2012 Elections

The Two-Way
7:11 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Romney touts 'prosperity pacts' to help Middle East, developing nations

One former president, one would-be: Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney (left), spoke this morning at former President Bill Clinton's annual forum in New York City. President Obama addresses the Clinton Global Initiative later today.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 6:52 am

Saying that foreign aid must play a role in bringing peace to the Middle East, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made the case today for what he calls "prosperity pacts" that would aim U.S. assistance packages at nations that develop "the institutions of liberty, the rule of law, and property rights."

Romney was addressing the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, a forum that will host President Obama later today.

If he's elected in November, Romney said (per his prepared remarks):

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2012 elections
7:08 am
Tue September 25, 2012

A political litmus test, in 6 jokes

President Obama laughs as comedian Jimmy Kimmel gives his monologue during the White House Correspondents Association Dinner in Washington, D.C., on April 28.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 4:28 pm

Is it possible to tell whether you are a liberal or a conservative by the jokes you think are funny?

Maybe so. "Like smell or taste, humor is a sense and different people are going to think different things are funny," says Alison Dagnes, author of the just-published book A Conservative Walks Into a Bar: The Politics of Political Humor. "When you throw politics into the mix, our opinions and our biases will affect the way the jokes land."

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2012 elections
8:36 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

In fundraising, Oregon's pro-pot campaign lags Washington's

Washington's effort to legalize marijuana is backed by some deep-pocketed national donors. But Oregon's campaign is struggling to raise even a bare minimum of cash. Photo by New Approach Washington

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 5:04 pm

SALEM, Ore. – This November, voters in Oregon and Washington will decide whether to legalize marijuana. The Washington effort is backed by some deep-pocketed national donors. But Oregon's campaign is struggling to raise even a bare minimum of cash.

Washington’s Initiative 502 would allow adults to buy marijuana at state-licensed stores. Oregon's Measure 80 would do that too, and would allow people to grow their own pot. The Washington backers have rung up more than $3 million in donations, allowing them to hit the TV airwaves.

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2012 elections
3:13 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Methodology: Counting Hispanic Surnames

This map illustrates each county's Latino population in 2011 along with estimates of Hispanic elected officials. Darker colors indicate a larger share of population. The database counted Hispanic surnames among county commissioners, city councilors, mayor

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 1:42 pm

So you may be wondering how we reached the conclusion that just 2 percent of the elected officials in the Northwest are Hispanic. Here's how we did it.

First, we collected the names of every elected state official ... every county commissioner, city councilor, mayor and school board member. We added in members of Congress for good measure. We came up with 8, 244 names.

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2012 elections
12:12 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Latinos barely represented on NW elected bodies

Woodburn, Oregon's population is more than 50 percent Latino, but none currently serve on its City Council. Photo by Chris Lehman

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 1:39 pm

WOODBURN, Ore. - Across the Northwest, Latinos make up nearly 12 percent of the population. Yet our research estimates only two percent of the region’s elected officials are Hispanic. It’s a disparity that voters like Jose Ramirez want to change.

“If someone can vote and doesn’t, well, that doesn’t do any good," he says. "You’re allowing others to vote in your place, to make different laws than you might like.”

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2012 elections
8:52 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Laugh break: Jill Biden and what she's seen of Joe 'up close'

WMUR-TV

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 6:58 am

(Note, if you're easily offended by juvenile humor, this post and video might not be for you.)

The video's been going around since Friday, but it's too funny not to pass along just because it's a few days old. And we bet many folks missed it over the weekend.

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Economics
10:14 am
Tue September 18, 2012

The 47 percent, in one graphic

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 4:25 pm

Mitt Romney's comments regarding the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income tax is getting lots of attention today. Our colleague Mark Memmott explains the context.

Here's a closer look at the numbers.

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Politics
9:06 am
Tue September 18, 2012

'Drive-by tomato' attacks on Democrats' buildings in Washington

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Clark County supporters of President Barack Obama and Democrats have been getting tomatoes thrown at them.

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NPR politics
7:22 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Romney's wrong and right about the '47 percent'

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney talking to reporters Monday in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 10:12 am

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney told supporters that "there are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what" because they are "dependent upon government ... believe that they are victims ... believe the government has a responsibility to care for them ... these are people who pay no income tax."

Who was he talking about?

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Politics
4:05 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Wash. State Auditor Candidates Clash Over Character At Debate

Republican James Watkins (L) and Democrat Troy Kelley are vying for Washington State Auditor. (Campaign photos)

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 4:52 pm

Character is quickly becoming a key issue in the race for Washington State Auditor. Republican James Watkins and Democrat Troy Kelley sparred Wednesday over the question of honesty as they debated before a business audience.

Watkins reiterated his attack from last week: that Kelley can’t be trusted because of past civil allegations that he misappropriated millions of dollars. Watkins told the debate audience about a deposition Kelley gave in a 2001 wrongful termination lawsuit in California.

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Marijuana legalization
1:25 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Could legal marijuana be good for Washington's children?

A children's advocacy group in Washington says legalizing marijuana will be better for kids, especially kids of color.
Dave H Flickr

Support for legal marijuana in Washington appears to be strong among adults, but what will it mean for kids?

This week saw surprising support for the state initiative legalizing marijuana from the Children’s Alliance. The Seattle-based advocacy group, which has dozens of social-service agencies as members, says legal pot would be good for kids.

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Election diversions
10:51 am
Mon September 10, 2012

The picture of Joe Biden you have to see

Vice President Joe Biden's talks to customers during a stop at Cruisers Diner in Seaman, Ohio on Sunday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 8:29 am

This past weekend was an odd one on the campaign trail. First, as NPR's Don Gonyea reported on Morning Edition, a muscled pizza man was so excited to see President Obama, he hugged him and picked him up a full foot off the ground.

Then there's Vice President Joe Biden who, um, canoodled with a biker lady at a Seaman, Ohio diner.

The picture captured by Carolyn Kaster of the Associated Press is priceless:

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It's All Politics
8:00 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Words Wealthy Democratic Donors Should Get Used To: 'It's Me, Rahm'

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants you ... if you're a wealthy Democrat who can write a $10 million or $20 million check.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Sat September 8, 2012 11:11 am

Now that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is in charge of raising really big dollars for a superPAC that supports President Obama, wealthy Democrats all over the country may be eyeing their phones nervously.

Emanuel, the former Obama White House chief of staff, is known for not taking no for an answer and for aggressively going after what he wants.

Indeed, he's a ferocious fundraiser who gets to the point, often throwing in an epithet or two for emphasis, just the sort of rainmaker needed by Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama superPAC that desperately needs cash.

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NPR politics
6:48 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Republicans or Democrats: The choice comes down to competing myths

What does your vision of America look like?
Loud Red Creative iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 6:15 am

Early in his acceptance speech last night, President Obama laid out the voters' task in these words:

"On every issue, the choice you face won't be just between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice ... between two fundamentally different visions for the future."

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2012 elections
9:54 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Obama: 'Times Have Changed ... So Have I'

President Obama speaks Thursday at the Democratic National Convention.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 9:44 pm

Framing the coming election as a choice between fundamentally different visions, President Obama offered himself to the country Thursday as a fire-tested leader ready to finish the job he started.

"Our problems can be solved," Obama said. "Our challenges can be met."

It was an older, battle-scarred nominee who faced his party in Charlotte, N.C. This message of hope was tempered and longer-view — a good distance if not a full turn from the vision he offered four years ago when he accepted the nomination in a thundering Denver stadium.

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