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United States

Yearbook 2012

USA. The election year began with a primary election in the Republican Party. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney was the best, even though he appeared most as a compromise candidate. No other candidate succeeded in gaining more support, and it became clear that he was going to challenge Barack Obama in the presidential election. The Democrats held no primary elections; as incumbent president, Obama was given as the party's candidate.

2012 United StatesA shooting death in Florida in February raised questions about racial profiling and state laws that give far-reaching right to self-defense. A security guard in a residential area shot dead an unarmed black 17-year-old and was then released by police without investigation after claiming he acted in self-defense. The case caused a storm of protest. Six weeks later, the guard was arrested and charged with murder.

According to countryaah, the Supreme Court came in June with a ruling that many saw as the most important in decades due to the political explosiveness of the issue. The Court found that the disputed health insurance reform of 2010, "Obamacare", was constitutional with the exception of certain details. Above all, the court approved the most disputed part: the law's requirement for individual individuals to obtain health insurance. The decision, which was taken with the voting numbers 5-4, was seen as a huge success for Obama. Republicans vowed to tear up reform in victory in the fall election.

2012 United States

Before the party convention in August, Romney appointed Congressman Paul Ryan as its vice presidential candidate. Ryan was seen as very conservative and was believed to strengthen Romney's position among host conservative voters far out on the right.

Romney was battling headwinds, despite Republicans having reason to hope that the continued weak economy would impede Obama's reelection. Unemployment remained above 8% - a high figure in the US - and the economic recovery was slow. Romney portrayed himself as a successful businessman who was better placed than Obama to save the economy. The Democrats, in turn, portrayed Romney as a greedy multi-millionaire, far from ordinary people and their everyday lives.

At the end of October, Hurricane Sandy swept over the East Coast, one of the more severe storms of modern times that hit the country. Over 130 people were killed and the major floods caused enormous material damage. Thousands of people in New York City got through for weeks without electricity, and gasoline rationing was introduced. President Obama was considered to handle the crisis well, which was supposed to strengthen his position before the election.

The result of the November 6 election gave a largely unchanged political position. Obama was re-elected, his party retained control of the Senate while Republicans also remained in the House of Representatives majority. Obama received 50.7% of the vote and 332 of the 538 electoral votes in the indirect election, which decides who becomes the country's head of state and government. In Congress, Democrats increased slightly in both chambers. In three states, voters said yes to gay marriage, and in two states to legalize cannabis.

A political scandal ensued in the days following the election, when CIA chief David Petraeus resigned after it was discovered that he had had an extramarital affair with a woman who wrote a biography of him. Petraeus, former commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, was believed to have exposed the country to a security risk through the deal. A long-winded tangle was discovered that also involved Petraeus's successor in Afghanistan, John Allen, who came under investigation for "inappropriate" email correspondence with another woman.

Soon, there were also allegations that Petraeus's departure was part of an attempt to lay dim curtains about an attack on the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi in September, when the US ambassador and three other Americans were killed. The attack was first said to be part of a spontaneous demonstration against a film that blamed Islam, but turned out to have been a planned Islamist act. Republicans accused the White House of misleading the public on the issue.

The debate over the country's liberal gun laws flared up again in December, after a young man shot dead 26 people - including 20 low-school children - at a school in Newtown, Connecticut. The offender also took his own life and his motives remained unknown.

Towards the end of the year, the gaze was directed at the so-called budget halt that was expected at the turn of the year and would automatically mean that tax cuts were abolished and budgetary restrictions entered into force unless Congress reached a new settlement. The effect was predicted to be devastating in the already weak economy in the US and the world. The ideological differences were obvious: Republicans did not want to see any increased taxes or reduced appropriations for the defense, Democrats opposed cuts in support for unemployed and low-income earners. However, a compromise was reached at the last moment.

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