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?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
After Syria strike a new Trump doctrine emerges The President who promised an end to entanglements in the Middle East and snuggled up to Vladimir Putin has now outraged Russia with surprise missile attacks on Syria. That's raised questions about who's running the White House? We hear a variety of answers.