Political Link List: October 24, 2012

New York Times: For President, a Complex Calculus of Race and Politics (by Jodi Kantor)
Key passage: ““As he’s gotten more comfortable being president, he’s gotten more comfortable being him,” said Brian Mathis, an Obama fund-raiser. Asked when they could sense that shift, several advisers and friends mentioned the waning hours of Mr. Obama’s birthday party in the summer of 2011. As the hour grew late, many of the white guests left, and the music grew “blacker and blacker,” as the comedian Chris Rock later told an audience. Watching African-American entertainers and sports stars do the Dougie to celebrate a black president in a house built by slaves, Mr. Rock said, “I felt like I died and went to black heaven.””

The New Yorker: The Voter-Fraud Myth (by Jane Mayer)
Key passage: “The vast majority of the lawmakers who have pushed for voter I.D.s have been Republicans. As Bill Clinton has put it, “This is not rocket science. They are trying to make the 2012 electorate look more like the 2010 electorate”—when many young and minority voters stayed home—“than the 2008 electorate.” Clinton said that the “effort to limit the franchise” was the most determined “since we got rid of the poll tax and all the other Jim Crow burdens on voting.””

New York Times: Watching U.S. Race, Other Nations See Themselves (by Ellen Barry)
Key passage: “In other countries, like Russia and China, coverage has been muted, reflecting both wariness about Mr. Romney and disappointment with the four-year arc of Mr. Obama’s foreign policy. Indeed, disillusionment has tempered news coverage in many countries — even Germany, a nation addicted to American political arcana. In contrast with 2008, when coverage of the Democratic primaries was breathless front-page news all over Germany, this season’s analysis has been sober and far less enthusiastic.”

New York Times: Strident Anti-Obama Messages Flood Key States (by Jeremy W. Peters)
Key passage: “This summer, a group of well-financed conservative activists had an idea for what they hoped would be a last-minute game changer in the presidential race. They would put out a DVD that made a compelling case against Mr. Obama in battleground states, sending it to voters through a carefully targeted direct mail campaign or as an insert in Sunday newspapers in the weeks before Election Day.”