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The Top 20 Political Moments of 2009

(AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)
We've put together a slideshow illustrating the top 20 political moments of 2009, as decided by the CBSNews.com political team.

Deciding on the top spot was easy: The inauguration of America's first black president was a historical moment that will be remembered for generations. After that, however, things got more complicated.

We decided to give the number two spot to the town hall protests, the physical and symbolic manifestation of the rage felt by a sizable minority of Americans over the direction of the country.

In third was the president's decision to send more American soldiers to put their lives on the line in Afghanistan. Fourth went to the passing of American icon and "Lion of the Senate" Ted Kennedy, while fifth went to Sarah Palin, who this year solidified her place as perhaps the most polarizing figure in politics today.

Those are just the first five. Click here to see what rounded out the list. It's more fun than a hike on the Appalachian Trail.

SLIDESHOW: THE TOP 20 POLITICAL MOMENTS OF 2009

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