Mitt Romney proved he can go head-to-head with President Obama in the first of three debates. The consensus is that Romney won the night with a performance Republicans hope brings new life to his campaign. NPR's Ron Elving talks about the debate and what the candidates did — and didn't — say.
Dominican-American novelist Junot Diaz was awarded a MacArthur "genius grant" and the no-strings-attached $500,000 prize that comes with it. The Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Brief And Wondrous Life Of Oscar Wao talks about the grant, his writing process and how the award may affect his work.
Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 3:44 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.