Democrats have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving–and some rather unlikely people to thank:

10. Republican governors – In many of the important swing states–Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nevada–Republican governors who were elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010 had made such strides that it was difficult for Mitt Romney to gain traction against Obama by criticizing the state of the country. They did their jobs all too well.

9. Jimmy Carter – In recent years, the party held him at arm’s length, with his comments about “apartheid” in Israel and the uncomfortable parallels between his administration and Obama’s. But his grandson, James Carter IV, vindicated Carter and helped save Obama by finding Romney’s “47 percent” remark on a secret tape made at a fundraiser.

8. David Cameron and Boris Johnson – The current and purported future leader of the Conservative Party in Britain, who elevated Romney’s truthful remarks about poor security at the Summer Olympics into a major “gaffe.” Cameron and Johnson outdid each other in slamming Romney, and largely negated any benefit from his foreign trip.

7. Chris Christie – He offered excessive, effusive praise for Obama’s performance during Hurricane Sandy, and gave Obama the chance to play president in a 90-minute photo-op a week before the election. (In fact, federal efforts have been nearly as bad as during Hurricane Katrina, and Obama largely neglected Hurricane Isaac the month before.)

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