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!

Sep 11, 2012

  • Big government: impact on the markets?

    By Eamon Javers, CNBC

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  • Romney on tax loopholes

    By John Harwood, CNBC

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  • Master campaigner summons the spotlight for Obama (and himself)

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    Elvis is back in the building, and everyone is singing from his song sheet. Twelve years after leaving the White House, four years after his wife’s failed presidential campaign and six days after his well-received convention speech, Bill Clinton is hitting the campaign trail as the role model both sides claim to emulate.

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  • Among likely voters, Obama-Romney close

    By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, The Washington Post

    Last week’s Democratic National Convention helped President Obama improve his standing against Republican Mitt Romney, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, but did little to reduce voter concern about his handling of the economy.

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  • No 'credible or specific' terror threat on 9/11 anniversary

    By Pierre Thomas, Jack Cloherty, Jason Ryan and Richard Esposito, ABC News

    Intelligence sources tell ABC News that there is no "credible or specific" information that al Qaeda or any other terrorist organizations are plotting attacks timed to coincide with the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

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Sep 10, 2012

  • Will acceptance of gays by high court influence rulings?

    By Joan Biskupic, Reuters

    A tall, hulking man in his late 70s, William Rehnquist, then chief justice of the United States, crawled down on all fours to say hello to the two little girls who had scurried under the table when he approached at a luncheon.

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  • Romney struggles to gain traction in battlegrounds

    By Sara Murray and Laura Meckler, Wall Street Journal

    With two months to Election Day, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney faces the disconcerting reality that he isn't winning most of the states he would need to beat President Barack Obama.

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  • With $114 million, Obama just outraises Romney in August

    By Jeff Mason and Sam Youngman, Reuters

    President Barack Obama's campaign and its Democratic partners raised more than $114 million in August, narrowly beating Republican rival Mitt Romney for the first time in months as the race for the White House approaches its final stretch.

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  • Romney aims to neutralize Obama's narrative

    By James Kitfield, National Journal

    Read Mitt’s lips: no new taxes on the middle class, no net tax decrease for high earners, no cuts in defense spending.

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  • Romney and Obama trade shots over tax-cut math, Medicare

    By Maeve Reston and Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    After a week in which Democrats repeatedly attacked his economic plan as beneficial to the rich and devastating to the poor, Republican nominee Mitt Romney insisted Sunday that his tax and budget proposals would help rebuild the middle class in America.

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Sep 07, 2012

  • Economy adds 96K jobs

    National Journal

    U.S. payrolls grew by a weaker-than-expected 96,000 in August, but the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, Labor Department says

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  • Two Conventions Down, No Signs of Quick Help for the Jobless

    By Jim Tankersley, National Journal

    The voters demand action on jobs, and on Thursday night, the incumbent president running amid the worst election-year labor market in modern American history responded with the following: A bloody evisceration of his opponent’s economic philosophy. (“Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!”)

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  • In Democratic convention speech, Obama vows ‘our problems can be solved’ — with more time

    By Dan Balz and David Nakamura, The Washington Post

    President Obama appealed to the nation Thursday night for another four years in office, asserting that his policies are slowly returning the country to economic prosperity while arguing that his Republican opponents would pursue a course that would set the country back and harm the well-being of middle-class families.

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  • Obama makes case for 2nd term: ‘harder’ path to ‘better place’

    By Helene Cooper and Peter Baker, The New York Times

    President Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for a second term on Thursday night, making a forceful argument that he had rescued the economy from disaster and ushered in a recovery that would be imperiled by a return to Republican stewardship.

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  • Dispatches From the Democratic National Convention

    By John Dickerson, Slate

    In 2008, if Barack Obama's outdoor convention speech had been moved inside, he still would have raised the roof. When he was denied the chance to speak in the elements at Bank of America stadium this week, the closed venue seemed fitting. Obama's speech to the 2012 Democratic National Convention, like his presidency, has a lid on it. It was workmanlike from a president who had to strain with the reality of being in office. “The times have changed,” he said, “and so have I.” At his 2008 address in Denver, audience members cried at the end of his speech. Tonight, one delegate said Biden had been more inspiring. Another said Bill Clinton's speech was the one she would be sending around to barber shops and beauty parlors.

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  • Two conventions tell the tale of 2012

    By John F. Harris and Jim Vandehei, Politico

    Republicans last week in Tampa and Democrats this week in Charlotte were not faking it. Partisans on both sides really do regard the other party’s nominee with contempt, and both sides look at the other’s agenda with genuine incomprehension.

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Sep 06, 2012

  • How Bill Clinton does it

    By John F. Harris and Jonathan Martin, Politico

    The crowd was roaring, TV commentators were gushing, and Barack Obama himself thanked Bill Clinton for his nominating speech with a big hug as he left the stage here Wednesday night.

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  • Verdict is in: Obama levels more personal attacks

    By John F. Harris and Alexander Burns, Politico

    A crabby, negative campaign that has been more about misleading and marginal controversies than the major challenges facing the country? Barack Obama and Mitt Romney can both claim parenthood of this ugly child.

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  • Platforms reveal deep divide on hot-button issues

    By Major Garrett, National Journal

    While the economy dominates this presidential election, issues such as abortion, immigration, regulation, and—in a sudden and startling reversal of Democratic platform language—God and Israel, have added a dose of intrigue to the conventions.

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  • Biden’s speech likely to spotlight strengths, or foibles

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    Folksy and loose, passionate and sometimes off script, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. arrives onstage Thursday night as the president’s most important political partner, policy enforcer, conscience, scold and occasional albatross.

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