As the election year began, conventional wisdom was pretty well set about the outcome of the presidential race. If the economy improved, President Obama would win. If not, he'd be a one-termer.
So what does it mean that many big economic indicators are moving sideways?
"Obama seems to be in that gray area," says Paul Pierson, a political scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. "The numbers are neither so good nor so bad that they give you a definitive answer."
That's how much President Obama campaign will receive from a fund-raising event last night at George Clooney's home. The New York Times reports the A-list, Hollywood crowd paid $40,000 a person, helping to set "a record for a presidential election fund-raiser."
If anything could predictably induce torrents of Internet reaction, it would be a U.S. president making the surprise disclosure that he supports same-sex marriage. And so it has been following President Obama's Wednesday ABC News interview in which he said he personally backs gay marriage.
The 2012 presidential election was supposed to be about the economy, and even with President Obama's historic decision to make it known Wednesday that he supports same-sex marriage, that is still likely to be true.
But the president's decision to announce in an ABC News interview that he personally backs gay marriage could mean that at least one social issue may take a more prominent role in the election-year spotlight.
The Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved a rule requiring TV stations to post details online about the amount of advertising time political candidates and campaigns buy, as well as how much the stations charge for those ads.
TV stations already are required to keep such public records. But in most cases, the information has been accessible only to those who visit a TV station and physically look through paper files, NPR's Brian Naylor reported.
Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 1:15 pm
(Revised at 2:03 pm ET with new Ron Paul-Pennsylvania material.)
The contest for the Republican presidential nomination may be over for all practical purposes, with Mitt Romney the all-but-certain GOP nominee. But that doesn't mean there's nothing of interest in Tuesday's primaries.
Voters are going to polls in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware and New York, though turnout is expected to be low. Still, here are four things to watch for.
President Obama sets off on a two-day tour of college campuses Tuesday to tout a plan to keep student loans more affordable.
The trip is billed as official business, but it has a political flavor. Stops include: North Carolina, where Democrats hold their national convention this summer; Colorado, where Obama accepted his party's nomination four years ago; and Iowa, where his White House campaign was launched in 2008.
All three states are expected to be hard-fought battlegrounds in November.
Ahead of Pennsylvania's primary Tuesday, the likely Republican presidential nominee has been campaigning in the state with a man at the center of running-mate speculation — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. But Mitt Romney hasn't said much about whom he might name as his vice presidential choice.
Romney has said he appointed a longtime aide to handle the process and that he hasn't yet discussed making a list of potential candidates. But just about everyone else in politics is discussing it. And the men at the top of that list are asked about it a lot.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigned outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on Monday, a day before Pennsylvania and four other states hold their primary contests.
Romney isn't concerned about the primary, but Pennsylvania will likely be an important swing state in the general election. And Monday also offered a chance to audition a potential running mate: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
At a Republican candidates' forum in Wisconsin before the state's primary earlier this month, a speaker who wasn't on the ballot had strong words for the GOP regarding its low standing among Hispanic voters.
"The way the party ... talks about immigration is going to impact the future course of this party and the future course of this nation," said former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the first Hispanic to hold the nation's highest law enforcement post.
Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 5:30 pm
For those who can't get enough of polls about the presidential election, Gallup has fired up its "daily tracking" survey that will follow the levels of support for President Obama and presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
Likely GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is reaching out to a segment of the Republican base that has given him trouble in this year's primary season: the Tea Party. On Monday night in Philadelphia, he spoke to activists from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and what might have been a tough crowd turned out to be just the opposite.
Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 1:00 pm
To White House outsiders and maybe even more than a few insiders, the life of a first lady would seem to be a fairly anxiety-inducing one. After all, there is no greater fish bowl than 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
So NPR's Michel Martin, host of Tell Me More, asked First Lady Michelle Obama during an interview scheduled to air Tuesday how she deals with the pressures of being both the president's wife and the mother of school-age children.