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 13, 2012

  • Both Sides Focus on the Republican Ticket’s New Face

    By Jeff Zeleny and Michael Barbaro, The New York Times

    Democrats moved aggressively on Sunday to wrap Mitt Romney in the politically charged details of budget-cutting proposals championed by his new running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan, as Mr. Romney sought to capitalize on conservative enthusiasm for his choice without having to defend every element of Mr. Ryan’s positions.

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  • Ryan Could Make Wisconsin a True Battleground

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Wisconsin Republicans were talking smack in early summer, insisting that Gov. Scott Walker’s victory in the June recall election proved the state was up for grabs in 2012. Neither Republican Mitt Romney nor President Obama believed the hype. Polls consistently showed Obama out front. And while both campaigns lavished tens of millions of dollars on other battleground states, they didn’t air a single television ad in Wisconsin. That’s about to change.

    Read more from National Journal

Aug 10, 2012

  • Obama, Romney campaigns run provocative ads to draw attention in crowded media landscape

    By Nia-Malika Henderson and David Nakamura, The Washington Post

    The anti-Romney ad released this week by Priorities USA has been widely skewered as over-the-top and irresponsible, condemned for insinuating that Mitt Romney is to blame for the death of a woman whose husband lost his job and health insurance after Bain Capital bought his steel mill.

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  • The Real Women Behind Obama's Anti-Romney TV Ads

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Live in Washington, D.C., Virginia, or a handful of other swing states? Watch television? Then there’s a good chance you’ve seen “Jenni,” the soft-spoken brunette starring in an ad attacking Republican Mitt Romney’s antiabortion position.

    Read more in the National Journal
  • Economy might be gaining traction, new data suggest

    By Zachary A. Goldfarb and Michael A. Fletcher, The Washington Post

    After a spring and summer of weak economic indicators, a flurry of fresh data suggest key sectors of the economy might be gaining traction, just as the battle for the White House enters the final round.

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  • 10 Questions for an Undecided Voter in Ohio

    by John Harwood, The New York Times

    In the tight race for the White House, President Obama and Mitt Romney are spending millions of dollars to reach America’s small slice of undecided voters — people like Rosemary Pallen of northeast Ohio.

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  • Obama Camp Offers Tips on Access to Convention Speech

    By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics.com

    Those eager to trek to Charlotte, N.C., to see President Obama as he accepts the Democratic nomination on Sept. 6 were invited by his campaign Thursday to sign up for pointers on how to get tickets.

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Aug 09, 2012

  • Obama and Romney battle for campaign edge in Iowa, Colorado

    By Sam Youngman and Jeff Mason, Reuters

    President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney traded barbs over the economy and women's rights on Wednesday, each seeking an edge in critical states that could tip the result of the November 6 election.

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  • The Truth About Romney’s Tax Plan: It’s a Pipe Dream

    By Jim Tankersley, National Journal

    Nothing is as simple as campaign commercials or candidate sound bites make it sound, especially not tax reform, and certainly not tax reform with very few details revealed. Just ask the economist Mitt Romney is holding up as a shield against attacks on his tax plan.

    Read more in the National Journal
  • Sarah Palin: Her batting average is still pretty high

    By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

    Okay, so Sarah Palin didn’t have such a good night on Tuesday. Her candidate Sarah Steelman lost the Missouri GOP primary to Rep. Todd Akin. In that evangelical-heavy state, it turns out, Palin’s endorsement was trumped by that of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

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  • Political Perceptions: The Vanishing Undecideds

    by David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal

    So the early narrative about the 2012 presidential campaign was that Mitt Romney would have to move to the right to win his party’s nomination and then move to the center, which would force Barack Obama to risk angering the left in his party to fight with Mr. Romney for the voters of the block of undecided voters in the middle who would decide the outcome in November.

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  • Obama Assails Romney on Women’s Health Care

    By Jackie Calmes and Trip Gabriel

    President Obama made one of his strongest pitches to date for the women’s vote, which is crucial to his re-election, telling a mostly female crowd of 4,000 here on Wednesday that Republicans led by Mitt Romney would take them back to the era of the 1950s.

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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