Happy Thanksgiving

The time has come to count our blessings, and of all the things for which members of the political press can be grateful, one of the greatest are the gaffes, pratfalls and general buffoonery that mark (and sometimes transform) each election cycle.

With that in mind, Fox News First is pleased to present to you, dear readers, our first ever Turkey Bowl champions ranked in order to reflect both their ridiculousness and consequence.

10) The Great Derp-bate – Hosting presidential debates is, as it turns out, rather difficult. And so discovered the crew from CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” which came equipped with snark and sneers for the network’s Oct. 28 debate, but little else. Candidates hit their questions out of the park like batting practice for two long hours, which was judged to be a catastrophe. In the words of Ohio Gov. John Kasich, “Come on, folks!”

9) Stuck on stupid – Donald Trump has had many memorable moments in the 2016 cycle, but his response to rival Ben Carson’s autumn surge in Iowa polls was one of the most puzzling. Trump made a speech in the state where he appeared baffled at Iowans drawn to the quiet doctor causing him to bellow, “How stupid are the people of Iowa?”

8) Double mounted in the Kentucky Derby – Back when Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was a media darling and a top-tier GOP presidential contender, he tried to have it all. Commonwealth law in Kentucky doesn’t allow candidates to appear twice on the same ballot. So rather than giving up his Senate seat for his presidential run, Paul came up with a procedural maneuver to get around the law. For supporters looking for a candidate who was “all in” it sent all the wrong messages.

7) Prisoner of love – Ben Carson has baffled the political press and his rivals as voters have flocked to him despite some odd and sometimes rambling responses. We got our first sign of things to come in March when Carson explained the nature of homosexuality by discussing gay prison sex.

6) A long way from Wauwatosa – Much has been written about the stumbles that led to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s September departure from the GOP race. But back in February, he was considered by many the top contender for his party’s nomination. On a trip to Britain to pad his foreign policy resume ahead of his campaign launch, Walker told an interviewer that he was “going to punt on that one” when asked if he believed the theory of evolution. Liberals pounced and comedians mocked, but worst for Walker, it raised doubts that would linger about his ability to play in the big leagues.

5) You got servered – The political press was in full froth in the week that followed the March 3 revelation that Hillary Clinton had done her government business as secretary of state on a secret, private email server in her home. Clinton was stonewalling as hard as she could, but she eventually panicked and called a quickie press conference at the United Nations. She should have brought peacekeeping forces with her. The evasive and, as it would turn out, misleading claims Clinton made have haunted her candidacy ever since. Clinton obviously misunderstood the seriousness of her misdeeds that still may sink her again.