Politics

It's All Politics
3:44 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

'I Was Just Too Polite,' Says Obama, Vowing To Hit Hard At Next Debate

President Obama promised to take it to Mitt Romney in future debates.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

No more Mr. Nice Guy. That was essentially what President Obama told Tom Joyner, the black-radio megahost, to expect at upcoming presidential debates.

On Wednesday, the president explained that his main mistake at last week's debate with Republican challenger Mitt Romney was an excess of gentility.

Obama's self-critique, such as it was, came in response to a Joyner question:

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Law
2:48 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Federal Judges Uphold South Carolina Voter ID Law

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 4:57 pm

A panel of federal judges in Washington, D.C., has upheld South Carolina's controversial voter ID law, but says the state can't implement it until 2013. In a unanimous decision, the panel said there wasn't enough time to implement the law ahead of the Nov. 6 elections. The judges also said the law doesn't discriminate against racial minorities.

Presidential Race
2:45 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Ryan Needs To Conquer Wonk Reputation In Debate

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 4:57 pm

On Thursday night, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan takes the national debate stage for the first time in his career. The 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman faces off with Vice President Joe Biden. We take a look at the strengths and weaknesses the House budget chairman brings.

Television
2:44 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

With 'Clear Eyes, Full Hearts,' Romney Can't Lose?

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 4:57 pm

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has been using a new phrase on the campaign trail that's borrowed from one of his favorite TV shows, Friday Night Lights.

It's All Politics
2:38 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Romney, Obama Surrogates Clash Over Military Strategy

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 3:16 pm

The Romney campaign is putting more meat on the bones of its defense policy, and the result is a muscular, almost hawkish posture.

Dov Zakheim, Mitt Romney's special adviser for foreign policy and national security, went toe-to-toe with Richard Verma, who plays a similar role for the Obama campaign, at a forum Wednesday.

The two tussled for over an hour in a foreign policy debate of sorts at a Washington, D.C., hotel.

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It's All Politics
1:27 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

As Race Tightens, The Electoral Map Still Favors Obama

A boy examines CSPAN's 2012 presidential race electoral map at the American Presidential Experience exhibit last month in Charlotte, N.C.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 5:17 pm

Mitt Romney may have seized the advantage in terms of poll numbers and momentum, but there's one area where President Obama enjoys the upper hand.

In the end, it's the only area that counts: the Electoral College. Over the past 20 years, Republicans have had a much lower ceiling when it comes to electoral support, while Democrats have had a significantly higher floor.

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Tale Of The Tape
12:49 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Tale Of The Tape: The VP And His Challenger

Vice President Joe Biden and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
Evan Vucci/Jae C. Hong AP

Who Is He?

Joe Biden: Biden, whose own presidential aspirations sputtered in 1988 and again in 2008, brought to the Democratic ticket foreign policy chops and an ability to relate to working-class voters. In his 36 years representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate, he became known as more pragmatist than ideologue. He has also made a somewhat dubious name for himself because of his volubility and not infrequent verbal stumbles. But he has parlayed those potential liabilities into an effective, if occasionally unpredictable, campaign trail presence.

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Election 2012
12:18 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

The Political Junkie's VP Debate Preview

NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin previews Thursday's vice presidential debate. WOSU news director Mike Thompson talks Ohio politics. And former Virginia governor Tim Kaine and former congressman Tom Davis talk about Kaine's U.S. Senate race against another former Virginia governor, George Allen.

Krulwich Wonders...
10:49 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Obama's Secret Weapon In The South: Small, Dead, But Still Kickin'

Ron Blakey Northern Arizona University

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:10 pm

Look at this map, and notice that deep, deep in the Republican South, there's a thin blue band stretching from the Carolinas through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. These are the counties that went for Obama in the last election. A blue crescent in a sea of red.

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Education
10:27 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Margaret Spellings: Too Many Still 'Left Behind'

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we turn to the former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. She served under President George W. Bush. She's now the founder and leader of Margaret Spellings and Company. That's a consulting firm in the Washington D.C. area. Madam Secretary, welcome to you. Thank you so much for joining us.

MARGARET SPELLINGS: Glad to be here, Michel. I'm sorry I'm not seeing you face to face. Hurry back.

MARTIN: I know. We'll have to rectify that.

SPELLINGS: We will.

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Education
10:27 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Former 'No Child' Supporter Says It's A Failure

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Our next guest spent years allied with key conservatives on education reform. Diane Ravitch is the former assistant secretary of education under George H.W. Bush. During her time in that administration and afterwards, she advocated standardized testing and expanding school choice through charter schools. Those would later become key elements of No Child Left Behind under President George W. Bush, but she eventually became a critic of these approaches.

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Education
10:27 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Arne Duncan: Need To Address The Opportunity Gap

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today we want to bring you into one of the most important conversations we are having in this country. It's about our schools. Welcome to our Twitter Education Forum. Today we are broadcasting from member station WLRN in Miami, but the conversation has actually already started.

For the past month on Twitter, using the hashtag npredchat, we've already been hearing from our radio audience and from our digital audience.

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It's All Politics
9:45 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Marketing Of The Presidential Race Continues, Nationally And Locally

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 10:18 am

JetBlue is hedging its bets on the presidential election.

The New York-based airline says it plans to give more than 1,000 free flights to raffle entrants who back the losing candidate in the Nov. 6 contest between President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney.

The company's promotion promises: "If things don't go your way, don't worry. Here's your chance to get a free flight out of the country." It's a round-trip ticket, by the way.

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It's All Politics
8:54 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Democrats Sense An Opening In Indiana

U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly of Indiana talked with residents of Columbia Healthcare Center, a nursing home in Evansville, Ind., on Thursday.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 11:11 am

Joe Donnelly is counting on the auto industry bailout to help him out.

Donnelly, a third-term Democratic representative, is running for U.S. Senate in Indiana, which remains heavily dependent on the auto and RV industry. His opponent, GOP state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, not only opposed the bailout of Chrysler, but sued to block it.

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House & Senate Races
8:51 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Tale Of The Tape: Senate Showdown In Indiana

AJ Mast AP

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 12:36 pm

If you're searching for a Tea Party litmus test this year, look no further than Indiana's U.S. Senate race.

Tea Party-backed GOP state Treasurer Richard Mourdock is locked in a close race with House Democrat Joe Donnelly, who has represented Indiana's 2nd Congressional District since 2007.

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Election 2012
2:39 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Romney's Poll Numbers Improve Post Debate

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 4:48 am

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned in Iowa and Ohio Tuesday, as a wave of new polls suggested Romney's strong debate performance last week paid off. Swing states that recently seemed far out of his reach now look like a virtual tie in polls, or even leaning in the Republican's direction.

Election 2012
2:32 am
Wed October 10, 2012

As Election Nears, Ohio Gets More Attention

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 4:48 am

With the presidential race tightening, both candidates are eying the same prize: Ohio. President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney both campaigned there Tuesday. It was Obama's second visit to Ohio in five days.

It's All Politics
1:16 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Colorado Students Look To Vote For 'A Better Future'

A student walks through the quad at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:16 pm

For our series First and Main, Morning Edition is traveling to contested counties in swing states to find out what is shaping voters' decisions this election season. The latest trip took us to Larimer County, Colo.

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It's All Politics
5:20 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Romney Shows His Soft Side; President Tightens His Pitch

Mitt Romney on a farm in Van Meter, Iowa, on Tuesday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:56 pm

With 27 days until the general election, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was on an Iowa farm Tuesday where he did what he's done for months: criticized President Obama's economic policies, though his critique understandably had an agricultural slant.

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Television
2:57 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

'Sesame Street' Tries To Keep Big Bird Out Of Politics

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:10 pm

When Mitt Romney said he would cut PBS funding in the first presidential debate — and singled out Big Bird, whom he said he liked a lot — he perhaps inadvertently introduced the befeathered yellow children's icon smack into the center of political debate. President Obama approved a cable-only commercial dinging Romney for going after Sesame Street rather than Wall Street, but Romney appears to think he has a winning hand — castigating the president for focusing on a profitable educational puppet empire rather than big issues, like terrorism in the Arab world.

Around the Nation
2:47 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Mich. Unions Want Bargaining Added To Constitution

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From Ohio now to Michigan, where labor unions are betting big this election. They're throwing their weight behind not one, but three new ballot proposals. The most ambitious of the three would enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state's constitution. As Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta reports, that could reverse as many as 170 state laws that currently limit union bargaining power and fundraising.

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Presidential Race
2:45 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Romney Talks Regulation, Farming In Iowa

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:10 pm

Audie Cornish talks with Ari Shapiro about Mitt Romney's campaigning in the Midwest on Tuesday.

Presidential Race
2:45 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Obama In Ohio On Last Voter Registration Day

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:10 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Mitt Romney's day began in Iowa and ends in Ohio and that's where President Obama is as well for an evening rally in Columbus. NPR's Scott Horsley is already in Columbus and he joins us now. And Scott, the reaction to last week's debate has been mostly negative for President Obama. Are his Ohio supporters worried about that?

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It's All Politics
2:00 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Study: Unemployment Discussion Differs By Swing State

Job seekers line up to register at a Miami job fair in January. A new study shows that Florida voters discuss joblessness in ways quite different from those in Ohio and Virginia, two other presidential battleground states.
Alan Diaz AP

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 3:21 pm

Dante Chinni is the director of Patchwork Nation, which uses demographic, voting and cultural data to study communities. It is part of the nonpartisan, not-for-profit Jefferson Institute, which teamed with NPR to examine what can be learned about different communities through online text analysis. The project had Knight Foundation funding.


Since the beginning of the Great Recession, unemployment has driven much of the national conversation, and with good reason.

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It's All Politics
1:38 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Young 'Nones' Set To Transform The Political Landscape

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 2:50 pm

Culture warriors on the left and right would be wise to carefully examine a new survey from the Pew Research Center showing that a growing number of Americans are moving away from religious labels.

The study, titled "Nones" on the Rise, indicates that 1 in 5 Americans now identifies as "religiously unaffiliated," a group that includes those who say they have no particular religion, as well as atheists and agnostics.

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U.S.
12:41 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Getting To Yes On Gay Marriage, One Voter At A Time

Rion Tucker is a canvasser for Equality Maine. The organization is working to get supporters to the polls on Election Day, to vote for a ballot initiative legalizing same-sex marriage.
Michael May for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:10 pm

Rion Tucker is covering a lot of ground in his home state of Maine these days. The 20-year-old is a canvasser for Equality Maine, and he's been knocking on lots of doors in an effort to make sure that voters in his state pass a ballot initiative in November legalizing same-sex marriage.

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It's All Politics
11:25 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Sesame Workshop To Obama Campaign: Leave Big Bird Out Of It

Sesame Workshop asked President Obama's campaign to stop running an ad featuring its Big Bird character.
Obama campaign ad

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:12 pm

In its attempt to turn the tables on Mitt Romney following the Republican presidential nominee's big win in the first presidential debate, President Obama's campaign has sought to enlist Big Bird.

The president has repeatedly reminded supporters at rallies that Romney, during the debate, specifically cited Big Bird when he promised to defund the Public Broadcasting Service to reduce federal deficits.

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Commentary
10:32 am
Tue October 9, 2012

One Debate, Two Very Different Conversations

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney finish their debate at the University of Denver on Oct. 3.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 12:13 pm

When you consider how carefully staged and planned the debates are and how long they've been around, it's remarkable how often candidates manage to screw them up. Sometimes they're undone by a simple gaffe or an ill-conceived bit of stagecraft, like Gerald Ford's slip-up about Soviet domination of eastern Europe in 1976, or Al Gore's histrionic sighing in 2000. Sometimes it's just a sign of a candidate having a bad day, like Ronald Reagan's woolly ramblings in the first debate with Walter Mondale in 1984.

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Election 2012
4:49 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Outside Political Groups Swamp Montana's Media Market

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You heard Brian mention outside groups spending in Virginia. That spending was made easier by the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling back in 2010, which opened the door to more corporate political spending. Loud complaints about that decision came from the state of Montana, where we're going next. It has a history of restricting corporate political spending, and officials worried that outside groups would swamp their tiny media market - which they have, as NPR's Martin Kaste reports.

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Election 2012
4:49 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Virginia Senate Candidates Square Off In Debate

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 9:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

There was a time when Republicans seemed very likely to take control of the Senate this fall. They still have a good chance of that - though political odds makers now see the contest as close. It will be decided by races like the one in Virginia, where two former governors are running and debated last night. Republican George Allen and Democrat Tim Kaine are among the biggest political names in their state.

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