for a brief shining moment before his injury -- that Republicans -- especially those from Texas -- know how to flaunt some razzle-dazzle on the dance floor.
So as 2009 draws to a close, I compiled a selection of quotes from leading newsmakers as a way of highlighting some of the biggest news stories of the year.
January 20, 2009
"Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America. They will be met."
-President Barack Obama delivers his inaugural address from the nation's capitol
January 29, 2009
"I did a lot of things that were mostly right.''
Rod Blagojevich's comments to the media, moments after the Illinois State Senate removed him from office on charges of abuse of power.
January 30, 2009
"We're going to bring this party to every corner, to every boardroom, to every neighborhood, to every community."
Michael Steele, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, on being elected the first black chairman of the Republican National Committee.
February 17, 2009
"I knew we weren't taking Tic Tacs.''
Alex Rodriguez during a press conference in Tampa, Fla., about his admission that he took performance-enhancing drugs while with the Texas Rangers from 2001 through 2003.
March 4, 2009
"If only I'd listened to CNBC, I'd have $1 million today -- provided I had started with $100 million."
-Jon Stewart scoffing at CNBC's financial analysts for offering such reckless investment advice and stock market predictions.
March, 14, 2009
"We cannot attract and retain the best and the brightest talent to lead and staff the A.I.G. businesses -- which are now being operated principally on behalf of American taxpayers -- if employees believe their compensation is subject to continued and arbitrary adjustment by the U.S. Treasury.''
-Edward M. Liddy, chairman of the American International Group explaining why it plans to pay out $165 million in bonuses despite receiving more than $170 billion in taxpayer bailout money.
April 11, 2009
"I'm 47 years old...I'm trying to be a professional singer...but have never been given the chance before.''
Scottish singer Susan Boyle, who gained overnight fame singing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables on "Britain's Got Talent',' a music reality show.
April 19, 2009
"I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised."
Miss North Carolina Kristen Dalton, crowned Miss USA, (later dethroned) answer to a question about gay marriage; comments which touched off a stormy controversy, particularly among gay activists.
April 27, 2009
"First thing is, I'm annoyed -- furious is a better word -- that I wasn't told.''
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's response to not being informed by the White House that there would be a flyover by an Air Force One backup and two F-16 fighters through parts of New York and New Jersey.
May 9, 2009
"What's up with all these governors not wanting to take the [bailout] money? Who turns down money? Maybe you should give it to Oprah to give it away. Oprah would say, "OK, governors, look under your seats!"
Comedian Wanda Sykes at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.
June 12, 2009
"It is our duty to defend people's votes. There is no turning back."
Mir Hussein Moussavi, the chief rival to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims there was widespread voting fraud in the Iranian presidential election and was convinced he won by a large margin.
June, 25, 2009
"I am absolutely devastated at this tragic and unexpected news'...I've lost my little brother today, and part of my soul has gone with him."
Music producer Quincy Jones reaction to the news of the death of pop icon Michael Jackson on June 25th.
June 26, 2009
"Those reported cases are really just the tip of the iceberg...We know we're not tracking every single one of them. ''
Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of respiratory diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcing that the swine flu has infected more than a million Americans, with 3,000 hospitalized and another 127 having died from the novel influenza.
June 30, 2009
"This was a whole lot more than a simple affair. This was a love story.''
Mark Sanford, South Carolina governor, tells reporters about his extra-marital affair with an Argentine woman, a woman he considered his "soul mate.''
July 3, 2009
"I'm determined to take the right path for Alaska, even though it is unconventional and it's not so comfortable."
Sarah Palin announcing she will step down as governor at the end of the month and transfer power to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell.
July 5, 2009
"We misread how bad the economy was''
-Vice President Joe Biden's reaction to news that unemployment had reached 9.5 percent despite a $787 billion infusion of stimulus money during an interview on ABC News.
July 14, 2009
"So I was trying to play on her words. My play was -- fell flat. It was bad because it left an impression that I believe that life experiences commanded a result in a case.''
Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor tells members of the Senate Judiciary Committee that her "wise Latina judge'' statement was merely referring to Sandra Day O'Connor's maxim that a "wise old man and a wise old women will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases."
July 16, 2009
"Why? Because I'm a black man in America?'
Henry Louis Gates Jr. a Harvard University professor, tells Cambridge police after being arrested outside his home on suspicion of a break-in.
August 4, 2009
"Well, then they really didn't love me in the first place. Whatever.''
Brett Favre when asked by sports writer Peter King how he feels about fans who say they are sick of him and don't love him anymore.
August, 4, 2009
"I'll miss nurturing all the new talent, but most of all being a part of a show that I helped from day one become an international phenomenon.'
Paula Abdul, via her Twitter page, writes about her decision to leave "American Idol'' after eight seasons.
August 10 2009
"My husband is not Secretary of State. I am.''
Hillary Clinton responding to a question from a Congolese university student during her tour of Africa. The student reportedly meant to ask what President Barack Obama thought about the Chinese loan, but mistakenly referred to former President Bill Clinton instead.
August 18, 2009
"Conservatives can have fun too.''
Tom Delay, former Republican House majority leader, on "Good Morning America'' about his plans to participate in the reality show "Dancing with the Stars.''
August 18, 2009
"Ma'am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining-room table. I have no interest in doing it.''
Democratic Congressman Barney Frank appearing at a town hall meeting on health care, responds to a Massachusetts woman who asked why the congressman supports what she considers a "Nazi policy."
August 29, 2009
"I will try to live up to the high standard that my father set for all of us when he said, 'the work goes on; the cause endures; the hope still lives; and the dream shall never die.'''
Ted Kennedy Jr. delivering the eulogy to his father, Senator Edward M. Kennedy who died of brain cancer on August 25, 2009 at age 77.
"When I talk to groups of journalists these days about the state of our business, I feel like a motivational speaker in a hospice.''
Bill Keller, Executive Editor of the New York Times (from Esquire magazine.)
September 9, 2009
"You lie! You lie!"
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), shouting at President Obama during his State of the Union address after the president informed the Joint Session of Congress that illegal immigrants would not be covered under his health care reform efforts.
September 15, 2009
'We're going to have no paper, no printing plants, no unions. It's going to be great.''
Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., tells audience members at a Goldman Sachs' annual media conference that devices like the Amazon Kindle will replace newspapers completely in about 20 years.
September 23, 2009
"The mayor of Newark, N.J., wants to set up a citywide program to improve residents' health ... The health-care program would consist of a bus ticket out of Newark.''
Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien poking fun at Newark's reputation for being a crime infested city.
October 4, 2009
"I got my work cut out for me.''
David Letterman after apologizing to his wife Regina for his admitted sexual dalliance with female staffers.
October 11, 2009
"We're going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent.''
Anita Dunn, the White House communications director, during a phone interview with the New York Times, speaking about the Fox News Channel's war against the Obama administration.
October 19, 2009
"You guys said we did this for the show.''
During a live broadcast on CNN with anchor Wolf Blitzer---Six year-old Falcon Heene, aka "Balloon Boy'' responds to his father's question why he didn't come out from hiding when they called his name.
October 30, 2009
"I wish they caught me six years ago, eight years ago.''
Bernie Madoff tells Security Exchange Commission inspector general, H. David Kotz during an interview that was made public on October 30, 2009. The disgraced financier was sentenced to 150 years in prison on June 29, 2009 for his ponzi scheme in one of the biggest financial frauds in American history.
November 5, 2009
"It's difficult enough when we lose these great Americans in battles overseas.....It's horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil."
President Obama addresses the tragedy at Fort Hood Texas, when Army psychiatrist Mark Hassan opened fire, killing 12 people and wounding 31 others.
November 19, 2009
"Gender is between your ears, not between your legs.''
Chaz Bono talks about undergoing a sex change on Good Morning America.
November 19, 2009
"I certainly never could have imagined the yellow brick road of blessings that have led me to this moment."
Oprah Winfrey informs her studio audience that she will end her talk show in September, 2011 after 25 years on the air.
December 1, 2009
"Our lives have been destroyed, everything we've worked for...''
Michaele Salahi, appearing on the Today Show with her husband Tareq, responds to Matt Lauer's question about the sensational media coverage surrounding the couple slipping past security at a White House State Dinner without an invitation.
December 1, 2009
"I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan.''
President Obama's speech at West Point announces the deployment of additional U.S. troops in Afghanistan, beginning in January, 2010.
December 11, 2009
"After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person.''
In a statement posted on his website, Tiger Woods announces his hiatus from golf.
Follow Bill Lucey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/wplucey