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!

Oct 18, 2012

  • Obama and Romney campaigns battle to mobilize voters

    By Christi Parsons and Seema Mehta, the Los Angeles Times

    The 11,000 people on a soccer field at St. Petersburg College had come to hear President Obama speak. But first Max Jay-Dixon had something important to say.

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  • The four Ls and four states: what's next in the Obama-Romney duel

    By Major Garrett, National Journal

    From now until the third and final presidential debate, and quite probably even after that, President Obama and Mitt Romney will fight on the ground, over the airwaves, and in social media over the four Ls and four swing states.

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  • Obama looks to regain edge with women voters

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    President Obama tried in his debate Tuesday night with Mitt Romney to halt any precipitous slide of women voters toward his opponent, which meant he spent loads of time pouring crack filler into his base.

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  • Who wins a tied debate?

    By Doyle McManus, the Los Angeles Times

    When two presidential candidates battle roughly to a tie in a debate, is there a winner?

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Oct 17, 2012

  • For the President, punch, punch, another punch

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    He waited all of 45 seconds to make clear he came not just ready for a fight but ready to pick one.

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  • When candidates attack

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    In the seal of the United States, the eagle turns its head toward its right talon, which holds an olive branch, and away from the talon holding 13 arrows. It is meant to suggest a preference for peace. The eagle that hovered between the two candidates in the second debate had the same design, but for one difference: The eagle's head was turned toward the arrows. It was a fitting symbol for the pointed and sniping contest between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney. It was a night of barbs, interruptions, and charges and counter-charges. “Very little of what the president said is true,” said Romney. “It’s not true governor,” said Obama. “Not true. It’s not true.” During one exchange, Romney said, "You'll get your chance. I'm still speaking," as the audience in the arena seemed to gasp. At another point, the two men got so close and huffy, I thought moderator Candy Crowley might just ask them to take it outside.

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  • ANALYSIS: Who gets momentum after second debate?

    By Amy Walter and Michael Falcone, ABC News

    Like the vice presidential debate last week, the Democrat and the Republican candidate on stage last night were not so much talking to each other as they were to two different audiences.

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  • Debate gets to the guts of the race

    By John F. Harris and Jonathan Martin, Politico

    Barack Obama did well enough in the second debate that he can rest assured about one thing: If he loses his bid for a second term it won’t be because he is bad at debates.

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  • Rivals bring bare fists to rematch

    By Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg, The New York Times

    President Obama and Mitt Romney engaged Tuesday in one of the most intensive clashes in a televised presidential debate, with tensions between them spilling out in interruptions, personal rebukes and accusations of lying as they parried over the last four years under Mr. Obama and what the next four would look like under a President Romney.

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Oct 16, 2012

  • Obama under pressure as debate comes amid early balloting

    By Julianna Goldman and Lisa Lerer, Bloomberg News

    With voters already casting ballots and polls showing a tightening race, President Barack Obama has little room for error in tonight’s second debate against Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

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  • Debt impasse shadows race for presidency

    By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

    President Obama and Mitt Romney will again debate their visions for the next four years on Tuesday night, and if the campaign so far is any guide, they will not acknowledge that the winner’s agenda could depend on the fiscal showdown between Election Day and Inauguration Day.

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  • Michelle Obama has already voted, and tweets about it

    By Christi Parsons, the Los Angeles Times

    First Lady Michelle Obama cast her ballot for president Monday, presumably voting for her husband with the absentee form she dropped in the mail.

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  • Two Americans claim Nobel Economics Prize

    With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

    Two American economists won the Nobel Prize in economics Monday for their research into how to match different actors in given markets, such as job seekers with employers and patients with donated kidneys. David Wessel has details on Lunch Break.

Oct 15, 2012

  • No drama Obama needs a shake-up in Romney debate rematch

    By Julianna Goldman and Lisa Lerer, Bloomberg News

    The candidate known for his “No Drama Obama” persona created, with his dispassionate first debate performance, a high-stakes backdrop for tomorrow’s 9 p.m. rematch against Republican nominee Mitt Romney at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

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  • Presidential contest tight nationally ahead of second debate

    By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, The Washington Post

    On the eve of their second debate, President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney remain locked in a virtual dead heat nationally, with Republicans showing increased enthusiasm for their nominee after his big win in the first debate, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

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  • Obama’s prep session goal: don’t repeat mistakes of last debate

    By Helene Cooper, The New York Times

    To prepare for the second round of the presidential debates, President Obama retreated here this weekend — to the environs of this historic village where actors in 18th century garb wander about spouting off in colonial diction.

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  • Republicans outspend Democrats on TV advertising, but have fewer ads to show for it

    By Amy Walter, ABC News

    When it comes to spending on political ads, money isn’t everything.

    Data from Kantar Media’s CMAG, an ad tracking firm, showed that during the week of Oct. 4-Oct. 11 Mitt Romney, the RNC and Republican outside groups combined to outspend President Obama and his allies on on TV ads by about $5 million – $31.6 million to $28.05 million.

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  • Rebel arms flow is said to benefit Jihadists in Syria

    By David E. Sanger, The New York Times

    Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.

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Oct 12, 2012

  • Vice presidential debate: Biden's mission accomplished

    By Doyle McManus, the Los Angeles Times

    First things first: Vice presidential debates don't really matter. The half-life of Thursday's debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan will be exactly four days -- until next week’s rematch between President Obama and Mitt Romney.

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  • Biden, Ryan trade sharp words on foreign policy, economy during vice-presidential debate

    By Dan Balz and Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

    Vice President Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) tangled fiercely and noisily here Thursday night over the economy and foreign policy in a spirited debate that underscored the vast differences between the Democratic and Republican tickets on virtually every issue in the presidential campaign.

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