President Obama stepped to the podium to deliver his 2014 State of the Union address against a backdrop of low approval ratings, a stagnant Congress and the term â€ślame duckâ€ť increasingly being used to describe his presidency.Â The State of the Union is often seen as an opportunity to press the reset button.Â But, an analysis of the list of priorities requiring Congressional action unveiled in 2013 shows only two measures winning approval.Â This may have been what prompted the President to say h
Taped on Tuesday 12/17/13 as part of the IPR Insight Series, this is a special edition of River to River with NPRâ€™s Don Gonyea, recorded before a live audience in Des Moines. Host Ben Kieffer asks Gonyea about the 2013 political year, his career, and his connection to Iowa. IPR also tests Gonyeaâ€™s Iowa knowledge with a bit of trivia.
President Obama spoke in Galesburg, Illinois Wednesday as part of a swing through the Midwest to talk about the economy.Â Host Dean Borg gets an update from that appearance, and talks with Bruce Gronbeck, Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies at University of Iowa about the other speeches the President has been making in recent weeks.Â Then, Chris Larimer, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa explains why the political geography of Iowa heavily favors Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley in his bid to replace U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.
President Obama laid out a vision for the country in his State of the Union address last night.Â River to River analyzes that vision and the political obstacles in the president's way.Â Donna Hoffman from the University of Northern Iowa and Steffen Schmidt from Iowa State University join the conversation.
President Obama gave his second inaugural address this week, in which he outlined several goals for his coming term. Ben Keiffer breaks down the speech and talks about which goals are politically possible with Donna Hoffman of the University of Northern Iowa and Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa.
Then, discussion over the remarks made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the Senate committee hearing on Benghazi and the recent House vote to extend the debt limit.
President Obamaâ€™s second inauguration is less than a week away.
On this Politics Day, Ben Kieffer gets a preview of the event and expectations for Obamaâ€™s second term from political scientists Wayne Moyer of Grinnell College, and Chris Larimer of the University of Northern Iowa.Â Rachel Caufield of Drake University is in D.C. with several students for the inauguration and are documenting their experiences.
Also, the debt limit stand-off and the unveiling of the White Houseâ€™s gun violence proposals.
The next two weeks are a political junkieâ€™s delight with back-to-back party conventions. Host Ben Kieffer talks with the experts to recap happenings in Tampa, look ahead to North Carolina, and talk about President Obamaâ€™s return trip to Iowa this week.
President Barack Obama made a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids Tuesday. He spent a lot of time discussing his call this week to extend the Bush-era tax cuts to the middle class. He also addressed the economyâ€¦ something his presumptive GOP opponent, Mitt Romney has attacked him on. And as Iowa Public Radioâ€™s Clay Masters reports, how he addresses the lagging economy could be what makes or breaks his reelection. Â
On Politics Day, IPRâ€™s DeanÂ Borg talks with two political scientists, Bruce Nesmith from Coe College and Donna Hoffman from the University of Northern Iowa, about the current strategies of President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney including the recent political gaffes and how the incidents may impact the candidates. Later on, Dean talks about the potential influence Ron Paul could have in Iowaâ€™s Republican party in light of the coming GOP state convention.
President Obama is becoming a familiar face in Iowa again. Yesterday, he made his third visit to the state this year, which he won in 2008. Mr. Obama discussed renewable energy at a manufacturing plant in Newton before rallying about 2500 supporters at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
If Mr. Obamaâ€™s job four years ago was to woo voters, this time the message is more like â€śI Still Need You.â€ť
"This electionâ€™s gonna be even closer than the last one. And by the way the last one was close. People donâ€™t remember, it was close," he says.
In critical swing states like Iowa, President Obamaâ€™s re-election campaign is already in full gear, with staff and volunteers on the ground. Meanwhile Governor Romneyâ€™s had to focus on one primary race after another, as he sews up the nomination. As Iowa Public Radioâ€™s Kate Wells reports, the Presidentâ€™s campaign hopes their head start will make the difference in November.
In 2008 more voters UNDER the age of 35 participated in the election than voters OVER the age of 65. And voters under 30 overwhelmingly supported Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama. But, a lot can happen in four years. Host Ben Kieffer talks with young voters about who theyâ€™re supporting in 2012 and the issues important to them.Â Guests include Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research for the Pew Research Center, Steffen Schmidt, University Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University, and Heather Smith, President of Rock the Vote.