President Obama walks onstage Dec. 22 to urge members of Congress to vote on a short-term compromise that extended the payroll tax cut. Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Mark Wilson/Getty Images
After A Year of Struggles, Obama Finds His Footing
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/144488241/144515590" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Mitt Romney speaks Dec. 16 at Missouri Valley Steel in Sioux City, Iowa. Chris Carlson/Associated Press hide caption

toggle caption Chris Carlson/Associated Press
Despite Signs Of Hope, Iowa Voters Question Economy
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/144375731/144394566" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Obama Urges Boehner To Pass Payroll Tax Extension
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/144087070/144087882" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Rep. Michele Bachmann waves to supporters Friday in Sioux City before starting a 99-county bus tour of Iowa. Jeff Haynes/Reuters /Landov hide caption

toggle caption Jeff Haynes/Reuters /Landov
In Iowa And Beyond, Republicans In Final Push Before Contests Begin
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/143854112/143859085" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
In Iowa, Bachmann Attacks Gingrich In GOP Debate
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/143820304/143820285" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

President Obama speaks with small-business owners at Rausch's Cafe in Guttenberg, Iowa, during a three-day Midwest bus tour in August. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
In Iowa, Obama's Campaign Team Rehearses For 2012
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/143786414/143795296" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

President Obama addresses the media Thursday, with an electronic clock counting down to the end of the year. The payroll tax cut is due to expire then, unless Congress votes to extend it. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Win McNamee/Getty Images
Obama Pushes Agenda Despite Losses On The Hill
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/143412566/143429551" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Obama Slams GOP For Blocking Consumer Nominee
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/143386916/143387589" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
PR Blitz Aims To Win Support For Obama Nominee
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/143333598/143333581" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

President Obama delivers an economic speech Tuesday in Osawatomie, Kan., where Teddy Roosevelt issued a famous call for a "New Nationalism" 101 years ago. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

toggle caption Carolyn Kaster/AP
In Kansas, Obama Invites Teddy Roosevelt Analogies
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/143178163/143190222" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Obama Uses Pa. Trip To Push Tax Cut Extension
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/142987441/142987428" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Obama Pushes Payroll Tax Cut
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/142911223/142911209" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

T-shirts on display at the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans in June. With the holidays approaching, campaigns and retailers are hawking plenty of political merchandise. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
A Holiday Guide For The Politically Inclined
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/142728465/142767737" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
In N.H. Trip, Obama Pushes Keeping Payroll Tax Cut
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/142693133/142693161" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript