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 28, 2012

  • Election is a test of competing worldviews

    By James Kitfield, National Journal

    When President Obama and Mitt Romney meet in Boca Raton, Fla., on Oct. 22 to debate foreign policy, they will face a challenge to differentiate their positions beyond the now-familiar narratives.

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  • Happy now for tea party help, GOP faces challenges

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    The Republican Party that's showing its face to America this week is a restless institution that relies heavily on the uncompromising passions of tea partyers, anti-immigration activists and social conservatives. It's a potent but unruly coalition that supplies vital energy today but poses serious challenges for the future.

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  • Romney and black voters: An uneasy relationship

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    A major storm bearing down on New Orleans can never come at an opportune time, but Isaac is arriving at a particularly difficult moment for Mitt Romney and for his party, which has yet to completely shake the perception that the GOP left African-Americans adrift in a drowned city seven years ago.

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  • Dispatches From the Republican National Convention

    By John Dickerson, Slate

    Greetings from the floor of the convention! I'm sitting under the sign for the New Mexico delegation. (Poor Vermont. They're seated so far away from the stage they might as well be in Vermont.) I've been here since Thursday when there was still exposed plywood, angry drills, and guys with lots of tattoos yelling at each other about forklifts. In the workspace there's a sign that says: "Watch Out for Forklifts." I never knew they were so stealthy. (Drought, debt, hurricanes, and now we have to worry about forklifts? Dark times.)

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  • GOP plays up congressional candidates

    By Janet Hook, John D. McKinnon, and Corey Boles, Wall Street Journal

    Republicans officially opened a storm-shortened convention Monday aimed at selling Mitt Romney to the American people, with GOP hopes for the event rising as the winds died.

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Aug 27, 2012

  • Women's roles: Sizing up the GOP, Dem conventions

    By Alexis Simendinger and Erin McPike, Real Clear Politics

    In a presidential election in which female voters are expected to play an outsize role in picking the winner, one of the curiosities at the Tampa and Charlotte conventions will be how the parties feature women and contrast their issues at the two heavily scripted events.

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  • Analysis: Akin row shows GOP's social-fiscal rift

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    Every now and then, an event awakens the ever-slumbering tensions between the Republican Party's two core wings: social conservatives and corporate interests

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  • Isaac Thwarts Democrats’ Romney-Bashing Plans

    By Major Garrett, National Journal

    The counterprogramming punch that Democrats planned to land on the GOP at its national convention has been pulled. The Tampa war room that Democrats opened on Saturday has fallen silent, a testament to the power of a tropical storm and the dispiriting optics of savaging an opposing party while convention delegates shield themselves from pelting rain and slashing winds.

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  • A man who needs some introduction

    By By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    The Gettysburg Address streamed across the arena’s teleprompter as Republican convention organizers tried out the microphones, lifted balloons to the rafters, and primped the stage for the presidential nominee’s acceptance speech.

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  • Relaxed and loose, candidate Obama hits his mark

    By Helene Cooper. The New York Times

    During his three-minute chat on Tuesday with the man introducing him to 3,300 supporters at a campaign rally here, President Obama achieved four must-dos in every politician’s instruction manual.

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  • Poll: Obama, Romney neck-and-neck ahead of party conventions

    By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, The Washington Post

    The Republican National Convention opens this week with President Obama and presumptive nominee Mitt Romney running evenly, with voters more focused on Obama’s handling of the nation’s flagging economy than on some issues dominating the political debate in recent weeks.

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Aug 24, 2012

  • SEC can't agree on a fix for money-market funds

    By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal

    Nothing the government can do will prevent every future financial crisis; they have been with us since the advent of money and financial markets. But the government is even having trouble fixing things that made the last crisis so devastating.

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  • Ex-Navy SEAL faces legal jeopardy for writing about bin Laden raid

    By Pete Williams, NBC News

    What legal consequences could a former U.S. Navy SEAL face for writing a book about the still-classified 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden?

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  • Caught in the cross fire

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    It’s a scary time to be a woman,” says “Jenni,” the young star of one of President Obama’s television ads airing in Virginia and other swing states. “We need to attack our problems, not a woman’s choice.” To hear Democrats tell it, the Republican Party is waging a “war on women” in which abortion rights, birth control, and Planned Parenthood services are under siege.

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  • Romney’s bumpy road to Tampa turns with Bain record dump

    By By Lisa Lerer and Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News

    When Shaun Boyd, a reporter with the CBS affiliate station KCNC in Denver, Colorado, began her report yesterday on her sit-down with Mitt Romney, she told her audience: “The one stipulation to the interview was that I not ask him about abortion and Todd Akin.”

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Aug 23, 2012

  • Basketball legends boost Obama campaign cash

    By Laura Meckler, The Wall Street Journal

    President Barack Obama combined his personal passion for basketball with his professional need for campaign cash with a high-dollar fund-raising dinner and some hoops with some of his most talented supporters.

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  • Could Hurricane Isaac derail the GOP convention?

    By Nia-Malika Henderson and Rosalind S. Helderman, The Washington Post

    It’s deja vu all over again: Four years ago, Hurricane Gustav threatened Republican National Convention plans. This year, it’s Hurricane Isaac.

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  • Recession imminent if ‘fiscal cliff’ of tax hikes, budget cuts not averted, CBO says

    By Steven Mufson and Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post

    The U.S. economy will hurtle into a recession if Congress fails to avert a series of tax increases and budget cuts due in January, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday, warning that a fiscal impasse would have consequences even more dire than previously forecast.

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Aug 22, 2012

  • NBC/WSJ Poll has bad news for both candidates

    By Eamon Javers, CNBC

  • Pelosi aims for Dems to retake House, eyes old speaker post

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    Standing before a room of donors at a breakfast fundraiser for Rep. Betty Sutton, one of her party's vulnerable incumbents, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi defined the stakes of the 2012 election this way: "Everything is at stake. Civilization as we know it today," she said, catching herself with a laugh. "That's all. So, no pressure."

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