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8:40 PM ET, October 15, 2012


 Top Items: 
USA Today:
Swing States poll: Women push Romney into lead  —  IN THE SWING STATES, THE POWER OF WOMEN  —  A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of the Swing States shows Mitt Romney with a lead among likely voters as he strengthens his standing with women in the nation's top battlegrounds.
James Hohmann / Politico:
Battleground Poll: Mitt more likable
Jonathan Martin / Politico:
The 3 states that may decide the election
Discussion: CNN and Alan Colmes' Liberaland
Felicia Sonmez / Election 2012:
Charity president unhappy about Paul Ryan soup kitchen ‘photo op’  —  Paul Ryan and his wife Janna wash pots at St. Vincent De Paul dining hall.  (Associated Press)  —  The head of a northeast Ohio charity says that the Romney campaign last week “ramrodded their way” into the group's Youngstown soup kitchen …
Mark Halperin / The Page:
Moderator Role Under Scrutiny — Before the Debate  —  In a rare example of political unity, both the Romney and Obama campaigns have expressed concern to the Commission on Presidential Debates about how the moderator of the Tuesday town hall has publicly described her role, TIME has learned.
Dylan Byers / Politico:
Candy Crowley: 'I'm going to react' at debate  —  The town hall debate is the one presidential face-off in which the audience gets to ask the questions.  —  But don't tell that to moderator Candy Crowley.  —  Like any journalist worthy of the assignment, Crowley concedes that the debate …
Michelle Malkin:
A reminder about the last plant-infested, CNN-run town hall debate  —  CNN's Candy Crowley will be moderating tomorrow night's second presidential debate.  It will be a 90-minute town hall forum at Hofstra University on Long Island, east of New York City.  Both the Obama and Romney campaigns signed a …
Elise Labott / CNN:
Clinton: ‘I take responsibility’ for security ahead of Benghazi attack  —  Lima, Peru (CNN) — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the buck stops with her when it comes to who is to blame for security ahead of a deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Michael Barbaro / The Caucus:
Romney Is Attacked by His Father's Longtime Aide  —  A longtime aide to George W. Romney issued a harshly worded critique of Mitt Romney, accusing him of shifting political positions in “erratic and startling ways” and failing to live up to the distinguished record of his father, the former governor of Michigan.
Christopher Goins / CNSNews:
Michelle Obama: ‘We Are in the Midst of a Huge Recovery’  —  ( - First Lady Michelle Obama said in a radio interview on Friday that the United States is in the “midst of a huge recovery” because of what “this president has done.”  —  Pablo Sato, co-host of Pablo & Free on WPGC 95.5 …
Byron Tau / Politico:
FLOTUS: Reach out to ‘knuckleheads,’ tell them to vote  —  First lady Michelle Obama is encouraging supporters to reach out to the “knuckleheads” in their life to ask them to vote for President Obama.  —  Speaking in Delaware, Ohio, the first lady encouraged people to cast their net wide …
Erika Johnsen / Hot Air:   We're “in the midst of a huge recovery,” says FLOTUS. Who knew?
Frank Rich / New York Magazine:
The Tea Party Will Win in the End  —  This is a nation that loathes government and always has.  Liberals should not be deluded: The Goldwater revolution will ultimately triumph, regardless of what happens in November.  —  Were the 2012 campaign a Hitchcock movie, Mitt Romney would be the MacGuffin …
Discussion: protein wisdom and National Review
Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress:
Tea Party Group Launches Racist ‘Obama Phone’ Ad
John Hinderaker / Power Line:
Our Awful Economy, In One Chart  —  Michelle Obama says we are “in the midst of a huge recovery.”  That claim is laughable to anyone who has lived through the last four years; this simple chart from the Senate Budget Committee highlights one of the central failings of Obamanomics …
Daniel Halper / Weekly Standard:
For Every Person Added to Labor Force, 10 Added to Those Not in Labor Force  —  A new chart from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee details the fact that, since January 2009, for every person added to the labor force, 10 have been added to those not in the labor force.
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Oct. 14: Breaking the State-National Poll Stalemate  —  For the last week or so, we have been hoping to decode a confusing polling landscape.  President Obama still appeared to hold a narrow Electoral College lead on the basis of state-by-state surveys, while national polls were suggestive …
David Stockman / The Daily Beast:
Mitt Romney: The Great Deformer  —  Is Romney really a job creator?  Ronald Reagan's budget director, David Stockman, takes a scalpel to the claims.  —  Bain Capital is a product of the Great Deformation.  It has garnered fabulous winnings through leveraged speculation in financial markets …
Vance Richards / Ricochet Conversations Feed:
“Would You Consider Voting for President Obama?”  —  A man rang my doorbell Saturday afternoon to ask me that question.  I was busy working on a few projects at the time, so his question caught me off guard.  The first thing that came out of my mouth was a very loud, “Absolutely not!
Ann Romney / CNN:
Romney not taking in ‘The View’  —  (CNN) - After criticizing chat program “The View” on a secretly recorded video, and subsequently agreeing to come on the show, Mitt Romney has cancelled his upcoming appearance citing scheduling conflicts.  —  Barbara Walters, the show's creator and co-host, announced the news Monday.
Discussion: The Hill
Aaron Blake / The Fix:
Why the early vote looks good for Democrats  —  It's still very early in the early voting process, but at least for now, Democrats can be optimistic that they are building a lead in the 2012 presidential race.  —  Absentee and early voting data from nine states that are generally viewed …
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
November 7th  —  Though their agendas are hidden, both Romney and Obama have plans to dramatically remake the size and character of American government.  Very, very quickly.  —  If you ask Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, or merely wander in front of a television when they are speaking …
New York Magazine:
Bush in the Wilderness  —  And should that happen, the answer in be 2016 may be a GOP nominee with the courage of his more centrist positions.  In other words: Jeb.  Even his own son, George P., acknowledges that his father's declaration that 2012 was “probably my time” contains a significant caveat.
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
How Romney can win — and how Obama can avoid it  —  One thing Obama urgently needs to prevent during tomorrow's debate is this: He can't allow Mitt Romney to become the candidate of change in this race.  And that may be in the process of happening.  —  In an interview this morning …
Eric Kleefeld / Talking Points Memo:
Tommy Thompson's Son Apologizes For Birther Joke  —  Jason Thompson, son of former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, publicly apologized for a remark he made at an event Sunday while speaking on behalf of his father's Senate campaign — in which he made a joke alluding to the conspiracy theories about President Obama's place of birth.
2 Motorcyclists Involved In Michelle Obama's Motorcade Escort Injured In Crash Along U.S. 36  —  Two law enforcement officials were injured in a crash while part of a motorcade escort for First Lady Michelle Obama on Monday.  —  According to the Delaware County Sheriff's Office …
Discussion: Politico and The Hill
Jim Rutenberg / New York Times:
Gary Johnson Libertarian Candidate Worries Republicans  —  When he was running for the Republican presidential nomination last year, Gary Johnson, the former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico, drew ridicule from mainstream party members as he advocated legalized marijuana and a 43 percent cut in military spending.
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Disappearing story lines: An extra boost for Obama  —  Around the time of the Republican National Convention, the single word on the lips of most of the press corps was “likability.”  Mitt Romney did not have it.  We have never elected someone with such a negative image.  He was a stiff.
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 More Items: 
Wall Street Journal:
Schumer to Tax Reform: Drop Dead
Jordan Zakarin / Hollywood Reporter:
Tom Morello Calls Paul Ryan a ‘Jackass,’ is Disappointed in Obama
Discussion: Weasel Zippers and The Raw Story
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press:
Voters Divided Over Who Will Win Second Debate
Discussion: Weekly Standard, Wonkblog and CNN
Fed Should Push to Cut Biggest Banks Down to Size
Anthony Castellano / ABCNEWS:
Parents Prefer President Obama as Babysitter
Discussion: Mother Jones, Guardian and ABCNEWS
Zeke Miller / BuzzFeed:
Romney Campaign Keeps Trump Event Private
Discussion: Daily Kos
 Earlier Items: 
Aviva Shen / ThinkProgress:
David E. Sanger / New York Times:
Jihadists Receiving Most Arms Sent to Syrian Rebels