Credit Daniel S. Hurd

NHPR's political coverage from the New Hampshire State House to the First In The Nation Primary, Town Meeting, and the Congressional Delegation. Stories by Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers, Digital Journalist Brian Wallstin, and the NHPR News team. 

Courtesy photo

We launch our coverage of New Hampshire’s gubernatorial primaries with Democratic candidate Maggie Hassan. An Exeter business attorney, Hassan was elected to the state Senate in 2004 and served as Senate Majority Leader. We’ll talk with Hassan about her candidacy, including why she’s the only democrat in this race to take the pledge against broad-based taxes.

Democratic Representative Terie Norelli just completed perhaps her most difficult session ever…outnumbered three-to-one by Republicans, a massive defeat that called into question her party’s approach and agenda for the state.  We’ll look at the session from the Democrats’ perspective, after we spoke yesterday with House Speaker Bill O'Brien.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

William O'Brien, The Republican House Speaker from Mont Vernon, has kept himself in the headlines over the past two years, both for his leadership and for dramatic changes in state government.  Some Granite Staters praise O’Brien for following through on promises made during the election and shaking up state politics, but others call him a “polarizing figure” and even a “bully.”  We sit down with him to talk about the past two years and his hopes for the November Elections.


Taking the Temperature of the Tea Party

Jul 9, 2012

Several years ago, a grass-roots movement called "the Tea Party", united around fiscal conservatism and played a pivotal role in the republican resurgence.  More recently though, some suggest that its political clout is waning, but Tea Party members say they’re just working more strategically, and will be as influential as ever in twenty-twelve. Monday we're joined by a roundtable of Tea Party members to talk about the direction of the movement.


Josh Rogers / NHPR

Republican Mitt Romney was in New Hampshire today, kicking off a five day bus tour that will take him through six battleground states. Romney spoke in Stratham, the same town where he kicked off his second presidential bid nearly a year ago.

NHPR's Josh Rogers was with the Romney campaign. He tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the event.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Republican Mitt Romney began a bus tour of six battleground states today in New Hampshire. The tour marks a new phase for Romney’s campaign.

Mitt Romney's assertion Friday that the message of last week's success by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in fending off a recall was that voters want no more teachers, firefighters and police officers had a chance to ferment a bit over the weekend.



And now it's time for our regular Friday political observers, columnists David Brooks of the New York Times, and joining us from NPR West in Culver City this week, E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post and the Brookings Institution. Welcome back to both of you.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.



This week, the Wall Street Journal has reported on some of the emails that Mitt Romney wrote when he was governor of Massachusetts and those emails document his very active role in getting the Massachusetts health care plan passed, including his strong advocacy of the individual mandate, the requirement that people buy health insurance.

Joining us now from Boston is Journal's senior editor, Mark Maremont. Welcome.

MARK MAREMONT: Thank you, Robert.

Politics usually take a break over Memorial Day weekend, but not this year in New Hampshire. State House Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt abruptly resigned after admitting he had falsified documents for a law school internship.

NHPR’s Josh Rogers tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the latest on the Bettencourt story, the potential political fallout for House Speaker William O'Brien, and the newly named majority leader, Rep. Pete Silva of Nashua.

The flurry of activity continues at the New Hampshire statehouse. NHPR's Josh Rogers tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the latest, including a Senate vote on a constitutional amendment to ban personal income taxes, a proposal to track prescription drugs and several House bills related to abortion.

In Ohio, a new congressional district that stretches along Lake Erie between Toledo and Cleveland has become a political portrait of polarized America.

The 9th District is one of the results of Ohio's loss of two representatives following the last census. The primary for the redrawn district pitted two longtime Democratic incumbents against each other. Now the victor, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, is taking on a Republican known for his role in the 2008 presidential election.

It's happening in several congressional races, in states like Nebraska, Montana and Ohio — millions of dollars from out-of-state donors and outside groups are fueling candidates' war chests.

It's the time of year when the statehouse gets hectic - and, occasionally, foul-tempered.

NHPR's Josh Rogers talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about some of the many bills that lawmakers are taking up this week, and a spat on the House floor between Speaker William O'Brien and Manchester Republican Steve Vaillancourt.

Baby Names: The Latest Partisan Divide?

May 14, 2012

Evan, Elizabeth, Rachel, Abigail and John all have something in common. They were born this spring at Fletcher Allen hospital in Burlington, Vt.

Around the same time, a group of babies named Paislee, Liberty, Rykan and Scottlynn were all born in and around North Platte, Neb.

Today, we get the latest on what's happening at the Statehouse!  All year, the focus has been on the House, but now it’s the Senate’s turn in the spotlight. Recently its been considering hundreds of bills passed by the House earlier this year, and Senators have cast a skeptical eye on many of them, from proposals to do away with gun permits, to restricting abortion, even bills related to fiscal matters.  We’ll find out what’s changed hands, and how Statehouse politics may affect the elections this fall.  


A new investigative report from Reuters says that the White House has fallen woefully short in the battle against childhood bulge.

(Photo by Mister Bisson via Flickr Creative Commons)

Produced by Jonathan Lynch

The French go to the polls Sunday to choose among 10 candidates for president, and opinion surveys suggest the outcome will be a runoff between the two main figures, incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist candidate Francois Hollande.

Our story begins last month inside a busy Washington, D.C. subway station plastered with posters of giant dollar bills. One of them says: "Tell Congress to stop wasting time trying to eliminate the dollar bill." Another asks: "Do you heart the dollar?"

Political fights in the nation's capital normally involve billions or even trillions, not single dollars. What's going on here?

The past week's political firestorm in the presidential race focused on stay-at-home moms, but two-thirds of women with young children now work. Nearly half are their family's primary breadwinner. What some feel is being lost in the political debate are the challenges they face in the workplace.

When Kids Get Sick

Now that he's all but certain to be the Republican challenging President Obama in November, Mitt Romney has begun to expand his operations. In the past week, he's named a top aide to head his vice presidential selection team, and his paid staff is expected to soon quadruple in size.

With the president's campaign well-staffed and spread across the map, it's become a game of catch-up for Romney.

There are Republican primary contests in five important states next Tuesday, but with Rick Santorum's departure from the race, they've gotten little attention.

The House is scheduled to vote Thursday on a GOP measure to cut taxes on small businesses.

Now, the mental image most of us have of a small business is probably something like this: a handful of employees, a shop, maybe a restaurant or a little tech firm.

It turns out the reality of the nation's 28 million small businesses is, in many cases, quite different.

House Republicans say their tax cut would help millions of small businesses.

The House is scheduled to vote this week on a small-business tax cut bill offered up by Republicans. It's just the latest piece of legislation to focus on small businesses, which are widely praised in the political discourse as engines of job creation. The adoration is nearly universal — and it reflects something beyond economic reality.

"Small businesses create 2 out of every 3 jobs in this economy, so our recovery depends on them," President Obama said in 2012 at a New Jersey sandwich shop where he met with small-business owners.

Former Nebraska Gov. and two-term Sen. Bob Kerrey, who faces long odds in reclaiming the seat left open by retiring Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson, is in his home state trying to get his old job back.

After a full of morning of shaking hands, smiling and trying to win over voters, Kerrey settles on lunch at the Taqueria Tijuana in south Omaha.

After lunch, he takes off walking down 24th Street, telling his staffers to catch up with him. He says things are different now from when he first sought public office in 1982.

Myanmar, Inc.

Apr 16, 2012
Photo by eGuide travel via Flickr Creative Commons

Australia today announced that it is relaxing political sanctions against the country formerly known as Burma. The US and England will soon follow suit…all responding to growing political reforms after decades of military rule and political oppression. Meanwhile, crony capitalists that profited under the military regime are re-branding their images in an attempt to  maintain their wealth and influence.

What would Jesus do with the U.S. economy?

That's a matter of fierce debate among Christians — with conservatives promoting a small-government Jesus and liberals seeing Jesus as an advocate for the poor.

After the House passed its budget last month, liberal religious leaders said the Republican plan, which lowered taxes and cut services to the poor, was an affront to the Gospel — and particularly Jesus' command to care for the poor.

To get elected in southwestern Pennsylvania as a Democrat, it helps to be a conservative one. And because of congressional reapportionment, two conservative Democratic incumbents are facing off for a single seat in their party's primary later this month.

Rep. Jason Altmire and Rep. Mark Critz, who are vying for the state's 12th District seat, each oppose abortion rights and favor gun rights. Their race on April 24 may come down to the few issues that do distinguish the two congressmen.

On Tuesday night President Obama will be making his third State of the Union address to Congress and the American public.  He has progress to announce, the death of Osama bin Laden as well as the ending of war in Iraq but the economy is still stagnant with only little improvements and he'll need to be able to explain that.  The day after the address, we'll listen back to segments of it, see what he said, what he focused on and how the content and tone of his speech may play out to Americans listening, especially in an election year. 


Gingrich Gets Going

Nov 16, 2011
Josh Rogers

Former House speaker Newt Gingrich’s surge to the top tier of the GOP presidential field has been sudden. Its also come without the benefit of a traditional campaign structure in early voting states. NHPR’s Josh Rogers reports.

 Newt Gingrich predicted victory when he opened his state campaign headquarters in Manchester last week. But Gingrich also told supporters winning wouldn’t be easy.