Essential Reads

Essential Reads is your one-stop source for the top stories of the day as reported by your favorite Washington Week panelists. It's a simple way to save time and stay informed about the news you need to know. Check it out every day!

Nov 08, 2011

  • Republican Women Voters and Herman Cain

    By Susan Davis, National Journal

    The Wall Street Journal has an interesting teaser on their latest WSJ/NBC News poll coming out tonight on how Republican voters view 2012 GOP contender Herman Cain following multiple allegations of sexual harassment towards women.

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  • Supreme Court wrestles with sticky Jerusalem passport case

    By Joan Biskupic, USA Today

    In a dispute that evokes Arab-Israeli tensions and important divisions of federal power, Supreme Court justices voiced doubt Monday that Congress could override the president and require U.S. passports of children born in Jerusalem to list the place of birth as Israel.

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  • Does Ohio hold the key to Obama’s 2012 hopes?

    By Dan Balz, Washington Post

    President Obama’s political advisers employed a creative and ultimately successful strategy on their way to victory in 2008. They enlarged the electoral map, pouring resources into states Democrats had lost for decades in an effort to provide multiple paths to the necessary 270 electoral votes. The strategy was designed, in part, to avoid having the election decided in Ohio or Florida.

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  • This Time, Cain's Accuser Has a Name and a Face

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Nothing about the Herman Cain campaign has unfolded as expected, so it’s anybody’s guess what will happen next. But by presenting a name, a face, and details — unlike the three other women who have accused him of sexual harassment — Sharon Bialek will make it a lot harder for voters to ignore the allegations. Her nationally televised press conference on Monday ensures that this is not, as Cain declared recently, “end of story.’’ Not even close.

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  • Longtime Obama aide to take 'expanded' role in West Wing

    By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley will be turning over some management duties in the West Wing to Pete Rouse, a senior counselor to the president who helped recruit Daley for the job ten months ago.

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  • White House Chief of Staff Daley Cedes Day-to-Day Operations

    By Julianna Goldman and Hans Nichols, Bloomberg

    White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley yesterday ceded day-to-day operations to Peter Rouse, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama who had served as interim chief of staff before Daley assumed the job 11 months ago, according to an administration official.

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  • Obama Takes Steps to Aid Veterans in Job Search

    By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

    President Obama offered a sobering statistic Monday: Of 14 million Americans without jobs, more than 850,000 are military veterans. "We're determined to change that," he said.

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  • Obama: 'Veterans did their jobs ... time for Congress to do theirs'

    By Sam Youngman and Vicki Needham, The Hill

    President Obama on Monday announced new initiatives to help veterans find work, blasting Republicans in the process. In pressing the Senate during a Rose Garden event to pass a package of tax incentives for businesses that hire unemployed veterans, Obama castigated Republicans for voting against his jobs bill and said “there's no good reason to oppose this bill. Not one.”

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  • Cain accuser says she came forward on her own

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post

    The woman accusing GOP presidential contender Herman Cain of unwanted sexual advances said she was not paid or promised any employment in exchange for making her allegations publicly.

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Nov 07, 2011

  • In Fight for Jobs Bill, Are Americans Tuning Obama Out?

    By National Journal Staff

    President Obama's call to action on his jobs plan hasn't yet drawn the same concentrated response as when he asked voters to put pressure on lawmakers to vote on the debt-ceiling deal. His summertime appeal yielded a flood of calls to the Hill, jamming phone lines. The people spoke and, because of that and a plethora of other reasons, Congress voted.

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  • Five questions for the week in politics

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post

    Another busy week in presidential politics. Will Mitt Romney make a play as he heads to Iowa? And as Bachmann speaks to evangelicals, can she make the case that she’s a viable candidate?

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  • Nicaragua, Guatemala: '80s Rebels Seek Leadership

    By Laura Sullivan and Tom Gjelten, NPR

    Nicaragua isn't the only country in Central America holding elections today. In Guatemala, people are also headed to the polls to choose a new president. And in both countries, the elections are fraught with history.

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  • America’s Deadly Dynamics With Iran

    By David Sanger, The New York Times

    Commuting to work in Tehran is never easy, but it is particularly nerve-racking these days for the scientists of Shahid Beheshti University. It was a little less than a year ago when one of them, Majid Shahriari, and his wife were stuck in traffic at 7:40 a.m. and a motorcycle pulled up alongside the car. There was a faint “click” as a magnet attached to the driver’s side door. The huge explosion came a few seconds later, killing him and injuring his wife.

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  • Two Decades After Anita Hill, Voters Shrug at Sex Harassment

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Scores of interviews with Iowa Republicans over the weekend turned up scant outrage over the sexual harassment allegations leveled against presidential candidate Herman Cain. That's partly because of the good will he's engendered among voters, and partly because of a widespread mistrust of the media, which has been extensively airing the allegations.

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  • Presidential Crystal Balls

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    Unemployment is mired at 9%, and President Obama's poll ratings are mired too. Democrats are dispirited. Republicans are fired up and ready to go. Activists on both the right and the left are demanding change.

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  • Political Wrap

    With John Harwood, CNBC

    The details on GOP candidates battling over the economy.

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  • Cain rejects questions on sex assault accusations

    With John Dickerson, CBS News

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain stresses that he will not answer any more questions about allegations of sexual assault.

  • Analysis: Cain turmoil major distraction for GOP

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's halting response to sex harassment allegations is causing a major distraction in the GOP race and drawing attention away from his rivals' efforts to gain ground or announce initiatives.

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Nov 04, 2011

  • Last Man Standing?

    By Beth Reinhard and Alex Roarty, National Journal

    The question of which Republican candidate would emerge as the more conservative, more preferable alternative to Mitt Romney has loomed over the 2012 primary campaign for months. A passel of potential rivals have either taken a pass (Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee, and Sarah Palin) or self-destructed (Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry). Now, Herman Cain’s spectacularly bungled response to accusations of sexual harassment threatens to torpedo his recent surge, too.

    Read more in the National Journal
  • Will Herman Cain survive the scandal?

    By Karen Tumulty and Aaron Blake, The Washington Post

    There is no law of political physics that predicts what happens when the most unconventional type of presidential campaign collides with the most timeworn kind of Washington scandal.

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