NPR Series: The Spark

12:01am

Thu May 5, 2011
The Spark

Santorum: A Talent For Politics, Honed In College

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

In the fall of 1976 — the bicentennial — Rick Santorum was a freshman at Penn State University. He didn't know what he wanted to major in, so he signed up for Political Science 1. The course was called "Introduction to American Politics," and that's just what it was for the young Santorum.

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6:42pm

Tue May 3, 2011
The Spark

Mitch Daniels: A Behind-The-Scenes Player Emerges

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

When asked how he got started in politics, Mitch Daniels has to stop and think.

"Hard to tell," he says. "I did not come from a political family. [But] I did go to Boys State ... so maybe that was one of the starting points."

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7:34am

Sun May 1, 2011
The Spark

Jon Huntsman: A Political Path, Paved With Detours

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

In 1971, Jon Huntsman Jr. visited the White House. He was 11 years old, and his father was a businessman and adviser to Richard Nixon. The young Huntsman, the story goes, met Henry Kissinger that day and helped carry his luggage to the car.

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12:01am

Tue April 26, 2011
The Spark

Mitt Romney: Like Father, Like Son?

There are at least a dozen Republicans considering a run for the White House in 2012. Over the next two weeks, NPR will be profiling some of them to find out what first sparked their interest in politics.

Before Mitt Romney went from the boardroom to the campaign trail, his father did the same thing.

George Romney was the head of American Motors — a gregarious, no-nonsense CEO who championed a line of innovative compact cars sold under the Nash and Rambler nameplates.

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