Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 5:03 pm
Despite President Obama's celebrated gift for oratory, the Obama supporters least surprised by his underwhelming performance against Mitt Romney may have been two of his top advisers.
Senior strategists David Plouffe and David Axelrod have long doubted Obama's debating skills. Their concerns date back to the 2008 presidential campaign, as Plouffe wrote in his book, The Audacity to Win. He put it plainly: "Historically, Obama was not a strong debater."
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Lynn Neary. Mitt Romney proved he could go head-to-head with President Obama in the first of three presidential debates last night in Denver. Romney's strong performance gave Republicans renewed hope for his chance at the White House.
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:44 pm
In case anyone was wondering, this week's presidential debate demonstrated why incumbent presidents and others leading in the polls used to refuse to debate their challengers.
After John F. Kennedy used the first TV debates to boost his campaign against incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon in 1960, there simply were no debates until 1976. Running again with a big lead in 1968 and 1972, Nixon declined to debate and won both times. Lyndon B. Johnson also demurred in 1964 without damage en route to a landslide.
How much extra would you pay for local food? It's a familiar question. We face it practically every time we shop for groceries, either at the store or at the farmers market. But what about food that can save the lives of severely malnourished children?
Ben Blier (left) and his friend Jesse Bleckner hang out in their Yoda T-shirts. On his first day of kindergarten, Ben wore a Yoda T-shirt with "Go to Kindergarten I Must" printed on the front and "Learn Things I Will" on the back.
Credit Courtesy of Nancy Edson
On his first day of kindergarten, 5-year-old Ben Blier sported a Yoda T-shirt declaring "Go to Kindergarten I Must" on the front and "Learn Things I Will" on the back.
Credit Courtesy of Nancy Edson
Ben Blier, 5, of Washington, D.C., is obsessed with Star Wars, especially the books and Legos, according to his mom, Nancy.
Credit Courtesy of Chronicle Books
"I don't know why I didn't expect this, but kids really like the book, maybe even more than the adult audience," says Jeffrey Brown, author of Darth Vader and Son, a best-selling panel book about Vader's frustrations raising a 4-year-old Luke Skywalker. "A lot of people have said their kids want it as their bedtime book just again and again and again."
And now, we turn to California. Earlier this week, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a landmark piece of legislation banning a controversial form of therapy that is meant to change the sexual orientation of children under 18. Supporters of the ban say the so-called gay to straight conversion therapy can psychologically scar patients in the worst possible ways and there's no medical evidence that it works.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, director Lee Daniels is known for provocative movie fare, like his award-winning 2009 effort, "Precious." His latest film, by his own account, will be remarkable to some and stomach-turning to others. It's called "The Paperboy," and we'll talk with him about it in just a few minutes.
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 11:56 am
Full confession: This blogger is much more of a Star Trek: The Next Generation fan than a Star Wars junkie. But as long as you fall somewhere along the spectrum of sci-fi geekdom, you'll probably think these pictures are pretty cool.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we are recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month by speaking with the first Mexican-American woman to become a college or university president in the U.S. We'll hear her very interesting story in a few minutes.
But first, we turn to last night's presidential debate. An estimated 60 million Americans tuned in to watch the first face-off between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:43 pm
If you think substance trumps style, the analysis of last night's presidential debate might come as a shock. There seems to be a lot more talk today about things like temperament and facial expressions than the facts.
Here's a sampling of opinion:
Writing in Forbes, Frederick E. Allen says President Obama "looked defensive and uncertain," while GOP challenger Mitt Romney "may have said things that were clearly untrue ... but he said them convincingly."