Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 8:19 pm
A few terms and figures became flash points for later discussion in the first presidential debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. From Simpson-Bowles (which was mentioned at least eight times) to the much-discussed $716 billion cut in Medicare, the presidential debate and the wider campaign have featured a growing list of devilish details that could use a good footnote. Here's a closer look at a few of these disputed terms that are likely to come up in the vice-presidential debate.
The names Columbine and Virginia Tech have both become tragic shorthand for school shootings in America. In the wake of those shootings, schools have developed a fairly typical lockdown procedure when there's a threat: sound the alarm, call police, lock doors and stay put.
The standard school-lockdown plan is intended to minimize chaos so police arriving on the scene don't shoot the wrong people. Students practice following directions, getting into classrooms and essentially, waiting.
Many Americans today feel like they've lost or are losing their shot at a college education because paying for it often seems out of reach. So how big of an issue is this in the presidential campaign?
Here's what President Obama has done to help families pay for college: He negotiated a deal with Congress this summer that kept the interest rate on government-backed Stafford loans from doubling for 7.5 million students.