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Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Early Word: New Lines


Today's Times:

  • To attract young voters, Republicans are talking more about the economy and less about social issues. In some cases, Susan Sauly explains, the change reflects the fact that a new generation doesn't share the same positions on abortion and same-sex marriage that older Republicans endorse. In other cases, it's a pragmatic political decision by social conservatives.
  • With the Republican convention set to get under way this month, Mitt Romney's campaign is working out the tricky calculus of who should get what roles. Jeremy W. Peters writes that the “fastidiously controlled, leave-nothing-to-chance” campaign faces some hazardous choices as it tries to balance conservatives' demands with Republicans' desire to woo independent voters.
  • In the absence of an animated contest for the White House, some Congressional races are adding a reality-show aesthetic to this year's ele ctions. Jennifer Steinhauer writes about how this election has been colored by redistricting, a deluge of cash, and the continuing influence of the Tea Party, sprinkled with a few arrests and other high jinks.
  • Forget the 30-second campaign ad. Linda Lingle, a Republican Senate hopeful in Hawaii, has a 24-hour cable channel devoted to her campaign. The channel is “a first-of-its-kind venture in campaign advertising in this country, reflecting the continued push by candidates to break through the rising clatter of political advertising,” but also demonstrating how Republicans are willing to pour cash into a campaign they hope will help them to gain control of the Senate, Adam Nagourney writes.
  • In an aggressive effort to shed light on the workings of the secretive outside spending groups that are having an outsize and virtually unfettered influence in the election, the attorney general of New York has asked the groups to turn over federal tax returns and other documents. Nicholas Confessore writes that with the Internal Revenue Service facing competing pressures from Democrats and Republicans over its oversight of politically active and tax-exempt “social welfare” organizations, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is scrutinizing the groups as part of a broader inquiry into tax-exempt organizations.
  • President Obama's top counterterrorism adviser dismissed accusations - lodged by Republicans - that the Obama administration has disclosed classified information for political gain as “specious and false” but defended speaking openly and with discretion about national security matters, Scott Shane reports. John O. Brennan, the adviser, also said the administration was working on a way to increase defenses against computer attacks after Congress failed to pass cybersecurity legislation.

Happening in Washington:

  • Economic data expected today include weekly jobless cl aims and international trade data for June at 8:30 a.m., followed by weekly mortgage rates and wholesale trade inventories for June at 10.
  • At noon, representatives of a coalition of voting rights advocates will hold a news conference to announce the release of the Elections Protection smartphone app, which will allow users to check their voter registration and locate polling places.