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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9:40am

Tue January 31, 2012
Presidential Race

The Slimary Process: Is This The Nastiest Race Ever?

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:04 am

Republican presidential hopefuls former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney debate in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Matt Rourke AP

9:40am

Tue January 31, 2012
Presidential Race

The Slimary Process: Is This The Nastiest Race Ever?

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:04 am

Republican presidential hopefuls former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney debate in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Matt Rourke AP

12:18pm

Thu January 26, 2012
Presidential Race

The Baffling, Befuddling Primary Season

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 1:38 pm

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters during a campaign event at Paramount Printing in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

It was so clear for a moment: Mitt Romney was in the lead in the presidential nomination race. Newt Gingrich was a distant second. Rick Santorum — the youthful candidate — was appealing to the socially conservative voters. And Ron Paul was hanging on.

Then things got weird.

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7:00am

Tue January 24, 2012
Politics

Is The State Of The Union Address Obsolete?

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 5:07 pm

President Obama delivers last year's State of the Union Address on Jan. 25, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

Given the nonstop, stereo-rock news cycle, the warp speed tempo of geopolitics and the constant to-and-fro between the media and the president, has the State of the Union address become obsolete?

Traditionally, the speech — an annual where-we-stand lecture delivered by the president to a joint session of Congress — has for decades been an opportunity for the professor in chief to issue a national report card and put current events in calm, codifiable context.

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3:22pm

Fri January 20, 2012
Presidential Race

Does Regionalism Matter Anymore, Y'all?

The presidential election brings out the media's obsession with regional differences. Reporters and politicians do stand-ups from cornfields in the Midwest, beaches in California, honky-tonks in Texas — and in front of this sand sculpture of the GOP candidates in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last weekend.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

The race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination is fixing to get, as we Southerners tongue-in-cheekly say, about as slippery as a greased pig in a hog wallow. Nasty as a old possum in a croaker sack. Murky as South Carolina swamp mud.

The Republican primary focus is shifting to the South, where folks talk and act different from the rest of the country. And where they look for different characteristics in candidates than other regions of the ...

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12:30pm

Fri January 13, 2012
Politics

When Did 'Kumbaya' Become Such A Bad Thing?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry greets voters Jan. 10 after speaking to a town hall meeting in Indian Land, S.C. He has said that if voters want someone to sing "Kumbaya," "I'm not your guy."
Jeff Siner MCT/Landov

6:07am

Sun January 8, 2012
Around the Nation

A Year After Tucson Tragedies, Incivility Continues

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:09 am

Captain Mark Kelly hugs his wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at the White House in October.
Pete Souza The White House via Getty Images

When a gunman opened fire on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and others at a shopping center near Tucson exactly a year ago — killing six people and injuring Giffords and many others — some people were quick to blame the episode on the overheated political climate.

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12:20pm

Wed January 4, 2012
Presidential Race

U.S. Politics: Hurrah For The Red, White And Screwy

Voters register to cast their ballots during Republican caucuses at a school in Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

The American political system — as corny, eclectic, chaotic and screwed up as it is with its straw polls, caucuses, primaries and contested elections — somehow gets the job done time after time.

It's weird, really: In this country that celebrates unity and national spirit, a president is chosen via quirky, jerky state-by-state (sometimes precinct-by-precinct) methods. In this society that seeks perfection, the leader is selected in a painfully imperfect process.

But, to paraphrase the old saw: Our funky form of democracy may just be the least worst way to govern.

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3:11pm

Fri December 30, 2011
Around the Nation

'Haters' Are Going To Hate This Story

Originally published on Sat December 31, 2011 7:20 am

The word "Hater" — as it's often used today — is derived from the term "Player Hater," a phrase popularized by late rapper Notorious B.I.G., shown here clutching his Billboard Music Awards in 1995.
Mark Lennihan AP

Haters are here. And there. And everywhere. And the word "hate" is in the air.

Fox has a new sitcom: I Hate My Teenage Daughter. A recent issue of Us magazine tells us "Why Scarlett Johansson Hates Blake Lively." Psychology Today explains "Why We Hate Airport Security." Dick Meyer, formerly of NPR and now executive producer for news services at BBC America, wrote a provocative book called Why We Hate Us.

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10:52am

Wed December 21, 2011
Presidential Candidates: Did You Know?

5 Things You May Not Know About Jon Huntsman

Originally published on Wed December 21, 2011 2:58 pm

GOP hopeful Jon Huntsman speaks in Milford, N.H., on Dec. 8.
Cheryl Senter AP

He is former governor of Utah and the namesake of a very rich man. His father, a Salt Lake City bazillionaire, owns a chemical company that really blossomed when it created packaging for McDonald's Big Macs. His father also served in the Nixon administration, so Jon Huntsman Jr. lived in Washington as a young boy.

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11:34am

Mon December 19, 2011
Presidential Candidates: Did You Know?

5 Things You May Not Know About Rick Santorum

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 5:24 pm

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum listens during a presidential debate Oct. 11 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.
Scott Eells-Pool Getty

Born in the spring of 1958, former Sen. Rick Santorum — the son of a psychologist and a nurse — was the second of three children in a Catholic family. The Pennsylvania Republican spent most of his childhood in the Pittsburgh suburbs.

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1:50pm

Thu December 15, 2011
5 Things...

5 Things You May Not Know About Michele Bachmann

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 5:35 pm

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann speaks at The Gift of Life movie premiere in Des Moines on Wednesday night.
Jim Young Reuters /Landov

She was born Michele Amble. Her parents divorced when she was young. She studied political science and literature in college and was a student volunteer for Jimmy Carter's 1976 campaign for president.

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1:17pm

Wed December 14, 2011
Rick Perry

5 Things You May Not Know About Rick Perry

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 11:36 am

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition 2012 Presidential Candidates Forum in Washington, D.C., last week.
Alex Wong Getty Images

The eyes of Texas have been upon James Richard "Rick" Perry ever since he boot-scootin' boogied onto the public-service stage. Now political observers are watching Perry's fortunes fluctuate as a Republican candidate for president.

Political junkies have followed the career of Perry — an Eagle Scout, veterinary student and son of a farmer and a bookkeeper — from his initial election as a Democrat to the state House of Representatives in 1984. They have studied his endorsement of Al Gore for president in 1988. They watched him as he changed parties in 1989.

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1:04pm

Tue December 13, 2011
News

Home Sweet Home: The New American Localism

Americans are craving food grown locally: There are now more than 6,000 farmers markets across the country. Here Ron Samascott organizes apples from his orchard in Kinderhook, N.Y., at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York.
Mark Lennihan AP

You can talk about the global village, a mobile society and the World Wide Web all you want, but many in our country seem to be turning toward a New American Localism.

These days, we are local folks and our focus is local. We are doing everything locally: food, finance, news, charity. And maybe for good reasons.

"One bedrock thing that is going on," says Brad Edmondson, founder of ePodunk and former editor of American Demographics magazine, is that "because of aging and the recession, people aren't moving around as much."

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5:36am

Sun December 11, 2011
Presidential Race

Haiku D'Etat: The Endorsements Could Be Verse

In the ever-swirling pool of Republican presidential candidates, political endorsements — formal and informal — are being tossed around like life jackets. Will they help the struggling wannabes sink or swim?

"Endorsements are only one of many cues that determine how a person votes," says Robert C. Wigton, a political science professor at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla.

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12:05am

Thu December 8, 2011
Presidential Race

The Tweets, Tics And Turns Of Twitter Politics

Originally published on Thu December 8, 2011 8:14 am

Texas Rep. Ron Paul's passionate base of support could explain a new study that finds he received more favorable treatment on Twitter than any other GOP hopeful.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The tweet might go something like this:

Political convo on Twitter is more opinionated, more negative. Diff from that in blogs or lamestream media, sez new study by Pew. Like duh!

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6:03am

Sat December 3, 2011
Ron Paul

5 Things You May Not Know About Ron Paul

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 3:42 pm

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul speaks with voters after a town hall meeting in Keene, N.H., on Nov. 21.
Cheryl Senter AP

Everybody knows that Ron Paul is a doctor from Texas. Born in Pittsburgh in 1935, he graduated from Gettysburg College and Duke University's medical school. He was a flight surgeon in the Air Force. His wife's name is Carol. He has served as a Republican congressman for years and years.

Everybody knows that Paul has made bids for the presidency three times — as a Libertarian in 1988 and as a Republican in 2008 and this time around. And everybody knows he lost the first two.

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2:01pm

Mon November 28, 2011
Mitt Romney

Five Things You May Not Know About Mitt Romney

A button from George Romney's 1968 Republican campaign for president.

Will the conventional take on Mitt Romney – that he aims to please everyone – take him to the convention in 2012 and on to the Republican presidential nomination?

Time will tell.

For now, the electorate is getting acquainted (and reacquainted) with the man who has seemingly been in the spotlight his whole life.

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10:00am

Tue November 22, 2011
U.S.

Occupy America: The Commemorative Game

What began in the fall of 2011 as the amorphous Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City morphed into Occupy America, a nationwide diorama drama containing many elements of a board game — positive steps, punishing losses of turn and, in some cities such as Hartford, Conn., occasional free parking.

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5:55am

Sat November 19, 2011
Newt Gingrich

5 Things You May Not Know About Gingrich

Originally published on Thu December 15, 2011 11:38 am

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, speaks to supporters during a rally in Jacksonville, Fla., on Thursday.
Stephen Morton AP

In the crowded race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney may be the tortoise, but Newt Gingrich is the newt. And newts are highly adaptive salamanders that regenerate limbs when wounded and emit poison when challenged.

Conventional — and up-to-the-minute contemporary — wisdom pegs Gingrich as the ascendant favorite, knocking other candidates off their posts and platforms like an Angry Bird.

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3:24pm

Thu November 17, 2011
Pop Culture

The Hipsterfication Of America

Originally published on Thu November 17, 2011 5:00 pm

Concertgoers move in a spray of cooling mist as they dance amid the heat of the desert at the hipster Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., in April.
Mike Blake Reuters /Landov

The hotel lobby in Franklin, Tenn., has an ultra-urban loft-esque feel — exposed air ducts, austere furniture and fixtures, music videos projected onto a flat panel. Everywhere there is lava-lampish aqua and amber lighting.

Sale racks near the front desk display chargers for iPods and BlackBerrys and a variety of snacks, including Cocoa Puffs and Red Bulls. Every room features a media box for digital video and music.

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2:07pm

Tue November 1, 2011
Herman Cain

Citizen Cain: Facing Another Hurdle Of History

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 2:25 pm

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Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks Monday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. During a question and answer portion of the program, Cain called the accusations of sexual harassment against him "a witch hunt."

Win McNamee Getty Images

New allegations of an old scandal suggest that Herman Cain has hit the political big time.

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4:24am

Sat October 15, 2011
Politics

The Binge-Purge Politics Of 2012

Originally published on Sun October 16, 2011 1:39 am

Rep. Michele Bachmann greets supporters after Tuesday's debate in New Hampshire. She saw her political fortunes rise earlier in the summer but has since fallen back in the polls.

Jim Cole AP

In the days following the umpteenth Republican presidential debate — Tuesday night in New Hampshire — America continues to ladle praise on its newfound hero: pizza mogul Herman Cain.

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10:53am

Tue October 11, 2011
U.S.

No Nukes: Bringing The Right And Left Together

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The type of atomic bomb that was used in Japan in World War II, known as the "Fat Man," shown here in a 1960 photo released by the U.S. government. Liberals and conservatives are gathering at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Tuesday to call for efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons.

AP

Finally. Something the right and the left can agree on: nuclear disarmament.

On Tuesday, more than 70 notable people from around the world will convene at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. They will beseech international potentates and personages to seriously work toward eradicating nuclear weaponry from the face of the Earth.

To many observers, the idea of undoing what has been done is like trying to put shaving cream back in the can — or, more to the point, radiation back in the warhead.

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7:33am

Thu October 6, 2011
Digital Life

Steve Jobs: The Link Between Androids And Humans

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:21 am

In his last public appearance after stepping down as Apple CEO, Steve Jobs introduces Apple's iCloud storage system in San Francisco, June 2011.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

With his black turtleneck, wire-rimmed glasses and conspiratorial grin, Steve Jobs was arguably the best ambassador ever between androids and humans.

When Jobs died Wednesday at 56 after protracted combat with pancreatic cancer, the world lost a valuable shuttle diplomat between computers and tablets and gadgets and animated robots, and the people who so desperately long to relate to them.

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10:21am

Tue October 4, 2011
Politics

These Days, Everyone Dares Call It Treason

Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 1:24 pm

American turncoat Benedict Arnold persuades Maj. John Andre to conceal papers in his boot and send them to the British to enable them to capture West Point in this print by C.F. Blauvelt and W. Wellstood circa 1785.

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Hurling around a word like "treason," the Chicago Sun-Times has observed, "is the definition of dirty politics."

If that be the case, this particular political season is dirtier than a West Texas hog wallow.

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12:40pm

Wed September 28, 2011
Politics

America's Love Affair With Nationalism

Fans of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrate during the singing of God Bless America during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on Sept. 11 in St. Petersburg, Fl.
J. Meric Getty Images

Picture this: An alternate-reality, suspended-in-space American metropolis where steampunk contraptions –- like propeller-driven dirigibles, squeaky trolley wires and clunky robotic creatures –- operate against a backdrop of clanging liberty bells, red, white and blue powder kegs and jingoistic posters warning: "Patriots! Arm Thyself Against the Foreigners and Anarchists!"

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12:59pm

Fri September 23, 2011
Politics

Also-Rans: What Drives The Perennial Candidates?

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 4:11 pm

Socialist candidate for the presidency Norman Thomas parades down Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee in 1932, where he made a speech.
AP

The perennial presidential candidate: Like the Energizer Bunny, he just keeps going and going. Like Old Man River, he keeps on rolling along. And he is held up as a pure example from the high school civics class in which we were taught that in America anyone can run for president.

He is also, like the majority of people who seek office, an also-ran.

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11:16am

Wed September 14, 2011
Around the Nation

Is Walmart A Magnet For American Mayhem?

In virtually every county, there is a Walmart open every hour of every day and every one of those Walmarts is being visited by 37,000 people a week — that's 220 people an hour, in every Walmart every hour of the day. Here a Walmart worker pulls carts at a store in Pittsburg, Calif. on June 20.
Paul Sakuma AP

Dispatches from the field: A customer was nabbed by police for sampling raw meat at a Walmart in Pennsylvania. A woman said she had an encounter with a bat at a Walmart in Minnesota. A family of five was living in a car at a Walmart in Florida.

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9:00am

Thu September 8, 2011
Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001

After Sept. 11: The Not-So-Brave New World

Originally published on Thu September 8, 2011 7:56 pm

An Amtrak Police K-9 watches while commuters depart for rush hour during "Operation Railsafe" at Union Station in Washington, D.C., last October.
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Midmorning on a recent Tuesday in Washington and life is a-bustling at Union Station, the railroad terminal just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. People come and go, sidestepping the Jersey barriers at the entrance, making for the platform gates, some talking on cellphones, others to each other, still others moving in purposeful silence.

Not a soul seems to be paying attention to the security signs or videos.

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