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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It's All Politics
4:48 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 10:37 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
1:57 pm
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 4:06 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
12:13 pm
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
11:04 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 11:31 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
10:07 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 4:38 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:

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It's All Politics
12:09 pm
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 11:23 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
9:53 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 12:35 pm

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
6:36 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 8:09 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
3:57 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Ron Paul's Faithful Continue To Make Noise; Floor Fight Tuesday?

Ron Paul supporters pose with posters on the floor of the RNC on Monday in Tampa. They put "Ron Paul" over the word "We" on a GOP sign that says "We Can Do Better."
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 4:06 pm

Oh, Isaac. How good you've been to the Ron Paul Revolution!

With 24 hours of nothing officially happening at the GOP convention in Tampa because of Tropical Storm Isaac, Ron Paul supporters for the second time in as many days made themselves the center of attention at Mitt Romney's big nomination party.

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It's All Politics
3:25 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
12:21 pm
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 2:31 pm

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
11:37 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 2:16 pm

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
9:58 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 11:15 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
5:53 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
5:28 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 5:51 pm

Sometimes you just walk into a metaphor.

What classic rock title could better describe what a politician's really saying to voters than Cheap Trick's I Want You To Want Me?

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It's All Politics
4:28 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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The Two-Way
11:39 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Now They're Even? Romney Gets In 'Birth Certificate' Quip

But seriously, folks: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney joked about birth certificates today in Commerce, Mich.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

In Commerce, Mich., today, The Associated Press reports, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney told supporters that he and his wife, Ann, had been born in nearby hospitals. Then, Romney added, "no one's ever asked to see my birth certificate; they know that this is the place where both of us were born and raised."

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Two Dead After Shooting Near Empire State Building

One of the blocked off streets near the scene of today's shooting outside the Empire State Building.
Jim O'Grady WNYC

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 9:53 am

A shooting near the iconic Empire State Building this morning has left two people dead — one of them the gunman who first opened fire — and has shut down streets around that Manhattan landmark.

Police do not believe there's any link to terrorism. Instead, they suspect the gunman had some sort of work-related grievance.

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The Two-Way
7:47 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Update: Isaac Might Be 'Near Hurricane Strength' When It Hits Haiti Today

Isaac's projected track as of 2 p.m. ET on Friday (Aug. 24).
National Hurricane Center

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 1:21 pm

Update at 3 p.m. ET. In its latest update, the National Hurricane Center says that tropical storm Isaac "could be near hurricane strength" when it reaches Haiti later today. That's a slightly more serious forecast from where we began the day.

Our original post — "Isaac Barrels Toward Haiti, But Isn't Likely To Become Hurricane Today":

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Fri August 24, 2012

21-Year Sentence For Norwegian Killer Of 77; But He May Serve For Life

Anders Behring Breivik in court today.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

At first the news may be a shock because of what would seem to Americans to be such a relatively light punishment considering the crime:

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Lance Armstrong's Seven Tour De France Titles Are Effectively Gone

Lance Armstrong, wearing the yellow jersey that identifies the leader in the Tour de France, during the race in 2003. He won that year and six other times.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 10:14 am

  • Mike Pesca, reporting for the NPR Newcast

Cycling superstar and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong's seven Tour de France titles are about to be wiped from the record books.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Ambassador To Afghanistan: 'Vast Majority' Of Afghans Support Coalition

U.S. Marines with 1st Platoon, Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines (3/5), Regimental Combat Team 2, in Afghanistan. (January 2010 file photo.)
Corporal David R. Hernandez 3rd Battalion 5th Marines-RCT 2
  • Amb. James Cunningham on who is attacking U.S. troops
  • Amb. James Cunningham on the Afghan people's support

With "green on blue" attacks by Afghans in uniform increasingly in the news, Americans officials are being asked whether the people of Afghanistan are turning against the coalition troops that have been in the Central Asian nation since late 2001.

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The Two-Way
11:02 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Drought's Still Deep In Nation's Midsection

The week of Aug. 21.
National Drought Mitigation Center

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 1:04 pm

Though there were "a few notable improvements" in places such as Indiana, where beneficial rains fell, the deep drought that has dug in across much of the nation's midsection continued in the past week, according to the statisticians at the National Drought Mitigation Center.

Their maps from the past three weeks tell the story.

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The Two-Way
9:04 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Former Penn State President Launches 'Full-Throttle Defense'

Then-Penn State President Graham Spanier and then-head football coach Joe Paterno last fall, before the Jerry Sandusky scandal cost them both their jobs.
Gene J. Puskar AP

Graham Spanier, who lost his job as president of Penn State University for allegedly not doing enough to investigate whether former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was molesting young boys, has "launched a full-throttle defense" against charges that he cared more about the university's reputation than Sandusky's victims, Harrisburg's

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Thu August 23, 2012

No Parole For Mark David Chapman, John Lennon's Killer

Mark David Chapman in May 2012.
NYS Dept. of Corrections Reuters /Landov

The man who murdered Beatle John Lennon in December 1980 has been denied parole for a seventh time, The Associated Press reports.

Mark David Chapman, New York State Corrections inmate No. 81A3860, is now 57-years-old. He's serving a prison term of 20 years to life.

Lennon was gunned down at the entrance to his Manhattan apartment building.

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Thu August 23, 2012

His Nakedness Should Not Be Shown, Palace Says Of Prince Harry's Photos

That's Harry, but not the prince: The Sun recreated the scene.
@suttonnick

The fuss over photos of Prince Harry enjoying some billiards-in-the-buff fun with a lady or two in Las Vegas has led the queen's office to contact Britain's Press Complaints Commission to warn that newspapers in the U.K. better not publish them.

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The Two-Way
6:41 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Jobless Claims Rose Slightly Last Week

There were an estimated 372,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 4,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Another way of measuring, to show the recent trend, also rose: "The 4-week moving average was 368,000, an increase of 3,750 from the previous week's revised average of 364,250."

Overall, what we've said the past two weeks still applies:

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Thu August 23, 2012

SEAL's Book On Bin Laden Raid, Woodward Book On Obama Due Sept. 11

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other members of his national security team as they monitored the mission that ended with the death of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.
Pete Souza White House

Those old-fashioned things called books can roil campaigns, and two that are due to hit stores on Sept. 11 certainly have that potential.

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The Two-Way
5:31 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Isaac Could Be A Hurricane By Friday; Florida And GOP Convention Brace

The projected track as of 11 a.m. ET today. The path has moved slightly to the west.
National Hurricane Center

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 1:00 pm

  • Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn on 'Tell Me More'

Here's the latest on tropical storm Isaac, which could hit Florida this weekend and drench the Republican National Convention in Tampa early next week:

-- The National Hurricane Center says the center of the storm should pass "to the south of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico today ... [then] approach the Dominican Republic tonight and Friday."

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The Two-Way
12:52 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Curiosity Is On A Roll: Makes Its First Movements On Mars

Those tracks to the top and right were made by Curiosity as it moved today.
NASA

It didn't go far, but the NASA rover Curiosity has taken its first test drive on Mars.

"This is how I roll," NASA writes (speaking for Curiosity) with a photo it has released showing the rover's first tracks. "Forward 3 meters, 90 [degree] turn, then back. Electric slide, anyone?"

"We have a fully functioning mobility system," NASA engineer Matt Heverly just told reporters. He said Curiosity ended up moving about 4 1/2 meters during today's test. It also did a full revolution going forward, backed up and did another revolution.

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