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Congressional Leaders Meet for Fiscal Cliff Negotiations; Political Moments of 2012 Reviewed; Top 10 Most Intriguing People of 2012 Reviewed; Rape Victim in India Dies; Man Diagnosed with Cancer Continues to Run Marathons; Movies of 2013 Previewed

Aired December 29, 2012 - 14:00   ET


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: You're in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Martin Savidge, in today for Fredricka Whitfield. Very glad to be with you.

All right. In three days, America will go off that fiscal cliff, unless these folks right here prevent it. They are in control of whether your taxes go up come New Year's Day. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner, and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: all four met at the White House yesterday afternoon with the president and vice president. Here's where things stand right now. The Senate leaders are meeting, aiming to avoid tax hikes, and they may vote on a deal Sunday or perhaps on Monday.

Jessica Yellin is our chief White House correspondent. Lisa Desjardins is on Capitol Hill. The president used his bully pulpit to reinforce the idea that senators need to get busy. So let's listen.


BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The American people are watching what we do here. Obviously, their patience is already thin. This is deja vu all over again. America wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable, why everything always has to wait till the last minute. Well, we're now at the last minute. And the American people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. Not right now.


SAVIDGE: So Jessica, you were in the room for the president's remarks. On a scale of one to 10, let's measure the anger perhaps that was emanating from the president right now with Congress waiting until this last-minute deal. How angry is he?

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, he definitely was using the bully pulpit to pressure Congress to get something done this weekend. I'd say he seemed frustrated, but I definitely have seen him more frustrated. And today he wasn't totally out of patience. And today, Martin, he said that he believes "we may be able to reach an agreement." That's what he believes that can pass both houses in time. That's in addition to the fact that yesterday, he said he's moderately optimistic. So there's still a window of hope, and it seems that window just opened a bit more yesterday after the meeting among all those leaders.

The president is at the White House today working. His negotiators folks are on standby ready to be in touch with people on Capitol Hill, but they're waiting for any word of any kind of breakthrough up there, and that's where a lot of the focus is today to see if that deal can be hatched between the Senate minority leader and majority leader, Martin.

Lisa, well, we've seen both Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell at the capitol today. But we haven't heard anything from any of the players. So what's happening right now?

LISA DESJARDINS, CNN RADIO CAPITOL HILL CORRESPONDENT: Believe me, we've been asking. We've been trying to get any sort of detail about anything we can. I actually think that this sort of silence that weigh hear from the players right now may be a good thing. I think it's an indication democratic sources told us yesterday if there's a deal going back and forth that's possible, they may be motivated to not talk to the press because they're going to want to try and give that deal a chance. That may be what's happening right now. Of course, we don't know. I think right now, no news might be good news.

We know Senator McConnell's been in his office for more than hour now working with his staff. Senator Reid is not here yet. It does seem like the Republicans are perhaps either working with other Republicans or working out the details of this possible deal. I think we're in the real working hours right now and perhaps the less said by these major players at least for the moment, the better.

SAVIDGE: Yes, well, let's hope that's the case. Jessica, both sides still seem to be always from what they want and everyone seems to be saying no one is going to get 100 percent of what they want, right?

YELLIN: It's a compromise. Everybody knows that at this point. I know the staffs of the two leaders are in touch and contacting each other trying to get closer. I can tell you what Democrats want is, as you know and the president has made clear, a tax increase for people who make households that make $250,000 and more, an extension of unemployment benefits that affects some 2 million Americans or so, a delay in those massive spending cuts that Congress put into a package a year ago, increase in the estate tax.

Now, what do Republicans want ideally to be included? They'd like to limit the tax increase for high earners, place that threshold somewhere other than $250,000, avoid the estate tax increase, no delay in those spending cuts, and figure out an agreement to pay for the extension of unemployment benefits. No guarantee either side's going to get all or any of what they want. What they're trying to do now is probably whittle out middle ground and see if they can get there.

SAVIDGE: Lisa, let me ask you this. We've seen a number of the key players, heard from others. But there's someone noticeably absent and that is speaker John Boehner. Where is he? And has he been benched sort of in this process?

DESJARDINS: He was here at the capitol this morning. Our producer on Capitol Hill reports he was meeting with his chief of staff. We don't know what they were talking about. He was here at the capitol. Only he and Senator McConnell have been here today. You know, I think the situation is such that after Speaker Boehner lost that vote, and there he is walking in from earlier in the week, after Speaker Boehner lost that vote in his own caucus in the House, it was clear and he even said as much, that the Senate needed to act. That's for a couple of reasons. One, the Senate has that 60-vote threshold to get anything through. And conservatives in the House want some cover. They don't want to pass something and have it run into trouble in the Senate because they would be sticking their neck out to some degree especially those conservatives or Republicans worried about a tea party challenge next time around. So for a lot of reasons, everything has to start in the Senate. That's why we're seeing a lot less of Speaker Boehner.

But I think what's interesting in the capitol today martin, in the last few minutes we've seen the sun come out. This place is full of tourists. That kind of concern about the average American is getting these leaders to the table.

SAVIDGE: All right, I love your optimism. Thanks very much, Lisa Desjardins and Jessica Yellin joining us from the White House. Thank you both. We'll stay in close touch and follow this. Thank you.

In New York, police have a woman in custody in connection with a case of the man pushed to his death from a subway platform in that city. Police had targeted a woman who looked like this police sketch, a heavy set woman in her 20s caught on a security camera running away after that attack on Thursday. David Ariosto is live in New York with the latest developments on this, and pretty quick work here, wasn't it?

DAVID ARIOSTO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It seems to be. They have this woman in custody right now because that she had implicated herself, the statement we got from chief of police department spokesman Paul brown. And this is a case that certainly has rocked New York. This is the second time this has taken place within the month of December. It's something that doesn't happen all that often here in New York. And 8.5 million people in the city and many, many people take the subway. So to have something like this take place, you would think it's got the city in sort of a tizzy.

This thing happened in Queens. The woman was walking back and forth. It's not clear if the one that they have in custody is indeed the woman that was seen on that security video that you showed earlier. However, this woman apparently made implicating statements regarding that push. It happened in queens like I said. It was the seven train. She was apparently walking back and forth when all of a sudden she lunged forward, pushed this man, who was then crushed to his death. Again, the second time this has happened in New York in this month.

SAVIDGE: And what if anything do we know, David, about statements that this woman supposedly has made where she may have implicated herself? ARIOSTO: That's a good question. You know, we always have to be careful with these types of things what implication means. Whether she's somehow tied or connected to someone that she knows might have done this or whether she herself was the individual who committed this heinous act. It's really not clear. We have calls out to the nypd trying to decipher exactly what that means and get more clarification. Hopefully as the hours proceed and the investigation continues, we'll be able to bring more information to you.

SAVIDGE: We hope that too, David Ariosto. Thank you very much.

More snow on the way to the east coast. New York, D.C. seeing some of the action today. It's been brutal weather, at least this week for the people in the Midwest, the south and along the east coast, which is almost everybody and the west coast is going to share in this, too. Bonnie Schneider will have more on which areas can expect the most snow this weekend at the half hour.

Moving on, internationally now, in India the young woman gang raped on a New Delhi bus has died. She died peacefully in the Singapore hospital where she was being treated. Authorities plan to add murder charges against the six suspects under arrest in that rape. Mallika Kapur has details from New Delhi.


MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Her identity is a secret. But the Indian public has given her a name, brave heart. And thousands of people across the country are taking to the streets to mark this courageous young girl's death.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are speechless about what happened with the girl.

KAPUR: Her brutal gang rape on December 16th has shaken India and triggered an unprecedented outpouring of grief and anger, anger at the system protesters say repeatedly lets its women down. They say Delhi isn't a safe place for women.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Common people like us have come out because we feel strongly about this. We feel that we are not safe. You know, our relatives, nobody's safe in the city anymore. We don't really see the government picking up that as an issue. I mean safety is the first thing that you would assure to a citizen, right?

KAPUR: This isn't the first time a rape case has been reported. But many more never are, but this case has become a lightning rod in India. Dissolution with the government -- protesters say enough is enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The brutality of this crime and the way it has been handled kind of insensitive treatment that some of the statements that some of the politicians and some of the people have made ensure that not only me -- I mean everybody has come out to see that this is not done and we are not OK with this.

KAPUR: They want to see the government take concrete steps to address their concerns.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Surely, definitely. Then you know, just faster justice systems. You need to have special courts when it's not open to the public. I think that's still a provision, but you need to have more courts and better hearing and stronger systems.

KAPUR: It's no longer about one girl or one particular rape case. It's about India's attitude toward its women and about making sure that brave heart did not die in vain.


SAVIDGE: In other international news, four people are dead after a plane crashed at the international airport in Moscow. Four others injured. Eight people were on board, all of them crew members, when the plane apparently overshot the runway.

From the rollercoaster Republican primary race to that infamous phrase "The 47 percent," 2012 was the year in politics, and we've got the top ten stories.

And while politicians are still scrambling to reach a deal that will stop your taxes from going up, you're telling us what you think about that fiscal cliff.


SAVIDGE: I would say this is a dramatic understatement. The 2012 political season was filled with memorable moments. How about the "47 percent" or Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair? And Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" comment. That's just naming a few. Candy Crowley looks back at the top ten political stories of 2012.


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Picking the top ten moments of an election year is like finding your favorite grain of sand on the beach. There are an impossible number of possibilities. There are the moments when catch phrases become boomerangs.

OBAMA: If you got a business, you didn't build that.

MITT ROMNEY, (R) FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.

CROWLEY: When cast members stole the spotlight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm an American woman who us contraception. So let's start there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's almost like an etch a sketch, you can shake it up and we start all over again.

CROWLEY: And a fair number of moments ranging from ridiculous to explicable.

CLINT EASTWOOD, ACTOR: I'm not going to shut up. It's my turn.


OBAMA: I think it's called "Rom-nesia."

ROMNEY: If I were to coin a term it would be "Obamaloney."

CROWLEY: So many moments so much nonsense. But there were moments that shook up the race or made history and made our top ten list.

It was seen at the time as a proxy race for November, Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker in a showdown with organized labor over budget cuts and collective bargaining power. Turns out the end result was no bellwether for the presidential race. Walker won, the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election.

And another nod to a Republican governor.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, (R) NEW JERESEY: I cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state.

CROWLEY: New Jersey governor Chris Christie's full-on embrace of president Obama for helping sandy-ravaged New Jersey came days before the election and had no noticeable effect on the presidential race, but some Republicans think Christie didn't have to be that efuse sieve. They'll remember if his name pops up in 2016.

TODD AKIN, (R) FORMER SENATE CANDIDATE: If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

CROWLEY: From the "say what" category of entries comes a combo team, Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin and Richard Mourdoch of Indiana.

RICHARD MOURDOCH, (R) FORMER SENATE CANDIDATE: Life is that gift from god, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that god intended to happen.

CROWLEY: Republican dreams to take control of the Senate in 2012 had dwindled throughout the year, but Akin and Mourdoch pretty much shut that door in a couple of sentences.

Two words from Mitt Romney during the primary reverberated all the way through to November. The issue was his plan to prevent employers from hiring undocumented workers.

ROMNEY: People who come here illegally won't be able to find work and over time those people will tend to leave the country or self-deport.

CROWLEY: The concept of self-deportation by undocumented workers was not by itself responsible for Romney's dismal showing among Hispanics but it surely greased the skids.

Also in the category of moments for which Romney would like to have had a mulligan, there was this. ROMNEY: There are 47 percent of the people who would vote for the president no matter what, all right? There are 47 percent who are with him who are dependent upon government who believe they are victims.

CROWLEY: Romney called his remarks completely wrong. They also caused the deepest self-inflicted wound of the election.

On the flipside --

ROMNEY: He's going to be the next vice president of the United States.

CROWLEY: Romney's VP day may well have been the best moment of his campaign, the selections of congressman Paul Ryan excited conservatives in a way Romney himself had not. How many moments are there in an hour and a half? The president lost all of them in the first debate. The pictures tell the story of a man who phoned it in, panicking his supporters and providing an opening for Romney.

And finally, the top three moments of the election best described as history-making politics.

A Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of Obamacare. And if that doesn't strike you as political, consider what would have happened on the campaign trail if the high court had struck down the president's signature first term achievement.

OBAMA: At a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.

CROWLEY: The first president to endorse same-sex marriage was a daily double moment, good politics aimed at an activist wing of his party base and most certainly history.

And finally, the number one political moment of the year is easy during elections.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: CNN projects that Barack Obama will be re- elected president of the United States.

OBAMA: We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.


CROWLEY: Cue the confetti and say goodbye to 2012 and all its moments historical and hysterical.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Washington.


SAVIDGE: Thank you for that. 2012 certainly had its share of indelible images. Remember this leap of faith which turned out to be a record leap from space? We'll look at the year's most intriguing people.




MITCH MCCONNELL, (R-KY) SENATE MINORITY LEADER: White house, we are engaged in discussions, majority leader and myself and the White House, in the hopes that we can come forward as early as Sunday and have a recommendation that I can make to my conference and the majority leader can make to his conference and so we'll be working hard to try to see if we can get there in the next 24 hours. So I'm hopeful and optimistic.


SAVIDGE: That is Senator Mitch McConnell reacting after a meeting after which president Obama charged him and the majority leader to come up with a deal to try to avoid falling over the fiscal cliff.

I want to bring in Bryan Monroe, the editor of from San Antonio, Texas. Bryan, we all know what's at stake, especially that immediate 2 percent payroll tax increase in everyone's first paycheck of the year. It seems that the president used his bully pulpit to strongly encourage senators to get to work by sending a not so veiled message to them and their constituents. Let's listen.


OBAMA: The American people are watching what we do here. Obviously, their patience is already thin. This is deja vu all over again. America wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable, why everything always has to wait till the last minute. We're now at the last minute, and the American people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy, not right now. The economy's growing, but sustaining that trend is going to require elected officials to do their jobs.


SAVIDGE: Bryan, as we mentioned, you're there deep in the heart of Texas. How are people reacting to all of this outside of the beltway?

BRYAN MONROE, EDITOR, CNNPOLITICS.COM: You know, martin, there's a real sense of frustration, frustration with the Washington process, frustration with the political process, and you know, folks are looking to blame someone if this doesn't work if we indeed go over that cliff. We're seeing that one party may be getting more of the lion's share of the blame than the other.

SAVIDGE: And it's clear that the public is very worried about this. Here's what people told us in our poll, if we can take a look at that. I mean, it's basically 70 percent of the public here, very concerned and 28 percent, kind of a no-brainer here. Where is the give and take in this process?

MONROE: Well, one of the things that the American public are looking to Washington for is a sense of compromise. They know you've got the Senate -- the ball's in the Senate's court right now. Speaker Boehner at the House really missed his opportunity when he failed to even get his own plan b through. It's now with the Senate and this weekend, you've got the staff from the Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell's office meeting right now trying to figure out how they can give and get a little to avoid going over the cliff.

What's going to happen, it's got to come out of compromise because not everyone gets what they want. If we go over the cliff as our latest poll has shown that everyone is upset with the process but the Republicans will tend to get more of the blame for taking us over that cliff even though it might be the president who won't accept the last deal that they put on the table. So it's a lot of brinksmanship right now.

SAVIDGE: There is. And there is a lot of finger pointing going on and clearly Democrats are looking at polls and seeing it appears the public for the most part ling up behind the president. But isn't it quite possible just as you point out that the president could be the one that takes us over the cliff because the Democrats feel that they don't have as much to lose as the Republicans could when it comes to their public perception?

MONROE: The president's made it very clear about his line in the sand and that is not to continue the tax cuts for the wealthy, first of all, $250,000, those making $250,000 and over. Now he inched it up to $400,000. Speaker Boehner had his level at $1 million. There's got to be some place in between where they come to agreement or indeed we're going to go over the cliff.

And what is going to happen is Wall Street will punish the American political system and the economy heavily. It may not happen the first couple days if they're able to get it together, but if it lasts up through inauguration, then we've got some real problems.

SAVIDGE: Who do you think the public is going to blame if that, indeed, happens?

MONROE: If you look at our latest polling, the CNN/ORC slowed that more than 53 percent of the American public think it is the Republicans' fault, their lack of being willing to compromise. We even asked them which side is more extreme or willing to compromise. And the public thinks the Democrats and president are more willing. It's going to come down to compromise.

SAVIDGE: It is. Compromise has been the key to America all along. Bryan, thanks very much for talking to us all the way from Texas. Much appreciate it.

MONROE: Thanks, martin.

SAVIDGE: A cancer diagnosis didn't stop one man. Instead at 79, it is spurring him to achieve another goal as a marathon runner.

And then a gang rape in India's capital has outraged an entire nation. We'll tell you why protesters are holding vigils today.


SAVIDGE: Hello, and welcome back to CNN newsroom. I'm Martin Savidge. It's always a pleasure to be with you.

Let's take a look at the top stories. Right now on Capitol Hill, senators are hard at work trying to avoid taking the country off ha fiscal cliff. Senate minority Leader Mitch McConnell arrived earlier today at the capital for talks. Yesterday he and other leaders met the White House with the president and vice president. They are aiming to avoid tax hikes and may vote on a deal as early as Sunday.

Police now have a woman in custody in connection with the death of a man pushed in front of a New York City subway train on Thursday. Detectives arrested a woman who they said things that implicated her in the death of Sanan Dosen. This is the artist's sketch of that suspect.

In India, the young woman gang raped on a New Delhi bus is dead. Doctors say she died peacefully at the hospital where she was being treated. Employees plan to add murder charges against the six suspects already in custody and arrested on rape. The charges will be filed next Thursday. Angry protesters have been demanding justice and more protection for women, and police expect more demonstrations in the days to come.


SAVIDGE: A large crowd cheers the first couple to get married under Maine's new same-sex marriage law. Stephen Bridges and Michael Snell of port land tied the knot just after midnight this morning.


MICHAEL SNELL, JUST MARRIED: It's very surreal still. We didn't expect all the cameras and everything tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We finally feel equal and happy to live in Maine.

SNELL: It's official now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After nine years, it's all good.



SAVIDGE: Voters in Maine and Maryland approved same-sex marriage in November.

Don Wright is not going to let a little thing like cancer keep from his goal of running a marathon in every state. He's well on which is way to achieving that goal. He's an unusual patient in another way experimenting with a new approach to his disease. Here's Dr. Sanjay Gupta with today's "Human Factor."


SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Don Wright's career spanned engineering, being a company vice president, and the law. At age 62, he discovered a new passion -- marathons. Nine year ago, days after running his first 26-mile race, he got some devastating news.

DON WRIGHT, MARATHON RUNNER/CANCER PATIENT: I had gone to the doctor a couple of times for pain in my back. It was multiple myeloma.

GUPTA: This is a cancer of the blood where the white blood cells invade the bone marrow causing pain, usually in the back or the ribs. Patients are rarely cured. But Wright refused to let that slow him down, even qualifying for the Boston marathon.

WRIGHT: We got this devastating diagnosis, and we just -- my family and I, we just kept on going. You know, there wasn't any reason to stop and be sorry, you know. We kept running marathons.

GUPTA: On December 9 under a hot Hawaiian sun, Wright, now 71, reached his seemingly impossible goal -- running a marathon in all 50 states.

WRIGHT: It feels wonderful, I'll tell you. A philosophy of life that I have is live one day at a time and make it a masterpiece, and that was a masterpiece.

GUPTA: Wright wasn't sure he could fulfill his dream because the median survival for his cancer is just five years. Prognosis does vary depending on age and stage of the disease. He's had a number of treatments that have failed. But for the last four-and-a-half years, wright's taken an experimental drug, one pill at night, that's worked. It's kept the cancer at bay.

WRIGHT: It doesn't cure the cancer, but it keeps it stable so it's not hurting me. And I can still run. And I can still enjoy life, and I'm riding that for all it's worth.

GUPTA: His advice to others facing what seemed like insurmountable odds, take charge of your own destiny and never give up hope.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, reporting.


SAVIDGE: Great advice. Thank you, Sanjay.

And you can catch Sanjay later today at 4:30 p.m., of course, eastern on "Sanjay Gupta MD."

This year has been filled with a lot of great moments, big achievements and, of course, tragedy. Still ahead, what you the viewer chose as your top ten most intriguing people of this year. And we've seen some record-setting films in 2012. What's in store for '13? We'll preview the best films of next year.


SAVIDGE: You helped us pick the most intriguing people of 2012, the results are in, and they include headliners in politics, sports, business and entertainment. Here's Brooke Baldwin.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Number 10, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: The United States Supreme Court in a major decision a 5-4 decision oppose d up holds the president's health care reform law.

BALDWIN: The deciding vote was cast by the chief justice himself. Conservatives stunned. Liberals perplexed but thrilled. Forging ahead the Roberts' court takes on same-sex marriage.

Number nine, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Maier. At 37, head of a major tech company, a CEO in a male dominated field, pregnant. It's the baby part that became problematic, shall we say, when Maier decided to take just a couple of weeks for maternity leave. The mommy blogosphere went nuts. Sure, she could be woman in charge, but what message was she sending by not staying home longer with her baby?

Number 8, South Korean rapper Psy.


BALDWIN: Say what you want his lasso inspired dance style first discovered on YouTube had everyone going Gangnam, and we mean everyone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lasso again and then the horse back.


BAIER: Psy was riding high in 2012, star performer in the most watched YouTube video of all time.

Number seven, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

ROMNEY: This election is over, but our principles endure.

BALDWIN: Romney ran on his impressive business credentials, but it was his multiple gaffes during the campaign that analysts say helped seal his fate. Remember the 47 percent comments?

ROMNEY: There are 47 percent who are with him who are dependent upon him.

BALDWIN: Oh, and this one. ROMNEY: Binders full of women.

BALDWIN: Number six, ex-CIA director general David Petraeus. We've got some breaking news coming in regarding the chief of the CIA General David Petraeus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: General Petraeus, can you talk about this, please.

BALDWIN: The news was unexpected, the reason, shocking. Petraeus, a retired four-star general, had quit his CIA post and admitted he had cheated on his wife. His mistress was also his biographer Paula Broadwell, an embarrassing exit from the public stage by one of the most respected public servants of his time.


SAVIDGE: So who rounds out the list and who did you vote as the most intriguing person of the year? The answer when is we come back.

Plus, our 2013 movies preview. Find out which films our critic says you should look out for.


SAVIDGE: As promised let's take a look at the rest of the top ten most intriguing people you selected for 2012. Here's again, Brooke Baldwin.


BALDWIN: Number five, super jumper Felix Baumgartner. Let's face it -- he did what no human has ever done, diving 24 miles from the edge of space, breaking the sound barrier along the way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm still the same guy. But as soon as I start traveling people do recognize my face. I was scared.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was a little bit scared.

BALDWIN: Number four, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

CHRISTIE: The shore and the boardwalk in the Seaside Heights of my childhood no longer exists.

BALDWIN: The rough and tumble governor took charge when a super-storm named sandy ravaged his state days before the presidential election. A Romney backer suddenly Christie was standing arm in arm with the president, praising Mr. Obama's leadership as they toured Sandy's wrath.

CHRISTIE: When you know you have responsibility for those folks, you could give a damn about the politics of things. I could care less today. BALDWIN: Number three, Olympian Gabby Douglas. One of the fab five at the London games, she captured our hearts, becoming the first African-American gymnast to win gold in both the individual all-around and team competitions at the same Olympics.

GABBY DOUGLAS, OLYMPIAN: I wanted to inspire a nation, and whole point about this is inspire a generation and I love that.

BALDWIN: She did just that.

Number two, school age activist Malala Yousafzai. Malala rose to fame blogging about the brutality of her life in Pakistan under Taliban rule. Not yet a teenager, she dared to suggest girls not only deserve but have a right to an education.

MALALA YOUSAFZAI, ACTIVIST: I will get my education if it is in home, school or any place.

BALDWIN: The Taliban retaliated hunting her down, shooting her in the neck and back. The attack outraged even hardened Pakistanis and al around the world, Malala quickly became an international symbol of good against evil. Today, she is recovering in England.

Number one, President Barack Obama.

OBAMA: Tonight, you voted for action, not politics as usual.

BALDWIN: After a long, and we mean long, and bitter campaign, President Obama won re-election 2012, the president also won the Supreme Court's stamp of approval for his health care reform program and made history with this statement.

OBAMA: I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.

BALDWIN: As 2012 comes to a close, the president joined in grief with a community shocked by senseless violence.

OBAMA: These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change.

BALDWIN: Brooke Baldwin, CNN, Atlanta.


SAVIDGE: Another "Ironman," another "Anchorman," another "Star Trek," so many sequels to look forward to in 2013. Our movie critic tells us which ones she is most excited about.


SAVIDGE: Another "Ironman," and "Anchorman," another "Star Trek," 2013 looks like it's going to be one of those years of the great movie sequel. Grae Drake, senior editor of is here to tell us what movies to look forward to next year. Grae, nice to see you.

GRAE DRAKE, MOVIE CRITIC: I'm wearing my New Year's top hat to celebrate.

SAVIDGE: You carry it of extremely well. So many sequels and other great movies really to look forward to. I've seen the movies over the holiday, and you get to watch the trailers. Which ones are your favorites?

DRAKE: I normally don't get that excited over sequels but 2013 looks like it's going to be amazing. First and foremost, because of "Anchorman 2, The Legend of Ron Burgundy Continues," right? When I first saw this movie in 2004, I just immediately rushed out, bought my sex panther cologne and have been spearing people with tridents ever since. What bodes well for this one is they waited a long time to make this one and the entire cast is back. Great sign, and even though the first one was kind of lightning in a bottle, I have my fingers and toes crossed.

SAVIDGE: I feel that I truly am the model for Ron Burgundy, if you look at my Facebook page with the early pictures of me, I am that man. I'm excited about the sequel.

DRAKE: I love it. You have the voice too.

SAVIDGE: Thanks. How about some others besides anchorman? We've got iron man, no direct reference to me, but what do you think of that one?

DRAKE: No, I don't know about that. Look at those biceps. Now, "Ironman 3" is led, again by Robert Downey junior who I think was born to play this role and based on the trailer, this one looks pretty dark. It looks very Dark Knight-esque, and this is when Robert Downey junior can really show us his acting chops. Director Shane Black is new to the franchise. It is going to be funny, but honestly, the trailer makes me think we're going to get Gwyneth Paltrow in peril, and nothing gets me more excited than that.

SAVIDGE: A lot of other people, it's not just you. I saw this preview "Star Trek." Truly, I am an old Trekkie fan. But this is the prequel continuing, right?

DRAKE: Right. Now, I don't know anything about this movie, and that's what's got me so excited along with everybody else on message boards and the internet because we don't know who the villain is. J.J. Abrams, the king of the lens flare, did a great job with the last star trek movie revitalizing the franchise and keeping the things alive that made the original series fantastic. And I think this one is going to be even better if that's possible. And all's I know is that Benedict Cumberbatch is coming in. He's the mysterious bad guy. His name is fun to say. And he's even more fun to watch.

SAVIDGE: I love these shows, and certainly prequels are fascinating. I love to see how Shatner and Bones came about. All of those revelations in the first one were really cool. How they carry that forward in the second one, we'll have to wait and see.

How about "The Lone Ranger"? And this one, I don't know, it seems like it's a real potential gamble. DRAKE: Well, I think it's risky but in the hands of Disney, I think anything is possible. And we haven't seen "The Lone Ranger" anywhere for decades.


DRAKE: And so this is another example of how I think that they've really been waiting to do this one right. So the stars of the movie give me a lot of confidence. Armie Hammer is playing the Lone Ranger, and he is fantastic. He was in "J. Edgar" and great in "Gossip Girl," which is not something you'll hear me say often.

SAVIDGE: We don't have time to talk about "The Great and Powerful Oz," but I've seen the trailers. And but again, you're dealing with a franchise many people know and that's the wizard much oz.

DRAKE: That one is simple math. Top hat plus James Franco equals hello.

SAVIDGE: Well put, I think.


SAVIDGE: Happy New Year. Grae Drake from rotten We'll see you at the movies as the phrase goes.

DRAKE: Happy New Year.

SAVIDGE: And to you.

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