President Barack Obama (Win McNamee/Getty Images); Sen. Ted Cruz (Steve Pope/Getty Images); House Speaker John Boehner (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Though there were no major elections held this year, 2013 still turned out to be one of the more eventful years in recent political memory. Between the government shutdown and the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, there was certainly no shortage of major political news.

There was also no shortage of political losers. (See our list of winners on Tuesday.) Below, a look at who fared the worst politically in 2013.

Sen. Ted Cruz

Cruz (R-Texas) will run for president at some point despite the fact that he was born in Canada. And he may actually win a primary or two, but that’s it—and for Cruz, that will not be enough, because the man really thinks he has what it takes to be president.

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He doesn’t. But more importantly, his behavior in the last year—most notably his role in the government shutdown—may have made him an extremist conservative hero, but it has all but ensured that most voters will always view him as a toxic joke and will never let him within 1,000 feet of the presidency.

Jay Z

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He picked a fight with civil rights icon Harry Belafonte and lost. He embarrassed the White House with an ill-advised trip to Cuba with his Mrs. and further embarrassed himself with a rap about it. Whatever credibility he and his fans thought he once had as a thought leader or political influencer officially evaporated this year.

Then there was his embarrassing response to the Barneys New York racial-profiling controversy. First there was no response. Then there was the why-am-I-being-demonized? response. Then there was the here's-the-bottom-line-I'm-focused-on-my-bottom-line-and-therefore-not-pulling-out-of-my-forthcoming-deal-with-Barneys response. I’m still not sure why people were outraged that Jay Z showed that he cares more about Jay Z than about the black community or political activism. He’s shown us that all along.

The American People

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The government shutdown was an utter disgrace and an embarrassment to our democracy. Although current polls show Americans giving Congress a historic all-time low approval rating of 9 percent, to paraphrase a favorite expression of Judge Judy, they may be idiots, but they’re our idiots. We picked them. Americans are the ultimate losers because our dysfunctional, do-nothing government did nothing. But we are also losers because a majority of us voted for these knuckleheads.

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick

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Few falls from grace have been as stunning as that of former Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick. Nicknamed the “hip-hop mayor” when he became the youngest mayor in Detroit history in 2001 at age 31, he soon found his tenure bogged down in corruption charges. After years of investigations and litigation, Kilpatrick was sentenced this fall to 28 years in prison for a scheme that required those seeking to do business with the city to cut Kilpatrick’s allies in, ultimately kicking money back to the corrupt mayor. It’s a sad ending to a once-promising career.

Speaker of the House John Boehner

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Did I mention that Congress has a 9 percent approval rating?

Did I mention that Boehner (R-Ohio) is the speaker of the House?

Did I mention that he let his party and his party’s image get hijacked by the likes of Ted Cruz?

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Enough said.

President Barack Obama

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The Affordable Care Act will likely be remembered as one of the most important pieces of legislation in modern American history.

Its rollout, filled with the kind of technical glitches that would cost the average geek-squad member his job, will also likely be remembered as one of the most disastrous legislative launches in American history. Making this all the more puzzling is that President Obama’s campaigns are considered the most technologically savvy in American politics.

So what happened? I have no idea, since I’m not a tech expert. But I do know if the kind of problems that plagued this website plagued any website I frequented regularly, I’d take my business elsewhere. When it comes to health care, many Americans don’t have enough options to take their business elsewhere. But they do have the option to support critics of the law over its supporters in next year’s midterm elections. The flawed rollout and the president’s lackluster response to it have now given critics and midterm voters plenty of ammunition.

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Sen. Marco Rubio

Rubio (R-Fla.) has long been one of the most hyped rising conservative stars in recent memory. Many assumed that the tough talk about the president from this young, handsome conservative of Cuban descent, combined with his softer tone on immigration, would assure him a place on a GOP presidential ticket sooner rather than later.

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There’s just one problem—actually, two. Thanks to the government shutdown and the fight over the ACA, Rubio had his thunder stolen by conservatives who don’t know the meaning of the words “softer tone,” most notably Cruz, who, like Rubio, represents the younger wing of the party and is also of Cuban descent. These days, Rubio’s name barely makes the shortlist of serious contenders for a ticket.

Eliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner

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Both New York politicians lost their previous positions (governor and congressman, respectively) because of sex scandals. Both tried to mount comebacks this year by running for office in New York City.

Both lost.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius

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As the highest-ranking person in the Department of Health and Human Services, Sebelius is ultimately responsible for the rollout of the ACA, which even supporters agree was an unmitigated disaster. The glitches the website experienced became a punchline for comedians but is no laughing matter for Democrats facing midterm elections next year. Nor are they a laughing matter for Sebelius, who was once a Democratic rising star and now has to worry about her legacy.

Keli Goff is The Root’s special correspondent. Follow her on Twitter.

Keli Goff is The Root’s special correspondent. Follow her on Twitter.