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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Early Word: Blitz

In Today's Times

  • President Obama's campaign began a furious two-week effort on Tuesday to beat back a late surge by Mitt Romney, a blitz that Mr. Romney called desperate, Michael D. Shear and Helene Cooper report.
  • Issues like taxes and government spending have dominated the presidential campaign, obscuring what economists argue is the nation's biggest challenge: the income stagnation that has afflicted the middle class and the poor and that has exacerbated inequality. The causes of the problem cannot be addressed easily in political sound bites like the calls to bring down the budget or avert another Wall Street meltdown, David Leonhardt writes.
  • Though the Supreme Court's 2010 decision on campaign spending was expected to be an unalloyed advantage for Republicans, some party members in the House are not so happy with its effects on a sullen and disenchanted electorate and are talking about re-examining campaign-finance laws, Jen nifer Steinhauer and Jonathan Weisman report.
  • The world is watching the race between Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney, and the coverage from other countries reveals as much about how they see themselves as it does about the American political process, Ellen Barry reports.
  • Some well-financed conservative activists are testing the boundaries of how far they can go to disqualify Mr. Obama, Jeremy W. Peters writes. A new anti-Obama DVD dropping into Florida voters' mailboxes is the latest example of how secretive forces outside the presidential campaigns can sweep into battleground states days before the election, and add a potentially game-changing element to the mix.

Happenings in Washington

  • Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his wife, Jill, will host a Breast Cancer Awareness Month reception at the Naval Observatory.
  • Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has a busy Wednesday scheduled. She will meet wit h Brazil's foreign minister, Antônio de Aguiar Patriota; swear in the American ambassador to Poland; deliver remarks at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the State Department's modernized Nuclear Risk Reduction Center; and attend a meeting at the White House.