Politics

It's All Politics
5:00 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Five Debate-Worthy Facts About China

Workers scramble on a scaffold at a construction site in Hefei, central China's Anhui province, last month. China has approved a massive infrastructure package worth more than $158 billion, state media said in September, as the government seeks to boost the flagging economy.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 5:26 am

If the last presidential debate was any indication, you'll be hearing a lot about China in tonight's third and final face-off between President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Last week's debate was ostensibly about domestic issues, but that didn't stop China from being mentioned numerous times. Tonight's debate, focused on foreign policy, is sure to see relations with Beijing get a lot of airplay.

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It's All Politics
4:36 am
Mon October 22, 2012

George McGovern, An Improbable Icon Of Anti-War Movement

Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern talks about the bombs being used in Vietnam at a $250-a-person fundraising dinner in Los Angeles on Sept. 27, 1972.
AP

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 12:11 pm

If George McGovern often seemed miscast as a presidential candidate, he was at least as improbable as an icon of the anti-war movement.

The Vietnam War gave birth to an opposition movement unlike any America had seen in its previous wars. It was young, unconventional and countercultural, defiant of authority and deeply suspicious of government.

McGovern himself was none of these things.

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Middle East
2:29 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Signals From Iran Indicate Willingness To Talk

An Iranian boy holds a tray of eggs at a grocery store in Tehran last month. From Sunday, Sept. 30, to Monday, Oct. 1, the Iranian currency lost nearly one-third of its value against the dollar.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:50 am

Iran is hurting. Economic and banking sanctions, plus an effective oil embargo led by the European Union, have brought chaos to Iran's economy. The bottom fell out of its currency, the rial, a couple of weeks ago, provoking street protests. Iranians of all social classes are struggling to cope.

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It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

On The Trail In Iowa, The 'Death Tax' Gets New Life

Aides tack up an American flag to a barn at the James Koch farm in Van Meter, Iowa, on Oct. 9, ahead of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's arrival for a rally.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

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Presidential Race
3:43 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

Foreign Policy At Debate: Rhetoric Vs. Reality

A container ship from China is offloaded at Massport's Conley Terminal in the port of Boston in July. Trade issues with China has been a major talking point for the presidential candidates.
Stephan Savoia AP

Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 7:44 am

President Obama and GOP presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney are getting ready to answer any and all possible questions about foreign policy for Monday night's debate, the last one before the Nov. 6 election.

Iran, Israeli-Palestinian talks and China are among likely topics for the debate — and also major issues awaiting the next president. Each case is a matter of building and maintaining alliances while applying pressure to protect U.S. interests.

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It's All Politics
2:47 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

Little-Known Florida School Hopes For Presidential Debate Bump

The Keith C. and Elaine Johnson Wold Performing Arts Center is the site off the upcoming presidential debate at Lynn University. The small Florida college is awaiting its big moment in the spotlight on Monday.
Wilfredo Lee AP

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 5:40 pm

Whenever 19-year-old Robbie Walsh tells friends and family back home in Maryland that he goes to Lynn University, they do a double-take.

"They go, 'Lynn University? What?'" he says. "Then I have to tell them it's in Boca Raton, Florida, and a lot of them say, 'Oh, FAU,' or 'The University of Miami.'"

Many of Lynn's students and faculty who gather at the campus cafe say they hear that sort of thing all the time. But university spokesman Joshua Glanzer says a new T-shirt showing up on campus gives it right back.

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Remembrances
8:08 am
Sun October 21, 2012

McGovern Legacy Offers More Than A Lost Presidency

McGovern listens to a constituent in 1974.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 6:03 am

Former Sen. George McGovern died early Sunday in his hometown of Sioux Falls, S.D. He was 90 years old, and had been in failing health. McGovern served two terms in the House and three in the Senate, but was best known as the Democratic Party's ill-fated nominee against President Nixon in the election of 1972.

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Remembrances
6:06 am
Sun October 21, 2012

McGovern's Candidacy Inspired New Wave Of Voters

Former Sen. George McGovern (D-S.C.) accepts the Democratic nomination for president at the 1972 Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Fla.
AP

Former Sen. George McGovern, the liberal senator from conservative South Dakota, died on Sunday. He was 90 years old.

McGovern lost the 1972 presidential race to Richard Nixon by a landslide, carrying only Massachusetts. But his candidacy and opposition to the Vietnam War were embraced by a new generation of voters.

The defining moments in McGovern's life included not only winning the Democratic nomination for president in 1972, and not just the dismal loss to Nixon that followed, but also safely landing an airplane that the German army had tried to blow out of the sky.

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The Two-Way
5:41 am
Sun October 21, 2012

AP: Sen. George McGovern Dies

Former presidential nominee and Sen. George McGovern.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 6:08 am

Sen. George McGovern, who lost the 1972 presidential bid to Richard Nixon yet inspired a new generation of voters, has died. He was 90.

A family spokesman told the AP that McGovern died at 5:15 a.m. Sunday at a hospice in Sioux Falls, S.D., surrounded by family and friends.

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It's All Politics
4:58 am
Sun October 21, 2012

Obama, Romney On Track To Spend $1B By Election Day

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 4:30 pm

The latest filing deadline for fundraising reports in the presidential campaigns was Saturday night, and the totals are staggering.

President Obama and the Democratic Party's grand total is just north of $900 million dollars for the current cycle, while Mitt Romney and the Republicans topped $800 million. Both sides are on track to raise and spend $1 billion by Election Day.

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Politics
4:58 am
Sun October 21, 2012

Election 2012: Brunch In Idaho

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 6:03 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Presidential Race
4:58 am
Sun October 21, 2012

Turns Out, There Are Rules For The Debates. Lots

The candidates agreed to 21 pages of debate rules, but whether they obey them is another story.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 6:03 am

When President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney meet for their third presidential debate on Monday, there will be some rules for the candidates — and the audience.

In the first debate, Jim Lehrer of PBS demanded "Absolute silence!" Although Lehrer caught some flack for letting the candidates freewheel in that debate, he meant business when it came to keeping the audience quiet.

"If you hear something that's really terrific, sit on it!" he told the audience. "If you hear something you don't like, sit on it!"

But that's not the only debate rule — not by far.

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It's All Politics
4:23 am
Sun October 21, 2012

Libya Has Become The Flash Point Of Foreign Policy Debate

An empty bullet shell in the U.S. Consulate compound in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 13, after the attack on the building late on Sept. 11, in which the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 10:24 am

In the end, it's an argument about competence.

The Obama administration's response to the Sept. 11 killings at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, has become a staple of the campaign. It's bound to come up again during Monday's debate about foreign policy.

Mitt Romney will use the event — which left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens — to question President Obama's veracity and his handling of foreign policy in general.

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Asia
3:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

China Criticized In U.S. Debates, But Stays Close

With the final presidential debate on Monday tackling foreign policy issues, surely China will be a familiar topic. It seems every four years, the U.S. relationship with China takes a beating during campaign events. Host Guy Raz speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about why candidates attack China yet presidents always balance their rhetoric.

Presidential Race
3:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

Tales From The Trail: Who's Undecided And Why?

Host Guy Raz speaks with NPR's Don Gonyea, who has just spent two weeks on the campaign trail. Along the way, he met some undecided voters. In swing states, undecided voters are being bombarded by advertising, and Gonyea explains what is keeping them from making up their minds.

Presidential Race
3:00 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

The Undecided Voter: Just Like The Unicorn?

President Obama and Mitt Romney answer questions from undecided voters at the second presidential debate, at Hofstra University on Long Island, N.Y., last Tuesday.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 21, 2012 11:35 am

Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino heard something strange on the radio last Tuesday. A local sports show host, Marc Hochman of The Ticket, said that while he might tune in to the Yankees vs. Tigers game that night instead of the presidential debate, he would definitely watch the third and final debate.

"That will really decide my vote at this point because I'm one of those undecided voters," Hochman said.

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Election 2012
10:45 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Obama And Romney, Metaphorically Speaking

Whatever you think about the candidates, we can all agree both have been punching bags for their opponents.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Sat October 20, 2012 3:46 pm

Sometimes it feels like everything that should be said about President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney has already been said.

But maybe there is a way to talk about politicians in a fresher, cleaner way — without talking about politics. Like — or as — poets do it. Speaking metaphorically.

Sometimes you can say more about someone by not really talking about the person, but talking about something else. My love is like a red red rose, Robert Burns wrote. He is a feather in the wind, Led Zeppelin sang.

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Simon Says
8:11 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Beware Election-Year 'Scam PACS'

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 2:21 pm

What business would you tell a young person to go into these days? Plastics? Oooh, that can mean lots of regulations. Wind turbines? Solar panels? Who knows how long those may take to pay off? App development? How many Angry Birds does the world need?

Then what about superPACS? They're political-action committees that can spend unlimited amounts of money to laud, mock or bash any political candidate.

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National Security
4:37 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Wondering About The Cost Of War? We Have Answers

Sgt. Ben Roberts (center), recently returned from Afghanistan, speaks with Chick-fil-A manager Michael Sims at a military job fair in Columbia, S.C., in January.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 2:21 pm

As we approach the presidential election in November, Weekend Edition is seeking your questions about issues and candidates in a segment called Reporter Hotline. This week, our focus is veterans affairs and defense spending.


Paying For War

Question from Sue Hoben of Canton, Conn.: "Why don't we increase taxes when we wage a war? For instance, Iraq and Afghanistan. Surely if national interest is at stake, then we should be willing to pay the price rather than add to the deficit."

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It's All Politics
3:58 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

They Call The Election A Horse Race; It Has Real Bettors, Too

The Dublin-based prediction market site Intrade lets users bet money on whom they expect to win a variety of U.S. political races, including the presidential race.
NPR/Intrade screen grab

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

By this point in the campaign season, the presidential polls may have your head spinning. Romney's up 7 points in one, Obama's up 3 in another ... and on any given day, a dozen other polls are swirling, each offering a different take.

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It's All Politics
3:17 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

White Men, A Key GOP Demographic, Discuss The Romney Appeal

Annual "Biketoberfest" participants ride along Beach Street in downtown Daytona Beach, Fla., in 2010.
Daytona Beach Visitors Bureau

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

For all the attention paid to women in this race, there's another gender gap — with white men.

The Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan campaigned in northeastern Florida on Friday, where thousands of men had descended on Daytona Beach for the annual motorcycle festival Biketoberfest.

A bunch of them were at Willie's Tropical Tattoo smoking cigarettes, drinking beer and listening to music.

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It's All Politics
2:43 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Obama Battling To Maintain Women's Vote, Seen As His Key To Victory

The crowd joins Republican Mitt Romney in singing the national anthem at a rally Wednesday in Chesapeake, Va.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 2:54 pm

After President Obama's self-described somnolent first debate performance, his female supporters lit up social media and tagged the campaign with complaints about his failure to talk about their issues, from pay equity to health and reproductive rights.

He's been playing catch-up ever since, focusing on shoring up his party's two-decade-long domination with female voters who are key to Obama's hold on the White House.

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It's All Politics
2:35 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Colorado, A Big Win For Obama In 2008, Now A Harder Sell

Supporters turned out for President Obama's first post-debate rally on Oct.4 in Denver. The president is facing a fierce fight for Colorado after winning it by 9 points four years ago.
RJ Sangosti AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

In Colorado, the presidential race is a statistical dead heat. The state went heavily for candidate Barack Obama in 2008 — but the president is now facing fierce headwinds.

Obama won last time by 9 points, an astounding margin in a state that hadn't gone Democratic since 1992. One Democratic strategist calls 2008 a one-time case of "irrational exuberance," especially among Colorado's large contingent of swing voters.

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Politics
2:13 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Senate Hopefuls Make Final Pitches

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Candidates in a handful of other close Senate races squared off in their final debates last night. We're going to hear some of what they had to say in three states: Virginia, Connecticut and - first - Missouri.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Analysis
2:13 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Week In Politics: Presidential Debate, Polls

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Well, now from Biketoberfest to our own hard-riding political commentators, E.J. Dionne and David Brooks. Welcome back to you both.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be here.

DAVID BROOKS: Vroom, vroom.

BLOCK: We are in the...

DIONNE: I'm counting on David's deep expertise in NASCAR today.

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Saying Moderator Is Prettier Than CNN's Crowley Gets Candidate In Trouble

Democrat Richard Carmona, who is running for the Senate from Arizona.
Ross Franklin ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 1:11 pm

As Republican Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois was courting controversy last night by saying during a debate that the "health of the mother" isn't a reason for an abortion anymore, out in Arizona a Democratic candidate for Senate was stepping in it by telling a male debate moderator that "you're prettier" than CNN's Candy Crowley.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
10:28 am
Fri October 19, 2012

It's All Politics, Oct. 18, 2012

AP

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 11:07 am

  • Listen to the Roundup

Presidential debate No. 2 is in the books, and the consensus is that — unlike debate No. 1 — President Obama came prepared for battle. For all the talk about "binders full of women," and what was said when after the events in Benghazi, Libya, Obama and Mitt Romney both made their cases. Now, they prepare for the third and final debate on Monday. We also bid farewell to former Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter.

Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for the latest political roundup.

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Barbershop
9:59 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Candidates' Jabs: Funny Or Flat?

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 10:03 am

In theBarbershop, the guys discuss President Obama and Mitt Romney's comedic commentary at a famed dinner Thursday night. Host Michel Martin is joined by writer Jimi Izrael; civil rights attorney Arsalan Iftikhar; National Review columnist Mario Loyola and health care consultant Neil Minkoff.

Election 2012
9:59 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Are Candidates Ignoring the Poor?

President Obama and Governor Romney have discussed the middle class a great deal during the debates, but the candidates haven't spent nearly as much time talking about the poor. To get a read on the state of poverty in America, host Michel Martin talks with Irwin Redlener, of the Children's Health Fund and Timothy Noah, a columnist for The New Republic.

It's All Politics
9:32 am
Fri October 19, 2012

Redistricting In Maryland Imperils Longtime Congressional Republican

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., at a House Small Business Committee hearing on Sept. 21, 2011. After two decades in Congress, a redrawn district has put his re-election in question.
T.J. Kirkpatrick The Washington Times /Landov

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 11:38 am

Democrats have an uphill battle to take control of the House of Representatives in November. But one bright spot for the party is in Maryland's 6th Congressional District.

State Democrats redrew the district's boundaries, and now it favors their party. That leaves 10-term Republican Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in trouble.

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