Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:53 pm
Each presidential and vice presidential debate lasts 90 minutes. If you watch political ads, though, they may seem to go on much longer.
In the hours and days after the first presidential debate and this year's sole vice presidential version, both campaigns used debate footage in their ads — attempting to amplify messages, make counterarguments and drive the focus of the election.
Former South Dakota Sen. George McGovern, the Democratic Party's 1972 presidential nominee, has moved into a hospice care facility in Sioux Falls, his family and friends tell The Associated Press and other news outlets.
The 90-year-old World War II veteran is "coming to the end of his life," his daughter, Ann McGovern, tells the AP.
The Tea Party may have took the 2010 midterm elections by storm, but many analysts are now asking if the party's influence has cooled off. Host Michel Martin looks at the Tea Party's prospects for this election with NPR's Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving and Shelby Blakely, journalist coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots.
Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 12:46 pm
It was Bill Clinton who made the town hall-style debate famous, and looking back to his performance in the first such fall faceoff in 1992, it's easy to see why.
Clinton commanded the stage and used the format — in which voters, not journalists, ask the questions — to "feel the pain" of the audience. Now, President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney get a shot at the same format.
However, it's the president who comes at it from a distinct disadvantage, says Chris Arterton, a professor of political management at George Washington University.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne, good morning.
Presidential candidates play a game before debates, each lowers expectations that he'll do well, then tries to beat expectations. The last part didn't work out for President Obama this last time, so he tries again tonight.
INSKEEP: The president meets Mitt Romney with their contest effectively tied. They hold a town hall meeting with about 80 uncommitted voters.
Veterans applaud at an Oct. 8 campaign event in Swanton, Ohio, for Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan. Health care and unemployment are among veterans' chief concerns this election season, and both the Obama and the Romney campaigns have offered solutions.
Military veterans across the country have a whole range of concerns this election season, from the high rate of suicide to special challenges for female vets. But like everyone else, they're especially concerned with health care and jobs.
The nation's obligations to some 2 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan pose a challenge for the next commander in chief. Unemployment for post-Sept. 11 vets is about 2 percentage points worse than the national average, and veterans want solutions.
As Mitt Romney and President Obama get ready for their second debate, a new bipartisan survey shows a surge for Romney in a key voter group following their first debate Oct. 3.
The random cellphone and land line poll of 600 likely rural voters in nine battleground states Oct. 9-11 has Romney at 59 percent among the survey's respondents. Obama's support is now down to 37 percent among rural battleground voters, a plunge of 10 points from the actual rural vote in those states four years ago.
The nation's poverty rate is as high as it's been in almost two decades. Last year, 1 in 6 Americans was poor — more than 46 million people, including 16 million children.
But on the campaign trail, the issue of poverty has received surprisingly little attention.
When he first ran for president, Barack Obama went to a low-income neighborhood in Washington, D.C., and spoke passionately about hunger and poverty. He repeated Bobby Kennedy's question in 1967: "How can a country like this allow it?"
Romney adviser Dan Senor talking with NPR's Steve Inskeep
A President Mitt Romney would make the "military option" a credible threat in the effort to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons by repeatedly saying that it "remains on the table, that it is real" and by making sure that senior officials don't imply otherwise, a top foreign policy adviser to the 2012 Republican presidential nominee tells Morning Edition.
In three weeks, millions of Americans cast their vote for president in an election that both campaigns depict as a stark choice between two fundamentally different visions for the country. But the chief executive's power is limited in real ways, by Congress, foreign interests, and other players.
For a man who was elected president partly on his ability to give a great speech, Barack Obama has been at times a surprisingly poor communicator in office and on the campaign trail.
That may have been most evident earlier this month during the first presidential debate. But Obama generally hasn't been as impressive at getting his message across in his four years in the White House as he was during the campaign that put him there.
Rosie Castro was a Mexican-American civil rights activist during the 1970s. She passed down her passion for change to her children: Texas State Representative Joaquin Castro and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. For Hispanic Heritage Month, Rosie Castro speaks with host Michel Martin about the Chicano movement and raising her twin sons.
A poll out from ABC News and The Washington Post on Monday, shows President Obama with a slight edge over GOP nominee Mitt Romney. As the candidates head into Tuesday night's debate, host Michel Martin gets the latest on election news from Republican strategist Ron Christie and Corey Ealons, a former Obama White House advisor.
Voting stickers at the Miami-Dade County elections office on Oct. 10. A study of online conversations finds that voters in the large, diverse county are discussing issues differently from those in other parts of Florida.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:46 am
Last week, we discussed state-by-state differences in online conversations around the issue of unemployment. That analysis of millions of words from news posts, blogs and user comments showed how the conversation in the swing states of Florida, Ohio and Virginia varies greatly because of cultural and socioeconomic factors.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 6:39 am
Imagine a lawyer's lawyer, a fighter's fighter and a pol's pol. Now imagine one person as all three. That was Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who died Sunday at age 82.
Over the course of three decades in the U.S. Senate (1981-2011), Specter came to personify the pragmatic, independent operator who sized up the substance and politics of every issue for himself. His vote could be one of the hardest to get, and often the one that made the difference.
Since April, more than 825,000 presidential campaign ads have been broadcast in the battleground states. Oddly, the dominant Republican voice on TV hasn't been that of nominee Mitt Romney. The big advertisers are four heavily funded SuperPacs and tax-exempt groups.
On a Monday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Never mind Election Day, we're in the middle of election season. That's definitely true in Iowa, one of the states that allows early voting and a state that is being fiercely contested. Supporters of both President Obama and his Republican rival, Mitt Romney, are urging people to beat the last-minute rush.
Here's NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep.
Something tells me the late Arlen Specter would not mind if we remember him with a joke. Specter was one of the most influential senators of the past half century, but shortly before his death of cancer at age 82, he turned to stand-up comedy, poking fun at fellow politicians like Newt Gingrich.
ARLEN SPECTER: I've known Newt so long, I knew him when he was skinny.
More Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders are running for Congress than ever before. A total of 36, including incumbents, launched campaigns this year — more than double the number from a record set just two years ago, according to the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.
Of those, a record 21 contenders — 18 Democrats and three Republicans — claimed victories in their primaries and are now vying to represent districts across the nation.
Fifty years ago, the United States stood on the brink of nuclear war.
On Oct. 16, 1962, the national security adviser handed President John F. Kennedy black-and-white photos of Cuba taken by an American spy plane. Kennedy asked what he was looking at. He was told it was Soviet missile construction.
The sites were close enough — just 90 miles from the U.S. — and the missiles launched from there could reach major American cities in mere minutes.
The Cold War was heating up to a near-boiling point.
Smoke rises from the stacks of the La Cygne Generating Station coal-fired power plant in La Cygne, Kan. President Obama's regulation of the coal industry has come under fire from his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
In previous elections, candidates from both parties have campaigned on pledges to be environmental presidents. This time, neither candidate is talking much about cleaning up the air or protecting scenic lands.
Instead, the debate has focused on whether and how much environmental regulations hurt businesses, especially the energy industry.
Mostly it's been GOP candidate Mitt Romney criticizing President Obama for what he sees as overzealous environmental regulations that strangle the economic recovery.
Specter campaigns with President George W. Bush in 2004 at the Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania. Specter spent most of his political career as a moderate Republican. He supported Bush, but later criticized the then-president's warrantless wiretapping program, saying it overstepped civil liberties.
Credit Luke Frazza / AFP/Getty Images
Specter speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in July 2005. Five months earlier, he announced that he had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymphatic system. He worked during chemotherapy, and on July 22, 2005, ended his treatment. Three years later, his cancer returned and he underwent chemotherapy again.
Credit Mannie Garcia / Getty Images
Specter and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, board an elevator after a February 2009 meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to find a bipartisan compromise on the stimulus package. Specter and Collins were two of three Republicans who voted for the plan. Collins, like Specter, was considered to be one of a dwindling number of moderate Republicans.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Specter shakes hands with Philadelphia voters on primary day in 2010. He lost the Democratic primary to Joe Sestak, ending the veteran senator's political career. Conservative Republican Pat Toomey defeated Sestak in the general election.
Credit Win McNamee / Getty Images
Senate Judiciary Committee member Arlen Specter, R-Pa., questions witnesses defending law professor Anita Hill at the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas on Oct. 13, 1991. Hill had alleged that Thomas sexually harassed her in the 1980s.
Credit John Duricka / AP
Specter discusses his new book and the presidential campaign during an interview in Washington, D.C., on March 21, 2011.
Credit J.M. Eddins, Jr. / The Washington Times/Landov
Sen. Arlen Specter, a member of the Senate Government Affairs Committee investigating campaign fundraising abuses, questions a witness during hearings on Capitol Hill on July 9, 1997.
Credit Luke Frazza / AFP/Getty Images
President Obama greets Sen. Arlen Specter at a reception in honor of Jewish American Heritage Month. After 44 years as a Republican, Specter switched parties in 2009.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images
President George W. Bush and Specter arrive at Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania on April 19, 2004.
Former Sen. Arlen Specter, one of the most influential senators of the last half-century, died Sunday from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 82.
The five-term senator, a moderate Republican-turned-Democrat, was a key member of the Judiciary Committee and a major player in the confirmation proceedings of 14 Supreme Court nominees. But he was consistently a thorn for leaders of both political parties and their presidents.
Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 12:47 pm
Arlen Specter, the outspoken senator who started off Republican, switched to Democrat and stayed moderate throughout, has died, the AP reports.
The former five-term senator from Pennsylvania announced that he was once again battling cancer in August. He died at his home in Philadelphia on Sunday, according to his son, Shanin, from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
The bump that has energized Mitt Romney's campaign at this point has not translated to Senate races. And GOP hopes to capture control of the Senate are beginning to ebb. There are 23 Democratic seats up this fall, compared to just 10 Republican Senate seats in play. In several races though, Democratic candidates are proving to be less vulnerable than expected. And in some cases, the Republican challengers are running into problems of their own.
From now until Nov. 6, President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at Obama's time at a Hawaii institution called Punahou.
Punahou School was founded by missionaries in 1841 — the campus is just up the hill from Waikiki, and it's built around a historic spring.