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Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Weekend Word: Crisis Management


Today's Times
- A 1968 car crash in France and the 1998 diagnosis of Ann Romney's multiple sclerosis were dark moments in what has otherwise seemed a charmed existence for Mitt Romney, Sheryl Gay Stolberg writes. Both offer clues into the Republican nominee's character and the way he reacts to challenges.

- The Capitol dome has 1,300 known cracks and breaks, and, according to the architect of the Capitol, has become a “public safety issue,” Jennifer Steinhauer reports. The dome is imperiled not only by inclement weather, but by tough economic times and a politically polarized Congress, with the Senate appropriators voting to repair the dome and their House counterparts saying there is not enough money to do so.

- After President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage, coupled with the standoff between his administration and Catholic bishops over birth control, Republicans are sensing an opportunity to cut in to the advantage that Mr. Obama had among Catholic voters in 2008, Laurie Goldstein reports. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York will deliver the benediction at the Republican National Convention â€" a sign of a more aggressive push by Republicans to win over that voting bloc.

- While Mitt Romney's campaign will run a video tribute to Representative Ron Paul at the Republican National Convention, it is also proposing a new rule that would prohibit states from holding nonbinding primary contests and then picking delegates at a later state convention, Michael D. Shear reports. Mr. Paul used the existing process to amass a large delegation this year, primarily in states where Mr. Romney had won highly publicized but nonbinding contests.

- Representative Todd Akin's Senate campaign is seemingly reinvigorated after beating back attacks from the Republican establishment, John Eligon writes. He used his first public appearance since the controversial comments about ra pe victims as an effort to turn the focus back to his opponent, Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri.

- Mitt Romney seemed to make a joke about President Obama's birth certificate at a campaign stop in Michigan, but his aides quickly walked back the comments, saying he was only sharing his state pride, Ashley Parker and Trip Gabriel write. But other remarks by Representative Paul D. Ryan seemed to emphasize a cultural difference between his ticket and Mr. Obama's.

Weekly Address
- President Obama used his weekly address to add what he called “some actual facts” to the current political melee over Medicare, saying that there are “a lot of accusations and misinformation flying around.” He said that the health care overhaul has helped give older Americans deeper discounts on prescription drugs, made sure preventive care like mammograms and other cancer screenings are free without co-pay, and extended the life of Medicare by almost a decade. H e said he was willing to work with anyone wanting to improve the current system, but derided the plan by Congressional Republicans to turn Medicare into a voucher program. “I think our seniors deserve better,” he said. “Here in America, we believe in keeping our promises â€" especially to seniors who have put in a lifetime of hard work and deserve to enjoy their golden years.”

Around the Web
- The Romney campaign has barred one of its spokesmen in Colorado from dealing with the press after it was revealed that she prohibited a journalist from asking questions about abortion or Representative Todd Akin, Politico reports.

- Members of the tech community took to Twitter to voice their disappointment in the gender imbalance among the new crop of fellows selected for the White House Presidential Innovation Fellowship Program, The Hill reports.