Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 9:57 am
After saying during a debate Tuesday night that a pregnancy caused by rape is "something that God intended to happen," the Republican candidate for Senate in Indiana is arguing that it is "twisted" to suggest he thinks God wants some women to be raped.
With the advent of radio and television, presidential charisma became a more important personality characteristic. Above, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who is rated one of the most charismatic presidents; John F. Kennedy; Bill Clinton.
Credit Getty Images
Charisma wasn't an early requirement for presidents, since many decisions were made behind closed doors, says psychology professor Dean Simonton. His analysis of the charisma of these three commanders in chief: John Adams: "Average." Thomas Jefferson: "Average." Andrew Jackson: "Well above average."
As part of NPR's coverage of this year's presidential election, All Things Considered asked three science reporters to weigh in on the race. The result is a three-part series on the science of leadership. In Part 2, Jon Hamilton examined leadership in the animal kingdom.
Charming or cold. Flexible or rigid. Paranoid or impulsive or calculating.
You are listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
This campaign season most of us have been bombarded by political ads on TV. Those ads get the most attention from fact-checkers and opposing campaigns, but the presidential candidates are also running lots of spots on commercial radio stations. It gives them a chance to target particular kinds of people, as NPR's Brian Naylor reports.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
I'm Audie Cornish, and we begin this hour with a sprint. The 2012 presidential debates are now history and today, President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney begin the two-week race to Election Day. Mr. Obama is widely considered the winner of last night's foreign policy debate, but he didn't spend much time crowing today.
Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:11 am
From now until Election Day, the U.S. might as well consist of just eight or so states, not 50.
Those are the battleground states where President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, their running mates and spouses will be spending much of their time in what remains of the 2012 race for the White House.
It's all about amassing the 270 electoral votes required to be elected president. NPR's analysis of the race at this point suggests the eight states that are most in play are Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 8:44 am
We're zeroing in on eight "tossup" states where the race is too close to call, but where the election will likely be decided. Try your hand at gaming out the electoral vote possibilities at npr.org/scorecard.
Demonstrators clash with riot police in Athens while protesting the visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Oct. 9. The euro crisis is one of several issues that came up little, if at all, during the U.S. presidential debates.
Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 9:13 pm
It's possible that the presidential debates will be remembered mainly for trivia — Big Bird, binders and bayonets.
But Mitt Romney and President Obama did discuss issues of paramount importance, including taxes, entitlements and the role the U.S. should play in the Middle East.
Those issues — and above all else, the economy — dominated discussion throughout the debate season. That meant other important topics such as immigration were barely mentioned, while others never came up at all.
Jean Gianfagna displays some of the political mailings her family receives at her home in Westlake, Ohio, on Oct. 19. Gianfagna says her family sometimes gets four of the same piece at a time — her husband and two grown kids all get their own.
Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 11:58 am
It's a sign that Election Day is getting closer: increasing reports of efforts to intimidate or mislead voters. Florida officials say they're now investigating fake letters that have been sent to voters in at least 20 counties questioning their citizenship and eligibility to vote.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, when you were in school, did you ever wonder how your teachers were spending their weekends? Well, these days some of them might be hanging out on Twitter talking about you. Or at least how to be a better teacher and other issues in education. It's called Sat Chat and we'll tell you more about it and we'll speak with the man behind it in just a few minutes.
Steve Inskeep talks with Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute and Vali Nasr, a former adviser to the Obama administration and dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, about Monday night's presidential debate focused on foreign policy.
This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
One final presidential debate means one final close read of what Republican candidate Mitt Romney and President Obama said last night, this time on foreign policy. A team of NPR correspondents has been checking facts and also just trying to help explain statements, starting with this one by Mitt Romney on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
A print in <em>The Illustrated London News</em> of Dec. 3, 1864, depicts Election Day in a wealthy (top) and poor (bottom) neighborhood in New York. The top caption reads: "A polling-place in the 'upper ten.' " The bottom caption reads: "A polling-place among the 'lower twenty.' " <a href="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2012/10/07/election_archive.jpg">Click Here To See A Full-Size Image</a>
It's Tuesday — exactly two weeks out from Nov. 6, Election Day. Why is voting day for American federal elections always a Tuesday? The answer is a bit obscure and has to do with buggies.
Let me explain.
The story starts all the way back with the Founding Fathers. "The Constitutional Convention just met for a very brief time during the summer of 1787," Senate Historian Don Ritchie says. "By the time they got finished they were exhausted and they hadn't made up their minds on a lot of things."
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 10:55 pm
For most American viewers, including this one, much of Monday night's presidential debate on foreign policy was conducted as though it were in a foreign language.
References to Mali, to former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, missile shields in Poland, "status of forces" agreements — could only have befuddled the voting public.
It's not that the candidates invoked unimportant issues. And it's not that the two held so elevated a conversation mere mortals could not understand. It's that they were debating almost entirely in tone rather than content.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:10 pm
In at least one sense, the final presidential debate of the year looked a lot like the previous ones between Mitt Romney and President Obama.
Regardless of what they were asked, each offered talking points he had prepared and was determined to make. The candidates, not moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS News, set both the tone and the pace of the debate.
That included switching gears far from the nominal subject of Monday's debate in Boca Raton, Fla., which was foreign policy. The domestic economy received at least as much attention and verbiage as Iran, Libya or China.
Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 8:55 am
Fact checkers got a shout out Monday night from President Obama when he declared that Republican challenger Mitt Romney had repeated "the biggest whopper that's been told during the course of this campaign."
"Every fact checker and every reporter who's looked at it, governor, has said this is not true," the president pointed out — correctly — during Monday's debate after Romney charged that Obama went on an "apology tour" during his first year in office.
Foreign policy proved to be a subject that kept the tone mostly substantive tonight in the third and final debate between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney before the Nov. 6 election.
In many of his campaign speeches, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney likes to chide the Obama administration for cutting military spending. And Romney says one force in particular is suffering from a lack of resources.
"The size of our Navy is at levels not seen since 1916," he says in many of his stump speeches. Romney promises to rebuild the Navy until it reaches 350 ships. But does a bigger Navy make the U.S. more secure?
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. In Iowa, two long-time members of the House of Representatives are waging a nasty reelection battle that will leave one of them out of a job come January. Both had their districts redrawn into one new district after Iowa lost a seat through reapportionment. NPR's David Welna reports on this rare incumbent face-off.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 12:26 pm
Former South Dakota Sen. George McGovern died Sunday at the age of 90. A liberal icon, he made two failed bids for president, but remained active and worked for several organizations battling world hunger. NPR's Ron Elving and Jill Callison of The Argus Leader discuss McGovern's politics and legacy.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. The Middle East presents a series of challenges for whomever wins on November 6th: immediate problems in Libya and Syria, a seemingly eternal problem with Israel and the Palestinians, but maybe the biggest problem: the looming crisis with Iran.