Linking curious, engaged listeners to street-smart conversations, The Connection tackled a vast range of topics. From politics to literature, religion to science, and music to medicine, The Connection approached each with a modern edge.
Every day, every week for the past 17 years, Terry Gross has been a presence on the nation’s public radio airwaves. Her distinctive voice elicits the innermost secrets, existential thoughts, and old fashioned fun from scientists, musicians, politicians, painters, actors and artists. As host of “Fresh Air,” Gross offers a respite from the frenetic radio world of the shout and the sound bite.
Terry admits that for someone with such a profile, she’s actually quite shy. She rarely interviews her guests face to face. She prefers to have them in separate studios, saying that she’s then just like the rest of us, listening and relying on the power of the human voice. It’s just one of the many tools she uses to make her interviews so memorable.
Terry Gross, host of “Fresh Air” and author of “All I Did Was Ask”
If there is any one issue which has dominated this presidential campaign it is security. For many, the after affects of the terrorist attacks on September 11th, are wounds that are still healing. And there’s the war in Iraq, where more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers have died and an untold number of Iraqis have also been killed. Both Bush and Kerry say they have the answer. Now voters have to choose which man will protect the country and which one has a plan to win the war
Marian Fontana, wife of firefighter Dave Fontana, who died in the World Trade Center
Bernice Wipfler, mother of two soldiers who served in Iraq
Transition time, a new or revised cabinet list, the way people are chosen and who sits with the president can all have a lasting impact on the next administration. If Bush is re-elected there’s sure to be changes. We’re already hearing whispers that Ashcroft, Powell, Ridge and Condi are leaving, and even Republican voters might be surprised at what they get. If John Kerry wins, there’ll be an entirely different policy outlook, with is mix of new faces, and some, more familiar from Clinton’s days.
Ken Walsh, Chief White House Correspondent for U.S. News and World Report
Roy Neel, former director of Al Gore’s 2004 transition team
President Bush and Senator Kerry both have health care proposals, and they differ widely in substance and in philosophy. One favors a market-based; the other would give government a bigger role in caring for the uninsured. And with polls showing health care as a top issue in voters’ minds, the candidate with the right diagnosis for what ails America just might win.
Sheila Moran, Executive Director for Mobile Health Outreach in Charlotte, North Carolina
Sheila Wessenberg, an uninsured cancer patient from Dallas, Texas
Stuart Altman, Professor of National Health Policy at the Heller School at Brandeis University — has been an advisor on health care to both Republican and Democratic Presidents for the last 35 years
Mixing politics and pop culture in columns that are both irreverent and cutting, New York Times Columnist Maureen Dowd is one of the nation’s most influential editorial writers. Dowd won a Pulitzer for her columns about the scandals around President Clinton and she has taken on President Bush with equal zeal. She has emerged as one of the sharpest critics of the administration and the war. With the election less than a week away, she gives us an inside the beltway tour of what she calls “Bushworld.”
Maureen Dowd, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist and author of “Bushworld”
President Bush says the economy is getting stronger. Kerry says Bush is the first president since Herbert Hoover to see a net loss of jobs. Which is it? Could it be both?
Many Americans live to work. But now some are living to find work. There are unemployed factory and textile workers, and more and more, there are white-collar workers who are out of work, and looking. Off-shoring, outsourcing, and the jobless recovery have all had their way with the American worker. Others insist there are opportunities out there. So what’s a president to do about jobs?
Brian Stowell, President of Crown Point Cabinetry in Claremont, NH
Charles Saunders, President of Saunders Thread Company in Gastonia, NC
Mary Phillips, unemployed and looking for work in Tiffin, OH
In a world of pundits dominated by sound bites, high volume shouting and expletives, Mark Steyn stands out for his surgical skill in taking apart liberals. His commentaries come from a hard right conservative perspective skewering the political left in newspapers and magazines throughout the English-speaking world.
But while some embrace him for his humor and intellect, others say his toxic commentary inflames, instead of informs.
Mark Steyn, conservative syndicated columnist for a wide range of publications including the Chicago Sun-Times, National Review, The Washington Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Spectator, and the Jerusalem Post.
Not since the JFK was forced to address questions about being a Catholic candidate in 1960 has religion been such a persistent campaign issue. A majority of American voters want a president who is deeply grounded in faith. President George Bush has invoked God in his calls for war and to back up socially conservative policies. Senator John Kerry continues to run afoul of the Catholic hierarchy on abortion. A country founded on religious pluralism by religious dissidents, now finds itself unsure, where the church ends and the state begins.
Elizabeth Maxwell, Associate Rector of the Holy Apostles Church and Program Director of the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen in New York City
James Hilton, Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Orange City, FL.
In his book “The Latino Wave: How Hispanics Will Elect the Next American President,” Jorge Ramos, news anchor for Noticiero Univision, argues that Hispanic voters are becoming more sophisticated — and demanding more than “sombrero and taco politics.” Instead they want candidates who speak to their issues, their values, and their culture. George Bush and John Kerry are paying attention, and pumping millions of dollars into Spanish language ads to try and pull Hispanic voters to their side.
Jorge Ramos, journalist and author of “The Latino Wave: How Hispanics Will Elect the Next American President”
Older Americans are twice as likely to go to the polls as people under 30, a fact not lost on either campaign. That’s why this year there’s been a lot of talk about Medicare and Social Security — issues that are traditionally important to older voters.
But seniors worry about a lot more than pills and bills. Turns out they vote on a range of issues — and this year Iraq and the deficit are at the top of their list.
In the first in our five-part series called The People’s Choice we hear from two voters about who they trust to take care of them and why.
Bill Toomey is a retired Peabody City Councilor
Jim Callahan, AARP Massachusetts Executive Council;
Henry Aaron is a Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution;