AMANPOUR: While the Republican candidates are all taking the weekend off for Christmas, they won't be able to rest for long. Here's Jonathan Karl with a look ahead at the next week in politics.
KARL: Next week, all eyes are on Iowa as the GOP candidates make their final push before the January 3rd caucuses. On Tuesday, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann both hit the road with bus tours across the Hawkeye State.
Mitt Romney brings his new campaign bus to Iowa on Wednesday, making his final appeal to caucus goers. Ron Paul targets central and western Iowa, holding a salute to veterans rally in Des Moines Wednesday night.
And as Rick Perry criss-crosses Iowa all week, flat tax godfather Steve Forbes stumps for him in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, with the payroll tax deal wrapped up, President Obama spends the holiday week relaxing with the first family in Hawaii.
AMANPOUR: And stay around. The "Sunday Funnies" are next.
AMANPOUR: And now the "Sunday Funnies."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This one is entitled, "Things that We Will Miss about Kim Jong-Il."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nothing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans and Democratic senators set aside their differences and exchanged gifts in the first-ever Senate "Secret Santa."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Merry Christmas, Bob.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, George. (Inaudible).
REP. PETER KING, R-N.Y.: He's too erratic. I think he does not have the discipline, does not have the capacity to control himself, and he can't stay focused.
JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: That's who you're going to nominate for president? Can't control himself, can't stay focused, too erratic? Those last descriptions are usually followed by the phrase, "and he's disruptive at naptime and a bit of a biter."
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: We'll be right back.
AMANPOUR: Now, "In Memoriam."
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, AUTHOR: Religion is manmade. Gods -- all gods so far have been manmade. It does not say at all that there may not be a prime mover or a higher intelligence. But I say that no one has yet earned any claim to act in that entity's name.
TOMMY GILCHRIST, ACTOR: He won't eat it. He hates everything. He likes it! Hey, Mikey!
AMANPOUR: We remember all of those who died in war these last two weeks. The Pentagon released the names of these service members killed in Afghanistan.
We'll be right back.
AMANPOUR: That's our program today. And I want to thank you all for inviting me into your homes every Sunday for the past year and a half. It's been an enormous privilege to anchor this prestigious program as we've traveled around the country and parts of the world together.
As I noted earlier, this has been the year of the people -- you. And people like you from every corner of the globe have made your voices heard. And it's exhilarating to be able to cover and experience democracy in action, whether old or newborn.
In the new year, you can find me off on new adventures, covering global affairs and challenges here at home in this struggling economy. I'll be doing specials in prime time and on all the other ABC news programs.
And finally, I would like to thank the dedicated staff of "This week," which works tireless to get this program on the air every week, and they'll be in good hands with my colleague, George Stephanopoulos, who takes over this broadcast on Sunday, January the 8th. For all of us here, thank you for watching. I wish you all a joyful holiday and a very happy new year.