Ever since the Watergate era, taxpayers have been able to check a box on their federal tax returns and designate a little bit of their tax payment to help finance the presidential campaigns and wean politicians away from big donors.
The public financing program has had its ups and downs. But now President Obama is prepared to sign legislation that, for the first time, takes taxpayer money out of the fund.
First of all, let's pause to reflect on some of the great moments of American political conventions brought to you by presidential matching funds.
If you didn't know any better (or you got confused about what year it was), you might think Vice President Biden was back on the campaign trail, kissing grandmothers, slapping guys on the back and borrowing a woman's phone to razz her son about a basketball game.
Biden returned Tuesday to the familiar campaign grounds of New Hampshire for the first time since October 2012. And he swears he made the trip not to stake out ground for a presidential run, but rather to check out how the statewith the nation's first presidential primary helps match the unemployed with jobs.
It says something about the changing politics of Hawaii that Democratic powerhouse Daniel Inouye's deathbed pick of a successor was ignored by his own party.
The question is what.
The December 2012 death of the long-serving senator — and one of the state's founding fathers — has exposed cracks in Hawaii's solidly Democratic façade, leading to a contentious Senate primary that has placed age, gender and ethnicity at center stage.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
Sometime this week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is expected to release an internal review of what happened in September when officials abruptly closed access lanes to the George Washington Bridge. One of the key players in that scandal is still at work.