Fifty years after his death, the presidency, and character and memory of John F. Kennedy has been covered and re-covered and burnished in television specials, articles and at least one extraordinary radio special that you’ll be hearing tomorrow on NHPR. With each retrospective comes the revival of the Kennedy myths…pictures of the sprawling family with their giant smiles, privilege…and no holds barred ambition.
The Constitution gives Congress the right to declare war and the President to wage it. Yet many presidents have taken military action, without involving lawmakers. President Obama’s recent decision to seek Congressional support for intervention in Syria has renewed debate over when and how we engage our military.
In his new book, Harvard University President Joseph Nye analyzes the role of presidential leadership during the rise of American global influence from Theodore Roosevelt - the first president to assert this country’s power on the world stage - to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, who presided over the end of the Cold War during a time when American power reached its zenith.
President Barack Obama talks with with former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and former First Lady Barbara Bush at the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Tex., April 25, 2013. First Lady Michelle Obama talks with an unidentified person in the background. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.
Credit US Embassy Panama via flickr Creative Commons
Last week, after a long hiatus from the news cycle, a familiar voice graced the airwaves…President George W. Bush speaking at the opening of his Presidential Library and museum in Texas. The event put Bush on the podium, and back in the limelight after years of relative seclusion. The library’s opening also made for an unusual photo op– all five current and previous living presidents – Jimmy Carter, Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, Bush Jr. and Barack Obama – sharing a stage, shoulder to shoulder. Ex-presidents have taken on a number of roles after leaving the oval office throughout American history… here to talk more about life after the oval office is political junkie and NPR political editor Ken Rudin, who you can hear Wednesdays on Talk of the Nation.
It’s the first State of the Union of President Obama's second term, and a major opportunity for him to set the agenda for the next four years…from jobs to reviving the economy. But the President will have to bring Congress along with that agenda and that might not be easy. We’ll listen back to parts of the speech, talk about where there may be agreements and what the major roadblocks might be?
Tonight the country will get a chance to witness a quadrennial spectacle, the first of three presidential debates. There are many examples of debates that have shifted, even defined Presidential campaigns, sometimes, just because of a memorable turn of phrase.
Its the other big 'sporting' event this summer. Many are playing the guessing game, as to who his second in command might be, and lots of names are being tossed about as possible contenders, including a certain Junior U.S. Senator from New Hampshire. We’ll look at this process, what it means for the Romney campaign, and who your choice would be.