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.
Just five months after electing President Francois Hollande, many French are now despairing that he cannot deliver on the vision they voted for. What's worse, some wonder if Hollande has a plan at all.
The new president's ratings have plummeted, and his once-lauded "steady approach" is now perceived as dithering.
Protesters shouting "Resistance!" in the streets of Paris this month included people who voted for him and now feel betrayed. They were demonstrating against the European fiscal treaty, approved this week by the Socialist-dominated French parliament.
More than a year after winning Iowa's Straw Poll for the GOP presidential nomination, and more than nine months after dropping out of that race, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is back on the campaign trail.
This time she's after a fourth term representing Minnesota's 6th Congressional District, and Bachmann's campaign is running into stiff competition.
When the vice presidential debate turned to health care Thursday night, it took the candidates into the factual minefield of Medicare. Audie Cornish talks with health policy correspondent Julie Rovner, who points out a few liberties that were taken during the debate.
Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 12:59 pm
You may have noticed that the vice presidential debate took place on the same day as four crucial games in this year's baseball playoffs. In case you were distracted at all by the latter, here's some of what you may have missed:
"U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly rose to its highest in five years in October as consumers became more optimistic about the economy in a possible boost to President Obama's reelection hopes," Reuters reports.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, President Obama honored late labor and civil rights leader Cesar Chavez earlier this week but a new book questions whether the full story of his life and legacy isn't perhaps more complicated. That's in a moment.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
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Last night's vice presidential debate offered a reminder about American politics. It can be infuriating, misleading and irrelevant, but at its best politics becomes a spectacle - a highly informative show - which is what the vice presidential candidates delivered last night in a debate in Kentucky.
Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:39 am
A team of NPR correspondents joins Renee Montagne to give Thursday night's vice presidential debate a "Close Read." The discussion will take up the foreign and domestic issues covered in the debate with analysis and fact checking. Reporters include: John Ydstie, Julie Rovner, Michele Kelemen, Larry Abramson and Tom Bowman.
Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 10:51 am
Atmospherically, the vice presidential debate pitted old versus new. Vice President Joe Biden lives in a world where no lily goes ungilded, and every 'lative is super. Rep. Paul Ryan speeds through campaigning energetically, like the heroic train in the new movie Atlas Got Cut Using the P90X Workout.
And the moderator Martha Raddatz? She came out guns blazing. No avuncular, passive Jim Lehrer she.
Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 7:07 am
Neither candidate let his opponent get away with much of anything during the vice presidential debate Thursday night.
The tabletop discussion between Vice President Biden and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin showcased their clear differences over policy. The two disagreed about nearly every issue that came up, whether it was military posture, tax policy or abortion.
Many of these differences were expressed in negative, sometimes surprisingly personal terms.
Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 10:51 am
Tom Barnes is a 70-year-old retired grain farmer born in Ohio. He's the son of a school teacher turned farmer, and now himself the father of four, grandpa of eight.
It's clear that he adores his daughter, Becky Barnes, 30, and takes pride in describing how she's taken a piece of the big family farm south of Columbus and turned it into an organic vegetable operation by dint of hard work and sheer determination.
"It's an amazing project out there," he says. What he says distresses him, however, are her political leanings.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 7:19 pm
A few terms and figures became flash points for later discussion in the first presidential debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. From Simpson-Bowles (which was mentioned at least eight times) to the much-discussed $716 billion cut in Medicare, the presidential debate and the wider campaign have featured a growing list of devilish details that could use a good footnote. Here's a closer look at a few of these disputed terms that are likely to come up in the vice-presidential debate.
Mitt Romney once again sparked controversy over his views on health care in an editorial board interview with the Columbus Dispatch on Thursday. Romney said: "We don't have a setting across this country where if you don't have insurance, we just say to you, 'Tough luck, you're going to die when you have your heart attack.'" But health policy analysts noted a number of studies showing that people without health insurance do worse than the insured when they get sick and are more likely to die. Robert Siegel talks with Julie Rovner.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. Debate number two of the fall presidential campaign takes place tonight in Danville, Kentucky. This one features the number two men on the Democratic and Republican party tickets, Vice President Joe Biden and GOP nominee Congressman Paul Ryan. The debate comes eight days after a meeting between President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:52 pm
Kentucky may be the site for tonight's debate between the vice presidential candidates, but the monster swing state of Ohio remains the focus of White House dreams for President Obama and Mitt Romney.
Both the incumbent and his challenger have been in and out of the state with increasing frequency; GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan plans a trip to the Buckeye State on Friday, after his tangle with Vice President Joe Biden.
As the end of the year draws near, politicians and economists are again warning of the consequences of the "fiscal cliff." David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, sorts through the politics and numbers to explain how the government came to the precipice of the fiscal cliff.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 11:51 am
It may be the undercard to the main event, but partisans on both sides are talking some trash ahead of the vice presidential debate tonight in Danville, Ky.
The pressure is particularly intense on Vice President Joe Biden, following his boss' lackluster performance in last week's presidential debate, which moved GOP nominee Mitt Romney into a national polling lead.
STEVE INSKEEPI, HOST: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne.
Tonight, it is the vice presidential candidates who face the audience for their first and only debate. Joe Biden will be under pressure to shift the momentum back to the Democratic ticket. Republican challenger, Paul Ryan, will be trying to keep that momentum going in Mitt Romney's direction. ABC's Martha Raddatz will be moderating the debate, which will be held in Danville, Kentucky.
Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 3:17 am
Presidential polls are starting to shift to show the race between President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney tightening even further, and in some cases, Romney is ahead for the first time. Steve Inskeep talks to David Axelrod, Obama's senior campaign adviser, about the shifts in the race, and the president's strategy with less than a month to go before the election.
This week in Iowa, the Des Moines Register asked Mitt Romney about abortion. Romney replied: There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda.
Democrats immediately noted that during the Republican primary campaign Romney actually wrote an article headlined, "My Pro-Life Pledge" that promised specific legislation. Much of his political base is pro-life and his campaign quickly clarified that Romney remains proudly pro-life and would support pro-life legislation.