Political Link List: November 1, 2012

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The Washington Post: Obama struggles to balance African Americans’ hopes with country’s as a whole (by Peter Wallsten)
Key passage: “Despite Obama’s past work as a community organizer, a background that inspired many liberal activists to initially see Obama as one of their own, he has made clear that as president he has broader obligations than social activism. Clayborne Carson, the Stanford University historian tapped by King’s widow to archive and study King’s papers, said Obama seems to relate most closely to King’s earlier approaches, when he focused on more universal themes and tried not to alienate whites. King took greater risks later in his life, Carson said, launching the Poor People’s Campaign and opposing the Vietnam War.”

The New York Times: Libya Warnings Were Plentiful, but Unspecific (by Michael R. Gordon, Erich Schmitt, and Michael S. Schmidt)
Key passage: ““The lethality of an armed, massed attack by dozens of individuals is something greater than we’ve ever seen in Libya over the last period that we’ve been there,” Patrick F. Kennedy, the State Department’s under secretary for management, told reporters at a news conference on Oct. 10. But David Oliveira, a State Department security officer who was stationed in Benghazi from June 2 to July 5, said he told members and staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that he recalled thinking that if 100 or more assailants sought to breach the mission’s walls, “there was nothing that we could do about it because we just didn’t have the manpower, we just didn’t have the facilities.””

The Washington Post: Ohio, the Bull’s-eye State: Obama, Romney aim full arsenals at vital electoral prize (by Dan Balz and Felicia Sonmez)
Key passage: “Over the past two years, Ohio’s economy has begun to rebound. Unemployment stands at 7 percent, below the national average and down from 9.4 percent in November 2010, when Republicans scored major victories in the midterm elections. Republican Gov. John Kasich claims his policies have helped turn around the economy, but the brightening picture gives a potential lift to Obama as Election Day nears. Obama’s campaign set a strategy designed to highlight those improvements and to draw a sharp contrast with Romney on the auto bailout in particular. “It’s so rare in presidential politics that you have such a state-
specific message,” said [Aaron] Pickrell, Obama’s Ohio strategist. “The auto bailout gave us that contrast.””

The New York Times: Idealism Harder to Find From Young Volunteers (by Jesse McKinley)
Key passage: “In interviews, many college-age volunteers, giving up their free time between studying, testing and survival jobs, often seem driven more by realism than idealism, leavened by their own family histories and the awkward contradictions of young adults trying to find their way.”

GQ: Yes They Can (They Think) (by Reid Cherlin)
Key passage: “For panicked Democrats, the serenity and positivity of the Obama Headquarters dream-world can be enraging. Yes, they recognize that an imperviousness to the Beltway's daily soap operas has always been a strength of the Obama operation. It was, after all, the no-drama approach that guided the 2008 campaign through the shoals of Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, and Sarah Palin. And yet, vindicated so grandly, here they find themselves again, the outcome uncertain, aware of the usual whispering that their self-assurance may actually be self-delusion. "It's a complete bubble—they don't listen to anyone," a Democratic strategist put it to me fretfully. A top Republican agreed, with an opposite measure of glee: "No one will tell the truth in there." The only way to silence the complaining, the Obama folks understand quite well, is to win. Which means that to satisfy their critics, first they have to ignore them.”

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