In the first half of 2012, Willard Mitt Romney secured the Republican nomination for the presidency. The fight was largely a foregone conclusion because Mr. Romney had the money and organization and because the hard right was divided among a few candidates. Also, this was a time of political upheaval in Wisconsin, an American state not noted for upheavals of any kind. The hard right governor had taken away collective bargaining from public sector unions, and they fought back forcing recall elections. Although the governor kept his job, the unions had prepared for the November general election, much to Mr. Obama's advantage. In addition, this period saw the Syrian Civil War escalate. The countries in the periphery of the eurozone suffered from German mandated austerity, especially Greece. Iran's nuclear ambitions continued to cause trouble with the big powers in the world, and France elected a socialist president, Francois Hollande, the first socialist in a great many years.