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!

Jan 11, 2012

  • Court Considering Easing on TV Profanity Rules

    With Pete Williams, NBC


    Watch Video on NBC

  • Santorum Runs Out of Steam in New Hampshire

    By Sam Youngman, Reuters

    Rick Santorum never showed up for a scheduled Election Day stop at the busiest voting ward in this New Hampshire city on Tuesday. The voters of New Hampshire didn't show up for him either. Just one week after Santorum surprised the U.S. Republican presidential field by nearly winning the Iowa caucuses, his hopes of facing off against President Barack Obama came crashing back to Earth on Tuesday with a lackluster finish in the New Hampshire primary.
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  • Mitt Romney vs. the Dead-Enders

    By John F. Harris and Jonathan Martin, Politico

    Any remotely sympathetic observer would have to say that Mitt Romney easily cleared the bar on what he needed to do in the New Hampshire primary, and in the process took a big step toward the Republican presidential nomination.The big variable in the GOP contest, of course, rests in the hands of people who are deeply unsympathetic to Romney and the idea of him leading the party against Barack Obama: How much fight do they reall have left?
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  • Mitt Romney Wins NH Primary

    With John Harwood, CNBC

    This is the second win for Romney is the first for any Republican apart from a sitting president, reports CNBC's John Harwood.

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  • It's On to South Carolina for 'Kamikaze Newt'

    By Coral Davenport, National Journal

    Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign may be going down in flames, but he’s determined to burn GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney as badly as he can before the crash. He could singe his future standing within his own party while he’s at it. The former House speaker is projected to finish a dismal fourth or fifth in Tuesday night's New Hampshire GOP primary, following his disappointing fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses a week ago. After such a lackluster performance against Romney, the first nonincumbent Republican to win back-to-back victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, Gingrich did not seem inclined to bow out of the race.
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  • Supreme Court Overturns New Orleans Man's Murder Conviction

    By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY

    The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a New Orleans man's murder conviction must be reversed because prosecutors failed to reveal that the sole eyewitness to the crime had earlier said he could not identify the killer. The decision was 8-1; Justice Clarence Thomas was the lone dissenter.
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  • Good Enough

    By John Dickerson, Slate

    For the last week, Mitt Romney has called himself "landslide Romney," repeating a joke from John McCain about his eight-vote victory in the Iowa caucuses. The title fits a little better now. He won the New Hampshire primary by a handy 13 points with 37 percent of the vote. In the much-watched fight for runner-up, Ron Paul got that "real nice second place" he'd been predicting, with 24 percent of the vote, and Jon Huntsman finished third with 17 percent—to the disappointment of New York magazine editors but few Republican voters.
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  • New Hampshire Voters Make their Choice After Long Campaign

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post

    Sweeping aside much of the intraparty noise that has dominated the Republican presidential race in recent days, voters in the primary here on Tuesday appeared to be united behind a single goal: defeating President Obama and a set of policies that have driven them into a rage. Debbie Finch was among the angry voters. Finch, 39, said she never liked Obama much. She voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primary in 2008, then for Republican John McCain in the general election.
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  • Huntsman’s Appeal to Independents Provides a Chance to Fight on

    By Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News

    Jon Huntsman Jr.’s bet that the contrarian impulse of New Hampshire voters would put him back in the Republican primary mix delivered a third-place finish that allows him to continue in the race for now. He heads to South Carolina, site of the next Republican presidential primary, where he’s trailing other candidates as well as comedian Stephen Colbert.
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  • Iranian Nuclear Scientist Allegedly Assassinated

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    Death similar to recent ones linked to employees of enrichment facilities.

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  • Conservative Activists Scramble to Stop Mitt Romney

    By Peter Wallsten and Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

    A near-panic has taken hold among some core conservative activists, who are now scrambling to devise a strategy to deny Mitt Romney the Republican presidential nomination. Many of these activists see South Carolina’s primary on Jan. 21 as their last best hope of stopping Romney by consolidating in a united front against him. But many acknowledge that they have yet to figure out which of the remaining conservative rivals to rally behind and which should get out.
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  • White House Chief of Staff Daley Resigns

    By Laura Meckler and Carol E. Lee, Wall Street Journal

    White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley resigned at the start of the presidential election year, a surprise decision that underscored President Barack Obama's shift toward a populist platform he hopes will win him another term this November. Mr. Daley's move marked the end of a rocky yearlong tenure in which the former J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. executive, whose original mission was to reach out to business and congressional Republicans, became increasingly sidelined. Mr. Obama announced Monday that Mr. Daley would be succeeded by the White House budget director, Jacob Lew.
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  • Independents Set Top Tier

    By Janet Hook, Wall Street Journal

    Mitt Romney's broad-based victory in New Hampshire was built upon strong support from Republican voters and backing from enough independents to keep his rivals from mounting a serious challenge, exit polling data showed. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman were buoyed by a surge of independent voters, who made up 45% of the GOP primary electorate, up from just over one-third in 2008. Independents in New Hampshire can vote in either party's primary.
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    Rep. Ron Paul addresses supporters in New Hampshire after finishing second in last night's primary (CNN)

  • Paul's Movement is Romney's Headache

    By Major Garrett, National Journal

    Ron Paul said Tuesday he was "nibbling" at Mitt Romney's heels. Soon, Romney may be eating out of Paul's hand. That's an over-statement to be sure - but it's becoming increasingly clear to those in the Romney camp that something must be done and done soon to build bridges to Paul.
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Jan 10, 2012

  • Obama Team in N.H. Dwarfs Republican Campaigns

    With Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News

    The biggest presidential primary campaign team in New Hampshire belongs to President Barack Obama, whose nomination isn't on the line. Obama's support in New Hampshire has plunged, and his re-election campaign, with seven offices in the state, is seeking to turn out the vote on primary night tomorrow. Julianna Goldman reports on Bloomberg Television's "InsideTrack."

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  • Obama Surprised by Daley's Resignation, Says News 'Was Difficult'

    By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    Chicagoan Bill Daley is stepping down as White House chief of staff, making way for budget director Jack Lew to take over the president’s team as it heads into a tough election year. President Obama told reporters this afternoon that Daley’s resignation was “not easy news to hear” and that he didn’t accept the decision right away. “I asked him to take a couple of days,” Obama said, adding that “the pull of the hometown we both love” ultimately won out.
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  • U.S. Man Sentenced to Death in Iran

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    Iranian court convicted Amir Mirza Hekmati of working for CIA, spying for U.S.

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  • Capitalism Comes Under Fire in Republican Primary Campaign

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    The Democrats started it, and now Republican rivals are piling on. Mitt Romney is suddenly playing defense about his career as a venture capitalist--and in a Republican primary campaign, of all things. The attacks on Romney’s Bain Capital career from fellow Republicans may be coming too late in the game to knock him off his path toward the nomination.
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  • Romney's Bain Business is Everybody's Business

    By Jim Tankersley, National Journal

    Mitt Romney has been in politics long enough to know that his record is intertwined with that of Bain Capital, the private-equity firm he cofounded. That’s why it’s so surprising that the Republican presidential front-runner is struggling to fend off his rivals’ attempt at a hostile takeover of his private-sector resume.
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  • For Huntsman, Campaign Thawing but Time Running Out

    By Sam Youngman, Reuters

    About 90 minutes before Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman arrived at Mary's Bakery and Cafe on Monday, the three young volunteers who were his advance team struggled to get a campaign sign into the frozen ground. One suggested they use a blow-torch, another went for hot water. When time ran out, they propped the sign up in a flower pot to greet him.
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