Convention Night Call-In: DNC Tuesday

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Brian Lehrer (Marco Antonio/WNYC)

Each evening during the conventions, Brian Lehrer hosts a convention call-in from 7-8pm, from WNYC in New York and around the country on the "(Mostly) Swing-State Radio Network". Get analysis of the convention, previews of that evening's speeches, and a chance to talk with public radio listeners in swing states around the country.


  • Analysis from Todd Purdum of Vanity Fair
  • Steve Israel, U.S. Representative (D NY-2) and head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz, U.S. Representative (D FL-20) and chair of the Democratic National Committee
  • A reporter's roundtable with: 
  • Anna Sale, It's a Free Country political reporter
  • Jo Ingles, statehouse reporter for Ohio Public Radio
  • Dave DeWitt, Raleigh Bureau Chief/Education Reporter for North Carolina Public Radio
  • Plus your calls! Want to join the conversation? Call 1-800-543-2543 or comment below
  • Once the special is over, join a live-chat and watch the speeches at It's A Free Country

Tune in starting at 7pm EST Tuesday. Tonight we're on WNYC New York, New Jersey Public Radio, WAMU American University, WCPN-FM Cleveland,  WDET-FM Detroit, WHA-AM Wisconsin, WUNC Chapel Hill, and WUSF Tampa

(Election Special opening theme "My Robot" by Looper | Closing theme "Lighthouse" by Bryan Young)


More in:

Comments [8]

Elizabeth from Silver Spring, Maryland

My personal story about becoming a Democrat:

I have bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics, and I've had a long career in the computer industry. I had found elementary-school math quite boring -- we did the same few things over and over (or at least it seemed like that to me) -- until suddenly, in the spring of 6th grade, five or six of us were given a self-paced book that introduced the concept of sets. It was the first time I had been encouraged to look at math in terms of patterns rather than the details of the multiplication tables and long division. Wow!

The year was 1964, and this was the beginning (at least in my town) of an experiment in what was then called New Math. I adored it.

Nothing in the rest of my public-school math instruction engaged me quite as much as had that slim red volume with the green slider. But those few months of fascination had shown me what math could be, and I wanted more.

In the early 1970s, I was at NC State University, majoring in math. Across the street from campus stood the studio and tower of WRAL-TV (an ABC affiliate at the time), where a fellow named Jesse Helms was Executive Vice President. "Viewpoint" aired after the news and featured Helms himself ranting and raving about Communist plots of various and sundry sorts. When he assailed the Beatles, my friends and I howled. We watched him because we thought he was hilarious. The WRAL-TV tower, lit up for Christmas, we affectionately (and sarcastically as well, truth be told) called "The Jesse Helms Tower of Love and Peace."

And then he assailed New Math. It was a Communist Plot, he sneered.

That took it beyond the merely stupid and made it personal.

When Helms announced he was running for the US Senate, my friends and I snickered. We guffawed.

And then he won the Republican nomination. Sobered, we sat aghast.

New Math was responsible for igniting my interest in mathematics and, in a way, leading me to my career. Some Communist plot *that* was!

Later on, of course, social justice and a love of collaboration and community solidified my connection with the Democratic Party. But Helms gave me the initial push -- nay, shove -- in that direction.

The voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 in time for me to vote at 20. I am gratified that I had the opportunity to cast my first vote against Jesse Helms, Republican, for Senate.

Sep. 04 2012 08:57 PM
Ray from Virginia

My father was mayor of a small town, near a city that imposed a commuter tax. Under state law, part of that tax was to be returned to the outlying towns, but the city kept the money. My father organized other small town mayors and they sued to get the money owed them.

This degenerated into intimidation and violence. I was in elementary school at that time, but I can remember large black cars with large men in them, parked across the street from my house as I walsed to school. Shots were fired at our house one nght - three slugs in the front of the house and one that went clear through the house through open windows and lodged in the garage.

Finally a man walked into my father's office at his city job and pulled a gun on him, and told him never to come back to the city.

We packed up and moved out of state that very weekend. Up unitl that time, my father had been a Republican, but the government of that city was Republican, and those events pretty much soured the family on that party as people who will do anything to get what they want.

Sep. 04 2012 08:40 PM
Susan from New York

Health care--everyone in my family has a disability and I care about Medicaid, Medicare and insurance coverage!

Sep. 04 2012 07:46 PM
KenWade from NYC

I was a small boy the day FDR died. My mother wailed with such a unforgettable pain that I think my politic path was laid out...and subsequently the otherside has never ever tempted my vote in the slightest.
artist NYC

Sep. 04 2012 07:29 PM
Aldona Rygelis from Brooklyn

(my e-mail is not working today)

I grew up amidst an immigrant community with a lot of republicans- some of whom were very, kind and nice but
others were terrifyingly, rigidly, conservative. People who tolerated no differing with their own opinions, no contemplation of exploring anything but their own endorsed narrow path. Sent me flying to the democrats, where I have found much more humanity and humaneness, more ability to look at situations more openly.

Also, I find the "pro-life" people anything but. ( I wonder if anyone has done research in prisons to find out just how many prisoners were wanted children.) The repubs seem more to want to control people into following their perceived "right way" than anything resembling being ACTUALLY pro-life.

Sep. 04 2012 07:29 PM
Polly Rothstein from Purchase, NY

At 21 and a new voter in 1958, I took a friend for an abortion at the clinic of Dr. Robert Spencer in Pennsylvania coal country. With birth control and abortion both illegal in our home state, Connecticut, and current state, Massachusetts, I soon learned that the Republicans were the ones who stood against women and refused to change the laws.

Sep. 04 2012 07:29 PM
John McAuliff from Tarrytown, NY

Ms. Wasserman-Schultz should be asked why the Cuba plank is not a stronger statement in favor of purposeful travel. The President's authorization of unrestricted travel and remittances for Cuban Americans stands in direct contrast with Mitt Romney's embrace of hard line Cuban American opponents who want to return to restrictive Bush rules. Drawing a red line on this issue will add to the President's support among Cuban American independents, the fastest growing demographic.

The plank also shortchanges people to people travel which has allowed thousands of Americans and Cubans to meet each other for the first time.

This is a hot issue now because the Office of Foreign Assets Control is not renewing people to people licenses for Insight Cuba, National Geographic, etc.

The reality is that Rep. Wasserman-Schultz is more closely aligned with Cuban American Republicans than with the President.

Platform plank:

In the Americas, we see vibrant democracies in countries from Mexico to Brazil and Costa Rica to Chile. We have also seen historic peaceful transfers of power in places like El Salvador and Uruguay. Yet
despite the region’s democratic progress, stark inequalities in political and economic power endure. We will continue to press for more transparent and accountable governance. And we will promote greater
freedom in Cuba and Venezuela until all their citizens enjoy the universal rights they deserve. Under President Obama, we have undertaken the most significant efforts in decades to engage the Cuban people. We have focused on the importance of the family ties between Cuban Americans and
their relatives still living under oppression. Because of steps the President has taken, it is now possible for Cuban Americans to visit and support their families in Cuba, and to send remittances that reduce the
Cuban people’s dependence on the Cuban state. We have taken additional steps to bolster Cuban civil society, expanding purposeful exchanges that bolster independent religious groups on the island and enhancing the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people. Going forward we will continue to support the Cuban people’s desire to freely determine their own future.

Sep. 04 2012 07:25 PM
Larry Bliss from raleigh

The opening music for your show is wonderfully cheesy. I like a light touch my talk shows. "My Robot" is a nice contrast to NPR's political theme's touch of grandiosity.

Sep. 04 2012 06:22 PM

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