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2:35 PM ET, September 21, 2012


 Top Items: 
Chris Wallace doubts Noonan's conservatism  —  In an interview with POLITICO today, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace questioned Peggy Noonan's “conservative bona fides,” following her recent editorials criticizing of Mitt Romney's campaign.  —  “Peggy Noonan has bashed George W. Bush, based Mitt Romney, wasn't crazy about McCain.
Wall Street Journal:
Noonan: Romney Needs a New CEO  —  How to save a listing campaign, the Baker Way.  —  “Nothing is written.”  That was T.E. Lawrence to the Arab tribesmen in Robert Bolt's screenplay, a masterpiece, of “Lawrence of Arabia.”  You write no one off.  Nothing is inevitable.  Life is news—"What happened today?"
Dan Eggen / Election 2012:
Romney campaign gave bonuses to top staff
O. Kay Henderson / Radio Iowa:
Ann Romney, to critics in GOP: “You want to try it?  Get in the ring.”  (AUDIO)  —  Ann Romney says fellow Republicans who've criticized her husband need to “stop it” and realize “how lucky” the party is to have Mitt Romney as its nominee.  —  Ann Romney spoke late this afternoon to about 200 people …
David Hinckley / NY Daily News:
Joe Biden - not Mitt Romney, President Obama, Bill Clinton or Clint Eastwood - most watched …
Lymari Morales / Gallup:
U.S. Distrust in Media Hits New High  —  Fewer Americans closely following political news now than in previous election years  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans' distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly.
Brad Malt / Mitt Romney for President …:
NOTE FROM TRUSTEE BRAD MALT  —  This morning, Gov. and Mrs. Romney filed their 2011 tax return with the IRS.  At 3:00pm today, the Romney for President campaign will be posting the 2011 return online.  —  The complete 2011 tax return, with full schedules, statements, and attachments …
Nicholas Confessore / New York Times:
Cash Low, Romney Striving to Find New Large Donors  —  Mitt Romney entered the final months of the presidential campaign with a cash balance of just $35 million, racing to find new large donors and rally low-dollar contributors in August even while he raised tens of millions of dollars for the Republican Party.
Obama flips money script on Mitt
Discussion: National Review
Katie Glueck / Politico:
Herman Cain: I'd be beating President Obama  —  Herman Cain says that if he were the Republican nominee, he would have a “substantial lead” over President Barack Obama right now.  —  “The reason is quite simple,” Cain told reporters on Thursday, according to the Gainesville Sun.
Nathan Crabbe / Gainesville FL:
Cain says he'd be leading Obama if he were nominee
Discussion: The Hill
Herman Cain / CNN:   TRENDING: Cain says he'd be winning
Barry Chin / Boston Globe:
In crucial first debate, Scott Brown challenges Warren's Native American heritage claim  —  Republican US Senator Scott Brown questioned Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren's claim of Native American heritage in the opening moments of a lively high-stakes television debate tonight.
Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic Online:
Until Republicans Fix This Problem, They Can't Fix Any Problems  —  The inability to judge arguments on their merits and separate fact from fantasy is what ails the conservative movement.  —  Reuters  —  After years spent reporting on the Bush Administration, Ron Suskind began to understand …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Disdain for Workers  —  By now everyone knows how Mitt Romney, speaking to donors in Boca Raton, washed his hands of almost half the country — the 47 percent who don't pay income taxes — declaring, “My job is not to worry about those people.  I'll never convince them that they should take …
Jim Geraghty / National Review:
What John McLaughlin Sees in the Polls Right Now  —  I reached out to Republican pollster John McLaughlin for yesterday's piece on how undecided voters are likely to break, and he made some separate comments about polls, their impact on motivation for each side, and how the campaigns …
John Avlon / The Daily Beast:
Why Does Everybody Hate Mitt Romney?  —  No other presidential candidate has racked up unfavorable ratings this high during a campaign, according to a Pew Survey.  Why is Romney so disliked?  It's not personal, it's business.  —  Less than 50 days from the election, it's still Mitt Romney's biggest mystery.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Sept. 20: Obama's Convention Bounce May Not Be Receding  —  President Obama's position inched forward in the FiveThirtyEight forecast on Thursday.  His chances of winning the Electoral College are 76.1 percent, according to the forecast, up from 75.2 percent on Wednesday.
Tom Newton Dunn / The Sun:
Andrew Mitchell insults police at Downing Street by calling them ‘f***ing plebs’  —  Chief Whip's rant just one day after cop killings  —  Rant ... Conservative cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell pushing his bicycle  —  A MILLIONAIRE Cabinet minister was threatened with arrest …
Discussion: Spectator, Guardian and BBC
Tom Cohen / CNN:
Obama, Ryan trade charges on Obamacare and Medicare  —  President Barack Obama arrives at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Thursday, September 13.  Obama returned to Washington after a two-day campaign trip with events in Nevada and Colorado.  —  HIDE CAPTION  —  Week in Politics: September 14 - 21
Discussion: Crooks and Liars
Sabrina Tavernise / New York Times:
Life Expectancy for Less Educated Whites in U.S. Is Shrinking  —  For generations of Americans, it was a given that children would live longer than their parents.  But there is now mounting evidence that this enduring trend has reversed itself for the country's least-educated whites …
Discussion: The Mahablog and Gawker
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
DeMint might throw Akin a lifeline  —  Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) says he will consider throwing his weighty financial support behind Rep. Todd Akin (R), the Missouri Senate candidate who has been shunned by party leaders in Washington.  —  DeMint said the National Republican Senatorial Committee …
First Read:
First Thoughts: Obama's battleground edge grows  —  Obama's edge grows in NBC battleground map... 243 EVs in Obama's column, 191 in Romney's, and 104 in Toss-up category... NBC/WSJ/Marist polls of CO, IA, and WI provide evidence of the past week taking a toll on Romney... Romney's lost week …
Eli Lake / The Daily Beast:
Obama's Shaky Libya Narrative  —  In the days after the consulate assault in Benghazi, the administration insisted a spontaneous protest got out of hand.  Then it slowly transitioned into calling the events a ‘terrorist attack.’ Eli Lake on how the story changed.
Igor Volsky / ThinkProgress:
NEWS FLASH  —  GERALDO RIVERA: MUSLIMS ARE ‘ALMOST CHILDLIKE’ |  Fox News' Geraldo Rivera described a “big big hunk of the Muslim world” as naive, “behind us in terms of political sophistication,” and “easily enrage,” during a segment on the unrest in the Middle East on Friday morning.
Discussion: The Raw Story
Ezra Klein / Washington Post:
The poll result that explains the election  —  Washington has been a bit perplexed by President Obama's small but persistent lead in the polls.  His administration would seem to fail the “Are you better off than you were four years ago” text.  And presidents who fail that test lose, right?
Ronald Brownstein /
Heartland Monitor Poll: Obama Leads 50 Percent to 43 Percent  —  President Obama has opened a solid lead over Mitt Romney by largely reassembling the “coalition of the ascendant” that powered the Democrat to his landmark 2008 victory, the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll has found.
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 More Items: 
Alexandra Jaffe / Ballot Box:
DCCC outraises NRCC in month of August
Discussion: Politico
Jonathan Easley / Ballot Box:
Poll shows Obama overtaking Romney in key swing states
Discussion: Politico
David Weigel / Slate:
Toward an Iron Law of Gaffes
Luke Baker / Reuters:
Troika report on Greece may come after U.S. vote
Discussion: Hit & Run and Business Insider
Julian Pecquet / The Hill:
Clinton fails to convince Republicans on administration's account of Libya attack
Discussion: Swampland, The PJ Tatler and Politico
Abby Simons / Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Minnesota farmer cleared in milk case
Discussion: Hit & Run
Jonathan Amos / BBC:
Ig Nobel honours ponytail physics
Neil Munro / The Daily Caller:
Obama says Arab blasphemy protests are ‘natural’
 Earlier Items: 
Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
Home To Roost  —  As a useful corrective to the Beltway tendency …
Mitt Romney's Son Tagg Signed ‘Abortion’ Clause in His Surrogate Birth Contract
Discussion: Joe. My. God. and US Politics
Col·lege In·sur·rec· tion:
Is the “Ron Paul Revolution” Too Dangerous for Auburn?
Discussion: The Daily Caller
Kendah / Nielsen Wire:
Convention Speeches by the Numbers
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Politico