Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:46 pm
Few mixtures in American life are more emotionally combustible than the one formed by the combination of politics and race.
That helps explain why Democrats, in general, and President Obama, in particular, have tended to steer clear of overtly raising race as an issue to explain some of the opposition to Obama's presidency and agenda.
There seems to be a shift in recent days, however.
Top Democratic party officials have either directly or indirectly blamed race for some of the hostility to Obama, his policies, or both.
Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 6:04 am
I officially became NPR's White House correspondent in January. But the job didn't seemreal until Thursday at 3:56 p.m., when the president of the United States looked down at a white note card and said "ahhhh, Tamara Keith."
That was my cue to ask a question — my first at a presidential press conference.
Here's what the experience felt like — and how it happened.
Hundreds of people gathered on the National Mall Friday to see if they could break the Guinness World Record for the largest group dressed as comic book characters ever assembled.
It was the kickoff to Awesome Con 2014, a comic book convention that will take place in Washington, D.C., this weekend. In the end, the group came up short by several hundred people to break the world record.
But with so much superhero power concentrated next to the U.S. Capitol, NPR had to ask: Did the caped figures have any advice for Congress?
Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 8:32 pm
If the jockeying before the 2016 presidential race is a game of political chess, the most powerful queen on the board would obviously be Hillary Clinton.
So much of what will happen in 2016 hinges on Clinton's decision on whether to run, which she has said she'll announce by the end of this year.
If the former secretary of state and New York senator enters the race, she reduces the space on the board for any competitors within her own party. That would be particularly true for the Democratic women mentioned as possibilities for national office.
Embattled GOP Rep. Vance McAllister has made at least one smart move: He concluded that finding out who may have leaked a security video that captures him in a torrid embrace and lip lock with a woman (not his wife) won't actually erase said video.
One day after the freshman congressman — who ran last year as Christian conservative — indicated he planned to ask GOP House Speaker John Boehner to request an FBI investigation into the leak, he reversed course.
Among the alleged crimes committed by Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the heart of the tax agency's targeting of conservative groups: singling out Crossroads GPS, Karl Rove's nonprofit group that spent $165 million in the last election attacking Democrats and helping Republicans.
That's according to House Republicans pushing criminal charges against Lerner.
The House Ways and Means Committee met in closed-door session Wednesday to discuss three specific violations Republicans believe she committed while running the IRS's office that handles tax-exempt groups.
The pay equity issue, which President Obama and Democrats are making a central theme of the 2014 midterm election campaign, is often framed as a women's issue. But Democrats are expecting it will also have crossover appeal to men.
For many men, it's a matter of self-interest: Two-income families are part of a long-term trend, as many families find two paychecks essential to cover the bills in an era of rising prices and stagnant, if not falling, wages.
For all the criticism about long lines and other Election Day snafus, most states actually improved the way they handled elections between 2008 and 2012, according to a new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts.
The report found that, overall, wait times at polling stations decreased by about three minutes over 2008, and 40 states and the District of Columbia improved their "election performance index" scores, which Pew calculated from 17 indicators that make up the index.