Politics

Election 2012
2:11 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

Voting Laws In Several States Remain Unsettled

In South Carolina, Pennsylvania and several other states, new voter ID laws are being challenged in court just eight weeks before the general election.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 4:26 pm

Eight weeks before the presidential election, new laws passed by Republican legislatures that concern who can vote and when remain in the hands of federal and state judges.

Among the cases: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week will hear an appeal to overturn that state's new voter ID law. An appeal is expected in a case involving early voting in Ohio. And a federal court is still considering whether South Carolina can go ahead with its new voter ID law.

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Political Junkie
1:05 pm
Mon September 10, 2012

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

They may have shut down Stephen Strasburg, but they'll never shut down ScuttleButton.

ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)

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Election 2012
9:39 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Former Aides Talk Strategy For Homestretch

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 12:17 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up: The designers are sending their creations down the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. And just in case your invitations to some of those big-name shows got lost in the mail, we will bring the runway to you. We'll talk with a reporter who's in the mix to tell us what's hot and what's not. That's later in the program.

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Political Junkie
5:39 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Obama Got The Convention Bounce, As Well As Bad Economic Numbers

President Barack Obama joins Former President Bill Clinton on stage during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 1:06 pm

  • my chat with Linda Wertheimer

The Democrats were no sooner out of Charlotte when the bad economic news came.

A more disappointing job report than had been forecast. Economic numbers weaker than expected. Just 96,000 jobs were created in August, far fewer than what economists were anticipating. And even a lower unemployment rate — down to 8.1 percent from 8.3 — was explained as that more people had simply stopped looking for work. The hope of four years ago is quickly becoming a fading memory, especially for those whose lives have not seen the change Barack Obama once promised.

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Middle East
1:25 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Next U.S. President Faces A Middle East 'In Turmoil'

A rebel fighter fled after attacking a tank with a rocket-propelled grenade last week in Aleppo, Syria. The escalating Syrian conflict is among several issues in the Middle East that the next U.S. president must confront.
Manu Brabo AP

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 6:25 am

Foreign policy has not been a major focus of this election campaign, but whoever wins in November will have a messy inbox when it comes to the delicate tangle of issues in the Middle East.

For decades, the U.S. relied on authoritarian regimes to provide stability in the region. Now, it must deal with a new government in Egypt, an intensifying conflict in Syria, nervous allies in the Persian Gulf — and a major decision about Iran.

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Politics
3:08 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

Who Benefits In Money Game: Democracy Or Donors?

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 4:07 pm

There's a new stimulus plan underway in America: $5.8 billion is being injected into the U.S. economy, particularly in states like Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Florida.

We're talking of course about campaign spending, and this year's elections will be the most expensive in history. In fact, by the time we all head to the voting booth on Election Day, nearly $6 billion will have been spent on campaigns — big and small — all across America.

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Politics
3:08 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

Parsing The 2012 Party Platforms

One overlooked part of the convention frenzy was the party platforms. They seemed to cause more embarrassment than excitement at the DNC, where party leaders fumbled at reinserting clauses about Jerusalem and God into their platform. And at the RNC, Rep. John Boehner admitted he'd never even read his party's platform. NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving joins weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz to talk about the platforms and what — if anything — they mean in 2012.

Politics
3:08 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

Case Will Test Constitutionality Of The Filibuster

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

And if you're just joining us, this is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz. There was a time when the Senate would, every once in a while, use a special tool to protect the rights of the minority party.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Half of official Washington is here to see democracy's finest show, the filibuster, the right to talk your head off, the American privilege of free speech in its most dramatic form.

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Election 2012
12:59 pm
Sun September 9, 2012

Critics Say Ryan's Record Belies Tough Deficit Talk

Paul Ryan waves as he takes the stage at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 29. Ryan has been celebrated as a deficit hawk with bold vision, but some critics have called his record on deficit-reduction "dismal."
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 3:08 pm

Paul Ryan has a reputation as a deficit hawk. Mitt Romney's running mate has proposed budgets that cut non-defense spending significantly, and advocated controlling Medicare costs by making it a voucher program. But critics argue there's a lot in the Wisconsin congressman's record that undermines his deficit-hawk reputation.

When Ryan gave the GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union address last year, he restated his commitment to debt and deficit reduction.

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It's All Politics
7:53 am
Sun September 9, 2012

For Both Parties, Spanglish Is The Unofficial Convention Language

Cristina Saralegui waves at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 9:34 am

If you grew up in a bilingual Hispanic household, listening to the Democratic and Republican conventions may have sounded a lot like home.

It's no coincidence that both parties highlighted politicians like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.

Rubio, whose parents are from Cuba, introduced Mitt Romney at the Republican convention; Castro, whose grandmother immigrated from Mexico, became the first Latino to give the Democrats' keynote address.

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House & Senate Races
5:24 am
Sun September 9, 2012

Eyes Off The White House: Other Races To Watch

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 11:42 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Just under two months to go before Election Day. The national conventions are over. We're weeks away from debates. And while Democrats and Republicans try to win the White House, they are also locked in a battle for control of Congress. Republicans made historic gains in the House in 2010. And while the GOP didn't quite get a majority in the Senate, they had great expectations of this year because the numbers are in their favor.

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Presidential Race
5:24 am
Sun September 9, 2012

Romney Hopes To Swing Va. Back To GOP

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 11:43 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Presidential Race
5:24 am
Sun September 9, 2012

Obama Pitches Recovery On Florida Tour

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 11:43 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: This is Don Gonyea in Florida, the perpetual battleground state that President Obama is touring by bus this weekend.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Hello, St. Pete.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

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Presidential Race
5:24 am
Sun September 9, 2012

Post-Convention, Democrats Gain Momentum

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 11:43 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

We're joined now by NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Good morning, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Good morning, Linda.

WERTHEIMER: So, Mara, as we heard, President Obama and Mitt Romney are back on the road again, their conventions behind them. According to national polls, it looks like the Democrats got some momentum from their time in Charlotte.

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Education
3:48 am
Sun September 9, 2012

Chicago Teachers May Strike, Teach Political Lesson

Members of community group Parents 4 Teachers display pro-teacher posters outside City Hall Friday in Chicago. The Chicago Teachers Union has threatened to strike Monday if negotiations fail.
Sitthixay Ditthavong AP

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 11:43 am

Twenty-five thousand Chicago teachers are planning to walk off the job Monday if they don't have a contract by midnight Sunday. As the Democrats look to unions to help them get out the vote, a strike by Chicago teachers might just put a crimp in those plans.

On Friday during rush hour, a handful of parents and students stood on a bridge over the Eisenhower Expressway, holding signs that read, "Honk if you support teachers." Among them is Rhoda Gutierrez, who has two children in a Chicago public elementary school.

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House & Senate Races
3:45 am
Sun September 9, 2012

GOP Has Rare Shot At Winning House Seat In Mass.

Richard Tisei is running for U.S. House in Massachusetts, where he could be the first Republican in that seat in 15 years.
Josh Reynolds AP

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 11:43 am

U.S. House candidate Richard Tisei is openly gay. He's also openly Republican.

"You know what, in Massachusetts, it's a lot easier to be gay than be a Republican," he says, "as far as trying to get elected to office."

But Tisei could make political history for the Massachusetts GOP. Not just because they could win their first U.S. House seat in 15 years, but also because Tisei would be the first openly gay Republican to be elected to a term in Congress.

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Politics
3:04 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

Social Issues Hold Sway Over Ohio's Black Voters

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 6:55 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

In 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama won nearly all the African-American vote. And this year, a recent poll found that less than 1 percent of black voters will back Mitt Romney. But in Ohio, as NPR's Allison Keyes found out, some black voters are agonizing over whether to vote in November at all.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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NPR Story
2:44 pm
Sat September 8, 2012

Is The 'Better Off' Question The Right One?

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 6:55 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Hello, St. Pete.

RAZ: President Obama campaigning today in St. Petersburg, Florida, two days after accepting his party's nomination for president...

OBAMA: I am fired up.

RAZ: ...where his new stump speech emphasizes job creation.

OBAMA: We can keep giving more tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas just like the other side is arguing for.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOOING)

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It's All Politics
8:36 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Words Wealthy Democratic Donors Should Get Used To: 'It's Me, Rahm'

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants you ... if you're a wealthy Democrat who can write a $10 million or $20 million check.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 12:11 pm

Now that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in charge of raising really big dollars for a superPAC that supports President Obama, wealthy Democrats all over the country may be eyeing their phones nervously.

Emanuel, the former Obama White House chief of staff, is known for not taking no for an answer and for aggressively going after what he wants.

Indeed, he's a ferocious fundraiser who gets to the point, often throwing in an epithet or two for emphasis, just the sort of rainmaker needed by Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama superPAC that desperately needs cash.

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Politics
6:16 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Split Polls In Iowa Boost State's Importance

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The bright lights of the political conventions dimmed. President Obama and Mitt Romney hit the campaign trail Friday. Both candidates headed for the politically critical states of Iowa and New Hampshire. We asked reporters in those both those places to find out how voters are feeling about the two questions that dominated the conventions: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? And which presidential candidate has the best plan for country? We go first to Sarah McCammon of Iowa Public Radio.

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Politics
6:16 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Labor Report Has Romney And Obama On Down Note

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The presidential candidates are back on the campaign trail, sprinting, now that the political conventions are behind them. President Obama and Mitt Romney were both in Iowa and New Hampshire yesterday. Both of their message were affected by some bad news on the job's front as NPR's Scott Horsley reports.

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NPR Story
6:12 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Will Convention Give Obama A Boost In N.C.?

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 6:16 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Democrats in North Carolina are hoping to extend the momentum of the convention, organizing to get out the vote in November. President Obama narrowly won the state four years ago, but recent polls have shown Mitt Romney now ahead. The weak economy still looms over their organizing efforts. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.

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Politics
3:59 am
Sat September 8, 2012

As Election Nears, Keeping Donors A Secret Is Trickier

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun September 9, 2012 3:32 pm

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Presidential Race
3:01 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

A Few 'Baloney' Facts In Biden, Obama's Speeches

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 4:18 pm

Melissa Block talks to Robert Farley, deputy managing editor of FactCheck.org, to truth squad some of the comments made Thursday night by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Presidential Race
3:01 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Obama, Romney Spin New Jobs Report Differently

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 4:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Politics
3:01 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Russia Talk Throws DNC And RNC Back To Cold War

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 12:48 pm

Robert Siegel speaks with Susan Glasser, editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine, about Russia. Speakers at both the Republican and Democratic conventions brought up America's relations with the country.

NPR Story
2:31 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Obama Administration: 'Recovery Has Been Resilient'

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 4:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Joining us now to talk about today's jobs numbers is Alan Krueger. He's the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Welcome.

ALAN KRUEGER: Thank you.

SIEGEL: Is it fair to say that the good news here, the lower unemployment rate is produced by bad news, so many people leaving the workforce and that 96,000 jobs in a month is a discouraging jobs report?

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It's All Politics
12:12 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Deflating Jobs Report May Not Move The Needle On The Election

President Obama spoke at a campaign event at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, N.H., on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 12:52 pm

It wasn't what President Obama was hoping for: another disappointing jobs report the morning after he accepted the Democratic nomination and asked Americans to stay the course.

The U.S. economy added just 96,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department, and a drop in the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent was mostly due to people giving up on job searches.

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Election 2012
10:37 am
Fri September 7, 2012

The 7 Coolest Presidents In American History

President George W. Bush dances with members of the KanKouran West African Dance Company during a Rose Garden event to mark Malaria Awareness Day at the White House on April 25, 2007.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 1:34 pm

When former President Bill Clinton referred to present President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention as "cool on the outside," Clinton was underscoring the notion that Obama is, well, cool.

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Election 2012
9:58 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Top Speechwriters Grade Conventions

President Obama's acceptance of the Democratic nomination capped two weeks of speeches at the political conventions. Host Michel Martin discusses hits and misses with Mary Kate Cary, former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush; and Paul Orzulak, former speechwriter for President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.

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