The Libya hearing provides a reminder of the role foreign policy is playing in the presidential campaign. We asked two foreign policy specialists about the candidates' approach to the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institution is director of research at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar.
SHADI HAMID: Living here in the region, there is a general here that Obama is a weak president.
INSKEEP: A sense he says persists despite the U.S. intervention in Libya and the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 6:56 pm
With 27 days until the general election, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was on an Iowa farm Tuesday where he did what he's done for months: criticized President Obama's economic policies, though his critique understandably had an agricultural slant.
Rion Tucker is covering a lot of ground in his home state of Maine these days. The 20-year-old is a canvasser for Equality Maine, and he's been knocking on lots of doors in an effort to make sure that voters in his state pass a ballot initiative in November legalizing same-sex marriage.
When you consider how carefully staged and planned the debates are and how long they've been around, it's remarkable how often candidates manage to screw them up. Sometimes they're undone by a simple gaffe or an ill-conceived bit of stagecraft, like Gerald Ford's slip-up about Soviet domination of eastern Europe in 1976, or Al Gore's histrionic sighing in 2000. Sometimes it's just a sign of a candidate having a bad day, like Ronald Reagan's woolly ramblings in the first debate with Walter Mondale in 1984.
As we approach the presidential election in November, Weekend Edition is seeking your questions about issues and candidates in a new segment called Reporter Hotline. This week, we answer inquiries about the candidates' policies on housing and taxes.
Independent fact checkers have not been particularly kind to Mitt Romney since Wednesday's first presidential debate in Denver. But one of the candidate's claims turned out to be so far off the mark that he had to be corrected by his own aides — a fact not unnoticed by the Obama campaign.
President Obama and Mitt Romney are both calling on the U.S. to become less dependent on foreign oil, though their plans differ. Here, workers with Bramwell Petroleum set up a derrick for a new oil well near Spivey, Kan., in March.
Credit Lauren Purkey / MCT/Landov
The Obama administration has set higher fuel economy standards for cars and promoted alternative energy sources. Here, a Ford Focus electric car is shown during a test drive in San Jose, Calif., in July.
The pressing energy issue in the 2008 presidential campaign was how to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming. Four years later, the drive for "green energy" has been replaced by a new imperative: the need to end U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
"I will set a national goal of North American energy independence by 2020," Mitt Romney declared during a campaign speech in August. "That means we produce all the energy we use in North America."
He reiterated that goal in the opening minutes of the presidential candidates' debate in Denver this week.
President Obama takes the stage Friday during a campaign event at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.
Credit Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
Supporters of Republican Mitt Romney during a campaign rally Thursday in Fishersville, Va.
Credit Liz Halloran / NPR
Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta, a Democrat
Credit Liz Halloran / NPR
Wendy Leedy, John Gaugush and 3-month-old Isabel at the annual craft fair in Occoquan. Says Gaugush: "I think most people in America are not far right, and not far left, but are forced to pick one or the other."
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 1:50 pm
Barack Obama made history in Virginia four years ago when, on his way to winning the White House, he became the first Democratic presidential candidate to capture the state in more than four decades.
His surprisingly comfortable 53-46 percent win over Republican John McCain mirrored more closely than any other state the 2008 national result and provided potent evidence of demographic and economic changes that have been sweeping the Old Dominion.
It's more diverse, wealthier, better educated than ever before.
Here's one thing President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney could agree on during their first debate this week: Something has to be done about the enormous gap between what the federal government collects in taxes and what it spends.
But the two men fundamentally disagree on what to do about that budget deficit.