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!

Feb 01, 2012

  • Mute Gingrich

    By John Dickerson, Slate

    Newt Gingrich is angry and that makes Mitt Romney sad. The former speaker is slipping badly in the polls in Florida and unloading on his way down. He's called Romney "deceitful," "maniacal," and "misleading." He’s also rendered a historical verdict: Romney's campaign is the most dishonest he's ever seen. That cluster of deceit makes Romney unqualified to be president, says Gingrich.
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  • Obama Campaign: Romney's Florida Win About Money, Not Message

    By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    President Obama's campaign says Mitt Romney's win in Florida owes more to the barrage of ads he ran than to his ability to connect with voters. Romney has a "unique ability to push key constituencies away," deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter says in a new memo following the results of the Florida contest.
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    Mitt Romney addresses supporters after winning the Florida Primary (CNN)

  • Mitt Romney’s Florida Win May be a Turning Point

    By Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

    Mitt Romney’s sweeping victory in the Florida Republican primary Tuesday did two things for him that he badly needed: It set the front-runner back on a glide path to the 2012 presidential nomination, and it raised his standing with the GOP’s conservative base.
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  • Iran Threat: Attack on U.S.?

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    Intelligence officials see growing risk of Iranian spies and possible attack.

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  • Romney Proves He's Tough and Adaptable

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    Mitt Romney's resounding win in the Florida GOP primary is a warning shot to any Democrats who think the former Massachusetts governor will be a soft target. Romney and his advisers showed dexterity, smarts and toughness in retooling his campaign within hours of his stinging loss in South Carolina on Jan. 21. Romney followed the revised roadmap to a tee.
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  • Romney Wins Big in Florida Primary, Regaining Momentum

    By Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny, New York Times

    Mitt Romney rolled to victory in the Florida primary on Tuesday, dispatching an insurgent threat from Newt Gingrich and reclaiming his dominant position as he urged Republicans to rally behind his quest to capture the party’s presidential nomination.
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Jan 31, 2012

  • Buoyant Romney Speaks of Victory in Florida

    By Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny, New York Times

    Mitt Romney swept through a final day of campaigning here on Monday, energized by more polls showing him with a commanding lead in the Florida primary. He even allowed himself to break superstition and proclaim, “I’m beginning to feel we might win.” Yet Mr. Romney could not help sneaking regular looks back at Newt Gingrich, who only a week ago seemed in position to deal him another big loss.
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  • Sen. Lieberman Cites Dr. Seuss’ Moose

    By Naftali Bendavid, Wall Street Journal

    Senators often quote weighty historical figures to back up their arguments on the Senate floor. Alexis de Tocqueville is a big favorite. So is Alexander Hamilton. The late Sen. Robert Byrd (D., W. Va.), was famous for citing Roman orators that few of his colleagues had heard of. Then there’s Dr. Seuss.
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  • Will Romney-Gingrich Battle Lead to Costly Split in the GOP?

    By Dan Balz, Washington Post

    Newt Gingrich has vowed to take his fight for the Republican presidential nomination all the way to the party’s national convention in August. That may be nothing more than an empty threat by a frustrated candidate with a history of exaggerated rhetoric. But could Gingrich’s battle against Mitt Romney leave the GOP badly divided heading into the fall campaign?
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    Newt Gingrich at a campaign event in Pensacola, FL (CNN)

  • Obama Opens Up About Drone Strikes in Pakistan

    By Christi Parsons and Michael A. Memoli, Los Angeles Times

    President Obama offered a vigorous defense of using unmanned aircraft to kill Al Qaeda operatives and other militants in Pakistan's tribal areas and, in the process, officially acknowledged the highly classified CIA drone program that U.S. officials had refused to discuss in public until now.
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  • What Romney's Hispanic Support in Florida Means

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    The latest polls not only show Mitt Romney with a substantial lead in Florida but also with the lion's share of the Hispanic vote. A recent ABC News/Univision/Latino Decisions survey, for example, found Romney leading Newt Gingrich 35 to 20 percent among Hispanic voters. That's a major turnaround from 2008, when John McCain pounded Romney among Hispanic voters by 54 to 13 percent, according to exit polls.
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  • On Google+, Big Question for Obama Is Weeded Out

    By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

    President Obama did not tackle the subject most on the minds of some questioners during an online forum Monday. What drew many citizens to a Google+ chat with the president was their interest in how soon marijuana could be legalized, according to the rated popularity of questions posted before the event.
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  • Daughter’s Illness is Quandary for Santorum

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

    GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, campaigning under the banner “faith, family and freedom,” has made his life story central to his political identity. He often mentions his seven kids — one of whom is gravely ill — a son who died hours after birth, and his wife of two decades as proof that he not only preaches conservative values but lives by them in his daily life.
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  • GOP Race's Approaching Lull Will Test Gingrich

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    The caffeinated, rapid-fire GOP presidential primary is about to ease into a slower pace and a more spread-out map, creating new challenges for Newt Gingrich. February will bring several primaries and caucuses likely to lack the intensity of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. It has only one debate, three weeks from now.
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Jan 30, 2012

  • In the Florida Primary, Will Nine-Iron or Bass-Boat Republicans Prevail?

    With Major Garrett, National Journal

    How would you describe the match-up between Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney? Heart vs. Head? Underdog vs. perennial front-runner? Outsider vs. establishment?

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  • Death of Bipartisanship Has Killed the Washington Deal

    By John F. Harris and Jonathan Allen, Politico

    Every time there is divided government in Washington, there is a revival — among elite journalists, think tank commentators and respectable politicians of all stripes — of a cherished idea about how business should get done in the nation’s capital: Get the most responsible adults of both parties in one room, shoo away the cameras and microphones, and don’t let the two sides come out until they have cut a deal on the most pressing problem of the day.
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    President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (CNN)

  • A Gingrich Presidency?

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that if Mitt Romney won the South Carolina primary, the Republican presidential race would be over and he would be the nominee. But Romney didn't win, and that means it's time to consider the unthinkable: What would life under President Gingrich be like? It's an easy question to answer because Gingrich has spent much of his campaign listing all the things he wants to do — not only in his first term or his first 100 days but in his first eight hours.
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  • Can You Hear Me Now?

    By Greg Ip, The Economist

    Japan holds the modern record for years spent with interest rates at zero; they were on the floor from 2001 to 2006. America is on track to break that record. Having cut its short-term rate to near zero in late 2008, the Federal Reserve said on January 25th it will probably stay there “at least through late 2014”, more than a year longer than its previous guidance.
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  • Polls Show Romney Surging Ahead of Gingrich in Florida

    By Steve Holland and Sam Youngman, Reuters

    Republican Newt Gingrich struggled to halt surging rival Mitt Romney's momentum on Sunday, accusing him of launching false attacks as polls showed Romney widening his lead two days before Florida's presidential primary. Romney, who has battered Gingrich in a flood of television ads and two debates in Florida last week, opened a double-digit lead over the former House of Representatives speaker in four polls released on Sunday.
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  • Gingrich Vows to Ban Embryonic Stem-Cell Research, Questions In Vitro Practices

    By Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

    As former House speaker Newt Gingrich courts evangelical voters in advance of Tuesday’s Florida primary, he is drawing an increasingly hard line against the use of embryonic stem-cell research — a position that contrasts not only with that of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, but also with statements that Gingrich himself has made on the subject in the past.
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