We continue our “best of” 2012 conversation with a look at the year in politics.

It seems like it’s been years  since Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum were vying to be the GOP nominee. Remember Harry Reid insisting that Governor Romney was hiding something in his tax returns? What about Obama’s bomb of a debate performance?  Or his shift in support for same sex marriage? Or Justice Roberts surprising the nation with his ruling on The Affordable Care Act?

Some of these moments were pure theatre but some of them had a huge effect on our country.

To answer what the other defining moments have been in 2012, and  what’s ahead, we turn to James Kloppenberg and Peniel Joseph.


James Kloppenberg, Professor of American History at Harvard.  He’s the author of  Reading Obama: Dreams, Hope, and the American Political Tradition.

Peniel Joseph, Professor of History at Tufts University, and a founding director of the Center for the Study of Race & Democracy. His latest book is Dark Days, Dark nights: From Black Power to President Obama