Not so long ago, when the question was war, the response on Capitol Hill was an automatic blank check.
A largely compliant Congress, and presidents and politicians who were fearful of looking "weak on defense" or "unpatriotic," rubber-stamped massive military spending.
Funny how 10 years, two $1 trillion-and-counting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a budding military engagement in Libya, and a nation mired in unsustainable spending and debt can change what was once a military imperative.
There are at least a dozen Republicans considering a run for the White House in 2012. Over the next two weeks, NPR will be profiling some of them to find out what first sparked their interest in politics.
Before Mitt Romney went from the boardroom to the campaign trail, his father did the same thing.
George Romney was the head of American Motors — a gregarious, no-nonsense CEO who championed a line of innovative compact cars sold under the Nash and Rambler nameplates.