FROM Karen Finney
Did Mitt Romney Manage to Woo Undecided Voters? Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had a tough challenge facing him last night in Tampa. He had to seem more likeable – polls show he trails President Obama in this area – and he had to rally his Republican conservative base, while reaching out to those all important swing voters who voted for Barack Obama last time around. His strategy was unusual: he struck a tone of sympathy for those who have been disappointed with the president. He also touched on his Mormon faith, something he has avoided doing for much of the campaign, talked about all the women he'd appointed to jobs in his administration when he was Governor of Massachusetts and, in one rather emotional moment, recalled his mother and her decision to run for the senate. What did the Republicans accomplish in Tampa and how will the Democrats respond when they gather next week?
Americans Respond to the State of the Union President Obama told Congress and the American people last night that, "the state of our Union is getting stronger." It was an upbeat message in marked contrast to the doom and gloom expressed by Republican challengers in town halls, television ads and 18 televised debates. The President asked for unity, but acknowledged partisan gridlock, and advocated tax reforms that sounded tailored to fit Mitt Romney. We hear excerpts and political analysis, and talk to Americans outside the Beltway what they heard when their President spoke to them. (This story was informed in part from sources in the Public Insight Network .)
A Last Ditch Debate before a Crucial Primary Newt Gingrich says Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee if he wins South Carolina tomorrow. But last night's debate started with Gingrich's past sex-life . Rick Santorum called Gingrich "grandiose," and Gingrich retorted that Santorum had "small" ideas. Romney struggled over releasing his tax returns and dodged questions on Bain Capital . Santorum said Romney wasn't reliably "pro-life." Will Gingrich's lead in current polls mean a victory tomorrow? Does Santorum have a chance to be the "anti-Romney" in Florida later this month?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.