Barack Obama

In at least one sense, the final presidential debate of the year looked a lot like the previous ones between Mitt Romney and President Obama.

Regardless of what they were asked, each offered talking points he had prepared and was determined to make. The candidates, not moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS News, set both the tone and the pace of the debate.

That included switching gears far from the nominal subject of Monday's debate in Boca Raton, Fla., which was foreign policy. The domestic economy received at least as much attention and verbiage as Iran, Libya or China.

Foreign policy proved to be a subject that kept the tone mostly substantive tonight in the third and final debate between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney before the Nov. 6 election.

Dispatch: The Server And The Cat

Oct 18, 2012
YouTube Screenshot

During the previous debate, our Dispatches from the Swing State team met an interesting character in a Key West pub -- a local server named Patti Wilde who is originally from Cincinnati and is something of a local celebrity.

Or, as she explains it, "I mean, I used to be. I've been here 30 years so they go, 'oh, Cincinnati Patti's here.' But now they don't do that anymore. They go, 'Larry!'"

"Larry" is Patti Wilde's cat -- a very large cat that sits calmly on the bar stool wherever she goes.

Churches Hope To Unite Flocks After Election

Oct 18, 2012
Laura Coburn

After the final vote is cast next month, the country may be in need of some healing and reconciliation.

That's the idea behind Election Day Communion.

Hundreds of churches across the country will be holding services election night and serving communion including one in South Florida.

Reverend Spencer Potter is the rector of St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Palmetto Bay.

He says the service will be a time for the whole congregation to unite.

Anyone who thought the presidential candidates couldn't get aggressive within a town hall-style format underestimated the sharp differences in policy that divide them.

President Obama and Mitt Romney remained continuously critical against one another throughout their second debate Tuesday night. Neither ever seemed to finish a statement without launching an attack against his opponent.

Patrick Farrell

Flagler County, where Palm Coast is located, has the highest unemployment rate in Florida. 1 in 8 workers there is without a job.

Our Dispatches from the Swing State project passed through Palm Coast yesterday and stopped at a hotdog stand where they met John Sabia.

Sabia works only for tips at Hot Diggity Dog. He’s helping out the owner who happens to be his son.

Sabia says when Palm Coast was booming, the hotdog stand had a line for hours and US1 was backed up with traffic.


But then, the collapse.

Obama And Romney's Big South Florida Donors

Oct 12, 2012
Facundo Gaisler/Flickr

Not only are South Florida's votes key to the upcoming presidential election, but its residents are some big donors to the presidential campaigns, as well.

South Florida Business Journal rounded up some of the biggest donors in the region to both President Obama and Mitt Romney's campaigns. 

Obama campaign

President Obama came to Florida yesterday to find himself trailing Mitt Romney by seven points in the latest Mason-Dixon poll. Many agree, it’s the result of his lackluster debate performance last week.

And that's what the president tried to make up for during a rally at the University of Miami. Sounding confident and energetic, the president covered the points he overlooked during the debate -- passing Obamacare, killing Osama bin Laden and ending the war in Iraq.

NEWSCAST: New Florida Poll Gives Romney 7 Point Lead

Oct 11, 2012
Photo: Roger Barone/TRNS

A new Mason-Dixon poll now shows G.O.P.

Obama for America/Flickr

The Tampa Bay Times chatted with David Plouffe, President Obama's Senior advisor, recently. While polls show the president is struggling right now, Plouffe tells the Times that he's confident Obama will make gains in Florida-- particularly among Miami Hispanics.

Miami Herald

President Obama makes an appearance this afternoon at BankUnited Center on the University of Miami's Coral Gables campus. It's a grassroots rally with free admission for those who got advance tickets. Doors open at 1 p. m.

After that, Brickell Avenue will close at Southeast Seventh Street at 4 p. m. as the president makes his way to another event at the J. W. Marriott Marquis Hotel.

He's supposed to arrive at 5. But the Miami Herald warns downtown drivers need to make three and half hours worth of plans:

Education: Obama And Romney Mostly Agree

Oct 5, 2012
klootch1 / flickr

If there are any undecided voters left in Florida, just weeks before the election, chances are they're educators.

Many say President Obama and Mitt Romney have strong education platforms that differ so subtly it may take a teacher's practiced eye to tell them apart.

"They're both strong on testing and accountability," says Doug Tuthill, who runs a nonprofit in Tampa for low-income K-through-12 students. "They both believe that student achievement should be included in teacher evaluation systems.

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