If 2011 was the year of the protester, then 2012 should be the year of the election.
Barack Obama won a second term as U.S. president. In France, incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy lost the presidency to socialist Francois Hollande. Egypt’s revolution brought on the country’s first fair and free elections in Egyptian history, and Islamist Mohamed Morsi as president. The Mexican general elections brought Enrique Pena Nieto to the presidency. Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was one of 44 candidates in the National League for Democracy Party to win a seat in Parliament, beginning a new chapter in the country’s history.
While you will still have to hear about elections way into the future, here are 10 terms I hope we won’t have to hear after New Year’s.
The presidential campaign this year was like a soap opera for political junkies. "If you come down with a case of Romnesia and you can't seem to remember the policies that are still on your website, here is the good news: Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions," Obama told a crowd of supporters. Let’s just hope the jokes end and a real move to insure Americans begins.
2. Todd Akin
When Missouri Representative and U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin said that female victims of “legitimate rape” rarely become pregnant as a result, he probably didn’t think it would become his lasting legacy. Later the Republican refused to back down despite calls to do so from fellow GOP members and the rest is history. He lost to Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill, 54.7% to 39.2%.
3. 50 Shades of Grey
So this is the book everyone is talking about? The erotic novel by an obscure author that has already roped in Universal Pictures and Focus Features became an overnight sensation (still not sure why). Alessandra Stanley puts in best in the New York Times:
“In other words, Fifty Shades of Grey is to publishing what Spanx was to the undergarment business: an antiquated product re-imagined as innovation.”
Sandy ravaged the east coast. Now New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie are making the case to Congress for $42 billion and $36.8 billion for their states in disaster aid, respectively. And a poll finds that most New Yorkers think climate change was behind the storm. Will this set in the motion a more serious debate about climate change and preparations for future disasters?
5. Kate Middleton topless
The editor of the Irish Daily Star has resigned in the wake of the topless photo scandal fallout. The royal couple was photographed sunbathing while on vacation at a secluded, private French chateau. How these photos were even taken is beyond me. That they were published is a reminder of how ridiculous tabloid journalism can be.
6. Newsweek in print
The magazine announced in October that it would end its print edition this year after years of struggling to remain afloat in the internet era. Beginning in 2013, Newsweek will go all digital, but you’ll still have to pay for it. No tears on my end.
7. Binders full of women
One of Mitt Romney’s most memorable gaffes said during the town-hall-style debate in response to a question about pay equity for women. It immediately caught fire across the internet. I think we’ve heard it one too many times. Now onto the real issue of pay equity for women!
8. Michele Bachmann
While in the running to be the Republican presidential nominee, she sent letters to the Department of Homeland Security asking them to investigate many Muslim American organizations and individuals, among them Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s deputy-chief-of-staff Huma Abedin. Let 2012 be the last we ever hear of her witch hunt. Or her.
9. SOPA blackout
The Stop Online Piracy Bill sparked an online protest on January 18 of this year. Popular sentiment that the bill would change freedom of the internet forever actually led to the bill’s death. Let’s hope there are no resurrections.
10. Mayan Apocalypse
According to the Mayans, 12/21/12 is the end of the world. If it turns out to be true, that’s that. If not, we better figure out what to do about the fiscal cliff.