No doubt many, such as 'Bronco Bamma' girl, are happy to see the 2012 campaign come to an end, marked as it was by attack ads, name calling and bitter political rivalry. But not everything went sour. Here's a look back at some of the most memorable moments of the 2012 presidential campaign.
Both presidential candidates polished their pipes this election season, bringing some melody to the campaign trail. In January 2012, President Obama took to the stage at a fundraiser at New York's Apollo Theater in Harlem, where he belted out a verse from Al Green's famous song, "Let's Stay Together."
"I … I'm so in love with you," the commander in chief sang, with soul.
Not to be outdone by the president, GOP contender Mitt Romney proclaimed his love for America by belting out the lyrics of "America the Beautiful" during a rally in Florida. It soon became a staple of his campaign.
|Real Guy Moments|
Scott Van Duzer of Fort Pierce, Fla. Nuzer bear-hugged and hoisted President Obama off the ground during a brief meeting at Nuzer's eatery, Big Apple Pizza.
The unexpected bear hug grabbed the attention of the president and the press corps. Users of the rate and review website Yelp took notice too, sending Big Apple Pizza's overall rating into a frenzy.
"Talk about committing business suicide. After picking up Obama, your books are gonna be in the red pretty soon. Not too smart," wrote one commenter, who delivered his one star (out of five) rating from Cottonwood, Ariz., about 2,200 miles away. But cyber trolls got over the Obama bear hug by late afternoon, and Big Apple Pizza was back up in the Yelp rankings, registering a full five stars.
|The 'Take Back That Comment' Moment|
President Obama may have wanted to take back some remarks, namely his "If you've got a business, you didn't build that." He intended to suggest that business people need the infrastructure provided by the government to succeed.
"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
Conservatives and the Romney campaign, however, put those nine words in a different context and said they were insulting to small-business owners. In response, Republicans adopted the campaign slogan "We Built It."
President Obama later said he regretted the "syntax" of his "you didn't build that" comment.
Mitt Romney bit his tongue when a video tape was released of him speaking at a fundraising dinner in Florida. The camera secretly recorded Romney addressing an audience of about 50 people at a $50,000-a-plate fundraiser. Romney gave the infamous "47 percent" remarks in May, and they would stay to make headlines for months to come.
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president, no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it -- that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. ... These are people who pay no income tax. ... My job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
After his controversial comments, Mitt Romney said his remarks were "completely wrong." He said that his comments were "not elegantly stated."
"Let me put it that way. I'm speaking off the cuff in response to a question," Romney said.
During the first presidential debate in Denver, Mitt Romney suggested that he would cut excess spending. But how did he say he would do that? With Big Bird, of course.
"I like PBS, I love Big Bird. Actually like you, too," he said to moderator Jim Lehrer, also of PBS. "But I'm not going to ... keep on spending money on things, to borrow money from China to pay for."
The bizarre "Sesame Street" reference made during the first debate only paled in comparison to the other one-liner that the GOP candidate dropped in the second presidential debate when he suggested that he has "binders full of women."
The inadvertently funny comment came in response to a question about pay equity for women from a member of the audience.
"I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks,' and they brought us whole binders full of women."
President Obama dropped a one-liner on his competitor in the third presidential debate in Florida, when he mocked the former governor's criticism that the Navy had fewer ships than it did in 1916.
"You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916," the president said. "Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military's changed."
"We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them," Obama informed Romney, with some cheek. "We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines."
Obama's horses and bayonets quip immediately set off a Twitter frenzy.
Following his performance in the final debate, President Obama wasted no time dishing out the disses to Romney. He accused the GOP nominee of being shifty and untrustworthy, someone who would "say anything to get elected" and even assigned a name to this shifting: "Romnesia."
Obama called Romney's foreign policy "wrong and reckless" and "all over the map."
"During the debate, he said he didn't want more troops in Iraq, but he was caught on video saying it was unthinkable not to leave 20,000 troops in Iraq, troops that would still be there today," Obama said. "Last night, he claimed to support my plan to end the war in Afghanistan ... but he's opposed a timeline that would actually bring our troops home. Early in this campaign, he said he'd do the opposite of whatever I did in Israel. But last night I reminded him that cooperation with Israel's never been stronger. Last night he said he always supported taking out Osama bin Laden. But in 2007, he said it wasn't worth moving heaven and earth to catch one man.
"We've come up with a name for this condition. It's called 'Romnesia,'" Obama said to laughter and applause. "We had a severe outbreak last night. It was at least stage-three 'Romnesia.'"
Romney and Obama attended the Alfred E. Smith Dinner, a benefit hosted by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York. White ties are worn and jokes are told at the benefit, which has brought the candidates together since the 1960s. But Romney dissed the president and his newly formed relationship with former President Bill Clinton.
"Campaigns can be grueling, exhausting, President Obama and I are each very lucky to have one person who is always in our corner. Someone who we can lean on and someone who's a comforting presence without whom we wouldn't be able to go on with the day." Romney continued. "I have my beautiful wife, Ann, he has Bill Clinton."
Mitt Romney got an endorsement from the former president George W. Bush … sort of. "I'm for Mitt Romney," Bush told ABC News as the doors of an elevator closed on him. The quickie endorsement came after Bush gave a speech on human rights a block away from the White House.
Bush's support came a little late in the game but better late than never. Bush said, "I'm for Mitt" when Romney was basically already selected as the Republican Party's nominee. The 43rd president has been fairly MIA from the 2012 campaign, and has yet to make any other public comments in support of Romney for the presidential ticket.
After the devastation of superstorm Sandy, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg unexpectedly endorsed President Obama, suggesting that hewas the best leader to tackle climate change, which Bloomberg believes contributed to the storm.
"Our climate is changing," Bloomberg wrote in an op-ed on his personal website. "And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be – given this week's devastation – should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action."
But Bloomberg went on to declare his concerns about Obama.
"In 2008, Obama ran as a pragmatic problem-solver and consensus-builder," he wrote. "But as president, he devoted little time and effort to developing and sustaining a coalition of centrists, which doomed hope for any real progress on illegal guns, immigration, tax reform, job creation and deficit reduction. And rather than uniting the country around a message of shared sacrifice, he engaged in partisan attacks and has embraced a divisive populist agenda focused more on redistributing income than creating it."
Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent, made no presidential endorsement in 2008.