90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
First Presidential Debate

Round one of the presidential debates. We’ll tally the score cards with Gail Collins and Jon Meacham.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, and President Barack Obama speak during the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, in Denver. (AP)

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, and President Barack Obama speak during the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, in Denver. (AP)

Big to-do over the presidential debate last night.  Romney backers claiming a big win for a candidate who came in fired up and on offense.  Not the arch-conservative of the primaries now, but a smiling free-market man looking to channel Ronald Reagan.

In liberal realms, gnashing of teeth today.  The president made his points, but where was the fight, the passion, the smack-down they were looking for?  It was wonky.  It was polite.  It was lightly moderated.  And at least for today it has changed the tone of the race.

This hour, On Point:  the presidential debates, Round One.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Gail Collins, op-ed columnist for the New York Times.

Jon Meacham, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and executive editor at Random House. He is a former co-anchor of the public-affairs broadcast “Need to Know on PBS” and  former editor of Newsweek. He’s the author of the forthcoming book Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power.

Jack BeattyOn Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times “A presidential race between an incumbent and a challenger, which has played out for most of the year in biting television commercials and fiery speeches, suddenly narrows to a pair of candidates standing side-by-side starting at 9 p.m. Eastern time. For 90 minutes, the rivals will be essentially equal, creating what Mr. Romney’s advisers believe is a critical opportunity to make a move in the race.”

National Journal “Mitt Romney has billed himself as the turnaround guy, and the first presidential debate presents a major opportunity for him to prove it by reviving his White House bid. The 90-minute forum at the University of Denver is a prime-time chance for both Romney and President Obama to argue the unfiltered case for themselves – and against their opponents – to tens of millions of Americans watching at home. Here are some of the political needs and goals of the two nominees.”

Wall Street Journal “Given the central importance of the economy, this debate—focused on economic and domestic issues—may well be the most important. Here’s a guide to the basic details, plus the issues likely to be raised, an assessment of the candidates’ positions and a look at their vulnerabilities.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 19, 2014
No campaigners celebrate as results come in at the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh,Scotland,Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Scottish voters have rejected independence and decided that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. The result announced early Friday was the one favored by Britain's political leaders, who had campaigned hard in recent weeks to convince Scottish voters to stay. It dashed many Scots' hopes of breaking free and building their own nation. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)

ISIS and arming Syrian fighters. Scotland rejects independence. NFL turmoil. US troops and Ebola. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Sep 19, 2014
Joseph O'Neill (courtesy of the author)

Author of “Netherland,” novelist Joseph O’Neill is back, with “The Dog,” on globalization, capitalism, and self-discovery in Dubai.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 18, 2014
(Flickr/AisleTwentytwo)

Billionaires. We’ll look at the super super rich, and their global shaping of our world.

 
Sep 18, 2014
Flickr/Steve Rhodes

After a summer of deadly clashes between Gaza and Israel, we talk to Jews on the left and right about the future of liberal Zionism. Some say it’s over.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Comment
 
Beverly Gooden on #WhyIStayed
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

Beverly Gooden — who originated the #WhyIStayed hashtag that has taken off across Twitter — joined us today for our discussion on domestic violence.

More »
1 Comment