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Mitt Romney has not done any campaigning the last few days. He's in Vermont with senior aides, preparing for debates next month. And even as President Obama prepares for tonight's big speech, campaign aides say he has been preparing for debates, too. NPR's Ari Shapiro asked past debate coaches what happens behind the scenes.
And after delivering a tribute to her husband on the opening night at the Democratic National Convention, First Lady Michelle Obama yesterday by reaching out to groups of minority delegates there in Charlotte. NPR's David Welna reports.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Let's give a rousing welcome for the first lady, Michelle Obama.
DAVID WELNA, BYLINE: The African-American caucus was fired up yesterday when Mrs. Obama got there just hours after she brought down the house at the convention arena. She was still getting going.
Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 12:52 am
President Obama still has a case to make for a second term, and specific people to whom he needs to make it.
But while it's two months too early to call former President Bill Clinton Obama's closer, he came about as close as it gets Wednesday night at the Democratic convention with a bravura defense of the current White House occupant.
"We are here to nominate a president," Clinton said after strolling onto the stage to tumultuous applause, "and I've got one in mind."
Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:13 pm
Ever see one of those Dos Equis beer ads featuring the "Most Interesting Man in the World," the dapper fellow of a certain age who fascinates all who meet him?
The Democrats' version of that guy will be the featured speaker Wednesday at their convention in Charlotte.
Yes, we are talking about former two-term President Bill Clinton, whose life of accomplishment, scandal, statesmanship and occasional political pettiness (just ask the man he'll be vouching for tonight) are the stuff of legend and lore.
Officials say they're finding tar balls on Alabama's beaches in the wake of Hurricane Isaac's landfall last week.
Representatives from the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach said Wednesday workers are seeing significantly more tar deposits on the sand than before Isaac struck. The tar is weathered and old, and it's not considered dangerous.
The cities believe tar is breaking off from large, submerged mats that were left from the BP oil spill in 2010. But tests have yet to confirm whether the tar is linked to the BP well or something else.
September is National Preparedness Month and Alabama officials are hosting a Ready Alabama Day in Jacksonville on Thursday, September 6. It’s a chance for Alabamians to see how nearly 50 federal and local agencies prepare for hurricanes, tornadoes and other disasters.
“Ready Alabama Day is basically a time when first responders at the local, federal and state levels come together and really bring their toys,” says Jon Mason. He’s director of Serve Alabama, a state agency that focuses on disaster preparedness and volunteerism.
Friday is the deadline to register to vote in Alabama's constitutional amendment referendum on Sept. 18.
Secretary of State Beth Chapman says citizens can register at their local board of registrars or they can fill out forms at state and county offices that provide public assistance, such as the state Department of Human Resources. She says forms are also available when obtaining or renewing a driver's license.
Chapman is also reminding voters that Thursday, Sept. 13 is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot for the referendum.
A man accused of opening fire at an Auburn pool party has been indicted on a charge of capital murder.
Desmonte Leonard, 22, faces trial in the killing of two former Auburn University football players and another man.
Court filings posted Tuesday showed that a grand jury indicted Leonard for capital murder, one count of first-degree assault, two counts of attempted murder and two counts of second-degree assault. No trial date has been set.
Next week's election in the Netherlands could seal the fate of Amsterdam coffee shops that also sell pot to foreign tourists. Some parties favor, and others oppose, a plan to restrict the shops' business. Cafe owners are struggling to get their customers to the polls.
Dr. Mahmoud Hasson, a specialist in internal medicine, runs a new hospital in the Syrian village of Kfar Ghan, a protected area along the border with Turkey. The Turkish government warned that any Syrian military aircraft near the border would be a target.
Driving into Kfar Ghan, you notice the difference right away: The shops are open, there are kids on the street, there's even a row of open-air vegetable stalls and a crowd of shoppers.
There is a full spread of watermelon, eggplants, peppers and tomatoes. All the farmers from the area have brought their produce to the market in this Syrian village, about a mile from the Turkish border.
The Social Security tax rate is scheduled to revert to 6.2 percent next year, up from the temporary reduction — to 4.2 percent on an employee's first $110,000 in wages — which has been in effect since January 2011.
Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 7:55 am
There were a lot of preliminaries, but it was Michelle Obama's show Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, and she used it masterfully — carrying a rapt crowd along with a narrative of family, hard work, and truth-telling.
Largely wrung of politics, the first lady's speech plotted parallels in her life and that of her husband, President Obama. She pointedly tracked their humble beginnings and strivings in an unspoken but clear contrast to the privileged upbringing of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.