Mark Memmott

Mark Memmott is one of the hosts of NPR's "The Two-Way" news blog.

"The Two-Way," which Memmott helped to launched when he came to NPR in 2009, focuses on breaking news, analysis, and the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Before joining NPR, Memmott worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor at USA Today. He focused on a range of coverage from politics, foreign affairs, economics, and the media. He's reported from places across the Unites States and the world, including half a dozen trips to Afghanistan in 2002-2003.

During his time at USA Today, Memmott, helped launch and lead three USAToday.com news blogs: "On Deadline," "The Oval" and "On Politics," the site's 2008 presidential campaign blog.

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The Two-Way
6:28 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Big Three All Posted Double-Digit Gains In Auto Sales Last Month

A Dodge Ram pickup on sale at Criswell Chrysler Jeep Dodge in Gaithersburg, Md.
Gary Cameron Reuters /Landov

"All three Detroit automakers saw double-digit sales increases in August compared with the same month last year," the Detroit Free Press writes. The gains "show that the automotive industry remains one of the economy's few bright spots," it adds.

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Rumors Of Son's Sexcapade Behind A Ferrari's Wheel Rock China's Leadership

Ling Jihua, left, looked on in March 2010 as Chinese President Hu Jintao, signed a document at the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress in Beijing. Ling has been shifted to a lesser position.
Andy Wong AP

A top lieutenant to Chinese President Hu Jintao has been shifted to a lesser position because of "a lurid new scandal" involving the fiery crash of his son's Ferrari in March, The Associated Press writes.

According to the AP:

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The Two-Way
4:15 am
Tue September 4, 2012

'Queen Of Cocaine' Is Gunned Down In Colombia

Griselda Blanco, the "queen of cocaine," in a 2004 photo posted by the Florida Department of Corrections.
Fla. Dept. of Corrections

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 7:18 am

Talk about your just deserts:

"A Colombian drug trafficker, known as the 'queen of cocaine,' has been killed in the city of Medellin," the BBC writes. "Griselda Blanco, 69, was shot dead by gunmen as she was leaving a butcher's."

That rather dry report doesn't do justice to the life and death of Blanco, though. As Miami New Times writes, her assassination on Monday:

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The Two-Way
2:56 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Power's Still Out For Many After Isaac, And They're Boiling

Kids in New Orleans on Monday getting some relief from the heat thanks to ice being distributed to those without power.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Check this fresh headline from The Times-Picayune in New Orleans:

"Public's anger at lengthy power outage after Isaac boils over."

According to the newspaper, after six days of camping outside in sweltering temperatures because Hurricane Isaac knocked out power last week, there are many angry folks in the city and surrounding parishes.

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The Two-Way
2:23 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Are You Better Off? That's The Question As Democrats Gather

One of the many mementos for sale at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Win McNamee Getty Images
  • Mara Liasson on 'Morning Edition'

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

That classic question — so famously asked by then-candidate Ronald Reagan in 1980 — is again a topic of great debate as Democrats kick off their 2012 national convention in Charlotte, N.C.

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It's All Politics
3:38 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Fact Checkers Ding Romney On A Few Familiar Points

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:01 am

Among the things the Republican Party's presidential candidate is hearing this morning about the address he gave Thursday night is that "in a speech heavy on anecdotal history but short on policy details, Mitt Romney avoided major falsehoods."

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It's All Politics
7:39 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Five Takeaways From Thursday At The Republican Convention

Mitt and Ann Romney (center) are surrounded by family members and balloons at the end of the 2012 Republican National Convention on Thursday in Tampa.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 1:42 am

If you missed some of Thursday's action at the Republican National Convention, when Mitt Romney accepted his party's presidential nomination, we were live blogging here and you can always read through it to see how the day and evening went.

But if you'd like to save some time, here are five things that struck us (skip to the end if you only want to read about Clint Eastwood):

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It's All Politics
1:49 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Live Blog: Thursday At The Republican Convention

The Republican ticket: Mitt Romney (left) and Rep. Paul Ryan wave as the 2012 Republican National Convention winds up Thursday in Tampa, Fla. Romney accepted the party's presidential nomination. Ryan is his running mate.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 8:49 pm

  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 1
  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 2

Mitt Romney accepted the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nomination tonight and told the nation that if he's elected he will end the four years of "disappointment and division" brought upon America by President Obama.

"I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed," Romney said. "But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn't something we have to accept. Now is the moment when we can do something. With your help we will do something."

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It's All Politics
1:15 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

America 'Deserves Better,' And He Can Deliver, Romney Will Tell The Nation

This afternoon, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney came to the Tampa Bay Times Forum to see the stage where he will accept his party's presidential nomination.
Arnie Seipel NPR

Mitt Romney will tell Americans tonight that he understands why they voted for "hope and change" four years ago, but that President Obama has not delivered and that "my country deserves better."

"I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed," he will say after accepting the Republican Party's presidential nomination, according to excerpts of his address released by the candidate's campaign.

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It's All Politics
10:16 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Report: Clint Eastwood Will Make Republicans' Day

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 10:49 am

If CNN's John King is right, Dirty Harry is indeed tonight's "mystery speaker":

"Clint Eastwood is the #gop mystery speaker for Thurs night. #cnnelections"

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It's All Politics
9:24 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Janesville Debate: Dissecting Ryan's Claim, Obama's 'Promise' & The Facts

Weeds were already growing in the parking lot outside the GM assembly plant in Janesville, Wis., on May 4, 2009.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:02 am

There are claims flying back and forth today over whether Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan has falsely accused President Obama of breaking a promise to make sure a GM plant in Ryan's hometown stayed open.

We posted earlier about Ryan's words in his acceptance speech Wednesday and the "false" rating they got from PolitiFact.com.

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It's All Politics
7:42 am
Thu August 30, 2012

CNN Camerawoman: Racial Taunts Aimed At Her Could Happen Anywhere

"This situation could happen to me at the Democratic convention or standing on the street corner. Racism is a global issue," CNN camerawoman Patricia Carroll, in an interview with an institute that promotes diversity in the news media, says of the ugly racial taunts directed her way Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

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It's All Politics
4:12 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Fact Checkers Say Some Of Ryan's Claims Don't Add Up

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:02 am

Rep. Paul Ryan stretched some truths Wednesday night when he accepted the Republican Party's 2012 vice presidential nomination, according to the fact checkers who parse politicians' words for news outlets and independent watchdogs:

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It's All Politics
3:07 am
Thu August 30, 2012

In A Picture: Ryan's Speech Was Much Ado About Obama

Wordle.net

For those who like word clouds, here is Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan's speech Wednesday night at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, during which he accepted his party's vice presidential nomination.

This picture of how often he said something drew our eyes to:

-- "Obama." That would be the president, of course, who Ryan said has failed the American people.

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It's All Politics
1:38 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

As It Happened: Wednesday At The Republican Convention

Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan waves with his family Wednesday at the GOP convention in Tampa. Also on stage: his daughter Liza, sons Charlie and Sam Ryan, wife Janna and mother Elizabeth.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 7:37 pm

  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 1
  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 2
  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 3

Hello from Tampa, where tonight Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin accepted the Republican Party's vice presidential nomination and told the nation that if he joins Mitt Romney in the White House they will work to solve the nation's problems, not blame them on others.

"We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead," he said. "We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility. We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles."

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It's All Politics
10:57 am
Wed August 29, 2012

GOP Convention Switches On Web Appeal For Isaac Relief

The website of the 2012 Republican National Convention this afternoon.
2012 Republican convention

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 1:06 pm

As Isaac continues to pound the Gulf Coast from Louisiana east through Mississippi, Republicans gathered in Tampa for their 2012 national convention continue to strike a balance between going on with their politicking and partying while trying not to look indifferent to the suffering of others.

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It's All Politics
9:13 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Love On Stage At The GOP Convention: Staffer Pops Question; She Says Yes

Bradley Thompson proposes to his girlfriend Laura Bowman on the stage of the Republican National Convention this morning in Tampa.
David Goldman AP

Awww:

Bradley Thompson, a production manager at the Republican National Convention here in Tampa, took the opportunity this morning to propose to his girlfriend, Laura Bowman. He popped the question right in front of the big on-stage screen — on which were the words "Laura Bowman, will you marry me" and some lovely photos.

From the kiss he got in return, it appears she said yes.

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It's All Politics
8:04 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Is Clint Eastwood Going To Make Mitt Romney's Day?

Clint Eastwood.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images for AFI

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 8:31 am

Thanks to Townhall.com's Guy Benson, one of the hotter stories of the morning here in Tampa seems to be that actor/director/American icon Clint Eastwood is reportedly coming to the Republican National Convention and may be the "to be announced" speaker on Thursday night's schedule.

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It's All Politics
7:07 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Five Takeaways From Tuesday At The Republican Convention

Delegates showed their love for Ann Romney at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 1:38 am

If you missed some of Tuesday's action at the Republican National Convention, we were live blogging here and you can always read through it to see how the day and evening went.

But if you'd like to save some time, here are five things that struck us:

Read more
It's All Politics
9:09 am
Tue August 28, 2012

As It Happened: GOP Kicks Off Its Convention; Makes Its Case To The Nation

Texas delegates cheer as Romney is formally nominated as the Republican Party's presidential candidate.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 8:23 pm

  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 1
  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 2
  • NPR Special Coverage, Hour 3

With a program designed both to tell the American people more about Mitt Romney and to make the case that Republicans' ideas for solving the nation's problems are better than Democrats', the 2012 GOP National Convention got going today and Romney officially became the party's presidential nominee.

Delegates also officially made Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin the party's vice presidential nominee.

We live blogged through the afternoon and evening. Scroll down and read "up" if you want to see how the story developed.

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It's All Politics
6:53 am
Tue August 28, 2012

Gov. Haley: Democrats's Attitude On Minorities Is Offensive

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) after her sit-down with USA Today and Gannett editors in Tampa this morning.
Mark Memmott NPR

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 9:35 am

Saying that "it's offensive to me as a woman and as a minority" that Democrats portray the GOP as "the party that hates you" when they reach out to non-whites, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley made the case this morning that it's the Republican Party that minorities should be looking to join.

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It's All Politics
3:36 am
Tue August 28, 2012

Ann Romney, Gov. Christie & The Roll Call: Today's Convention Highlights

The stage is set at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 5:09 am

Good morning from Tampa where the Isaac-delayed Republican National Convention is set to get going for real this afternoon.

It's going to be a busy day for the GOP once the delegates are called to order at 2 p.m. ET. Here are some highlights from the schedule:

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It's All Politics
12:25 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Herman Cain And His ABCs: He Sees Blacks Turning To The GOP

Herman Cain on Monday at the Tampa Convention Center.
Mark Memmott NPR

Why is one-time Republican presidential contender Herman Cain optimistic about the GOP bringing more African-Americans into its tent?

Because "a lot of people in this country have not realized or it does not get picked up in the polls [that] some black people can think for themselves," he said Monday afternoon. "They don't have to be told what to think and who to vote for and they are responding to the facts."

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It's All Politics
9:21 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Officially, The Convention Has Begun; And The GOP's 'Debt Clocks' Are Running

Within minutes after being turned on Monday, the GOP's clock measuring how much the national debt had grown was moving up quickly.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 11:31 am

With a bang of his supersized gavel, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus just opened the 2012 GOP convention.

And moments later with another bang of the gavel he declared it in recess.

As we've reported, tropical storm Isaac convinced Republicans to delay the real start of their convention until Tuesday.

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It's All Politics
8:37 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Though Small In Number, Protesters Take Aim At Both Parties

Turnout for Monday's protest rally and march in downtown Tampa was much lower than expected and rain drenched the crowd.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 11:16 am

Organizers had predicted a turnout of thousands at a rally in a Tampa park Monday morning to protest Republican policies.

They ended up getting a better showing, as least early on, from the members of the media desperate to cover something — anything — on what was to have been the opening day of the Republican National Convention.

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It's All Politics
6:58 am
Mon August 27, 2012

McConnell's Message: On The Budget, The 'Missing Person Was The President'

Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., checked out the Republican Convention stage in Tampa on Sunday. The backdrop is in honor of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, who died over the weekend.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 8:15 am

Political conventions, even ones that have been delayed a day by a tropical storm, are all about getting a party's message out to the nation.

Minutes ago in the Tampa Convention Center, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky used a sit-down with USA Today and Gannett correspondents to restate one key argument Republicans have been making and will continue to make through Election Day:

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It's All Politics
2:53 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Trump: Romney Got A Laugh, But Birther 'Issue' Is No Joke

Donald Trump on Sunday in Sarasota, Fla., where local Republicans named him their Statesman of the Year.
Edward Linsmier Getty Images

The Donald isn't done yet with the "birther" conspiracy.

Developer/reality show star/sort-of politician Donald Trump brought his unique personality to Florida on Sunday and for at least a few minutes took some of the spotlight away from the Republican National Convention in Tampa and tropical storm Isaac out in the Gulf of Mexico.

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It's All Politics
2:28 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

Was Romney's Song Playing Sunday? Check 'I Want You To Want Me'

G.E. Smith plays during a sound check inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Florida Sunday.
Mark Memmott NPR

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 2:51 pm

Sometimes you just walk into a metaphor.

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It's All Politics
1:28 pm
Sun August 26, 2012

Republicans Are Ready (If Isaac Allows); And We're On The Scene In Tampa

The Republican message: Workers were putting up a sign Sunday inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where the 2012 Republican National Convention is set to begin.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Greetings from Tampa, where that old phrase "the calm before the storm" has never been more appropriate.

Tropical storm Isaac is now looking like it will make landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana east to the Florida Panhandle. And when it gets there Tuesday or Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center is warning, Isaac could be a Category 2 hurricane.

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