Right Pundits has decided to permit readers to OFFICIALLY decide who has been the Conservative of the Year 2009. Each person will be permitted to vote once (denverdan, please note). The individual who has garnered the most votes by Friday, 1/15/10 at 11:59 pm will be declared the winner. A $100 prize in your name, dear commenters, will be donated on their behalf to Soldier’s Angels charity.

This list has been expanded to include seven brilliant nominees:

Dick Armey – He was a founding spirit of the Tea Party movement, which was able to wrest the agenda away from the White House and Capital for the middle part of the year. He has remained true to his small government roots for a long time, which may explain why he decided to leave the House in 2002, after serving as the Majority Leader for 8 years. He was an academic, and speaks/thinks like one, which does not tend to inspire much enthusiasm from the grass roots, so we do not hear him speak as much as we could.

Glenn Beck – He became a conservative celebre this year. Beck’s television program moved from CNN to Fox, where he gained a lot of notoriety for his idiosyncratic style. He provided a media base for the Tea Party movement on his show and on his radio program. He has an enthusiastic group of followers on both programs which tends to allow him to control an agenda niche, a pretty important feat in the political environment.

Dick Cheney – Since leaving the Vice Presidency at the beginning of the year, Cheney has exerted continual pressure to strengthen the nation’s defense and maintain a vigilant foreign policy apparatus.

Liz Cheney – She has ardently defended the policies of President Bush and of her father Dick Cheney (above) during the past year. She appeared in a number of policy forums where she advocated many of the same policies as her father, but with a more pleasant visage. She is currently deciding whether to pursue political office.

Bobby Jindal – As governor of Louisiana, Jindal has kept costs down, kept taxes down, and maintained at least a modicum of state services. He has some evolutionary ideas about the state, he is bringing modern conservative thought to a state that is usually reluctant to accept anything modern. His main deficits were that he made such a bad impression in his response to the State of the Union speech and that he so shy, compared to normal politicians.

Rush Limbaugh – He deserves some kind of prize just for longevity, although his impact seems to have waned as a new breed of commentators (see Beck above) induce Rush to either appear to jump onboard someone else’s train or miss the train altogether while defending Republicans of any ideological stripe. He no longer seems to be the firebrand of 1994, now is more of an elder commentator.

Sarah Palin – She left the Alaska governorship around the middle of the year, published a book, inspired a passionate following, and inspired an equally fervent opposition. She articulates the voice of those out of power, who yearn for a return to a time when their lives were more under their own control. I’m not sure if there is another politician currently (perhaps Obama) who could get hundreds of people to wait to see her in the cold bleakness of winter throughout the land. She is one of the front runners for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination, which must induce an apoplexy among those of both parties who reside within the DC environment.

So get your vote in now for Conservative of the Year, and get it in now.