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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Early Word: A Gamble


Today's Times

  • While Florida â€" a state where elderly voters make up 22 percent of the electorate â€" is a place where Democrats can be counted on to assail proposed changes to Medicare, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan signaled that they intend to go on the offensive, Adam Nagourney writes. They are gambling that they can convince voters that the time has come to confront the mounting costs of entitlement programs.
  • Questions over the Las Vegas Sands Corporation's payments to its Chinese representative highlight the frequent intersection of politics and money for Sheldon Adelson, the company's founder and a major Republican donor, Michael Luo, Neil Gough and Edward Wong report.
  • President Obama and Representative Paul D. Ryan went head to head Monday in an early test of themes that will undoubtedly dominate the campaign in the months to come, Helene Cooper and Trip Gabriel report. They clashed over farm aid, welfare, the unemployment rate and the role of government.
  • While the Mitt Romney campaign tried to emphasize Representative Paul Ryan's knowledge of the federal budget as a top reason for selecting him as a running mate, less well-known is the Wisconsin congressman's close ties to the donors and activists who have channeled Tea Party anger into a $400 million political machine, Nicholas Confessore reports. Mr. Ryan could provide Mr. Romney with a bridge to the conservative counter-establishment and access to groups planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat President Obama.
  • The moderating duties for the four presidential and vice-presidential debates will be evenly split between male and female journalists for the first time this year, Brian Stelter reports. Three 16-year-olds from New Jersey who started an online petition titled “It's Time for a Female Moderator” helped trigger the decision.
  • Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan split up on Monday to cover as much territory as possible in swing states, but they rarely left each other's sight over the weekend, highlighting the most intriguing dimension of the Romney-Ryan partnership: the unmistakable sense that the two men thoroughly enjoy each other's company, Michael Barbaro writes.

Around the Web

  • Michelle Obama will be the guest editor on iVillage the week of Aug. 20, offering back-to-school tips and details on how she gets the first daughters ready for a new school year, The Hill reports.
  • Janna Ryan is stepping gingerly into the spotlight as her husband campaigns on the biggest stage of his career, The Washington Post writes.

Happenings in Washington

  • Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will meet with the 2012 Fulbright Public Policy Fellows at the Department of State.
  • David Strickland, National Highway Traffic Safety administrator, will release new statistics on drunk driving statistics to kick off the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement crackdown.