Transcript for The Year With Katie Couric: Politics
Will rogers once said there's no trick to being humorous when you have the whole government working for you. He would have had a field day over the past year, make that the past two years, watching the race to the white house. And I bet he would have had something else to say, tgio, thank god it's over. Reporter: Once upon a time, eight republicans dreamed of being the 45th president. But early this year in the frozen cornfields of iowa, four of the candidates got a wake-up call that their dream was only an expensive fairy tale. Oops. Reporter: Mitt romney remained the favorite. But before finally settling down, the voters seemed to want toate around. In january, south carolina swooned over newt gingrich -- a week before valentine's day, it's rick santorum who seemed headed for the alter when he won over voters in colorado, missouri, and minnesota. On "super tuesday," those january to march infatuations ended like so many others -- when the voters said "i do" to the guy with the most money and the west hair. I'm mitt romney and I approve this message. Reporter: But "into each life, some rain must fall" -- and for the next few months romney kept the umbrella handy. He stumbled in london by questioning whether america's closest ally could host a successful olympic games. There are a few things that were disconcerting, the stories about the private security firm not having enough people. Reporter: Back home, romney's running mate, congressman paul ryan, also ran into trouble after bragging on a radio show about his marathon prowess. Just got to ask. What's your personal best? Ah -- under three. I think, you know, high twos. 2 hours, 50 something. Holy smokes! Reporter: "Runners world" magazine said "not so fast" and broke the story that ryan's actual time was north of four hours. Hurricane isaac delayed the republican convention in tampa, but a more unpredictable storm was brewing. This one was named "clint." What? When you heard clint eastwood was going to come out, everyone was like, this is going to be great. And it was great -- just for the democrats. I can't tell him to do that to himself. Reporter: Also great for democrats was the secret recording of romney writing off 47% of voters as government freeloaders. Who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. Reporter: What the comment did was convey to millions of americans, even many who were inclined to give mitt romney the benefit of the doubt. Reporter: The support for governor romney was at an election year low. Reporters were already writing the obituary of his campaign, republicans were already publicly pointing fingers as to who lost the election. 90 minutes later, everything changed. President obama's debate performance was characterized as disengaged, listless and utterly dismal. And that was from his most ardent supporters. I don't know what he was doing out there. He had his head down. He was enduring the debate rather than fighting it. Where was obama tonight? Thank you! Reporter: President obama got the message. I particularly want to apologize to chris matthews. I don't know how he let romney get away with the crap he threw out tonight. Four years ago, I gave him a thrill up his leg. This time around, I gave him a stroke. Reporter: With romney now surging in the national polls, it was up to the sometimes verbally challenged vice president, joe biden -- and I've known eight presidents, three of them intimately. The president has a big stick. Reporter: -- To try and get the campaign back on track. Charming in his way, but sometimes puts his foot in his mouth. There is no give-up in america. I've had it up to here. at the vice presidential debate -- that's a bunch of mol arky. Reporter: Was celebrated on "saturday night live." He's missing and presumed dead. Reporter: Biden seemed to re-energize the obama campaign and the president came out swinging in the final two debates. You've been all over the map. Every time you offered an opinion, you've been wrong. Reporter: By election day, many states began falling for obama/biden. It's going to be mitt romney. Reporter: Remained certain obama would seal the deal. Do you believe ohio has been settled? No, I don't. If we are -- trading places at the end where he comes out and he's like, turn those machines back on! Turn those machines back on! He just did not believe that obama won. Turn the machines back on! Reporter: But he had. After years of campaigning and a record $2 billion spent, president 2012 presidential election was finally over. It was time for much needed rest. Maybe that's why florida senator marco rubio, a likely republican candidate in 2016, waited almost two weeks before traveling to the frozen corn fields of iowa.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.