NPR Series: The Spark

12:01am

Mon May 16, 2011

12:01am

Wed May 11, 2011
The Spark

A Glimpse Of The Great War Shaped A Young Gingrich

Then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich holds up a copy of the Republican Party's "Contract with America" during a rally to celebrate the first 50 days of the Republican majority in Congress in 1995.
Joshua Roberts AFP/Getty Images

NPR has been profiling some of the Republicans who are considering a presidential run in 2012, to find out what first sparked their interest in politics. Read more of those profiles.

When you ask many politicians what inspired them to a life of public service, you often hear familiar words about a commitment to helping people, or perhaps a desire to run government more like a business.

Newt Gingrich has a different story to tell.

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3:02pm

Mon May 9, 2011
The Spark

Michele Bachmann: Evolution Of A 'Cultural Warrior'

NPR has been profiling some of the Republicans who are considering a presidential run in 2012, to find out what first sparked their interest in politics. Read more of the profiles.

When TV news shows want somebody to enthusiastically rip into President Obama, Michele Bachmann is a reliable choice.

One of her favorite techniques: comparing Obama to Jimmy Carter.

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7:16am

Sun May 8, 2011
The Spark

From Pulpit To Politics, Huckabee Heeds The Call

There are at least a dozen Republicans considering a run for the White House in 2012. NPR is profiling some of them to find out what first sparked their interest in politics.

But for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, there may have been no spark. Though he spent years as a Southern Baptist minister, he always considered politics his calling.

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12:30pm

Sat May 7, 2011
The Spark

Herman Cain: A Political Outsider, And Proud Of It

NPR has been profiling some of the Republicans who are considering a presidential run in 2012, to find out what first sparked their interest in politics. Read more of those profiles.

In 1994, President Clinton was crisscrossing the country to sell his health care reform plan. Among the skeptics were small businesses.

Herman Cain was living in Omaha, Neb., then, and was the CEO of Godfather's Pizza. At a town hall meeting, he stepped forward to question the president.

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