In the ever-swirling pool of Republican presidential candidates, political endorsements — formal and informal — are being tossed around like life jackets. Will they help the struggling wannabes sink or swim?
"Endorsements are only one of many cues that determine how a person votes," says Robert C. Wigton, a political science professor at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Six GOP presidential hopefuls met in a two-hour-long debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday night, and this time the gloves came off.
This was the first such event since former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich moved into the front-runner spot. It had been anticipated that Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — the top two in most polls — would square off as each hopes to win the Iowa caucuses, now just over three weeks away. They did, and the jabs got personal at times.
Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich in a debate give and take, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Credit Charlie Neibergall / AP
The $10,000 bet offer.
If Saturday night's Republican presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa, is remembered for anything, it may be for that moment where Mitt Romney made what seemed to many a substantial blunder by offering to wager Texas Gov. Rick Perry $10,000 on whether the governor had his facts right about Romney's record.
Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer says he and other wealthy Americans should pay their fair share in order to give the middle class tax relief. Hanauer is also the author of <em>The Gardens Of Democracy</em>.
Credit Second Avenue Partners
In a lot of ways, Nick Hanauer is just like many Americans. He lives in Seattle with his wife and two children, and he grew up working in the family business, manufacturing pillows and comforters.
But recently, Hanauer wrote an opinion piece for Bloomberg News that was a plea to the government: "Please tax me more."
Volunteer Pati Redmond of Frederick, Md., helps to lay holiday wreaths over the graves of fallen soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington Saturday.
Credit Jose Luis Magana / AP
Thousands of wreaths were laid around the country Saturday and at Arlington National Cemetery as part of the 20th anniversary of an effort honoring the nation's veterans for their service.
The pristine white tombstones at Arlington were dotted with bright green holiday wreaths and big red bows. Wreaths Across America executive director Karen Worcester says volunteers laid nearly 90,000 wreaths in a little over an hour.
"We had a tremendous crowd," Worcester said. "They're telling me we had close to 20,000 [people]."
In jazz, to be a bassist usually means playing in someone else's band. The bassist-as-bandleader is a fairly rare thing, with the torch being passed over the years from Charles Mingus to Ron Carter ... and now to Philadelphia-born Christian McBride.
A new study shows that it is more difficult to "move up" in America than other developed countries. In America, kids are more likely to stay at the bottom of the economic ladder if their parents had low socio- economic status. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz talks with Erin Currier, manager of the Economic Mobility Project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, about why the U.S. ranked worst for economic mobility among the countries in the study.
For the first time in history, an Arab woman has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. At a ceremony in Oslo, Norway today, Tawakkul Karman, known as the mother of Yemen's democratic revolution, shared the 2011 prize with two Liberian women: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee, who helped lead the protests that ousted former Liberian President Charles Taylor.
Turning now to domestic politics. The Iowa caucuses are just about three weeks away now. Herman Cain is gone. Newt Gingrich is the new front-runner. And Mitt Romney is slipping somewhat in the polls. Meanwhile, the attacks among the GOP contenders are getting sharper. And against that backdrop, there's another debate tonight. This one at Drake University in Des Moines.