Let the buses roll. A week before Iowa caucus-goers start the 2012 Republican presidential nominating contest, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were starting cross-state bus tours on Tuesday.
Historians and educators are reaching back to the Civil War era to find a Congress so unable to perform basic duties. Two well-known Washington congressional scholars sum it up with a book they are writing, titled It's Even Worse Than It Looks.
Congress' approval ratings hit an all-time low in December, according to the polling firm Gallup. Host Michel Martin looks at why many Americans seemed to be frustrated with Congress. She hears from NPR Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving and Mark Eaton of the Capitol Steps, a musical political satire group.
It was a clean photo op aimed squarely at Iowa's many hunters and gun owners. Santorum, wearing a hunter's orange NRA cap, talked about the need to nominate federal judges who would uphold second amendment rights.
With just a week until the Republican caucuses, presidential candidate Rick Santorum spent Monday in Iowa. He took his teenaged son John pheasant hunting. Although Santorum's worked hard in Iowa, he's not won over the group he's targeted: social conservatives.
As in 2008, Florida is breaking GOP rules to hold a winner-take-all primary in January. But this time the decision could confuse the race: If the nomination fight is close, any Florida Republican voter could challenge the delegate count at next year's convention.
Iowa voters will go to local caucus meetings on Jan. 3 in the first round of the presidential nominating process. In the Republican race, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul lead the polls, but it's unclear whether there will be a big winner in Iowa, Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving tells Robert Siegel.
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