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The Choice -

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(generated from captions) Hello, Kathy Novak with the latest from the newsroom. New York's JFK Airport is about to re-open and the Stock Exchange will resume trading after being forced to close by Superstorm Sandy. The former hurricane claimed at least 40 lives across North America's east coast. Tributes for a 23-year-old Melbourne man killed in a Syrian refugee camp. Roger Abbas's friends say he got caught in the crossfire while helping people who fled the violence. The first non-stop commercial flight from mainland China touched down in Cairns today, bringing with it hopes of a tourism boost. And Wallabies fly half Quade Cooper has been handed a $60,000 fine and a suspended three match ban for criticising the Australian team and coach Robbie Deans. I'll have a full World News Australia bulletin at 10.30.

NARRATOR: Tonight,
the lives of the men
who would be President.

MAN: Barack Obama's a fascinating
mixture of boldness and caution.

When Mitt Romney gets focused
and locked in, watch out.

Stories of family...

WOMAN: Stanley Ann Dunham
was really

a thoroughly unconventional mother.

MAN: He had to fend for himself.
Every step, he was alone.

WOMAN: The dad stuff just
can't be underestimated.

MAN: He had a lot of power to him.
He was our hero.

..identity...

WOMAN: He told
his fifth-grade class

that his father
was an Indonesian king.

MAN: He was a white black kid.

MAN: His extended family is one of
the leading Mormon families.

MAN: He can't talk about it
because it involves polygamy.

..controversy...

MAN: He's the first Nobel Peace
Prize winner with a kill list.

MAN: Mitt Romney doesn't have
an ideological bone in his body

as far as I can tell.

..and destiny.

MAN: What unites both
of these characters

is this sense that there was
a place that they were going,

a destiny that they had.

The Choice 2012.

In 1982, the Mormon church again
called Mitt Romney into service.

Like his father,
who had also been a church official,

he would be ordained as a bishop
in Massachusetts.

BUSHMAN: Bishops are chosen
out of the congregation.

There has to be a record

of willing service

over a long period of time.

And you have to have certain
moral and spiritual qualities.

He would spend 20 to 30 hours
each week

helping other Mormons handle
their most personal problems -

debt, sickness, unwanted
pregnancies and failing marriages.

MAN: The responsibility
to helping them

resolve their difficulties
and recommit to each other

falls on the shoulders
of the bishop.

At first Bishop Romney, was viewed
by some as inflexible -

what Mormons call an 'iron rodder'.

HELMAN: Some people describe him
as being very much

out of that hidebound tradition

where he's telling women
that they cannot have an abortion,

he's telling single women to give
up their children for adoption,

because the Mormon church does not
encourage single parenthood,

that he's resistant to calls
for changes within the church

for more liberal policies,
especially toward women.

But as time wore on,
he'd been intimately introduced

to real people in real-life crisis
for the first time.

Romney thawed a bit.

The experience that more or less

every Mormon bishop has

at getting so involved

with people's lives,

with their financial struggles
or their...

..behind-happy-faces-sometimes
marital struggles

or crises of faith.

I remember him, a time or two,
shaking his head, um, saying,

"I had little idea
that people live like this."

During those years, Romney seems to
have strengthened his belief

that neighbours,
not just government,

should help those
who are struggling.

Whether consciously or not,
you're really socialised to think,

as a Mormon, these functions, these
kind of welfare-state functions

are not government functions.

They are functions
to be done by the voluntary sector.

It's this sort of
Tocquevillian idea that, you know,

people take care of each other
at the community level.

This isn't what the central
government does for people.

Romney served four years as a bishop

and many more
as a senior Mormon leader.

Then he decided to turn to politics.

The reason Mormons do get
interested in public service

comes out of a sense
that we have a mission.

For Romney and other Mormons,
America holds a special place.

BUSHMAN; I think Romney has a deep
commitment to the United States

and to the Americas,

because Mormons do believe
it's a holy land

and honour the Constitution
as coming from God.

CHRISTENSEN: We believe that
the United States of America

is that place that had to be free

so that God could
bring truth back to the earth.

And we revere it for that purpose.

BARLOW: And Joseph Smith
even alluded to

the United States
Constitution being...

..its framers being inspired,

the Constitution
as an inspired document -

not quite scripture
but somewhere in that league.

Some Mormons say
Mitt's political ambition

may be connected to his faith.

CLAUDIA LAUPER BUSHMAN: The kingdom
of God is to be built on earth,

and we are all to take part
in doing that.

So, when somebody says...

..somebody does something
really remarkable,

someone may remark,
"It's an act of consecration

"in building the kingdom on Earth."

And that's...and Mitt may very well
see the presidency as part of that,

and it would certainly be
a great accomplishment

in building the kingdom on Earth.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

Back in 1994, when he had failed
against Ted Kennedy,

his chances of becoming President
seemed remote.

But five years later, in 1999,

he saw another opportunity
to be in the public eye.

REPORTER: Scandals swirling around

the Salt Lake City Olympics
of 2002...

REPORTER: ..several members
bribed for their votes...

A bribery scandal threatened
the Salt Lake Winter Olympics.

REPORTER: ..the growing scandal
is turning into

a gold-plated disaster.

In Salt Lake City,
the home of the Mormon church,

they needed help.

REPORTER: The pay-offs have
become a part of the game

and Salt Lake got caught.

The story here always was

that we were looking for
a 'white knight'

to come riding in
and save the Olympics.

And a lot of people saw that
in Mitt Romney.

Romney knew this might be a chance
to serve his church.

REPORTER: ..strongly urging
the appointment of Romney...

..and raise his profile nationally.

REPORTER: ..the question of whether
to close the deal with Mitt Romney.

But there was a problem.

Ann was sick -
diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

MANNING: She told me
that over the holidays,

they had all been
out at their house in Utah,

and that she was so...

..felt so powerless because

she couldn't get out of bed.

ANN: I knew there was something
seriously wrong with me.

And I was very fatigued
and I was in bed a lot,

really in bed most of the time.

I just couldn't really
take care of myself, even.

He was worried about
my mother's health.

And he wanted to stay in Boston,

where they had a doctor
and a plan set up.

And my mom said,
"No, this is important.

"You need to go back and do this and
I'll find some treatment out there."

REPORTER: As of today
there's a new head

of the Salt Lake
Olympic Committee...

REPORTER: Boston millionaire
Mitt Romney...

By February 1999, it was official.

Romney would take charge.

REPORTER: Mitt Romney,
who has the Olympian task

of cleaning up
the Salt Lake Games...

These Games and the preparation
leading up to these Games

will be held at the highest level
of ethical conduct.

There is no possible excuse
for compromise of principle.

There has never been...

He used his
business school playbook -

slashed costs, fired the deadwood,

raised money
from corporate sponsors.

The money came pouring in.

MAN: Mitt's experience
as a missionary

and then throughout his career
of knocking on doors

and approaching people
and asking for things -

even at Bain and Company, he'd had
a lot of experience in that -

and Mitt used all of that
accumulated experience from his life

at the Olympics.

And things were looking up for Ann.

ANN: It wasn't like, all of a
sudden, I was better. It took years.

It literally took years
for me to regain my balance

and to regain some of my strength.

And as opening day approached,
the cameras were rolling

as Ann, with Mitt running
in the background,

carried the torch
into Salt Lake City.

The turnaround was complete.

The stage was set
for Mitt Romney's political career.

HELMAN: You have
this redemption of sorts,

where he is a national figure again.

He's standing with the President.

And I think that would, of course,
pay huge dividends not long after.

REPORTER: The delegates
are trickling into Boston.

REPORTER: 35,000 people are
expected to descend on Boston.

REPORTER: The convention
is being held...

By 2004, Barack Obama
was back in Boston.

In the years since law school,
he'd become a state senator

and had had that failed run
against Bobby Rush.

MAN: The buzz was there was

this up-and-coming young
state senator from Illinois.

Most people probably
couldn't pronounce his name.

Now he was running for
the US Senate in Illinois

and was the keynote speaker
at the 2004 Democratic Convention.

The next Senator from the state
of Illinois, Barack Obama!

(CHEERING)

He was virtually unknown.

But he had been, in effect,
been writing the speech

since Punahou and Oxy

and those long years
in New York City.

Tonight is a particular
honour for me

because, let's face it, my presence
on this stage is pretty unlikely.

My father was a foreign student,

born and raised
in a small village in Kenya.

MAN: He put himself in the middle
of the American story

and he made people feel that
there was still an America

that could come together

despite all of the divisions,

and that, in some way or another,

he was able to embody
those aspirations

about what Americans thought they
wanted to see happen in the country.

There is not a liberal America
and a conservative America.

There is the United States
of America.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

There is not a black America
and a white America,

a Latino America, an Asian America.

There's the United States
of America.

MAN: Michelle sees this happening

and she has tears
streaming down her cheeks.

I'm sitting in the crowd,

and a woman next to me is crying,

bawling her eyes out.

She just keeps screaming,
"This is history. This is history."

OBAMA: Thank you very much,
everybody. God bless you! Thank you.

REPORTER: This guy's going places.
REPORTER: It's amazing.

He's still a State Senator
in Illinois.

I mean, he is not a United
States Senator yet.

MAN: I understood immediately
that things had changed.

And all around were people
with tears in their eyes.

And I realised, at that moment,

that his life
would never be the same,

that he had just
taken a leap, uh, forward.

REPORTER: Forget uniters
and dividers.

Tonight, we heard from
a transcender.

He lit it up.

People talk about him quite openly

as the first black President
of the United States.

REPORTER: Obama is expected
to be thrown into the limelight...

REPORTER: He can barely show
his face in public

without creating
some kind of sensation.

By January 2005, Barack Obama was
a United States Senator on the rise.

MAN: He came to the Senate

almost immediately
with everyone's high expectations,

with everyone's assumption that this
was a man who was on a fast track.

But for Obama,
life as a legislator in Congress

was not what he had in mind.

LIZZA: As soon as he gets to
the US Senate, he's bored.

He's pretty open about the fact

that the Senate is too slow

and it's a place where you basically
have to spend several terms

before you have any power
and influence.

Obama was never gonna be
the kind of guy

who, you know, ends up
in a wheelchair on the Senate floor.

After only a year in the Senate,
he started asking the question

that had been asked
ever since the Boston speech -

should he run for president?

DASCHLE: We went to
my favourite restaurant

and took the kitchen table in
the back where nobody could see us.

I tell him he should do it

and that he shouldn't assume,
if he passes up this window,

that there will be another,

because the longer he's in
Washington, the more history he has.

And the more history he has,

the more he's going to be
explaining his votes

and his actions and his statements
and his positions

that undermine his message.

OBAMA: We can finally bring
the change we need to Washington.

We are ready to take this country
in a fundamentally new direction.

The American people are looking
for change in America.

OBAMA: Fired up!
CROWD: Fired up!

Ready to go!
Ready to go!

Obama promised he could bridge

the partisanship
that divided Washington.

MAN: I think there's a part of
Barack Obama that believes

that if he simply sat down with
people, he could work things out.

He thought he could
sit down the Republicans,

and if we simply close the doors
and hash it out,

we can walk out of here with a deal
that everybody could be happy with.

But not everyone believed
bipartisanship would be so easy.

We believed,
in the Clinton campaign,

that polarisation

is inevitable,

given the kind of campaigns
that the Republicans wage,

and given the history
that we've experienced.

Now I could stand up here and say,

"Let's get everybody together,
let's get unified,

"the sky will open..."

(LAUGHTER)

"..the light will come down,

"celestial choirs will be singing,

"and everyone will know
we should do the right thing,

"and the world will be perfect."

(CHEERING)

Maybe I've just lived a little long,

but I have no illusions about
how hard this is going to be.

You are not going to
wave a magic wand

and have the special interests
disappear.

But 2008 was not
Hillary Clinton's year,

or John McCain's.

REPORTER: Barack Obama is projected
to be the next President.

REPORTER: Senator Barack Obama
of Illinois

will be the next President.

REPORTER: Barack Obama will be the
44th President of the United States.

REPORTER: Barack Obama,
47 years old,

will become the President
of the United States.

That night when he came out,
the look on his face to me

looked like someone
who finally understood

the weight of the job
that he had just won.

But that night,

Obama must have believed the
bipartisan change he had promised

was now within sight.

OBAMA: Americans sent a message
to the world that we have never been

just a collection of individuals

or a collection of Red
States and Blue States.

We are, and always will be,
the United States of America.

MAN: You have, in Obama's case,

gone, within four years, from being
an Illinois state politician

to the most famous person on earth,

and you have confidence in

both your judgement about
what's the right way to go

and your ability to
make it go that way.

OBAMA: America can change.

Our union can be perfected.

And what we have already achieved
gives us hope

for what we can
and must achieve tomorrow.

If he was too confident about being
able to bring people together,

one can understand, given the way
he'd spent the previous four years.

This is our moment.

Yes, we can.
CROWD: Yes, we can.

Thank you, God bless you,

and may God bless
the United States of America.

(CHEERING)

CROWD: (CHANT) Yes, we can!
Yes, we can!

Yes, we can!
Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

REPORTER: Mitt Romney, fresh from
running the Winter Olympics

in Salt Lake City...

Just three weeks after the
Olympics ended in March of 2002...

REPORTER: ..announced that he's
running for the GOP nomination...

Mitt Romney was back
in Massachusetts.

REPORTER: Republicans said
Romney emerged

as a kind of shining knight.

ROMNEY: Lest there be any doubt,
I'm in.

The bumper stickers
have been printed,

the website is going up
tomorrow morning,

the campaign papers are filed today.

It had been 40 years since his dad
had run for Governor.

Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

MANNING: It sort of mirrored
what his dad had done.

His dad had become a successful
executive in American business

and then served in public service
as Governor.

So, there was definitely
a parallel there.

The Romney playbook's first step -
create a plan.

It was clear that to be successful
in Massachusetts, you had to run

as a socially liberal,

fiscally conservative Republican -

pro-choice,
but concerned about spending.

Romney applied his business training
to Massachusetts politics.

BROOKS: I really think that
he is a product of a world

where you do market research.

You find out what's working,
what's not working,

you do controlled experiments,

and then you dovetail your product
to suit the marketplace.

And he's looked at
what the market wants

and he's looked at
what niche there is.

I'm someone who is moderate and
that my views are progressive...

When he was running for
the governorship,

a question came up of how he felt
about abortion,

what his fundamental convictions
were on the issue of abortion.

So, they're gonna vote for me,
regardless of the party label...

And I spoke to one of his close
friends at the time,

who was also a political aide,

who sat down with Mitt and said,

"Alright, let's talk it through.
What do you really believe?"

Uh, and he said that he found
that Mitt Romney

was unable to consider
the question in the abstract -

that Mitt Romney dealt with it
as a managerial problem,

dealt with it as a case study.

It's tough to say what he believes.

I'm not sure exactly
what he believes on social issues,

even though I was closely involved
in the campaign.

Mitt Romney was
certainly comfortable

being a liberal
on social issues in 2002,

if it was gonna help him win.

And that's clearly what it would
take in Massachusetts to win.

As election day loomed,
Romney went one-on-one

with his opponent, Shannon O'Brien,
in a televised debate.

And it was close - Shannon was up,
with about a week to go.

And then they had the last debate

and it was over at Suffolk Law.

O'Brien attacked,

directly questioning
Romney's pro-choice position.

Ted Kennedy said it best,
"Mitt Romney isn't pro-choice.

"He isn't anti-choice.
He's multiple choice."

I was very blunt in saying to him

that I didn't think
he was telling the truth

about his position on choice.

He'd been pro-choice when
he ran against Ted Kennedy.

He'd been pro-choice
when he ran against me.

In the middle, while he was at the
Olympics, he didn't want a label.

I will preserve and protect
a woman's right to choose.

And your effort to continue to try

and create fear and deception here,

is unbecoming.

It's an issue that's important.

I've established my view
very clearly.

He basically attacked me
and said I was, quote, "unbecoming"

for having questioned his veracity -

that I was questioning
his integrity.

I will preserve and protect
a woman's right to choose

and am devoted and dedicated to
honouring my word in that regard.

Romney's performance was decisive -

the voters were convinced.

And he won that debate,
and he got tremendous momentum.

WOMAN: The next Governor
of Massachusetts...

..Mitt Romney!

On 5 November 2002,

Romney was elected
Governor of Massachusetts.

He was 55 years old,

the same age his father had been

when he was elected
Governor of Michigan.

REPORTER: Mitt Romney,
the 70th Governor

of the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts...

REPORTER: And he wasted no time
getting down to business.

As Governor, Mitt Romney
hit the wall.

The state legislature was
dominated by the Democrats.

You could argue

that he didn't run
the state government,

because he couldn't
run the state government,

because he didn't have
the votes of support

and, therefore, that he was
a Republican island

in a Democratic sea.

Romney wasn't one of the boys -
a political backslapper -

didn't engage with the legislature
on a personal basis.

TRAVAGLINI: And coming
from corporate America,

that kind of
compounded the problem.

He truly didn't have

an understanding of how valuable

the political personal component

of the business would be

as he went forward with implementing
the political rhetoric

into political policy.

Romney issued more than 800 vetoes.

Almost all of them were overridden
by the legislature.

The Governor came in
as an outsider.

Four years later,
he left as an outsider.

He knew that he wasn't gonna

make a lifetime or a career
out of being Governor.

Romney had his eyes on
an even bigger prize -

the presidency.

LEMANN: It's a little bit like
a consulting engagement.

You go in, you figure out what
the problems are,

you fix things,
you make things better organised,

you make them work better.

And then you go on to
the next challenge.

But if he wanted to
run for President,

Romney knew he'd need

what the political pros called
'a legacy issue'.

And as it turned out,
the Massachusetts Democrats

were wrestling with one
he found appealing - health care.

He says his ticket to national
office is going to be health care.

He decided to try and take ownership

of that issue from the Democrats.

Romney employed
the familiar Bain method.

He called together a smart team
to crunch the numbers.

I'm a professor of economics at MIT,

and I helped Governor Romney develop

the Massachusetts healthcare reform,
or RomneyCare.

Jonathan Gruber sat with Romney
and carefully outlined the problem.

Romney was very much in
management consultant mode.

Like, "Here's a problem."

That sort of engineering,
almost, mode.

Romney heard the bad news.

LIZZA: The State of Massachusetts,
which he's the Governor of,

is bleeding red ink

because people don't have
health insurance

and they're driving up costs
for everyone else,

and taxpayers are paying for it.

The uninsured
were bankrupting the Government.

But Gruber had a solution.

All residents should be required
to buy insurance.

He called it
'the individual mandate'.

Jonathan Gruber says,
"If you don't do the mandate,

"you'll cover X amount of people
for X amount of cost.

"If you DO do the mandate,

"you'll cover this many more people
and it'll be cheaper."

The mandate was an idea
first proposed

by the conservative
Heritage Foundation.

This is a very conservative idea.

Let's put the onus on
individuals' responsibility.

I think he felt strongly
the moral case for the mandate.

My job was just to see
if the numbers added up,
and I think he was excited they did.

Bain management consultant says,
"This is a no-brainier.

"You have to do the mandate.

"It's cheaper per person
and everyone gets covered."

His political people
were actually opposed.

I mean, basically,
the meeting largely consisted of

him arguing with
his political advisers.

They're saying, "We don't think
it's a smart thing to do."

And Romney's saying,
"No. Check it out. I can do this.

"Isn't this neat?
I can make this work."

Now, Romney, the CEO,

had to work with the hostile
Democrats in the legislature.

He made an unusual move.

TRAVAGLINI:
About 8:20 in the morning,

I had just got through
reading the papers.

I'm, uh, getting ready
to go to church,

and the bell rings...
and it's Governor Romney.

I was surprised, to say the least.

Not the type of person
I was expecting in my neighbourhood.

Romney pled for cooperation.
The stakes were high.

But that was
a pretty profound moment for me.

It isn't every day that you get
the Governor to come to your house

and give you the up-up

and try to encourage you
to put aside your differences.

And we sat and we chatted

and we talked for about five
minutes, and off he went.

I kidded with him.
I said, "You know how to get home?

(LAUGHS)

You know how to get out of
this neighbourhood?"

The Democrats were in.

There was one other hurdle -
money from Washington.

The best way to get federal dollars
to flow to Massachusetts

was to reach out to
his former rival, Ted Kennedy.

Look, I wouldn't describe Romney
and Senator Kennedy as friends.

But they were friendly
during that period,

in the sense that they had
a cordial relationship,

trying to get something done.

And together, they squeezed
nearly $400 million

out of the Bush Administration.

On April 12, 2006, Romney's health
care legislation - RomneyCare -

finally became law.

Massachusetts became
the first state in the nation

to have near universal health care.

They devise this epic signing
ceremony at Faneuil Hall in Boston.

And there is a fife and drum corps.

It was in this same place

that Kennedy had destroyed young
Mitt Romney in their first debate.

Of course, the last time I was on
this stage with Senator Kennedy...

(LAUGHTER)

This...this, for me,
feels a bit like

the 'Titanic' returning
to visit the iceberg, but I...

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

It was Mitt relaxed, relieved.

My son said that having
Senator Kennedy and me together,

like this, on this stage, behind the
same piece of landmark legislation,

will help slow global warming.

(LAUGHTER)

That's because hell has frozen over.

Senator Kennedy, never one to be
upstaged, joined in the fun.

My son said something too,
and that is

when Kennedy and Romney
support a piece of legislation,

usually one of them hasn't read it.

Uh, but, uh...

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

That's not true today,
is it, Governor?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

Ted Kennedy gives a speech
cheering on this new law.

Romney signs the bill
with 14 different pens

that he hands out to everyone there.

It's this big celebration.

In a sense, it's the kick-off to
Romney's presidential campaign.

Romney believed
he now had what he needed -

the achievement that would
help him win the ultimate prize,

the presidency.

(BRASS BAND PLAYS)

REPORTER: It's the inauguration day

of the nation's first
African-American President...

REPORTER: Hundreds of
thousands of people...

20 January 2009.

I Barack Hussein Obama
do solemnly swear...

Barack Obama inherited
a country on the brink.

REPORTER: Stunning crowd of people

that converged on
the nation's capital.

It was a sight...

..an economy in collapse...

OBAMA: ..greed and irresponsibility
on the part of some...

He kept saying the problems
were big enough,

and his win historic enough,

that everyone in Washington would
join together to fix the country.

REPORTER: He spoke of
no less than remaking America.

LIZZA: He got to Washington
and he became President, I think,

still clinging to this view

that the polarisation in American
politics could be overcome.

REPORTER: This is the biggest
inaugural of all time...

REPORTER: ..be hearing
a lot of superlatives today,

but I think it's almost impossible
to be too hyperbolic.

To the new President, it seemed like
an historic opportunity.

BAKER: President Obama
did not have a full sense

of what Washington
was going to be like for him.

He had not been in the middle of

these kind of down-and-dirty fights,

the ugly reality of governing
in Washington today.

BUTTS: The President walked
into the presidency

with an expectation that he would be
able to reach across the aisle,

that Republicans
and Democrats alike

would be willing to come to
the table and address these issues

that were a significant
problem and needed to be addressed

if we were gonna
move the country forward.

And Obama believed
he had a big issue

that could unite Democrats
and Republicans -

health care reform.

We were sitting in the Oval Office

and we were sort of having a debate
around health care at one point,

and the President said,
"It's about health care,

"but it's not really
about health care.

"It's also about proving

"whether we can still solve
big problems in this country."

And this was gonna be
the test case for that.

And it was also personal.

There was also this desire
to achieve something great.

People said that his greatest
accomplishment was his own rise.

Bobby Rush, in that 2000 race,

would say, "What's he ever
really done?"

And there was this sense

that health care -

Barack Obama just wanted it
to be his legacy.

REPORTER: Everybody loves the idea
of health care reform.

REPORTER: This is a huge issue
the President is taking on now.

REPORTER: The question is could
health care reform really happen?

He had been in office
only six weeks.

He wanted to prove
bipartisanship could work.

He gathered in one room, at one
time, all sides in the debate.

REPORTER: Lawmakers,
doctors, nurses, hospitals...

REPORTER: Bringing together
lawmakers and interest groups.

..cabinet officials, members of
Congress, the White House team,

conferring on
how to overhaul health care.

Many of these players for years,
if not decades,

had a record of opposing any sort of
health care reform efforts.

And what a remarkable achievement
that would be -

something that Democrats and
Republicans, business and labour,

consumer groups and providers,
all of us,

could share extraordinary pride,
in finally dealing with something

that has been vexing us for so long.

I think the President's intentions

were to try and forge
a bipartisan coalition,

and was willing to give it
some time to get that done.

OBAMA: So, let's get to work.
Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

Behind closed doors,
Obama believed he had a plan

that was both bipartisan
and practical.

It was based on

Republican Governor Mitt Romney's
plan in Massachusett's - RomneyCare.

They even brought in
Romney's expert.

Obama gets elected

and on his health-advising team
is a number of my friends

who were now on the
Obama team, saying,

"Look - we have the opportunity
to really do

"what we were unable to do
under Clinton, and get this done."

There was one problem -

Obama had campaigned against
the Heritage Foundation's mandate.

To his credit,
he gets a lot of people,

including myself, telling him,

"Look you cannot make this
work without the mandate."

And he says, "OK.
Let's do the mandate."

And his advisers say, "This might
not be the right thing to do."

And he says, "You know,
this is what the experts

are telling me needs to be done.

"Let's make this happen."

But he chose to let Congress
take the lead.

Soon the Republicans and Democrats
began to squabble.

ZELENY: He didn't carry a big stick.

He wasn't like, LBJ, of course,

because he hadn't sort of come up
through the ranks of the Senate.

But it didn't seem like
he had any leverage

or any ability
to bring people along.

The President's political style
didn't help.

BUTTS: He's not the person
who's going to be the backslapper.

He's not an arm-twister.

He has people who work with him

who are able to do aspects
of the role of engagement

that he doesn't necessarily...
that he doesn't necessarily

find a value in himself engaging in.

He is not the type of person
that can, you know,

invite Boehner
and the Republicans to dinner

at the White House every night

and schmooze them,
like LBJ or Clinton could.

That's not him. He doesn't
even want to do that.

So, he has this grander vision

of what he is
and what the world should be,

but that doesn't mean

he can bring other people
along with him to that place,

because he doesn't have
that personality.

Meanwhile, there was
a furious public reaction.

REPORTER: Barack Obama was electable
because he was not too black.

REPORTER: ..Obama lying to the
people, deceiving the people.

REPORTER: ..Obama will be a giant
step backwards in race relations.

And that summer, anger only grew...

REPORTER: ..said he was more
Carlton Banks than Suge Knight...

..over health care reform...

REPORTER: ..rammed it down
America's throat.

..the economy, the bank bail-outs
and the President himself.

REPORTER: ..call half
the country racist.

What's that gonna do
for your fundraising?

ZELENY: This was all about
Barack Obama himself.

DONALD TRUMP: I thought
he was born in this country.

Now I really have
a much bigger doubt.

ZELENY: He came up
so quickly as a candidate

that people did not think
that they had a time

to fully vet him
or find out who he was.

So, there was all this chatter -
"Who is Barack Obama?"

REPORTER: This President has a
deep-seated hatred for white people.

You want to kill my grandparents,
you come through me first!

God will take care of health care.

You dirty thieves!

We can't afford it!
Afro-Leninism!

ZELENY: Anger, by the summer of '09,
had reached a boiling point.

Radical communists and socialists!

BALZ: There was a polarising quality
about Barack Obama

that kind of came roaring forward
once he became President...

Baby killer! Abortion is murder!

BALZ: ..and became much more
obvious to people

with the rise of the Tea Party
and the battles over health care.

REPORTER: There is an ugliness,
with these fringe people

who are comparing
the President to Hitler.

LIZZA: He gets the full force
of the Tea Party backlash

and the conspiracy theories
just pummelling him

and turning him into a partisan

in a way that he hadn't experienced
before in his life.

I think that must be, um,
difficult for him

to sort of reconcile with
who he knows he is.

With public opposition
to health care reform mounting

and Republican resistance
stiffening,

it was becoming clear there was
no hope for a bipartisan bill.

AXELROD: The choice was do nothing

or to do something
with the tools you had

and the majority that you had.

He chose to do that.

Obama had to abandon his hopes
for bipartisanship.

BAKER: And very quickly,
Barack Obama learns

that it's not gonna work out
the way he thought it was.

You could not, at the same time,

be a powerful, uncompromising
liberal champion

at the same time you are, you know,
reaching across the aisle

and building bridges with
conservatives and the centre.

You can't mix and match these things
in a way people hoped he could.

REPORTER: First, down to
the wire on health care reform.

The House votes just hours from now.

It took months,
but on Sunday 21 March 2010...

MAN: It is a 15-minute vote...

..the House took the final vote
on health care reform...

MAN: On this vote, the yeas are 219,
the nays are 212.

The motion is adopted.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

WOMAN: The 216th vote comes over,
a big cheer erupts.

REPORTER: It's 219 to 212.

No votes from Republicans...

REPORTER: ..all Democrats,
no Republicans.

WOMAN: Not a single Republican
in the House or the Senate

voted for the health care bill.

It's a huge piece of legislation.
And it is extremely unusual.

When any of the other major programs

were passed, signed into law,

they were ultimately done with
both Democrat and Republican votes.

It was victory, but not the victory
the President wanted,

and not the change he had promised.

CONNOLLY: It came at a high price,

the entire first year basically
dedicated to this,

having their hopes for
bipartisanship dashed.

MAN: It was done
on a party-line vote

and it caused great disruption
to the bipartisanship

that's necessary to get things done.

It left a very sour taste
in the mouth of Republicans

And everything after that
also became,

essentially, a party-line issue.

LIZZA: Obama is learning,
like every new President does,

that a lot of his theories
about politics and government

were just wrong.

Being President is about
understanding the constraints

and, frankly, working the system
rather than changing the system.

When he talked about
changing Washington,

he was overlooking
some very important

underlying political trends

that no President
can actually change.

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Extra.

REPORTER:
Another presidential contender

is back to join
the race for President.

REPORTER: Is America ready
to elect a Mormon President?

REPORTER: Americans may not
know his name, but...

Only one month after he left
the governorship of Massachusetts,

Mitt Romney travelled to Michigan,
to the automobile museum...

REPORTER: Also known for
his stewardship

of the 2002 Salt Lake City
Olympic Games...

ROMNEY: With the fine people of
Michigan in front of me,

and with my sweetheart at my side,

I declare my intention to run
for President of the United States.

With this announcement,
he had completed or exceeded

every one of
his father's milestones.

I love America and I believe in
the people of America.

But Romney's political ambition
had yielded a candidate

decidedly more conservative
than his father.

KRANISH That was
a very different Mitt Romney.

He said that he had been convinced

that he should now be anti-abortion.

He tried to woo over social
conservatives and evangelicals.

I believe in the sanctity
of human life.

I believe that people and their
elected representatives

should make the laws,

not unelected judges.

LIZZA: One of his advisers
actually told me this last year,

that in the 2007/2008 campaign,

their theory was that the shelf
space - that was his phrase -

the shelf space in the Republican
primaries was on the right.

That's where he fit in.

ROMNEY: I believe
that homeland security

begins with securing our borders.

And I believe...

BROOKS: He went to
where the market was,

and he became the product
he was selling.

And that...on the one hand,
it's sort of effective.

On the other hand,
it's sort of disquieting,

because you think,
"Well, A, who is he?

"What would he be as President?
Does he believe anything?"

And these are the open questions

that plague everybody
who watches him.

ROMNEY: God Bless the United
States of America. Thank you.

The selling of the new
more conservative Mitt Romney

began months earlier, in Boston.

KRANISH: Shortly after he passed
the health care measure

in Massachusetts in 2006,

he took a walk across Boston Common,

and he and his aides went to the top
of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel there.

Gathered at the hotel were
a group of top Iowa Republicans.

MAN: And I was impressed with him
from the standpoint

that I thought he understood
the big issues.

But there were some things
that still bothered me,

and I wanted to
talk to him about those things.

Douglas Gross is a Republican
power-broker in Iowa.

In that key primary state,
Gross can be pivotal.

GROSS: I was seated
right next to him.

He was at the head of the table.
We had a very fine dinner.

Ann was seated
directly across from me.

And I brought up the three Ms.

The three Ms - Mormon,
Massachusetts, multi-millionaire.

GROSS: I brought up
the Mormonism first,

and it didn't cause
a problem for me,

but for a lot of evangelical
Christians, particularly in Iowa,

they didn't consider Mormonism
even Christianity.

So, they had difficulty with it.

He sort of dismissed that
as an issue,

really clearly didn't
want to talk about it.

So, then, I went to the next one,
and the next one was money.

"How are you gonna connect
to the average person?

"We're sitting up here,
you're very wealthy,

"your hair is perfect,
your shirt is starched."

GROSS: Mitt just simply
refused to talk about it.

He looked at me quizzically
and dismissed it.

Ann obviously felt
I was insulting her husband

and indicated that I was
by asking that question.

And the rest of the people
in the room

were sort of taken aback
and shocked.

Ann left the room and didn't join us
for the rest of the evening meal.

It was their first exposure
to Iowa straight talk.

It wouldn't be their last.

GROSS: In Iowa, they have
this old phrase,

that when you stick a pig,
it squeals.

And I think I hit...
I hit a sensitive spot.

REPORTER: Today, Iowans
first decision about...

REPORTER: ..battles between
two former Governors...

REPORTER: ..Iowa packs
a big political punch...

From the outset, Romney had to
explain his flip-flop on abortion.

REPORTER: Of course,
coming from Massachusetts

was not a plus for a lot of folks.

FEHRNSTROM: One significant issue
that Mitt had a change of heart on,

and that was abortion.

His pro-life declaration had begun

in an op-ed piece
in the 'Boston Globe'.

FEHRNSTROM: He laid out what his
views were on the subject of life

and he concluded that
he was firmly pro-life.

He genuinely changed
his position on abortion.

Whether that was
for political expediency,

as his critics would say,

or out of real conviction,
as he says,

in a sense, it didn't matter
in that first campaign,

because it was seen by so many
people as a political conversion,

not a conviction conversion.

MAN: And you can go up on Youtube
and see the Governor,

where he is on this position.

LIZZA: In the business world, you
can go from company to company,

business to business.

You can advertise yourself
in a new way any time you want,

you can re-brand yourself,
and it doesn't make a difference

because the only thing that matters

is if the company
is profitable or not.

ROMNEY: 1994, Sam...

Look, I was pro-choice.
I am pro-life.

And I'm tired of a...

MAN: ..his truthful position.

In politics, it's
a little bit different.

You do that too many times

and people start to
not understand what is at your core.

I get tired of people
who are holier than thou

because they've been pro-life
longer than I have...

He had changed his rhetoric
on gun rights, gay rights,

climate change and the tax pledge.

He lost in Iowa,
New Hampshire and Florida.

Just one month into the primaries,
Romney's campaign was over.

ROMNEY: I entered this race
because I love America.

I feel I have to now stand aside
for our party...

CROWD: No!
..and for our country.

Romney had fallen short, unable to
secure the presidential nomination.

BALZ: Mitt Romney in 2008
was partly a politician

and very much a businessperson,

and totally a novice to what it
meant to be a national candidate.

He had spent $45 million
of his own money on the campaign.

FEHRNSTROM: On the plane back to
Boston, following his announcement,

he turned to me and he said,
"Eric, what are you gonna do?

"We gotta figure out
what our people are gonna do.

"They're gonna be moving on
into other jobs."

This was not a person

who was thinking of running again
for President.

I think he felt
he had his opportunity

and the door had closed to him.

REPORTER: It's a whole new
political world for the President...

November, 2010...

REPORTER: An historic election
for the Republican Party...

..the President's party suffered
a significant mid-term defeat...

REPORTER: Now the Republicans
back in power

in the House of Representatives.

REPORTER: Democrats are nursing
a major mid-term hangover.

REPORTER: Tuesday's election
was a game changer.

ZELENY: It was really
one of the first times

when the country had a chance to
register their opposition to Obama,

and, boy, did they?

REPORTER: Repudiation of
the President and his policies...

REPORTER: No sense in sugar-coating
last night's election results.

REPORTER: Voters send a message
to Barack Obama.

And that, I think,
came as a surprise

to this person who thought
the people pretty much loved him.

REPORTER: The GOP gaining
at least 58 seats.

Many of the Democrats who had taken
what they call "a hard vote"

to support Obama's health care bill

had lost.

BAKER: I think he understood
that the glory days were over,

that the moment of celebration of
Barack Obama was passed

and he was heading into
a much tougher,

more trenchant period
of his presidency,

when everything
was going to be difficult,

when everything was gonna be
more challenging.

Now the House
belonged to the opposition.

REPORTER: ..President now trying to
figure out what he does...

They made it clear
that Obama's domestic agenda

was dead in the water.

REPORTER: ..acknowledge
that he'd taken a shellacking.

The President turned to an area

where he could act without
bipartisan cooperation.

MAN: His people made it clear
that in the terrorism arena,

he was going to be as tough, if not
tougher, than the Bush people.

He was going to be
extraordinarily aggressive.

While he presided over
the draw-down of troops in Iraq,

Obama dramatically enhanced
covert operations around the world.

RIZZO: He and his people reviewed

all existing ongoing
CIA covert operations

and with the exception
of aggressive interrogations,

endorsed all of them

and doubled down
on a number of them.

Targeted killings by drones,

covert special forces raids
overseas, cyber-warfare -

President Obama authorised it all,
in secret.

MAN: The man who Americans
had elected

to, they thought, end two wars

and who was, in fact,
winding down the Iraq War,

was also beginning to
rev up these secret wars.

BAKER: He's the first Nobel Peace
Prize winner with a kill list.

And it is very disappointing
to his base.

It's very disappointing
to civil liberties supporters

who thought he was going to be

much more of
a stereotypical liberal.

And for President Obama, it would
lead to one defining triumph.

OBAMA: Good evening.

The United States
has conducted an operation

that killed Osama bin Laden...

The killing of Osama Bin Laden in
the spring of 2011 was a high point.

OBAMA: God bless
the United States of America.

But the clashes with the Republicans
in Washington did not go away.

REPORTER: Congress
now has less than a week

to come up with a plan
to raise the debt ceiling.

REPORTER: ..and no sign of a deal...

A deal to address the country's
growing debt crisis -

known as the 'grand bargain' -

collapsed.

REPORTER: Another White House
meeting failed to break the deadlock

on raising
the national debt ceiling.

OBAMA: I just got a call about a
half hour ago from Speaker Boehner,

who indicated that
he was going to be

walking away from the negotiations

that we've been engaged in
here at the White House

for a big deficit reduction
and debt reduction package.

Bipartisanship was long buried.

Now there was open antagonism.

BALZ: When that collapsed

and when that ended up

in that terribly muddy compromise
that nobody liked,

I think that was the turn.

I think, at that point, he and
everybody around him decided,

"This isn't working
and we're not gonna work this way."

And the American people, I think,
are fed up with political posturing

and an inability for politicians

to take responsible action

as opposed to dodge
their responsibilities.

REPORTER: We've seen his approval
ratings on the economy dip...

Three and half years
after he came to Washington

on a promise of change...

REPORTER: Obama is
under 50% approval rating.

..Barack Obama returned to the
campaign trail, himself changed...

REPORTER: A difficult road ahead
for the President...

BAKER: I think you see, today, a
President Obama with a thicker skin,

more jaundiced eyes,

has grown more sceptical, even
cynical, perhaps, about Washington.

REPORTER: No President has been
re-elected with this type of economy

since Franklin Roosevelt.

I think he has become
more cautious, more cagey

and I would have to say, maybe with
some deserved, more ill-tempered.

Now, as he makes the case
for re-election,

the man who promised to transcend
differences, emphasises them.

OBAMA: The last thing we can afford
is a return to the policies

that got us here in the first place.

BAKER: Then he becomes tougher
in his public rhetoric.

He'd rather go out
on the campaign trail, even,

and hold out the Republicans
for being obstructionist

than to try to sit down with them.

OBAMA: If I said the sky was blue,
they said "No."

If I said there were fish
in the sea, they said "No."

They figured, "If Obama fails,
then we win."

ZELENY: It's hard to believe
that it is the same person

who was talking about bringing Red
America and Blue America together,

'cause he is now
a polarising figure.

OBAMA: It is the same agenda that
they have been pushing for years.

LIZZA: And his entire
campaign message

is about the differences between the
two parties, not the similarities.

OBAMA: The choice you face

won't just be between
two candidates or two parties.

It will be a choice between
two different paths for America -

a choice between two fundamentally
different visions for the future.

REPORTER: Markets plunged
at the open this morning after...

REPORTER: ..the economy still
struggling to gain any traction...

REPORTER: ..an unprecedented level
of joblessness...

In the summer of 2011, Mitt Romney
saw political opportunity

in the economic crisis...

REPORTER: ..would improve in
the second half, but hasn't yet...

..and decided the country
needed his help.

ROMNEY: We know we can bring
this country back.

I'm Mitt Romney.
I believe in America.

And I'm running for
President of the United States.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

This time, Romney would sell himself
as the turnaround specialist.

ROMNEY: Turning around a crisis
takes experience and bold action.

His campaign would aim to be
all about the economy.

ROMNEY: The economy
is in crisis today.

REPORTER: The Republican
presidential candidates have...

For months, Romney battled one
primary challenger after another.

REPORTER: Romney is trying to put
Rick Santorum behind him.

LIZZA: One of his aides once told me

that when Mitt Romney
gets locked in,

when he gets focused
and locked in, watch out.

This guy is so goal-oriented,

and once he has
something that he wants,

he doesn't stop until he gets it.

To win the primaries,

he even stopped talking about his
signature achievement - RomneyCare.

ROMNEY: If we want to
get rid of ObamaCare,

we're gonna have to
replace President Obama.

My mission is to make sure
we do exactly that.

HELMAN: In this political market,
Romney's health care plan is a loser

or seems that way to him.

Even though it's his biggest
achievement as Governor,

one of the biggest achievements
of his life really,

if the politics aren't there

or he's worried that
the opposition is too great,

he's not talking about it.

REPORTER: What does
Mitt Romney believe?

REPORTER: Is he truly
a conservative?

REPORTER: Not exactly
a person of conviction.

REPORTER: What type of values
does he actually believe in?

BROOKS: He has been, "I'll be where
the market needs me to be."

And, so, the Massachusetts Romney,

obviously very different
from the 2008 Romney.

The 2008 Romney, pretty different
from the 2012 Romney.

And, so, here's a guy
whose skills are not ideological,

they're not philosophical.

His skills, his passion
is about process, not about ends.

LEMANN: He thinks, "The weak
condition of the economy,

"that's made for me, Mitt Romney.

"I can fix that problem."

And "This is what I'm trained to do.

"I can come in, I can build a team,
I can be serious about this."

I think, you know,
with every fibre of his being,

he believes he can do that.

(CHEERING)

ROMNEY: Mr Chairman and delegates,

I accept your nomination
for President of the United States.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

Now America faces a choice between
these two very different men -

one a son born to privilege,

who followed a path
blazed by his father,

a bishop with a deep faith in God,
family and his own abilities,

the other a son born to
an absent father and mother

who created his own identity

and came to believe that
he could find common ground

in a nation's differences.

The challenger, a businessman
who became a turnaround specialist

and crafted himself
to meet the politics of the moment.

The incumbent, a politician
with a breathtaking rise,

whose promise to unite the country

ran into the harsh reality
of politics.

Both believe in their own destiny
to lead America.

Now the nation
must decide between them.

Supertext Captions by
Red Bee Media Australia
Captions copyright SBS 2012

This program is captioned live. Fighting back - New York starts the recovery from Superstorm Sandy as the Stock Exchange and airports prepare to reopen. The full scale of Sandy's wrath is revealed, leaving many victims in shock.We certainly feel profoundly for all the families whose lives have been upended. Also tonight - tributes to a Melbourne aid worker killed in crossfire in Syria. And Quade Cooper slapped with two fines and a 3-match suspension for controversial comments made on social media. I fell well below par of what it means to be a Wallaby.

Good evening and welcome to the program. I'm Kathy Novak. New York is starting to return to reality following its battering from Super Storm Sandy. The airports are opening. The Stock Exchange will resume trading after a forced closure. Super Star Sandy has created -- Super Storm Sandy has created a lot of mess. Trees have been no bridges. These taxes will not be picking up -- trees have been up rooted. These taxi cabs will not be picking up passengers any time soon.I cannot remember anything like this.Rudy Giuliani, who was visiting Sydney, says his City will bounce back. He said it did following 9/11 in 2001, when he was the mayor.There was a lot off a loss of profit but we can make all that up. Knowing the York City, Brazil you see is written in capital letters, they will probably more than make it up. -- brilliancy -- resilience.

The world is looking at the US financial markets. We have to make sure business and capital can flow. The subway has sustained terrible damage. New York mayor Michael Bloomberg says there is no time frame on when it could be fixed. Barack Obama has cancelled another day of campaigning in order to supervise the clean-up. He is now planning to tour New Jersey after the Governor of the staid describe the unthinkable devastation there. -- the state. We feel profoundly for all of the families who have had their lives affected. They will be going through tough times over the next days, weeks and months. The most important message I have for them is we are with you. Mitt Romney has resumed low-key campaigning. He converted a rally in to a fundraiser are in a while. We have got heavy hearts, as you know, with all of the suffering. A lot of people are suffering this morning. They were suffering last night. The storm was on full of Dobb he is having some trouble navigating the tricky political waters stirred up by the disaster. He does not know how to respond. He had called off events, now they are back on with changes to the schedule. Analysts say the storm could play a role in the outcome of the election. It could affect Barack Obama negatively if complaints appear of incompetence. The latest figures suggested President and his challenger remain neck-and-neck. As that enormous recovery effort begins, more images of the damages caused are emerging. The sheer scale of destruction has left many in shock. The fools scale of the damage becoming clear up on the New Jersey coastline. -- the full scale. These properties tick the brunt of the storm. Evacuation centres are filled with people in shock.Families, the elderly, people who don't have anybody.At least 50 people have been reported dead in the US so far. Perhaps 50 % of them in New York. Many of them were killed by falling trees. An unusually black night as electricity was lost. It was the second in a row with no power. The night of the storm saw an immense fire lighting up Queen's. More than 80 homes were destroyed. Nothing but praise from emergency services from the mayor.First responders have been doing a heroic job.Never has the city's subway sustain such damage. A salt water surge filled the tunnels. Across the board, the numbers are struggling. The wind up to 220 kph. Over 18,000 flights cancelled. 8 million left without power. Inland, the storm dumped over 50 centimetres of snow on West Virginia. Then, it made its way into Canada. At least one person has been killed there. In the Caribbean, experts fear the worst for Haiti. Flooding and landslides caused at least 52 deaths.Many