NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped veggies and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

But at the 2016 All-Star Game, the song got an unexpected edit.

At Petco Park in San Diego, one member of the Canadian singing group The Tenors — by himself, according to the other members of the group — revised the anthem.

School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

After an international tribunal invalidated Beijing's claims to the South China Sea, Chinese authorities have declared in no uncertain terms that they will be ignoring the ruling.

The Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, objecting to China's claims to maritime rights in the disputed waters. The tribunal agreed that China had no legal authority to claim the waters and was infringing on the sovereign rights of the Philippines.

Donald Trump is firing back at Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg after she disparaged him in several media interviews. He tweeted late Tuesday that she "has embarrassed all" with her "very dumb political statements" about the candidate. Trump ended his tweet with "Her mind is shot - resign!":

Pages

Never Too Early To Prepare For Presidential Debates

Sep 6, 2012
Originally published on September 6, 2012 10:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

Mitt Romney has not done any campaigning the last few days. He's in Vermont with senior aides, preparing for debates next month. And even as President Obama prepares for tonight's big speech, campaign aides say he has been preparing for debates, too. NPR's Ari Shapiro asked past debate coaches what happens behind the scenes.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Things used to be so much simpler, says Michael Waldman. He's a veteran of the Clinton administration.

MICHAEL WALDMAN: John F. Kennedy prepped for the first presidential televised debate by looking at a few note cards with one aide.

SHAPIRO: Nowadays, staffers assemble thick briefing books months in advance. Once the candidate has studied them, he stands on mock debate stage with a carefully chosen mock opponent and cameras rolling. That's so everyone can review the footage afterwards. Karen Hughes remembers long days in Crawford, Texas with George W. Bush and a parade of experts.

KAREN HUGHES: So it could be anything from Medicare to, if you had tax policy, you'd have the economists in the room. If it was foreign policy, you'd have the foreign policy specialists.

SHAPIRO: The goal is to exhaust every possible question and rehearse the perfect answer for each one, so by the time you get to the debate itself, there are no surprises. But memorizing the book alone is not enough. The candidates have to learn how to boil answers down and tie them into a campaign theme that makes sense to voters. Republican Ed Rollins coached presidential candidate Jack Kemp in 1988.

ED ROLLINS: You know, Jack had 40 ideas in his head at any one given moment. And you have to get the answers down to 30 or 60 seconds. It was kind of hard for him to do.

SHAPIRO: Once you've finally got the substance, style is just as critical. Al Gore learned that lesson the hard way. In the 2000 race, Gore had all the answers. Problem was, he acted like a guy who had all the answers. This sigh may have handed debate victory to George W. Bush.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE)

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: I've had a record of appointing judges in the state of Texas.

(SOUNDBITE OF SIGH)

That's what a governor gets to do. A governor...

SHAPIRO: After the debate, style turned to spin. The Bush team talked about how domineering Gore was, how he argued with the moderator and invaded Bush's space. It worked. Bush was judged the debate's winner. But four years later, Bush had body language problems of his own. Every time John Kerry answered a question, Bush would frown. Karen Hughes had to break the news to him after the debate.

HUGHES: He thought he did a good job in the debate. And I said, well, except for that cut shot when you kept scowling at the camera.

(LAUGHTER)

SHAPIRO: The candidates and their coaches know that one good zinger can win a debate, and they spend days searching for the perfect phrase. Ed Rollins worked with Ronald Reagan.

ROLLINS: If you hit on a couple of those, you sort of dominate the news media for the next couple of days.

SHAPIRO: For example, in 1984, people openly wondered whether Reagan was too old for another four years in office. This line was carefully scripted and powerfully effective.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience.

SHAPIRO: One of the best-remembered zingers of all time came from Lloyd Bentsen in 1988. Debate coach Bob Shrum knew that Bentsen's opponent liked comparing himself to JFK. And sure enough, Dan Quayle made the comparison in the debate.

BOB SHRUM: And Lloyd Bentsen was entirely prepared to turn to him and say...

(SOUNDBITE OF VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE)

LLOYD BENTSEN: Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.

SHAPIRO: There's a balancing act, though. While debate coaches hate surprise, they don't want to over-prepare, either. A candidate with too much information in his head can seem unfocused. Karen Hughes says George W. Bush understood that danger as far back as the Texas governor's race.

HUGHES: He told the staff: If you have any ideas for what I should say, tell Karen. And it was a very smart move, because by debate day, my head was so crammed with stuff, I could not think.

SHAPIRO: All of this preparation comes down to one goal, and it isn't convincing a panel of judges, says former Clinton aide Michael Waldman.

WALDMAN: All these candidates know that it's not about winning points in a high school debating championship. It's about persuading the public one way or another that you're ready to be president.

SHAPIRO: It's a strange gauntlet to run, because there are lots of things a president has to be good at. But outside of a campaign, the president of the United States will never actually debate anyone.

Ari Shapiro, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.