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
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

More »
Comment
 
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

More »
3 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

More »
Comment