TOP NEWS: Democracy: October 16th, 2012
COUNTDOWN TO ELECTION: 20 DAYS
Top Five News and Analysis Links (Excerpts Below)
- Rivals tied in polls before second debate - (login required)
- A Short History of Presidential Debates
- Romney surges ahead in swing states
- Over the Decades, How States Have Shifted
- Pelosi: The truth about Medicare
More top news and analysis: (Updates coming shortly)
ELECTIONS 2012: Rivals tied in polls before second debate – FT (login required)
Obama claws back Romney’s lead.
ELECTIONS 2012: Rules for Craftsmen – NYT, DAVID BROOKS
It takes a complex cocktail of qualities to lead the country. Voters should be looking for the person who can most plausibly fix our political system
ELECTIONS 2012: We can’t afford Obama – DES MOINES REGISTER, H. Ross Perot
Our country faces a momentous choice. The fact is the United States is on an unsustainable course. At stake is nothing less than our position in the world, our standard of living at home and our constitutional freedoms.
ELECTIONS 2012/ROE v WADE: If Roe v. Wade Goes – NYT, Editorial
A Romney-Ryan victory could result in re-criminalizing abortion in much of America.
POLLING: Breaking the State-National Poll Stalemate - NYT, NATE SILVER
If the current polls hold, predicting the election outcome will boil down to making a series of educated guesses about the relationship between state and national polls.
ELECTIONS 2012/ROMNEY: Romney Attacked by His Father’s Longtime Aide – NYT, MICHAEL BARBARO
Walter De Vries, who worked for George W. Romney throughout the 1960s, issues a 700-word essay that attacks Mitt Romney and his presidential campaign.
*MORE ELECTIONS 2012 STORIES BELOW
DEBATE: A Short History of Presidential Debates – WSJ, John Steele Gordon
In 1940, Wendell Wilkie challenged FDR to debate, but the president didn’t want to give his foe the exposure.
DEBATE: 5 things to watch at the debate – Politico
Maggie Haberman,Glenn Thrush: Obama needs to come back from a listless performance and Romney needs to match his previous showing.
DEBATE/CHINA: China and Its Trade Practices Are Coming to the Debates – NYT
Mitt Romney has leveled a fusillade of soft-on-China accusations at President Obama, but some experts say the challenger’s get-tough approach would backfire.
DEBATE/SWING STATES: As Swing State Races Narrow, Debate Looms Large - RCP, Erin McPike
The election cycle has reached the stage where there is such a torrent of polls released each day that the flipping leads could give many poll watchers whiplash. And Tuesday night’s presidential debate at Hofstra University could make the race even more volatile.
*MORE DEBATE STORIES BELOW
SWING STATES: Romney surges ahead in swing states – THE HILL
Mitt Romney has opened a 5-percentage-point lead over President Obama in the 12 battleground states that are critical to determining the outcome of the 2012 election, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday.
SWING STATES: Obama counting on Ohio – Politico
Emily Schultheis, Alexander Burns: No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.
SWING STATES: Mitt adviser plays down Pa., Mich. – POLITICO
Despite promising polls in the two states, don’t expect an expensive bet on those electoral votes.
SWING STATES: Obama travel plans show map is wide open – FT
Swing state visits highlight electoral strategy
SWING STATES: After Childhood Pouring Refills, Reaching Beyond the Past – NYT, DAN BARRY
Bridgette Harvan, 21, has worked at her grandmother’s diner since she was 9. But as the breakfast regulars reminisce of better days in Elyria, Ohio, she dreams of a brighter future in a rejuvenated town.
LOCAL RACES: Over the Decades, How States Have Shifted - NYT
A look at how the states stack up in the current forecast versus in past elections.
LOCAL RACES: Montana Senate race down to the wire - WP, Paul Kane
The race has become a last stand for Republicans and may hold the key to determining which party controls the Senate.
LOCAL RACES: New Rule Leads to Old School Politics in South Carolina, Critics Say - NYT
At stake in a legal battle is whether Paul Thurmond, son of Strom Thurmond, a United States senator for 48 years, will be able to run for a state legislative seat in November.
LOCAL RACES: Boehner agenda put to test - POLITICO
Can lawmakers from middle-of-the-road districts survive in a non-tea-party year?
LOCAL RACES: Congressional Races Get Ugly, Too - BLOOMBERG, Albert R. Hunt
The other U.S. national contest, the battle for Congress, is getting down and dirty.
LOCAL RACES:Allen West’s smashmouth politics - POLITICO
Alex Isenstadt: Three weeks out from Election Day, the bombastic tea party freshman has the look of a survivor.
LOCAL RACES: Flake’s Flip-Out - WSJ, Allysia Finley
What happened to Arizona’s principled conservative Congressman Jeff Flake?
MEDICARE: Pelosi: The truth about Medicare - CNN, Nancy Pelosi
The first presidential debate highlighted a clear choice on Medicare: President Obama’s vision, guaranteeing the fundamental promise of Medicare for seniors today and into the future, versus Mitt Romney’s blueprint for the eventual destruction of Medicare as we know it.
* House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was a guest of The Common Good in September, 2012 [event link]
VOTERS: Republicans for ‘Sesame Street’ - LAT, Jo Ellen Chatham
It’s possible to support Mitt Romney and Big Bird too.
UNDECIDED VOTERS: To the Wavering Voter – WSJ, Bret Stephens
Mitt Romney won’t make war on women, the Middle East or the middle class.
VOTERS: What Women Voters Want - NEW YORKER, MARGARET TALBOT
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would prefer that your forget it, but women’s issues are everybody’s issues…
LATINO VOTERS: Romney’s Latino Gains - WSJ, By Jason L. Riley
The Romney campaign hasn’t had much to celebrate concerning Hispanic voters. But a new survey brings encouraging news for Republicans.
VOTER RIGHTS: High Court to Take Up Arizona Voter Law - WSJ
The Supreme Court entered another battle in the nationwide war over voter qualifications, agreeing to consider whether Arizona can require proof of citizenship when people register to vote.
PAC’S: Big Electric Companies Behind ‘Grassroots’ Ad Campaign in Florida - ProPublica, Theodoric Meyer
Defend My Dividend calls itself a grassroots campaign to halt a dividend tax hike. But the group’s ad buys are linked to trade groups for utilities and other dividend-paying companies.
PAC’S: ‘Obama Phone’ - JULIET LAPIDOS
A Tea Party group has turned the viral video into an ad.
PAC’S: 73,000 Political Ads Test Even a City of Excess – NYT, JEREMY W. PETERS
This year’s political advertising barrage is enough to shatter even Las Vegas-size notions of excess.
FISCAL CLIFF: Debt Impasse Shadows Race for Presidency – NYT, JACKIE CALMES
The partisan fiscal showdown that is set to unfold in the weeks between Election Day and Inauguration Day is expected to set the tone for the next administration, no matter who wins.
US SENATE: Harry Reid’s hammer throw - WP, Dana Milbank,
Harry Reid has one of the most important jobs in Washington. If only he could be as big as the office he holds.
CONGRESS/INVESTIGATION: Jackson Is Investigated Over Money in Campaign - NYT
Representative Jesse L. Jackson Jr., who has stayed out of public view while undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder, is being investigated for the possible misuse of campaign money.
EDUCATION: Seeking Aid, School Districts Change Teacher Evaluations – NYT
Fueled in part by efforts to qualify for grant programs or No Child Left Behind waivers, 36 states and the District of Columbia have introduced new policies.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Adolescents in Grown-Up Jails – NYT, EDITORIAL
Mixing young prisoners with adults is bad, and putting them in solitary confinement is even worse.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Computer hacker escapes extradition to US – FT
Gary McKinnon granted reprieve on health grounds.
SOCIAL ECONOMICS: On Marriage, Kidneys and the Economics Nobel – WSJ, David Henderson
Why the young woman who waits for Mr. Right is doing a society a favor. Theoretically.
IMMIGRATION: The Arizonification of America – NYT, JEFF BIGGERS
On immigration policy, Arizona leads the way, but maybe not where we thought it was going.
HEALTH: FDA: More drugs may be tied to outbreak - WP
Federal regulators raise questions about more drugs from a specialty pharmacy in Massachusetts linked to the meningitis outbreak.
HEALTH: F.D.A. Warns of Further Risk From Tainted Drugs - NYT
The drug agency said Monday that products from a Massachusetts company linked to a meningitis outbreak may have also caused other types of infections.
MORE DEBATE NEWS & ANALYSIS
DEBATES: Romney Holds Advantage Tonight, Regardless of Format - RCP, Mark Salter
The first thing to know about a “town-hall-style” presidential debate is that it bears as much resemblance to an actual campaign town-hall event as a marble statue does to its animated subject.
DEBATES: Obama’s chance to connect - WP, Amy Gardner
Supporters and advisers see an opportunity in the town-hall format for him to click with voters.
DEBATES: Obama ‘cannot win’ next debate? - POLITICO
If “Romney acquits himself reasonably well, the remaining debates can only solidify his standing.
DEBATES: Obama’s chance to stand for Main Street – WP, Harold Meyerson
Of all the critiques made of President Obama’s performance in the first debate, the most telling was leveled 2,000 years before in the form of a question. “If I am not for myself, who shall be for me?” asked Rabbi Hillel — the first of three questions Hillel believed humans needed to ask themselves if they were to lead decent lives.
DEBATES: 2nd Presidential Debate Is Less Formal, but Little Is Left to Chance - NYT, JEREMY W. PETERS
The questions will come from voters during the town hall debate, but the moderator will review them before selecting the participants.
DEBATES: Debate Advice From the Beltway: Town Hall Edition – NYT
Political insiders weigh in on what they think Mitt Romney and President Obama need to accomplish in the second debate.
DEBATE SETTING: Debate’s Setting Could Dull Barbs - WSJ
The presidential debate Tuesday will feature a town-hall style setting with voters posing questions. And they may be expecting real answers rather than hand-to-hand combat.
DEBATES/ROMNEY: Town-Hall Format Could Pose Challenge for Romney - RCP, Scott Conroy
In Tuesday night’s second head-to-head contest, one of his new tasks will be something Romney has faced throughout the six years he’s essentially run for the nation’s highest office: demonstrating that he feels the pain of regular voters and is able to connect with them on a human level.
OBAMA PREP: Obama to be more ‘aggressive’ in debate - FT
President seeks to regain ground after poll lead collapse
DEBATE AFTERMATH: Most Crucial Time for Candidates May Be After the Debate - NYT
If Tuesday’s debate is seen as a draw, the winner will be decided in the hours and days after, with perceptions shaped by whichever campaign manages the aftermath more effectively.
DEBATE MEDIA: TV Debates That Sell More Than Just Drama - NYT, DAVID CARR
While ratings for almost everything on television have sunk, big spectacles that hold some promise of spontaneity, like political debates in election years, have continued to thrive.
DEBATE SURGE: Bully for Biden - WSJ, Bret Stephens
Joe Biden’s performance blunted Mitt Romney’s surge. Mr. Romney will have to push back next week.
MORE ELECTION 2012 NEWS & ANALYSIS
ELECTIONS 2012: Obama Campaign Feels ‘Good’ About State of Race – NYT
The president’s staff described President Obama as “calm and energized” and said he had interrupted his debate preparation only for a brief visit to the local campaign office Sunday.
ELECTIONS 2012: 5 unmet Obama promises - Politico, Josh Gerstein
Some are stalled, others seemingly put off indefinitely. A few, Obama just doesn’t mention anymore.
ELECTIONS 2012: Paul Ryan Can’t Lose – NYT, MARK LEIBOVICH
No matter which way the election goes in November, the Republican vice-presidential nominee sees nothing but upside. Above, Paul Ryan at a rally in Fishersville, Va.
ELECTIONS 2012: Paul Ryan, Catholic Dissident - NYT, MICHAEL PEPPARD
In the vice-presidential debate, neither candidate was true to the Catholic church on abortion.
ROMNEY STAFFERS: Romney Aides Get a Time-Out - WSJ
Romney staffers that committed missteps have disappeared from the trail for a stretch that coincided neatly with fallout from their errors.
LIBYA DEBATE: Libya reckoning – CHICAGO TRIBUNE, EDITORIAL
The Obama administration’s story keeps changing.
LIBYA DEBATE:Benghazi madness – SALON, JOAN WALSH
The latest right-wing conspiracy porn features a return of 2008 Obama-Clinton tensions played out over Libya
LIBYA DEBATE:Benghazi Attack Brings Infantilizing Response - BLOOMBERG, Jeffrey Goldberg
Many stupid things have been said by people who should have known better in the month since the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
LIBYA DEBATE:Giuliani Criticizes Obama on Handling of Benghazi Attack – NYT, ASHLEY PARKER
Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, had harsh words for President Obama’s handling of the situation in Libya and across the Middle East.
The Common Good publishes a U.S. domestic news digest every weekday, available here.