This campaign season, inconsistency seems to be, well, almost everywhere. Each flip-flopping politician revels in pointing out the flip-flopping ways of his opponents.
Why are politicians and those of us who vote for them so obsessed with inconsistency? We take that question on from three angles: how our brains are wired; the psychology of judging what's consistent; and how consistency plays out in leadership styles.
Pedestrians walk along a section of Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven, Queens, New York. The neighborhood is part of an area targeted for congressional redistricting, but the process is still dragging on as the state's primary draws near.
By now, most states around the country have redrawn their political boundaries based on the 2010 census — and then there's New York.
For voters in the Forest Hills section of Queens, it has been rough. A year ago, they were represented by Democrat Anthony Weiner, who tweeted his way to infamy. Now, they're represented by Republican Bob Turner, who won a special election after Weiner resigned.
Right now, nobody even knows what district they're in.
Rick Santorum is trying to shake up the Republican primary by winning the primary Tuesday in Michigan — and many polls show him neck and neck with Mitt Romney. He's a former senator from Pennsylvania best known as a culture warrior. What's less well known is what he did after losing his re-election bid in 2006.
NHPR will broadcast a one-hour NPR special of the Arizona and Michigan primaries on Tuesday, February 28 from 9 - 10 p.m.
This special will feature candidate speeches, interviews, and expert analysis from NPR contributors E.J. Dionne (The Washington Post) and Matthew Continetti (The Weekly Standard). We'll also hear from NPR's Mara Liasson and Ron Elving, and check in with Ari Shapiro at the Mitt Romney camp and Don Gonyea at the Rick Santorum camp.
Originally published on Wed January 18, 2012 7:00 am
Scott Sanders will be eating lunch at his desk again. Sanders is the general sales manager for the NBC affiliate in Columbia — South Carolina's capital — so all his time is devoted these days to handling ad traffic ahead of Saturday's Republican primary.
"It's been crazy this week," Sanders says. "It will be hard to watch TV, because there are so many ads."
All five major GOP candidates have ads running during the station's nightly news programs. Their messages are also being amplified and augmented by supportive superPACs.
Campaigning in New Hampshire, Republican Mitt Romney accused President Obama of creating a bad business climate.
Romney said the President’s policies are designed to help his political allies more than the country as a whole.
He told voters in Salem that President Obama packed the National Labor Relations Board with union stooges; that he used the stimulus to repay public sector unions, and that the President backed green jobs initiatives to benefit supporters at companies like Solyndra.
Politicians and journalists always run a risk when they judge a voter strictly on on appearances.
There was a reminder of that Monday when Mitt Romney was forced to defend his opposition to gay marriage during a restaurant encounter with a grizzled Vietnam veteran who happened to be gay.
As it turned out the vet, Bob Garon, also was sitting at a restaurant booth with his husband when the unsuspecting Romney, campaigning at the Manchester restaurant, asked if he could sit down with them.
Former Utah Governor and Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. He’s touting himself as the only candidate with real foreign policy experience, after serving as Ambassador to China and Singapore. We’ll talk with Huntsman about where he stands on the issues and why he’d be the best to take on President Obama.