Tonight at 8 p.m. ET, Tom Foreman takes stock of the year’s highs and lows, the risky business, and the unforgettable milestones in 2012. Aisha Tyler, Ben Stein, Julie Mason, Pete Dominick, Buddy Valastro, and Isha Sesay break it all down in politics, pop culture, technology and sports.
Remember Clint Eastwood’s empty chair, Prince Harry’s Vegas photos, Fearless Felix, the Olympic wins and losses, “Call Me Maybe,” “Liz & Dick,” Facebook going public, the iPhone 5 release, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” and TomKat splitting? It’s all in the show...we'll let you decide whether those qualify for the Best or Worst category!
Plus, we’re taking predictions for 2013. Tweet yours @AC360 and tune in tonight.
The past year brought historic changes, democratic milestones, devastating tragedies, and acts of heroism that will never be forgotten.
In 2012 Anderson traveled across the country and around the world seeking the truth. He met people who were struggling against seemingly insurmountable odds: Syrian refugees, gunshot victims in Colorado, New Yorkers who lost everything they had, widows facing a harsh new reality.
There were crimes that divided communities and launched important conversations about discrimination and ethics. In some cases, justice was served. Convicted of child sex abuse, Jerry Sandusky will spend the rest of his life in prison.
David Frum, Alex Castellanos and Paul Begala react to a comment Rep. Paul Ryan made about why he and Mitt Romney lost, and a remark about Pres. Obama not having a mandate. And the panel gives their insight on what the election means for the Republican party and the president.
Time's Michael Scherer describes how the Obama campaign used data and analytics to successfully appeal to voters and raise money. By investing in a large technical support staff, they had the resources to remake voter files with more valuable information than they had in 2008. "They created basically a holistic system where they could not just target people, but figure out the best ways to target people," says Scherer.
One realization was that the ideal way to reach out to voters was with contact from someone locally, and even better if the person wasn't a stranger. Using the data from people who had downloaded the campaign's Facebook app, they were able to tailor their messaging and decide the optimal messenger.
Read more about about what the campaign revealed to Scherer during the exclusive interview.
Anderson Cooper talks with Ari Fleischer and Van Jones about the tea party losses this election and what it means for both the Republicans and Democrats.
Fleischer says he likes the economic conservatism of the tea party, but they have had unqualified candidates in the past and need better messengers for their platform.
Jones believes people should regard the tea party with a certain amount of respect for how they've mobilized and garnered support, but they are not appealing broadly. He argues their tone has been "very offensive" to people of color and to women.
Editor's note: Anderson Cooper will interview Michael Scherer about the data-mining strategy the Obama campaign implemented to get their candidate re-elected. Tune in at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
(TIME) – In late spring, the backroom number crunchers who powered Barack Obama's campaign to victory noticed that George Clooney had an almost gravitational tug on West Coast females ages 40 to 49. The women were far and away the single demographic group most likely to hand over cash, for a chance to dine in Hollywood with Clooney — and Obama.
So as they did with all the other data collected, stored and analyzed in the two-year drive for re-election, Obama's top campaign aides decided to put this insight to use. They sought out an East Coast celebrity who had similar appeal among the same demographic, aiming to replicate the millions of dollars produced by the Clooney contest.
"We were blessed with an overflowing menu of options, but we chose Sarah Jessica Parker," explains a senior campaign adviser. And so the next Dinner with Barack contest was born: a chance to eat at Parker's West Village brownstone.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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