Politics and Government

It's All Politics
11:35 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Rand Paul Bids To Loosen Democratic Hold On African-American Vote

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky testified last year in favor of revamping the nation's mandatory federal minimum sentencing laws.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 1:37 pm

For more than a year, GOP Sen. Rand Paul has been staking out positions on issues that resonate in the black community, including school choice and prison sentencing reform. And he's been showing up in some unexpected — for a Republican — venues, including historically black colleges.

It's stirred an unusual degree of curiosity about the freshman Kentucky senator — and 2016 GOP presidential prospect — among the Democratic Party's most reliable voting bloc.

Read more
Economy
11:27 am
Mon April 21, 2014

President Obama Will Skip China, But Asia Trip Sends A Message

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. President Obama heads overseas this week to Asia. He hopes to strengthen U.S. economic ties with that region.

Read more
It's All Politics
11:20 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Obama Seeks Wider Authority To Release Drug Offenders

President Obama signs the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010, as Attorney General Eric Holder and a bipartisan group of senators look on.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 3:17 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the Obama administration is formulating new rules that would give it, and the president, far more latitude to pardon or reduce the sentences of thousands of drug offenders serving long federal prison sentences.

The move comes amid a broad national reconsideration of mandatory minimum sentences approved by Congress in 1986, when America's big cities were in the grip of a crack cocaine-fueled crime wave.

Read more
Asia
5:15 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Obama Trip To Focus On Relations With Asia

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 6:53 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama sets off for Asia this week. He'll be visiting four countries - Japan, South Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. The trip is part of the president's long-term strategy to refocus America's attention towards Asia, something that's proving a little bit hard to do.

NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now to talk about the trip. Good morning.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good morning.

Read more
Code Switch
4:03 am
Mon April 21, 2014

In Asian-Majority District, House Race Divides Calif. Voters

Rep. Mike Honda (left) walks down the House steps with Rep. Raul Ruiz after a vote at the Capitol on March 20, 2013.
Bill Clark CQ-Roll Call

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 12:52 pm

In the heated race for a congressional seat in northern California, Mai Xuan Nguyen fought for her candidate with another cold call.

"Yes, that's K, H, A, N, N, A," she patiently explained in Vietnamese to a potential voter, spelling out her choice for Congress, Democrat Ro Khanna, as she marked her call list one recent evening at a coffeehouse in San Jose, Calif.

It was all part of Nguyen's role in an only-in-America scene: a Vietnamese-language phone bank for an Indian-American lawyer, who's challenging a Japanese-American congressman.

Read more
Asia
7:12 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Obama Adds Malaysia To His Asia Itinerary

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 10:40 am

Transcript

WADE GOODWYN, HOST:

For his second term, president Obama has touted that his administration would make a so-called Asia pivot - less focus on the Middle East, more on China. But history has a way of intervening. This week, the president will try to make something of his promise as he visits three U.S. allies - Japan, South Korea and the Philippines. He'll also be stopping in Malaysia, and he'll be the first U.S. president to do so in almost 50 years.

Read more
It's All Politics
5:31 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Are Democrats Trying To Energize The Base With The Race Card?

Attorney General Eric Holder (right) recently expressed outrage at the treatment President Obama and he have received from conservatives. He stopped just short of saying it was race-related, leaving that for the African-American audience at the recent National Action Network convention to decide.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:46 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.

Read more
Politics
4:48 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

In Virginia, Politicians Fish For Support At Old-Fashioned Event

Former Sen. George Allen (center) greets attendees at the 64th annual Wakefield Shad Planking in Wakefield, Va., in April 2012. This year's Shad Planking featured Democratic Sen. Mark Warner as the speaker.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:13 pm

At a time when new technologies and social media are transforming politics, we turn to a decidedly old-fashioned campaign event. It's an annual festival known as the Shad Planking, a spring rite of Virginia politics for nearly 70 years.

It's a must-attend event for state politicians, who practice the oldest form of retail politicking among tall pine trees at a dusty campsite.

In Wakefield, about an hour southeast of Virginia's capital of Richmond, shad fish have been roasting by on an open fire since 5 a.m. They're nailed to oak planks.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:46 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Obama: Your Question, Ms. Keith?

Snapshots from a NPR White House correspondent's life. That's Tamara Keith's Air Force 1 selfie (bottom left), and her asking the president a question at Thursday's press conference (upper right).
Tamara Keith NPR

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 5:04 am

I officially became NPR's White House correspondent in January. But the job didn't seem real 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.

Read more
Commentary
3:41 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Week In Politics: A Deal On Ukraine And Health Care Numbers

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And we're joined now by our regular Friday political observers, columnists E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution. Hey there, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Hey, good to be with you.

CORNISH: And David Brooks of The New York Times. Hi there, David.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to be with you.

Read more

Pages