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!

Aug 08, 2012

  • Romney opens attack on Obama over welfare law

    By Sam Youngman, Reuters

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney opened a new line of attack on President Barack Obama on Tuesday for waiving parts of a landmark welfare-to-work law, but Obama's team argued Romney had backed a similar move as Massachusetts governor.

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  • Obama Camp Assails Romney's Welfare Attack Ad

    By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics.com

    Mitt Romney's campaign ad accusing President Obama of gutting work requirements in the nation's welfare program sparked vehement denunciations Tuesday from the White House and the Obama campaign.

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  • President Obama tailors outreach for select groups

    by Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    The Obama campaign is carefully targeting groups including young women, dog lovers and sports fans, trying to build on connections to create deeper commitments from voters this fall.

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  • Obama to Make Three-Day Campaign Swing Through Iowa

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    At a time when he usually races from state to state seeking votes, President Obama has decided to invest much of next week in a single place, Iowa, the one where it all began for him.

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  • David Wessel Answers Your Tax Questions

    by David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal

    David Wessel’s recent Capital column on taxes prompted an unusually large number of comments and emails, some of which posed questions. Here are his answers to a selected few.

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Aug 07, 2012

  • Obama Tells a Tale of ‘Romney Hood’

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    President Obama has been looking for new ways to keep pressing the same attack on Mitt Romney’s tax plan, and on Monday, he coined a phrase he hopes will stick: “Romney Hood.”

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  • Convention Challenge: VIP Speakers Who Send Wrong Message

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Pity the organizers of the Democratic and Republican conventions this year. The host governors -- Bev Perdue in North Carolina and Rick Scott in Florida --happen to be two of the least popular state executives in the country. But geographic protocols demand that they address the convention hall. What to do?

    Read more in the National Journal
  • Romney Veepstakes: Who Would Add Internationalist Cred to the Ticket?

    by James Kitfield, National Journal

    When first-term Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was looking for a running mate to bolster a résumé short on foreign-policy experience and to help navigate the treacherous shoals of international relations during a time of war, he chose Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., the chairman and longtime member of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Texas Gov. George W. Bush, also short on overseas experience, did something similar when he chose Dick Cheney, a former White House chief of staff and secretary of Defense who had successfully managed the Persian Gulf War.

    Read more in the National Journal
  • Political battle of the incumbents

    by John Harwood, CNBC

    Election season bringing an unusual race in a battleground state this november, thanks to redistricting, two incumbent representatives are facing off in Ohio's 16th District. 

    Watch at CNBC
  • After Sikh Killings, Obama Calls for "Soul-Searching"

    By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics.com

    President Obama, reacting gingerly to the weekend's deadly shooting rampage at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, steered clear of the gun control debate on Monday, emphasizing instead that "we are all one people and we look after one another and we respect one another."

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Aug 06, 2012

  • Pollsters Struggle to Pin Down the Right (Cell) Number

    By John Harwood, The New York Times

    As they gauge voter sentiment in this tight presidential race, pollsters face a big challenge: more and more voters hang up on them.

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  • Romney’s heavy August workload

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    The best that can be said about how Mitt Romney fared in July is that he survived. That has only raised the stakes for what the presumptive Republican presidential nominee needs to do in August.

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  • Rice, McCain and three would-be running mates to headline Republican convention

    By Sam Youngman, Reuters

    A who's who of Republican leaders, including three thought to be possible running mates for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, will kick off the party's convention this month.

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  • Democrats Embrace Once Pejorative ‘Obamacare’ Tag

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    As thousands of people gathered on a sweltering night outside a local high school draped with flags and bunting, the speaker talked about the president’s controversial health program. “That’s why he passed Obamacare!” she declared.

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  • Romney Misleads with Israel Ad

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    The truth sure is a slippery thing in the 2012 campaign. "It's beginning to seem as if everyone's at the prow of a Swift Boat, pants on fire and conscience on ice,'' writes a fired-up Frank Bruni of The New York Times, rightfully lambasting Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid for calling Republican Mitt Romney a tax scofflaw without offering an iota of proof.

    Read more in the National Journal

Aug 03, 2012

  • Can Obama Overcome Job Numbers -- and History?

    By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics.com

    When 8.3 percent of Americans are unemployed and an election is a little over three months away, it's a flat-out certainty that President Obama is going to have to defy some historical assumptions to find a path to victory.

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  • U.S. Jobs Grew 163,000 in July

    By Jim Tankersley, National Journal

    U.S. economy added 163,000 jobs in July, a faster-than-expected pace, but the jobless rate rose.

    Read more in the National Journal
  • Lost on the Campaign Trail: A Real Jobs Debate

    By Jim Tankersley, National Journal

    In January 2001, Bill Clinton’s final month in office, 132.4 million Americans were employed. Eleven years and six months later, that number has grown … all the way to 133 million. A whopping 600,000 more Americans have jobs today than at the dawn of the 21st Century.

    Read more and watch video
  • President Again Blasts Tax Proposal of Romney’s

    By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

    President Obama on Thursday continued his swing-state offensive against Mitt Romney’s tax-cut plans, deriding them as a boon to the rich at the expense of everyone else — “trickle-down tax-cut fairy dust,” he called them at a college here.

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  • Obama Brings "Middle Class'' Tour to Nation's Richest County

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    President Obama brings his "middle class tax relief'' tour Thursday to Leesburg, VA., -- which sits in the richest county in the country.  Loudon County's official web site notes its median income of $119,540 is "#1 ranked in the USA

    Read more in the National Journal