Elections 2012

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Parallel Lives
6:20 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Obama Made A Strong First Impression At Harvard

While a student at Harvard Law School, Barack Obama became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review.
AP

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 7:57 am

From now until November, President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney will emphasize their differences. But the two men's lives actually coincide in a striking number of ways. In this installment of NPR's "Parallel Lives" series, a look at Obama's time at their shared alma mater.

Harvard professor Laurence Tribe is a sort of legal rock star, particularly among liberals. First-year law students he has never met don't just show up at his door saying, "I want to work for you." At least they didn't until March 31, 1989.

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Presidential Race
3:05 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Gingrich Out Of The Race, But Still In Debt

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich pauses while announcing that he is suspending his presidential campaign Wednesday in Arlington, Va.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 11:42 am

Newt Gingrich is officially out of the presidential race. The former House speaker said Wednesday that he's suspending his campaign, and he's ready to help the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, battle President Obama. But Gingrich might have a more pressing problem: His campaign has about $4 million in debt.

In Gingrich's exit speech, he opened by thanking people — first his family, then his financial backers.

"I also want to single out, first of all, the over 179,000 donors who helped us at Newt.org and who helped make the campaign possible," he said.

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It's All Politics
8:56 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Adviser: Romney's VP 'Short List' Could Contain 20 Names

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns with Sen. Kelly Ayotte on Monday in Portsmouth, N.H. A 43-year-old freshman senator, Ayotte is among those under consideration as a vice presidential running mate, according to a Romney adviser.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 9:49 am

If history holds, Mitt Romney is still months away from announcing a vice presidential running mate on the Republican ticket. But he continues to make appearances with those who could be on the so-called short list.

Or in Romney's case, it may still be a rather long list.

On Monday, Romney campaigned with freshman Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the 43-year-old former state attorney general, in her home state of New Hampshire.

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Election 2012
4:37 am
Tue May 1, 2012

N.H. Sen. Kelly Ayotte Considered For Romney's VP Slot

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 7:12 am

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire is the latest politician to appear on the campaign trail with presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. That's fueled speculation that Ayotte is being considered as a running mate.

Planet Money
10:36 am
Fri April 20, 2012

When Lobbyists Pay To Meet With Congressmen

Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 5:49 pm

Yesterday, we reported on the fundraisers that lobbyists hold for Congressmen every day in Washington. Today, we hear what happens inside those events. The stories are part of our series on money in politics.

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Presidential Race
8:55 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Working Moms' Challenges: Paid Leave, Child Care

Many working mothers say their employers don't support them when they need to tend to a sick child. In this file photo, a single mother holds her child at a health clinic in Colorado.
John Moore Getty Images

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

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It's All Politics
7:57 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Ann Romney Takes Center Stage In Tug Of War For Female Voters

Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, speaks at his Nevada caucus victory celebration in Las Vegas on Feb. 4.
Gerald Herbert AP

For the past two weeks, the campaigns of both President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney have accused each other of waging a war on women. But what's really going on is a war for women's votes.

The president, like Democrats before him, has an advantage with female voters — who make up 53 percent of the American electorate. Romney is trying to close the gender gap by using his most powerful and popular surrogate: his wife.

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Mitt Romney
6:41 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

With Eye On November, Romney To Expand Campaign

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks with a staffer on the night of the Florida primary in January. Now that he's pivoting away from the primaries to the general election, Romney is expected to quadruple his staff soon.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

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.

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Presidential Race
7:35 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Did Obama's Policies Help, Or Hinder, The Economy?

President Obama signs the economic stimulus bill in February 2009, as Vice President Biden looks on. Experts disagree over the impact of the administration's economic policies on the recession.
Darin McGregor AP

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 5:14 am

The 2012 presidential election is approaching, and President Obama's fate may hinge on how well the economy fares over the coming months.

On the campaign trail, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been highlighting the economy's weaknesses. The former Massachusetts governor has made a similar claim about the president, and the recession, at almost every campaign stop.

"I don't blame the president for the downturn," Romney told a crowd in New Hampshire earlier this year. "He didn't cause it. But he made it worse and made it last longer."

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It's All Politics
4:42 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Romney Scores Key Endorsements From Anti-Abortion Groups

Mitt Romney campaigns Tuesday in Wilmington, Del., the day rival Rick Santorum left the race. On Thursday, two major anti-abortion groups endorsed Romney.
Landov

A decade ago, while running for Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney vowed to "preserve and protect a woman's right to choose" abortion.

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Election 2012
5:20 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Romney And Ryan: A Budding Political Bromance

Mitt Romney jokes with Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan during a pancake brunch on April 1 in Milwaukee.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 8:51 pm

One of the sharpest dividing lines emerging between President Obama and GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney is the budget introduced in Congress by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., with its sharp cuts in domestic spending and lower tax rates.

Both sides see it as a winning issue for the fall campaign. The Obama campaign likes to call it the "Romney-Ryan budget" — and Romney hasn't objected.

On the campaign trail in Wisconsin, Ryan was a constant presence with Romney before that state's April 3 Republican primary, which Romney won.

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Books News & Features
3:25 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Best Books (And Surprising Insights) On Lincoln

iStockPhoto.com

In a 24-hour, Internet-fueled news cycle, political campaign reporters often seem to be focused on what just happened, and only what just happened. But presidential candidates profess to take a longer view: They consciously link their critiques and promises to the influential figures and debates of the past.

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Election 2012
3:32 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Longtime GOP Sen. Lugar Faces Stiff Tea Party Fight

Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock (right) speaks with potential voters on March 31 in Evansville, Ind.
Tamara Keith NPR

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 9:03 am

Six-term Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana is facing his first primary challenge since winning the job in the 1970s. The race is attracting big money from outside groups and superPACs, and is seen as a test of the strength of the Tea Party movement versus the power of incumbency.

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It's All Politics
3:05 am
Tue April 3, 2012

Do Negative Ads Make A Difference? Political Scientists Say Not So Much

Future U.S. senator and presidential candidate John Kerry poses with crewmates during the Vietnam War in this file photo. An attack on his service by a group calling itself the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is remembered as a turning point in the 2004 election. But political scientists say negative ads might not be that effective.
AP

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 2:01 pm

Pundits and commentators are forecasting that this fall's general election will see an avalanche of negative advertising. But as voters gird for the onslaught, political scientists are asking a different question: Will it matter?

When the Supreme Court lifted restrictions on private advertising in elections, superPACs supporting President Obama and the most likely Republican nominee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, promised to unleash negative attacks on the other side.

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Mitt Romney
4:04 am
Mon April 2, 2012

On Energy Policy, Romney's Emphasis Has Shifted

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns in Muskego, Wis., on Saturday.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 11:24 am

The GOP candidates for president have seized on high gas prices as a line of attack against President Obama, largely saying the answer is more domestic oil drilling.

But GOP front-runner Mitt Romney used to have a position seemingly at odds — at least in emphasis — with what he and the other Republicans are now advocating.

As Massachusetts governor, Romney said high gasoline prices "are probably here to stay," and he advocated policies to cut energy demand.

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