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 20, 2011

  • Obama in the Occupy Wall Street camp

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    If you're one of the thousands of demonstrators sleeping in parks, carrying signs and banging on drums to protest Wall Street's hammerlock on American politics, President Obama wants you to know he feels your pain.

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  • Bad Blood Between Perry and Romney Is Longstanding

    By Jeff Zeleny and Michael D. Shear, New York Times

    The hostilities flaring between Mitt Romney and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas have been steadily rising inside both camps and may signal a new, more combative phase in the Republican presidential campaign.

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Oct 19, 2011

  • Unlike in Israel, Missing U.S. Soldiers' Plight Not a National Struggle

    By Yochi J. Dreazen, National Journal

    In the years since their capture in Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and Army Staff Sgt. Ahmed Altaie have been largely forgotten by both Washington and the American public. There have been no protests demanding the government make whatever concessions necessary to win their release. Most Americans don’t even know their names.

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  • Hillary Clinton Visits Libya to Meet Rebel Leaders

    By Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton touched down in Libya Tuesday afternoon, becoming the first cabinet level official to visit the country since NATO airstrikes began in March and Tripoli fell in late August. A senior State Department official said that the purpose of Secretary Clinton's visit is to congratulate the Libyan people on the ouster of Gadhafi from power, help with transition issues like unifying the rebel fighters and forge a deeper partnership with Libya.

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  • President Obama's strategy on jobs is working — even if Americans aren’t

    By Sam Youngman, The Hill

    It’s certainly not pretty, but darn if it doesn’t appear to be working. President Obama’s newfound message discipline on jobs and his two-pronged attack on the GOP are providing the beleaguered president with new signs of life not long after many were wondering if he had anything left.

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  • Both McConnell and Reid Dismiss Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan.

    By Naftali Bendavid, Wall Street Journal

    GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan is getting lots of buzz, but congressional leaders of both parties are less than enthusiastic.

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  • Analysis: GOP contenders turn fire on each other

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    The Republican presidential candidates tore into each other as never before in their latest debate, mindful that voting starts within 11 weeks and many GOP voters remain up for grabs.

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  • Staying in Vegas? The Hermanator Doesn't Make the Grade

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Faced with making a giant leap from novelty act to political statesman -- in Las Vegas, of all places -- surging Republican candidate Herman Cain predictably fell short in Tuesday’s debate.

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  • Obama Finds Economy Makes Policies a Hard Sell on Bus Tour

    By Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg

    Lisa Hensley was thrilled when President Barack Obama unexpectedly showed up during the lunch hour at the Countryside Barbeque in Marion, North Carolina, a town of about 8,000 along the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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  • A Fierce Clash for Romney and Perry as Republican Candidates Debate

    By Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg, New York Times

    Mitt Romney came under intensive attack from his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination at a debate here Tuesday night, with a newly assertive Rick Perry leading a sometimes personal barrage against him on conservative consistency, health care policy and even the immigration status of yard workers at his home.

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  • Republican presidential debate puts Herman Cain to test

    By Karen Tumulty, Washington POst

    The near-weekly ritual of Republican presidential debates took a raucous turn Tuesday night as the unsettled field of candidates ganged up on one another in a series of attacks more intense and personal than any in their previous appearances together.

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  • After sharp GOP debate, campaign shifts focus

    By Dan Balz, Washington Post

    After five debates in six weeks, the race for the Republican presidential nomination will soon shift to a new phase, one focused on states with early primaries and caucuses and dominated by retail campaign skills and television commercials rather than by prepared sound bites and testy exchanges on a debate stage.

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  • Fightin' Words: Rick Perry and Mitt Romney duke it out at the presidential debate in Las Vegas.

    by John Dickerson, Slate

    In order to give the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate a regional flair, the network created a horseshoe logo. The candidates went one better. They turned the debate into a Wild West bar fight. It started with a scuffle over Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan, then tipped over tables in a skirmish over Mitt Romney’s health care plan in Massachusetts. The candidates talked over each other, their voices escalating. They accused each other of lying. At one testy point, when Romney was lecturing Rick Perry about interrupting, he put his hand on the Texas governor’s shoulder. He was trying to provoke him. Watch it, Mitt—he could be packing.

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Oct 18, 2011

  • Street Cred: Why Herman Cain keeps trying to say Mitt Romney is Wall Street’s candidate.

    by John Dickerson, Slate

    Mitt Romney can claim a lot of geography. He was born in Michigan, was governor of Massachusetts, worked and lived in Utah, and has a summer place in New Hampshire. Oh, and he’s said to be building in San Diego.

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  • Hillary Clinton Visits Libya to Meet Rebel Leaders

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton touched down in Libya Tuesday afternoon, becoming the first cabinet level official to visit the country since NATO airstrikes began in March and Tripoli fell in late August.

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  • Hillary Clinton Visits Libya to Meet Rebel Leaders

    by Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton touched down in Libya Tuesday afternoon, becoming the first cabinet level official to visit the country since NATO airstrikes began in March and Tripoli fell in late August.

    Read more
  • Street Cred: Why Herman Cain keeps trying to say Mitt Romney is Wall Street’s candidate.

    by John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    Mitt Romney can claim a lot of geography. He was born in Michigan, was governor of Massachusetts, worked and lived in Utah, and has a summer place in New Hampshire. Oh, and he’s said to be building in San Diego.

    Read more
  • GOP debates become key providing ground

    by Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    The battle for the Republican presidential nomination always moves first through Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and lately Nevada. But before the 2012 candidates ever get to those states, they have been forced to run through an unexpectedly significant proving ground: nationally televised debates.

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  • Miss Nevada outshines Romney

    by Amy Gardner and Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

    Mitt Romney wasn’t the big star at a campaign rally under a blazing Nevada sun at an office park a few miles off the Las Vegas strip.  Tim Pawlenty, a former rival for the Republican presidential nomination who has endorsed Romney and is with this week in Nevada, wasn’t really the star either.

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  • Republican Debate: Five Things to Watch

    by Nia Malika-Henderson, The Washington Post

    If it seems like it was just a week ago that eight Republican presidential candidates sat around a table for a debate, that’s because it was just a week ago. But with tonight’s CNN/Western Republican Leadership Conference debate, which starts at 8 pm EST, the iron-man-like gauntlet of back-to-back fall debates ends and the candidates won’t have face-to-face meetings until next month. So tonight, the candidates will have two hours to make an impression and land a punch, before another round of debates begins.

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