If 2011 was a high voltage news year, then according to our United States Correspondent, 2012 was even more electrifying. From the re-election of President Barack Obama, the Super storm Sandy that wreaked havoc across the US East Coast, to the Supreme Court upholding the President’s prized healthcare law, by a slim majority. In this retrospective Sherwin Bryce-Pease revisits some of the biggest stories of 2012, including the passing of some of music’s greatest legends. The media pundits are already talking about who will run for the White House in 2016. An exhausting thought having just waded through a presidential election that lasted anything from 2 to 4 years. But we will return to that momentarily, for now, let’s return you to election night in Chicago and the words of the victorious incumbent Barack Obama. “You voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together, reducing our deficit, reforming out tax code, fixing our immigration system, freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We have got more work to do,” Obama said. After a gruelling and often bitter campaign that saw billions of dollars pumped into the race, Mitt Romney lost handsomely and had to concede. “I so wish that I had been able to fulfil your hopes to lead the country in a different direction. But the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation,” Romney said. Khalil Muhammed of the Schomberg Centre for Research in Black Culture said: “It is a reminder that this is a very divided country and in this division, I am extremely happy that Obama prevailed and hopefully in four years from now he will have set in stone some important policies that will make it easier for most Americans to live in this county because the world is tough place to survive in right now.” With Republicans retaining the House, the Democrats consolidating their majority in the Senate, the US government at all levels continues to be locked in a debate on how to avoid what has come to be known as a the fiscal cliff, a series of tax increases and spending cuts that could send the global economy into a tailspin. And so we return to electoral politics, with skyrocketing approval ratings, the big question everyone wants to know is will current Secretary of State Hillary Rodhman Clinton run for the presidency again in 2016. Her response from an interview she recently did with ABCs Barbara Walters. “I have said that I really don’t believe that is something I will do again, I am so grateful I had the experience of doing it before, I think there are lots of ways to serve, so I will continue to serve. What will it take to convince you to run in 2016? You know, that is all hypothetical because right now I have no intention of running,” Clinton said. Another big story was the US Consulate terror attack in Libya’s Benghazi on the anniversary of September 11. The attack left a US Ambassador dead in addition to three other US diplomats. They called her Sandy, not for her dark tan lines, but as the eighteenth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season. More than 130 people died in the United States alone with damage estimated at over 50, possibly 50 billion dollars. Chris Christie is Governor of New Jersey, one of the worst affected states speaking soon after viewing some of the devastation cause by the storm. “It was an overwhelming day for me emotionally, as a kid born and raised in this state, and who spent a lot of time over my life, both my childhood and my adult life at the Jersey Shore, we will rebuild it, no question in my mind we will rebuild it, but for those of us who are my age, it won’t be the same,” he said. In Washington, The Supreme Court upheld President Obama Healthcare law sending Republicans into a tailspin, the 2012 election saw state voters approved same sex marriage by popular vote in Maine, Maryland and Washington, bringing the total number of states who allow it to 9. While the justice department is considering legal action against the states of Washington and Colorado after voters legalized the recreational use of marijuana there. And those lost in 2012, one of the world best-selling music artists Whitney Houston died in February after an accidental drowning brought on by her chronic cocaine addiction. Other notable persons to pass on this year was five time Grammy award winner and disco queen Donna Summer, astronaut Neil Armstrong, Robin Gib of the BeeGees and Jazz icon David Brubeck And so as another year comes to an end, we hold our collective breathe in anticipation of what 2013 has in store for all of us.
– By Sherwin Bryce-Pease