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Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Weekend Word: All in the Details

In Today's Times:

  • In business and politics, Mitt Romney has proved an executive who savors the details. He is unable to resist burrowing into the raw data usually left to junior aides and is intent on taking his time when it comes to big decisions. But the traits that helped his career climb are untested in the unique environment of the White House, Michael Barbaro, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Michael Wines report.
  • With examples like Anita Dunn, who advises President Obama while working separately as a corporate strategist with clients who seek to influence policy, the limitations of the president's attempts to change the culture of Washington are apparent, Eric Lichtblau and Eric Lipton report.
  • Microsoft gave itself broader leeway to gather data from users of its free, Web-based products on Friday, a move not unlike the one made by Google this year that was decried by privacy advocates. That Microsoft's policy change went relativel y unnoticed speaks to the confusion surrounding Internet consumer privacy, Edward Wyatt and Nick Wingfield report.
  • It may not be obvious from the outside, but party insiders say the jockeying for prime administration posts has already begun, with potential candidates subtly volunteering for campaign work and raising their public profiles, Peter Baker and Ashley Parker report.

Weekly Address:

  • Highlighting signs of progress in the housing market, Mr. Obama used his weekly address to talk about helping Americans refinance their mortgages, a move that he said could save each homeowner about $3,000 per year. “I just wish it didn't require an act of Congress,” he said, laying the blame on Republicans for barring the plan he offered in February. While acknowledging that it's unlikely that Congress will act on his proposal before the election - Congress is in recess while lawmakers campaign back home - Mr. Obama urged voters to pressure th eir representatives.

Washington Happenings:

  • Mr. Obama will spend the weekend at Camp David.
  • The White House features free tours of its gardens on Saturday. The National Park Service will distribute tickets on a first-come, first-served basis at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion starting at 8 a.m.
  • The Army Ten-Miler will take place Sunday, beginning near the Pentagon.