Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

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 vegetables 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.

Pages

Romney Retrospective: The Business Candidate, Still Working To Close The Deal

Oct 29, 2012
Originally published on October 29, 2012 8:17 pm

Looking at this year's Republican primary field, Sigmund Freud might have divided the candidates into superego and id.

The id is all about passion and zeal — and that defined most of Romney's challengers: Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, businessman Herman Cain, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich all made pulses race.

The superego is more measured.

This much smaller column consisted briefly of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, and more notably, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

"I'm not willing to light my hair on fire to try and get support. I am who I am," Romney said in February. "I'm a person with extensive experience in the private sector, in the economy."

Romney never made people swoon. But he had things nobody else in the race did. Like money, and organization.

With the meticulousness of a business consultant studying a corporation, Romney spent the years leading up to this race lining up endorsements, donors and state-by-state victory networks.

In the Ohio primary on March 6, Romney's team outspent Santorum 10 to 1 and squeaked out a victory. In the primaries' final stretch, while his last remaining rivals appealed to idealism, the Romney campaign appealed to math.

"They're going to have to get 60 and 70 percent of the remaining delegates when the pattern, so far, in this delegate race has shown that they're not able to attain those kinds of numbers," Romney communications director Gail Gitcho said of the Santorum and Gingrich campaigns, which each had collected some delegates but significantly trailed Romney. "So it would be very challenging for them to make that up in the coming weeks."

There was one way in which Romney did not run his campaign like a business. At times in this race, when Romney trailed far behind in every important swing state, other candidates might have done a staff shakeup.

But even when staffers gave Romney a black eye in public, nobody got fired.
"I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes," adviser Eric Fehrnstrom famously said in March. "It's almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again."

Fehrnstrom remains part of the campaign, as does traveling press secretary Rick Gorka, who made this salty remark to a reporter during Romney's later visit to Poland: "Kiss my ass. This is a holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect."

Romney is intensely loyal, and many of his top advisers have been with him for years. He's much harder on himself.

After a series of gaffes threw off his campaign's message day after day in late February, Romney said: "I'm very pleased with the campaign, its organization. The candidate sometimes makes some mistakes and so I'm trying to do better and work harder and make sure that we get our message across."

More recently, after the second presidential debate on Oct. 16, Romney campaign adviser Stuart Stevens was walking across a parking lot near the Long Island debate site when his phone rang:

"Hey Gov.," Stevens said.

Then, after a pause --

"No, you were terrific; I thought [debate moderator] Candy Crowley was a disaster."

On the other end of the phone line, Romney was clearly beating himself up for losing the debate to President Obama. Stevens had the tone of a guy talking a buddy down from the ledge.

The presidential debates showed another side of Romney, too. He's a man whose strongest moments have been when he's on the ropes.

In late January, just days before Florida's crucial Republican primary, Gingrich called Romney the most "anti-immigrant" candidate among the GOP contenders.

"Mr. Speaker, I'm not anti-immigrant," Romney said. "My father was born in Mexico. My wife's father was born in Wales. They came to this country. The idea that I'm anti-immigrant is repulsive."

Going into the first presidential debate on Oct. 3 against President Obama, Romney was arguably at his lowest. And he won.

"Look, I've got five boys," Romney told Obama when discussing tax policy. "I'm used to people saying something that's not always true, but just keep on repeating it and ultimately hoping I'll believe it. But that — that is not the case. All right? I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans."

That performance and the subsequent comeback confirmed something that Republican consultant Mike Murphy knew about Romney.

"He learns from his mistakes," says Murphy, who ran Romney's gubernatorial campaign in Massachusetts. "Romney is not a guy who makes the same mistake twice very often. And he's dogged. He kind of keeps going. So I think those traits are what got him through a long trough primary and now got him back to life in what looked like a very daunting general election."

The debates also showed that Romney does not feel bound by positions he's taken in the past.

In June, Romney said about Afghanistan: "Announcing a withdrawal date, that was wrong."

At the final presidential debate Oct. 22, he put it this way: "Well, we're gonna be finished by 2014."

In those debates he also seemed to moderate his positions on health care, taxes, Wall Street regulations and more. Democrats say this shows Romney to be a man driven by political expediency rather than core convictions.

"I think that's the kind of president Romney will be," said consultant Tad Devine. "He's going to figure out politically what's best for him and he'll execute it on the basis of that political calculation."

Romney's positions on some issues may have changed in the past year, but his overall demeanor never did. Whether he was up in the polls or down, in public and — aides say — in private, he always kept his equanimity.

"You know, Romney is a pretty consistent player," says Republican consultant Ed Rogers. "He never does great, but he never does poorly. And his authenticity comes through."

As many candidates before him have proved, to win a presidential election you don't have to be perfect. You just have to be a little bit better than the other guy.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're going to take a step away from storm coverage now to explore what we've learned about President Obama and Mitt Romney, as leaders. We've had months to watch political ads and hear the candidates' speeches. Tomorrow, we'll bring you a story on the president's leadership. Today, Governor Romney.

NPR's Ari Shapiro has been covering the Republican candidate for the entire campaign season.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Looking at this year's Republican primary field, Sigmund Freud might have divided the candidates into superego and id. The id is all about passion and zeal and that defined most of Mitt Romney's challengers: Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, all made pulse race.

The superego is more measured. This much smaller column consisted briefly of Jon Huntsman and more notably, Mitt Romney

MITT ROMNEY: I'm not willing to light my hair on fire to try and get support. I am who I am. I'm a person with extensive experience in the private sector.

SHAPIRO: Romney never made people swoon. But he had things nobody else in the race did, like money and organization. With the meticulousness of a business consultant studying a corporation, Romney spent the years leading up to this one lining up endorsements and donors.

In the Ohio primary, Romney's team outspent Rick Santorum 10-to-1 and squeaked out a victory. In the primaries' final stretch, while his last remaining rivals appealed to idealism, the Romney campaign appealed to math. This was Communications Director Gail Gitcho back in March.

GAIL GITCHO: They're going to have to get 60 and 70 percent of the remaining delegates, when the pattern so far in this delegate race has shown that they're not able to attain those kinds of numbers.

SHAPIRO: There was one way in which he did not run his campaign like a business: Nobody ever got fired. At times in this race, when Romney trailed far behind in every important swing state, other campaigns might have seen a staff shakeup. But Romney even stuck with aides who gave him a black eye in public.

ERIC FEHRNSTROM: For the fall campaign, everything changes. It's almost like an etch-a-sketch; you can kind of shake it up and we start all over again.

SHAPIRO: Advisor Eric Fehrnstrom is still right by Mitt Romney's side. So is traveling Press Secretary Rick Gorka, who made this salty remark during Romney's visit to Poland.

RICK GORKA: (Bleep) this is a holy site for the Polish people. Show some respect.

SHAPIRO: Romney is much harder on himself. Here's how he put it in Michigan, after a series of gaffes threw off his campaign's message day after day.

ROMNEY: I'm very pleased with the campaign and its organization. The candidate sometimes makes the mistakes. And so, I'm trying to do better and work harder, and make sure that we get our message across.

SHAPIRO: More recently, after the second presidential debate, President Obama pummeled Romney on Long Island. Romney campaign adviser Stuart Stevens was walking across a parking lot near the debate site when his phone rang.

Hey Gov, Stevens said. Then, after a pause: No, you were terrific. I thought Candy Crowley was a disaster.

On the other end of the phone line, Romney was clearly beating himself up for losing the debate. Stevens had the tone of a guy talking a buddy down from the ledge.

The presidential debates showed another side of Mitt Romney, too. He's a man whose strongest moments have been when he's on the ropes. Here he was fighting off Newt Gingrich during the primaries in Florida.

ROMNEY: My father was born in Mexico. My wife's father was born in Wales. They came to this country. The idea that I'm anti-immigrant is repulsive.

SHAPIRO: Going into the first presidential debate against President Obama, Mitt Romney was arguably at his lowest and he came out on top.

ROMNEY: Look, I've got five boys. I'm used to people saying something that's not always true but just keep on repeating it, and ultimately hoping I'll believe it. But that is not the case.

SHAPIRO: That performance and the subsequent comeback confirmed something that Republican consultant Mike Murphy knew about Romney. Murphy ran Romney's gubernatorial campaign in Massachusetts.

MIKE MURPHY: He learns from his mistakes. Romney is not a guy who makes the same mistake twice very often. And he's dogged, he kind of keeps going. So I think those traits are what got him through a long tough primary and now got him back to life in what looked like a very daunting general election.

SHAPIRO: The debates also showed that Romney does not feel bound by positions he's taken in the past. For example, here's what he said about Afghanistan in June.

ROMNEY: Announcing a withdrawal date, that was wrong.

SHAPIRO: And this is what he said in the final presidential debate this month.

ROMNEY: Well, we're going to be finished by 2014.

SHAPIRO: In those debates, he also seemed to moderate his positions on health care, taxes, Wall Street regulations and more. Democrats say this shows Romney to be a man driven by political expediency rather than core convictions.

Here's consultant Tad Devine.

TAD DEVINE: I think that's the kind of president, you know, Romney will be. He's going to figure out politically what's the best course for him, and he will execute it on the basis of that political calculation.

SHAPIRO: Romney's positions on some issues may have changed in the last year, but his overall demeanor never did. Whether he was up in the polls or down, in public, and aides say in private, he always kept his equanimity. That's what strikes Republican consultant Ed Rogers most about Romney.

ED ROGERS: You know, Romney is a pretty consistent player. He never does great but he never does poorly. And his authenticity comes through.

SHAPIRO: As many candidates before him have proven, to win a presidential election you don't have to be perfect, you just have to be a little bit better than the other guy.

Ari Shapiro, NPR News, traveling with the Romney campaign.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.