Charlotte, North Carolina (CNN) - Four years later, consider the role reversal: As he closes his convention, Barack Obama's greatest challenge is to make the case against change.
Yet he can't ask the American people to simply stay the course.FULL STORY
Editor's note: The 2012 presidential race is CNN Chief National Correspondent John King's seventh campaign. He analyzed what challenger Mitt Romney and Republicans needed to do in their convention last week.
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (CNN) - It is a very different year – and very different mood - as Democrats gather for their convention. But there is one carryover from 2008: To win the White House, Barack Obama will once again have to make history.
Four years ago, it was a groundbreaking victory for the first African-American to win the presidency. Now, to win four more years, it is a less glamorous but still significant barrier in his way: only Franklin Roosevelt was re-elected with unemployment this high.FULL STORY
Tampa, Florida (CNN) – The black and white images form a Reaganesque ring around the concourse of the Tampa convention hall, sending an unmistakable message: This is now Mitt Romney's Republican Party.
Romney's convention challenges are many, beginning with what his top advisers unanimously say is their overriding goal: improve his "image" scores - meaning how voters view him on questions of likeability, empathy, and understanding the struggles of the middle class.FULL STORY
Washington (CNN) - Memo to Mitt Romney: Walmart moms find you smart, but slick, and while many are ready to give up on President Obama, they aren't sure you understand their daily struggles.
It's safe to say Governor Romney already knows this: his pollster once was a lead player in the Walmart mom research project, and is close to the two pollsters leading it now.
Washington (CNN) – A top Mitt Romney strategist insisted Friday the debate over whether the GOP contender should release more of his tax information has "stopped hurting." But a new report from a recent Wisconsin focus group comes to a different conclusion – suggesting his refusal to shed more light on his finances raises trust issues with pivotal voters.
"It's not new information," was the case made by the senior Romney strategist, who discussed the issue only on condition of anonymity. His take: that voters who are going to be moved by the tax debate have already moved to the Obama column.
Editor's note: The 2012 presidential race is CNN Chief National Correspondent John King's seventh campaign. King is traveling through battleground states, where the election will be decided, to find the voters who will determine whether President Barack Obama gets a second term or if the country needs the change in direction that Mitt Romney represents.
Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - A visit to the Iowa State Fair is a test of diet discipline: They fry just about everything - from Oreos to butter to mac & cheese - and the bigger the better, from half-pound tenderloins to massive turkey legs and pork chops.
Not much changes from year to year. There's the butter cow, nightly entertainment at the grandstand, arcade games and amusement rides.FULL STORY
Editor's note: The 2012 presidential race is John King's seventh campaign. With presumptive Republican candidate Mitt Romney set to pick his running mate in the coming days, CNN's chief national correspondent looks at those believed to be in the running to be his potential vice president. King profiled former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Wednesday and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman on Thursday. Scheduling conflicts prevented Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan from sitting down to an interview for this story.
WASHINGTON, DC (CNN) - For Paul Ryan, debating Joe Biden might feel like a bit of a demotion.
He has, after all, been at the center of the budget debate with President Barack Obama and the entire Democratic Party for several years now, including some memorable, direct exchanges with the president.FULL STORY
Editor's note: The 2012 presidential race is John King's seventh campaign. With presumptive Republican candidate Mitt Romney set to pick his running mate in the coming days, CNN's chief national correspondent looks at those believed to be in the running to be his potential vice president. On Friday, King profiles Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.
SHELBY, Ohio (CNN) - At the edge of the Alt farm cornfield, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman gets a firsthand look at the impact of a punishing drought.
"These guys have crop insurance, which will cover most of their losses," Portman says of the Alt family, which has been farming this land since 1959. "But going forward, we need to prove predictability and certainty with a new farm bill."FULL STORY
Yellow Spring, Ohio (CNN) - Tim Pawlenty remembers the late nights in 2008, working with his wife, Mary, to pull together all the documents John McCain's campaign requested as it vetted potential running mates.
"No staff. Only us," Pawlenty wrote in his book, "Courage to Stand." "I remember the two of us joking one night at some inhumane hour, 'No way Mitt Romney is doing this by himself.' "FULL STORY