Linton Weeks

Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.

Weeks is originally from Tennessee, and graduated from Rhodes College in 1976. He was the founding editor of Southern Magazine in 1986. The magazine was bought — and crushed — in 1989 by Time-Warner. In 1990, he was named managing editor of The Washington Post's Sunday magazine. Four years later, he became the first director of the newspaper's website, Washingtonpost.com. From 1995 until 2008, he was a staff writer in the Style section of The Washington Post.

He currently lives in a suburb of Washington with the artist Jan Taylor Weeks. In 2009, they created The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation to honor their beloved sons.

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9:06am

Thu July 19, 2012
It's All Politics

The ABCs Of Election Reform

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 10:49 am

A Florida election official tests the accuracy of a voting machine on Aug. 4, 2010, in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

A. Following the controversy-crazy U.S. presidential election of 2000, in which the Supreme Court was drafted to determine the outcome, there have been efforts by various groups to reform the country's electoral system. However, "we have not changed much of substance really since the 2000 debacle," says Norman Ornstein, a co-writer of the 2010 Election Reform Project report.

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5:57am

Sat July 14, 2012
Politics

'Exhaustion' Can Signify A Lot More Than 'Tired'

The office of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. initially said he had gone into seclusion for exhaustion. Later, that was revised to a mood disorder.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

We may never know all the reasons why Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., has dropped out of sight, but history teaches us that if a public figure is linked to "exhaustion," the word can be code for something more problematic than simply being tired.

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6:03am

Mon July 9, 2012
It's All Politics

The ABCs Of Politicians

Even in zoos, donkeys and elephants turn their backs on their parties.
iStockphoto.com

A. First, politicians began omitting their party affiliations on campaign literature and websites. Politics "is a dirty word," says David King, a lecturer on public policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. King told the MetroWest Daily News: "Why would you want to put it right out there; why would you sell a shirt with a stain on it? You need to appeal on other terms by downplaying partisanship."

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10:18am

Thu July 5, 2012
Monkey See

Life In Juxtopia

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 2:48 pm

Katie Kiang sits by an electrical outlet and a quiet spot to study inside the air-conditioned Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Md., on Monday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

For five full days — following Friday night's nasty wind-and-rain flashstorm — you were without electricity in the Washington suburbs. Dodging felled trees and fallen power wires, you made daily forays to nearby cafes and coffee shops, establishments that did have power. There you could recharge the batteries in your laptop and smartphone and take care of various electronic chores, such as banking, sending gifts, ordering necessities and sorting through email.

But mostly you stayed home, reading books and actual newspapers, just like in the Olden Days.

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12:34pm

Fri June 15, 2012
Politics

In Washington, Leaking As A Way Of Life

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 2:27 pm

President Richard Nixon tells reporters he will not allow his legal counsel, John Dean, to testify before Congress in the Watergate investigation, March 15, 1973. Leaks about the Watergate break-in eventually helped lead to Nixon's resignation. And his administration fought and lost a Supreme Court battle over leaking of the so-called Pentagon Papers about Vietnam.
Charles Tasnadi AP

A leak — in a pipeline, at a nuclear plant, within a top-secret agency — can be dangerous, disastrous, deadly. But sometimes a leak can also be a good thing — drawing attention to a larger systemic problem.

The debate over news leaks bubbled up again this week after reports that The New York Times relied on information from top-tier and unnamed U.S. officials to reveal details about the U.S. cyberbattle against Iran.

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1:05pm

Wed June 13, 2012
It's All Politics

International Skinny On The U.S. Election

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 1:54 pm

President Obama climbs the podium to give a media briefing at the end of a NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, on Nov. 20, 2010.
Markus Schreiber AP

If it's true that America now resides smack dab in the middle of an interdependent global village, then we should probably pay attention to what other countries think about us — our values, our leadership and the presidential election of 2012.

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10:56am

Mon June 11, 2012
It's All Politics

Why It's Good To Be The Incumbent

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 1:33 pm

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry debates President George W. Bush on Oct. 13, 2004. Bush later won re-election.
Rick T. Wilking AP

Two political tried-and-truisms: Sitting presidents are hard to unseat, and history repeats itself.

To the first point: In the past 10 presidential elections with incumbent candidates, the incumbents have won seven times. The only incumbent losers were Gerald Ford in 1976, Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1992.

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12:25pm

Tue June 5, 2012
It's All Politics

The Uniqueness Of The 2012 Election

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 3:11 pm

Protesters in Nice, France, hold banners depicting then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy and President Obama before a November 2011 G-20 summit where global financial issues were discussed. Sarkozy has since lost re-election; some political scientists say economic problems in Europe also could play an unprecedented role in the upcoming U.S. election.
Frederic Nebinger Getty Images

All U.S. presidential elections "are unique in some fashion," says John G. Geer, a political science professor at Vanderbilt University.

Sure, but what about 2012? What exactly will make the 2012 election between President Obama and Mitt Romney truly unique?

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2:46pm

Wed May 30, 2012
American Dreams: Then And Now

With The American Dream Comes The Nightmare

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:34 am

Unemployed circus clown Tim Torkildson, aka Dusty the Clown, sits on a bench on the north side of the U.S. Capitol in May.
Bill Clark CQ Roll Call

One American's dream can be another American's nightmare.

Consider: Some people long to live in big cities; others think cities have ruined the landscape. Some Americans love to drive big old honking SUVs; others see huge cars as pollution-producing monsters. For some people, the American dream is a steady office job. For others, the office is a sinkhole and the real dream is freedom from the office.

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12:38pm

Tue May 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Hmmm. The 2012 Election Reminds Me Of Something

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:50 pm

President George W. Bush passes behind Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., after a debate in Tempe, Ariz., in October 2004.
Ron Edmonds AP

It's the sort of question you toss out to a table full of politics buffs — sharing a pitcher of cold beer. (We'll provide the aficionados; you imagine the table and the cold pitcher.)

Which presidential election in American history most resembles the coming election between President Obama and Mitt Romney — and why?

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2:15pm

Sun May 27, 2012
Pop Culture

Hey! You! The Unstoppable Rise Of Heckling

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 7:51 pm

An unidentified heckler lets loose as President Obama begins a speech at the Martin Luther King memorial dedication in Washington, D.C., in October 2011.
Mannie Garcia UPI/Landov

As summer nears, Great American Hecklers are being spotted all over the place.

You can see them — and hear their calls — at commencements, sporting events, political gatherings. Hecklers on the right and hecklers on the left.

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12:31pm

Wed May 23, 2012
Election 2012

Get Ready For The First Robot President

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 2:48 pm

While American politicians may be scripted, they're not this robotic. But whoever wins the presidency this year will preside over a U.S. economy where automation is becoming increasingly important.
iStockphoto

As many folks know, Bill Clinton was called the First Black President by Toni Morrison in The New Yorker.

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9:04am

Wed May 16, 2012
Remembrances

A Fleeting Memory Of Carlos Fuentes

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 4:43 pm

Mexican write Carlos Fuentes at the Hay Festival Cartagena in January.
Claudio Rubio AP

When I heard that the Mexican literary legend Carlos Fuentes died Tuesday at 83, I remembered a long, easygoing interview I did with him years ago. We talked about many things — including what epitaph he wanted carved on his tombstone.

It was the autumn of 1995 and I was a reporter at The Washington Post, assigned to write a profile of the elegant, eloquent Fuentes. I draw on that story now, for twice-told tales worth telling.

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4:04pm

Mon May 7, 2012
Politics

5 (Plus 1) Options For The Aging Politician

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:49 am

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., 80, faces a GOP primary battle Tuesday that could end his political career. Here, Lugar talks with Capitol Hill colleagues on March 6.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

At the ripening age of 80 years old — more than 35 of them spent in Congress — Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., is scrapping for political survival. On Tuesday he faces state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in his party's primary.

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6:29pm

Fri May 4, 2012
Pop Culture

Alcoholidays In America: ¡Viva El Tequila Julep!

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 10:20 pm

The infield at Churchill Downs can get pretty beer-soaked, as this scene from the 2011 Kentucky Derby proves. But this year, things could get even more crazy: The Derby falls on another of America's favorite "alcoholidays," Cinco de Mayo.
Matt Slocum AP

America is not a two-party country — it's a multiparty extravaganza.

We turn every possible pause from work into a party: New Year's Day, the Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick's Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve.

And on Saturday, many Americans will play overtime by reveling in a pair of nationwide celebrations — Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby. Establishments everywhere will be mashing up Mexico and the Bluegrass State.

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