Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:44 pm
In case anyone was wondering, this week's presidential debate demonstrated why incumbent presidents and others leading in the polls used to refuse to debate their challengers.
After John F. Kennedy used the first TV debates to boost his campaign against incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon in 1960, there simply were no debates until 1976. Running again with a big lead in 1968 and 1972, Nixon declined to debate and won both times. Lyndon B. Johnson also demurred in 1964 without damage en route to a landslide.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, director Lee Daniels is known for provocative movie fare, like his award-winning 2009 effort, "Precious." His latest film, by his own account, will be remarkable to some and stomach-turning to others. It's called "The Paperboy," and we'll talk with him about it in just a few minutes.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we are recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month by speaking with the first Mexican-American woman to become a college or university president in the U.S. We'll hear her very interesting story in a few minutes.
But first, we turn to last night's presidential debate. An estimated 60 million Americans tuned in to watch the first face-off between President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
And now, we turn to California. Earlier this week, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a landmark piece of legislation banning a controversial form of therapy that is meant to change the sexual orientation of children under 18. Supporters of the ban say the so-called gay to straight conversion therapy can psychologically scar patients in the worst possible ways and there's no medical evidence that it works.
Women in the U.S. military have been flying warplanes for years, and recently began serving in artillery and tank units. But they're still barred from direct ground combat.
Now, for the first time in the course's 35-year history, the Marine Corps is putting the first women through its grueling Infantry Officer Course: 86 days crawling through obstacle courses, lugging heavy machine guns, navigating the woods at night.
Col. Todd Desgrosseilliers, the top trainer at Marine Base Quantico in Virginia, says there's a good reason the course is so tough that 1 in 5 Marines fail.
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 12:47 pm
I have spent the past few days sequestered with a crack team of political pros — actually, curled into a fetal ball, clutching a fading 1980 John Anderson poster — to gird myself for the vital first debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney.
So many questions lingered:
Would Romney offer to wager Obama $10,000 on who wins the race?
Would Obama tell Romney, "You're taxable enough, Mitt"?