For some, it was parents or grandparents. For others, it was school elections, field trips to Washington, D.C. or programs like Girls State. Those were the answers we got recently when we asked NPR listeners to share photos and to tell us: who or what got you interested or involved in politics?
We got dozens of responses, and these are some of our favorites, complete with '80s hair and antique campaign buttons.
Picture a cozy cafe. At a small table, an economics professor from Paris is chatting with a wealthy businessman from New York.
As they sip coffee, they discuss economic history, and often nod and agree.
Then, as they stand to leave, each states a conclusion drawn from their conversation. But what they say is exactly, completely opposite.
One says economic history proves governments must impose very heavy taxes to break up concentrations of wealth. The other says governments should cut taxes to encourage wealthy people to pursue even bigger profits.
Fifty-six years ago this weekend, newspapers across the nation told a sad tale of a family seemingly imploding.
At the center of the story was Coya Knutson, the opera-singing daughter of a Norwegian farmer, and the first woman from Minnesota elected to Congress.
Voted in on her own merits, not appointed to keep a late husband's seat warm for a successor, the trailblazing mother could only watch as vengeful party rivals, a manufactured scandal, and a feckless, alcoholic husband combined to sabotage her career.
It all came to a head on the eve of Mother's Day 1958.
If there are other Herman Cains and Michele Bachmanns out there with 2016 presidential hopes, it may be much harder than it was in 2012 for them to go from "who?" to Republican presidential contenders. That's because of new rules adopted Friday by the Republican National Committee at its meeting in Memphis, Tenn.