On the Radar

Check ON THE RADAR regularly each week to read the latest reporting by award-winning WASHINGTON WEEK panelists.

April 25, 2012

Romney says ‘Better America Begins Tonight’

By Dan Balz and Philip Rucker, Washington Post

Mitt Romney, whose first campaign for the White House ended in failure and disappointment, claimed the Republican nomination Tuesday night after a five-state sweep and turned his full focus to the general election with a charge that President Obama has been a failure in office and a promise of a better America.

GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney's victory address in Manchester, NH (CNN)

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April 23, 2012

Administration Torn on Secret Service Scandal Response

By Helene Cooper, The New York Times

Just before Air Force One begins its descent, a group of agents huddle in a cabin near the back to study a map, a diagram and a step-by-step itinerary detailing the president’s every move once he steps off the plane. It is an old ritual, this last operational run-through for the special agents of the presidential protective division, the most elite of the Secret Service agents and the last barrier between the commander in chief and a host of threats. This ritual is a big reason President Obama has been so reluctant to criticize the Secret Service, as the agency reels from a scandal over suspected misconduct involving prostitutes during a trip to Cartagena, Colombia.

(CNN)

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The Great 2012 Debate: Who Broke the Economy?

By Jim Tankersley, National Journal

Are you less-bad off today than you were four years ago? How about 10 years ago? Those are the questions rising to the top of the 2012 presidential campaign. The general-election contest between President Obama and his presumptive Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, is shaping up to be less a debate about how to get Americans back to work than it is a re-litigation of a decade of recent economic history.

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Is Romney Having Difficulty Raising Money?

With John Harwood, CNBC

CNBC's John Harwood reports on the difficulty President Obama and the Republican candidates are facing raising money in a tough economic environment.

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Corzine, Amid Scandal, Is Among Obama's Top Bundlers

by Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

Jon Corzine -- under federal and congressional investigation following accusations that the securities firm he headed illegally took clients' funds before collapsing -- is among President Obama's top re-election campaign bundlers, raising at least $500,000, according to the campaign’s filing Friday with the Federal Election Commission

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Does the Tea Party Have a Second Act?

With Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal

Tough challenges to Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch and Richard Lugar will signal whether tea-party activists and their allies still have the power they wielded in 2010. Naftali Bendavid has details on The News Hub.

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April 20, 2012

At Least He Didn’t Call Him Moneybags

By John Dickerson, Slate

Yesterday President Obama said he "wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth." This line was widely interpreted as a not-so-subtle dig at Mitt Romney, the wealthy son of a wealthy father. At first glance, that seemed plausible, though perhaps too subtle. The president's campaign would like you to think Romney was born with silver tea, soup, demitasse, grapefruit, and runcible spoons—not to mention that funny silver ladle we use just on Thanksgiving—in his mouth. But upon second look, the president wasn't talking about his Republican challenger. He was just talking.
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Work in Progress

By Greg Ip, The Economist

When Paul Ryan released his proposed federal budget a year ago, Mitt Romney greeted it coolly. He congratulated the House Budget Committee chairman for “setting the right tone”, but pointedly declined to endorse any of its details. The coolness was understandable. Mr Ryan’s budget was political dynamite. It proposed to slash income-tax rates, especially for the rich and businesses, and replace traditional Medicare with vouchers for the elderly to buy health insurance.
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Secret Service Scandal: Ousted Agent 'Checked Out' Palin

With Pierre Thomas, ABC News

An agent involved in a sex scandal joked about the former governor on Facebook.

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Rubio: Arizona Immigration Law Is Not a Model for the Nation

By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday that he does not view Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigration as a “model,’’ distancing himself from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has embraced the legislation. The Cuban-American senator, who spoke at the University of Phoenix/National Journal's Next America forum in Washington, is viewed as a top name on Romney’s vice presidential shortlist.
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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (CNN)

Poll Shows Romney's Recovery Begins

With Laura Meckler, Wall Street Journal

Simon Constable and Bob O'Brien discuss the latest Wall Street Journal poll results with Laura Meckler, and John Bussey finds signs of U.S. manufacturing still happening, in South Carolina.
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April 19, 2012

In Wariness on Economy, Poll Finds Opening for Romney

By Jeff Zeleny and Allison Kopicki, New York Times

A rising number of Americans see improvement in the economy, but a persistent wariness about their own financial circumstances is allowing Mitt Romney to persuade voters that he could improve their economic prospects more than President Obama, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
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GOP Candidate Mitt Romney (CNN)

Government Scandals Consume Washington

With Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News

Bloomberg's Megan Hughes, Julianna Goldman and Peter Cook report on the continuing investigations into GSA spending on lavish trips and gifts and Secret Service and military members entertaining prostitutes during President Obama's trip to Colombia.
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New Photos Raise New Questions About Whether the Military Can Police Itself

By Yochi J. Dreazen, National Journal

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has apologized for grisly new photos showing American soldiers posing with the body parts of Taliban suicide bombers and promised that “anyone found responsible for this inhuman conduct will be held accountable.” If similar recent events are any indication, those punishments will be a long time coming.
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Who is Mitt Romney and What Does He Believe?

By Dan Balz, Washington Post

Mitt Romney has turned his attention to November’s presidential election, and the Republican establishment is beginning to fall in line behind him. Endorsements for him have grown from a stream to a flood this week, including from big names such as House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.
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Panetta Apologizes for Photos

With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

Secretary of Defense sorry for photos of U.S. soldier with enemies' remains.

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April 18, 2012

Obama Seeks More Oil Market Oversight

By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

Are gasoline prices rising in the United States because of illegal excess market speculation? The White House on Tuesday offered no evidence to support that hypothesis, but President Obama, worried about climbing prices at the pump, nevertheless urged lawmakers to adopt legislation he said would protect consumers and beef up the government's watchdog surveillance of oil trades.
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Romney Campaign Backs Away from Nugent's Obama Remark

By Sam Youngman, Reuters

Republican candidate Mitt Romney's campaign called for civility on Tuesday after aging rock star Ted Nugent made an apparent threat against President Barack Obama before an audience of U.S. gun lobbyists.
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Secret Service Prostitution Scandal Roils DC

With Pierre Thomas, ABC News

A prostitution scandal involving the Secret Service has grown in scope, with the disclosure that U.S. agents and military personnel had been with at least 20 women in hotel rooms before President Barack Obama arrived in Colombia for a summit with Latin American leaders.

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Latino Voters Take Center Stage in Both Presidential Campaigns

By Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

With the GOP presidential nomination no longer in doubt, President Obama and Mitt Romney this week are urgently turning their focus to Hispanic voters — a group whose alienation from Republicans threatens GOP prospects for winning the White House and has given the Obama campaign an early opportunity to lock in the support of a key constituency.
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