Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 12:17 am
President Obama won re-election despite an economy struggling to recover from recession and deep reservations about his signature first-term achievement, the nation's new health care law.
NPR's Liz Halloran explained how Obama's campaign organization helped him overcome these and other challenges. Here, NPR reporters have more about his challenges and successes in the areas of the economy, national security, energy and health care:
Transcript of Mitt Romney's concession speech in the presidential race in Boston. Source: Federal News Service
Editor's Note: NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future.
MITT ROMNEY: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you so very much. Thank you. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you. Thank you.
Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 12:17 am
The battle to control the Senate was a proving ground for the new Citizens United politics. Outside groups unleashed heavily funded barrages of attack ads meant to help elect candidates while letting them keep their distance from the nastiness.
In Ohio and Virginia, the tactic failed in rather dramatic ways, as Republicans backed by secretly financed ads failed to beat seemingly vulnerable Democrats.
And now on to the biggest state that is really a contested battleground. I mean, we assume New York and California are barely contested by Republicans and Texas is assumed to go to Republican.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
SIEGEL: But with 29 electoral votes, Florida is always a state we look at. And our own Debbie Elliott is in Tampa at the Republican Party event there. And, Debbie, who are the key constituencies in Florida who are thought to be the ones who will decide who wins this day today?
And in our studio, NPR's senior Washington editor Ron Elving. Every couple of years, here we are around this time trying to figure out who has been elected to what. Tonight, what are you looking for? What are the important signs you're looking for in the numbers as they come in?
And we're going to be checking in a lot tonight with Andy Kohut of the Pew Research Center, who's here with us now to talk about early exit polls. Andy, what are you seeing, first of all, in terms of the presidential race?
And we're going to move on now to Ohio. Polls don't close there until 7:30, about 20 minutes from now. That's where we find NPR's Tamara Keith, who's at a polling place on the campus of the Ohio State University in Columbus. And Tamara, what can you tell us about the voting issues in Ohio. It's a closely contested state, of course, and a real electoral prize, 18 votes, 18 electoral votes.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Lynn Neary. And the results are starting to come in. At this hour, polls in six states have closed. That includes the all-important swing state of Virginia. It's the only state in the bunch that is too close to call. In South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Indiana, NPR projects that Mitt Romney will win. And in Vermont, the NPR projection is a win for President Obama. No surprises there.
Americans elected Barack Obama to a second term Tuesday, with the president capturing or on the verge of winning all of the key states that had been at the center of his hard-fought campaign against Republican Mitt Romney.
"Whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you," Obama said early Wednesday at a speech before thousands of supporters in Chicago. "I have learned from you. And you've made me a better president.
While New York City and other places along the Northeast coast are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, they're also looking ahead to how they can prevent flooding in the future, when sea level rise will make the problem worse. They may be able to take some lessons from coastal Norfolk, Va., which is far ahead of most cities when it comes to flood protection.
Jennifer Ruiz and her 2-year-old daughter, "Moo Moo," at a Red Cross shelter in Little Egg Harbor Township, N.J. Ruiz and her daughter evacuated from their home in Seaside Heights.
Credit Mario Tama / Getty Images
Homes are surrounded by sand washed in by Superstorm Sandy on Oct. 31 in Seaside Heights, N.J.
Credit American Red Cross
Jan and Manny DiNunzio bought a home in Seaside Heights five years ago. But now the streets of the town are filled with sand, and they're not sure when they'll be able to return. In the meantime, they're living in a Red Cross shelter.
The barrier islands off the coast of New Jersey were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, and for the moment, most residents are banned from living in their homes because the area is far too damaged.
Which is why this past weekend, in a Red Cross shelter at Pinelands High School in Egg Harbor, N.J., on the mainland, around 100 stranded island residents were lining up for dinner, while Red Cross volunteers worked hard to keep things reassuring.
"Excuse me everybody!" shouted one of the volunteers, waving her arms above her head. "Is there a Jan and a Manny in the house?"
Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 10:42 pm
Here's the plan for our Election Night coverage:
-- Starting between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., we'll be live-blogging. Not here in The Two-Way, but right on the homefront of NPR.org and on our "Election Night 2012" results page. If all goes as planned, our updates should flow on to your screen automatically.
The Fairway supermarket in Red Hook, Brooklyn is the sort of place New Yorkers, accustomed to cramped spaces, talk about with amazement. It's an actual, full-size supermarket, right at the edge of New York Harbor.
It's a beautiful setting, but one that was diastrous last week, when Sandy came through.
"There were five feet of water throughout the store," Bill Sanford, the president of the company told me. "Everything was submerged."
They had to throw out dumpsters worth of food. Chicken, fish, vegetables.
"Justice has been served!" declares the man who helped police in Cleveland nab a woman who had been driving up on a sidewalk many mornings to get around a stopped school bus with children on board.
It's something 32-year-old Shena Hardin had done many times before, apparently, and for which a judge has now ordered her to wear a sign reading "Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid the school bus."
It's already tomorrow, Wednesday morning, in the American territory of Guam, 15 hours ahead of East Coast time. Residents there don't get to vote for president, but they do hold a straw poll on Election Day. Those results are just in. Since 1984, Guam's straw poll has correctly predicted the winner of the U.S. presidential election.
Jayne Flores is a contributing reporter to KPRG, our member station in Guam, and she joins us now from her home in Mangilao.
And did I pronounce that correctly, or anywhere close to correctly?
The polls in Guam have closed and the results are in.
President Obama managed a big victory, garnering 72 percent of the votes. That's about 23,067 votes compared to 8,443 votes for Gov. Mitt Romney.
Now for the disclaimers: Guam, 6,000 miles and 18 times zones away from California, is a territory of the United States, so their votes don't count. The presidential part of the vote is considered a "non-binding straw poll." But if you believe in bellweathers, listen up.
Here's what R. Todd Thompson of NPR member station KPRG in Guam told us:
Walk into a fast food restaurant and it's probably safe to assume that whatever deep-fried deliciousness you eat, you'll consume more calories than you would if you ate a well-rounded home cooked meal. That's common sense.
But, public health officials are sounding the alarm about the effect that eating out often – whether at fast food or full service restaurants – is having on our diets, especially in children.
A Russian Army officer walks past Defence Ministry offices in Moscow, on Tuesday. Putin fired defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov over a corruption scandal, the most dramatic change to the government since he returned to the Kremlin for a third term.
Passengers wait to board the Gautrain, Africa's first high-speed train, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Aug. 2, 2011. The train travels at speeds of up to 100 mph and makes commuting much easier for South Africans accustomed to congested roads and traffic jams.
Credit Ofeibea Quist-Arcton / NPR
Despite some people's grumbling about ticket prices, the Gautrain is operating at full capacity during peak hours. Passengers praise the cleanliness of the trains as well as the speed. Here is the Gautrain station in Pretoria, South Africa's capital.
Credit Ofeibea Quist-Arcton / NPR
Refilwe Edith Seabi (left) and her sister Girlie are taking the Gautrain from Pretoria to go shopping in Johannesburg. Seabi is pleased when the ride clocks in at 30 minutes — compared with a drive that sometimes takes her two hours.
Passionate preparations, raucous rallies, debatable decisions, last-second scandals and the awful, awful suspense, Hollywood celebrates Election Day dramatics, even when the vote's in high school.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "ELECTION")
REESE WITHERSPOON: (as Tracy Flick) Dear Lord Jesus, I do not often speak with you and ask for things. But now, I really must insist that you help me win the election tomorrow, because I deserve it and Paul Metzler doesn't, as you well know.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The candidates repeatedly tell us that now it's finally up to the voters, which is true as far as that goes. But it's also up to the campaign volunteers who ferry supporters to the polls, to squadrons of poll-watchers who keep an eye out for shenanigans and to the legions of lawyers who will draft appeals and protests and orders to show cause.
While voters head to the polls, the candidates repair to hotel rooms and a select group of campaign staff prepares one final set of remarks. Well, two sets, actually. One for victory, one for defeat. You probably remember the remarkable scene four years ago when then President-elect Barack Obama addressed a rapturous crowd of more than 200,000 in Chicago's Grant Park.
In Oliver Sacks' book The Mind's Eye, the neurologist included an interesting footnote in a chapter about losing vision in one eye because of cancer that said: "In the '60s, during a period of experimenting with large doses of amphetamines, I experienced a different sort of vivid mental imagery."
He expands on this footnote in his new book, Hallucinations, where he writes about various types of hallucinations — visions triggered by grief, brain injury, migraines, medications and neurological disorders.
When we think of ready-to-eat meals, we usually think of those packets of nutrient-dense soldiers' rations, like the Army sandwich that stays fresh for two years. These pouches of food are typically deployed in the field, and are consequently designed to withstand the abuses of temperature and time that would destroy fresh fare.