Moderator Jim Lehrer gestures before the presidential debate at the University of Denver last week. Moderators must finagle answers out of sometimes-dodgy politicians and keep control, all without seeming to get in the way.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
ABC News' Martha Raddatz will moderate the vice presidential debate Thursday between Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Paul Ryan.
PBS' Jim Lehrer came in for widespread criticism last week for failing to control the first presidential debate. Now, moderator Martha Raddatz is confronting partisan criticism in the lead-up to Thursday night's vice presidential debate, the first and only direct confrontation between Republican Paul Ryan and Democrat Joe Biden.
For our series First and Main, Morning Edition is traveling to contested counties in swing states to find out what is shaping voters' decisions this election season. The latest trip took us to Larimer County, Colo.
The presidential race has become much tighter in recent days, and in Colorado, a recent poll puts Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the lead.
A Marine Corp F-35B Joint Strike Fighter lands at Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland in 2011. Analysts say that if mandatory Pentagon budget cuts are imposed next year, fewer new planes could ultimately be ordered.
Unless Congress acts, the Defense Department faces some $55 billion in cuts after the first of the year. The cuts are part of what's known as sequestration — automatic across the board spending cuts to both defense and nondefense government spending set in motion by last year's debt-ceiling fight.
Salaries for uniformed personnel are the one major thing that's protected. Otherwise, it's about a 10 percent cut to everything from Pentagon civilian staff to the acquisition of multimillion-dollar aircraft, like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
On Thursday night, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan takes the national debate stage for the first time in his career. The 42-year-old Wisconsin congressman faces off with Vice President Joe Biden. We take a look at the strengths and weaknesses the House budget chairman brings.
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 7:17 pm
Mitt Romney may have seized the advantage in terms of poll numbers and momentum, but there's one area where President Obama enjoys the upper hand.
In the end, it's the only area that counts: the Electoral College. Over the past 20 years, Republicans have had a much lower ceiling when it comes to electoral support, while Democrats have had a significantly higher floor.
Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 2:18 pm
NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin previews Thursday's vice presidential debate. WOSU news director Mike Thompson talks Ohio politics. And former Virginia governor Tim Kaine and former congressman Tom Davis talk about Kaine's U.S. Senate race against another former Virginia governor, George Allen.