This Year in Politics

A countdown of the top 11 political stories that shaped 2011.
3:00 | 12/25/11

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Transcript for This Year in Politics
This week a year to remember as a result consumes Washington. -- people the Republicans should stop playing chicken this is not class warfare. It's meant a -- opposed -- Republican race heads into the final stretch and we will be the number 101000 dollar bet not. Group's President Obama is 81. Terror. While the country wait anxiously for economic recovery the biggest concern -- American people. Jobs jobs jobs down form anger occupies American streets. People -- revolution royals across the Arab -- They love me or my -- would relieve -- -- me alone and public enemy number one. Finally meets -- end. The United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden -- American troops Begin to head home. We reflect on the remarkable -- have laws and the election he had to come in a special edition of this week. From the museum in Washington. This week with Christiane Amanpour. Starts and. Good morning Merry Christmas and a very happy holidays to you all. It's hard to believe that 2012 is nearly upon us and -- just over a week. Iowa becomes ground zero in the race for the White House and -- has Republican presidential nomination being so up for grabs. But the campaign battle is just one of the dramatic political stories that shape is unpredictable year. And -- and John call counts down the topping eleven of 2011. It was a year old gridlock protests. Hopeful compact agonizing defeats and greasy -- so we -- is a list with number eleven of 2011. The Tea Party invasion of congress. Okay. It was a freshman class of outsiders nearly half of them had never held elected office. It was pizza shop owner Bobby Schilling dentist called ghosts are army colonel Allen west -- Sweeney -- Eagles lineman Jon Runyan. John Boehner couldn't have been speaker of the house without them is that that the tea parties got speaker Boehner -- into -- -- -- -- -- has no control us caucus the freshman class is running roughshod over him yeah. Now know that is not happening trust me speaker Boehner couldn't do. Anything without its. Number ten occupy. It started as a few -- on Wall Street. But grew into a national even global -- Her agenda was murky but by year's -- they seem to a -- the Tea Party movement. And 99%. Against the richest 1%. Republicans ousted all as class warfare. Don't blame Wall Street. Don't blame the big banks if you don't have a job that you are not rich -- Nielsen models X number nine. Eyes and fall of arming key force is the Arctic -- -- there. -- he started out as that pizza guy with a big smile. Giving a thumbs up to our favorite pizza on Capitol Hill the crust is not just the right -- a -- -- -- he had a catchy economic plan. Man man. 99. Smoking campaign manager and was unlike. Any candidate we'd ever seen. Rock. I feel pretty good today Becky Becky Becky Becky stands -- know that's an apple OK we -- replace in the box of oranges okay. So so that Governor Perry was right that no he wasn't he was mixing apples and oranges. But after multiple allegations of sexual harassment -- infidelity and he put his hand and -- laying. Under my skirt as. McCain's campaign crash and -- I am -- spending. Presidential campaign. It's number eight. The -- There was ripped Republican congressman Chris Lee. Married and hooking up with -- women on Craig's list. Arnold Schwarzenegger admitting he fathered a child ten years ago with his family's long time housekeeper. But no scandal captured our attention quite like New York Democrat -- winners. -- I did not send that -- it my system was -- I was cranked it was a fairly. Common when people make fun of my name all the time toll definitively is that a photograph of you. We're trying to find out. This with a where that photograph came from and whether it was manipulated oh yeah that was him and deeply sorry for the pain this has caused wife whom. And our family. Number seven congressional gridlock in April we came to the brink of a government shutdown we're not gonna allow the senate. -- nor the white cells. To put us in a -- we had bent over backwards. -- try to be fair and reasonable the agreement came within minutes of flights going out on the federal government. But the higher stakes came in August with that debt ceiling showdown. The country came within hours of its first ever to fall. I stuck my neck -- mile. To try to get in a -- about what the president and it's time for the administration. And time for our colleagues across the -- something on -- table. Final deal was hated by everybody. It was followed by another firstly -- credit downgrade of the United States of America us is number six. -- ended the Iraq War. President Obama it was a promise kept. -- once called it is dumb war. He is the acknowledged the mission started by George W. Bush had actually accomplish something. We're leaving behind a -- stable and self reliant Iraq. When a representative government. That was elected by its people. Cash number five. How long overdue capture and killing -- enemy number one the United States has conducted an operation that killed. Osama bin Laden up. Heroics of the Navy SEALs who swept into his compound deep inside Pakistan. Instantly became the stuff of legend and also -- wait for President Obama to push back against Republicans who call him soft on terrorism. Ask Osama bin Laden and point two out of thirty top -- -- -- leaders -- been taken off the field. Whether or engage and -- Number four they could have been contenders. Trump -- Daniels -- Ryan they -- flirted with running. But it was New Jersey governor Chris Christie who Republicans practically -- to run. Who could forget this moment at the Reagan library we need you your country needs you to. I thank you for what you're saying. And I take it and I'm listening to every word of it and feeling it -- Mitt Romney must have been thinking about me but Christine opted out. New Jersey. What -- you like or not you're stuck with me. -- number three she's now starting to open her -- spontaneously the miraculous return of Gabby Giffords she not only survived a gunshot wound to the head. Which shocked the nation with a surprise visit to the house floor. The cash and historic vote to raise the debt ceiling. Months later she and her husband talked about their or deal with Diane Sawyer is -- -- word from Mark Carney. I think it wanted to give you two. Number two jobs or lack thereof that could be -- determining factor if Obama keeps his job. Job -- around the country were inundated. In LA over 101000. Showed up -- single job fair and thousands more lined up in the summer heat in Atlanta. Even camping out overnight in their best business attire -- -- -- -- it feels just as aware. -- won't be homeless the year started out with an unemployment rate of nine point 4%. -- improved ever so slightly but by year's end it was still too high and over fourteen million Americans were still searching for work. Number one -- blew me no -- Republican primary. In August Michelle Bachmann looked like a front runner. -- -- She won the Iowa straw poll and in -- -- flamed out. Next -- Rick Perry shot to the top but not for long it the however I expect the commerce. Analysts say. I can't groups Herman Cain had his turn but he too was at a loss for words. -- leave you. You know that's that's -- -- -- -- all Mitt Romney -- steady about 25%. In virtually every poll as the others rose in fell. One Romney called -- workable. And -- Every time one candidate went down another popped up last one standing nude Gingrich -- even Ron Paul. I would be the number who would have thought. Gingrich was dead and buried over the summer -- Greek cruise the 500000 dollar line of cluttered at Tiffany's the mass resignation of his campaign staff. But -- would rise again just ask Mitt Romney -- that things out like -- office chest. That Gingrich really yeah yeah that's -- And -- this year in politics when he eleven on Jonathan Karl Christiane. As -- thank you -- call.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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