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As Romney fought for delegates, Obama team was lying in wait



By Adam Aigner-Treworgy, CNN

May 11, 2012 -- Updated 1623 GMT (0023 HKT)

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/11/politics/obama-romney-campaigns/index.html

Even the president's recent announcement that he now supports same-sex marriage appears to have been scheduled as a part of the campaign's rollout. Senior advisers to the president say Obama was always planning to announce his new position before the Democratic convention in September, probably at a time when his Democratic base needed energizing.

But the timing of the announcement was moved up after Vice President Joe Biden told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that he supported same-sex marriage.

Since their candidate effectively secured the nomination, Team Romney has been forced to keep pace with an Obama message machine that's been up and running in some form or another since 2007, all while rapidly hiring staff and building its own nationwide organization to compete in November.

In the first week after Romney became the de facto Republican nominee, the president's re-election campaign bought airtime in swing states to run a negative television ad attacking Romney's image as a job creator. A week later, it released another ad, this time largely ignoring the opposition and focusing instead on the difficult economic situation Obama inherited in 2009 and the jobs created in the three years since.

 

 

Text 12

As Romney fought for delegates, Obama team was lying in wait

By Adam Aigner-Treworgy, CNN

May 11, 2012 -- Updated 1623 GMT (0023 HKT)

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/05/11/politics/obama-romney-campaigns/index.html

The team in Chicago also posted more than half a dozen campaign videos on its website, each raising questions about Romney's positions or trying to undermine Romney attacks against Obama.

As for the president himself, by the time polls closed April 24, he had already embarked on a three-state college tour to rally support for legislation that would prevent interest rates on federal student loans from doubling. This public push forced Romney to come out in favor of congressional action to extend the lower rates -- a day ahead of Republican leaders on Capitol Hill.



To highlight the president's national security record, one of his strongest issues with independent voters, Obama for America released a video narrated by former President Bill Clinton extolling Obama's decision to order the 2011 raid that killed bin Laden and questioning whether Romney would have made the same move. A few days later, the president made a surprise trip to Afghanistan, addressing a crowd of servicemen and -women and delivering a speech to the nation from Bagram Air Base on the future of U.S. involvement in the region.

While many Republicans griped that these actions unfairly politicized the military, veteran political strategist Mark McKinnon said that by publicly complaining, they merely assured that more attention would be paid to an issue helpful to the president.

 

Text 13

Is There a Romney Doctrine?

By DAVID E. SANGER

Published: May 12, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/sunday-review/is-there-a-romney-doctrine.html?ref=politics

 

It was just one example of what Mr. Romneys advisers call a perplexing pattern: Dozens of subtle position papers flow through the candidates policy shop and yet seem to have little influence on Mr. Romneys hawkish-sounding pronouncements, on everything from war to nuclear proliferation to the trade-offs in dealing with China. In the Afghanistan case, none of us could quite figure out what he was advocating, one of Mr. Romneys advisers said. He insisted on anonymity as did a half-dozen others interviewed over the past two weeks because the Romney campaign has banned any discussion of the process by which the candidate formulates his positions.



It begged the obvious question, the adviser added. Do we stay another decade? How many forces, and how long, does that take? Do we really want to go into the general election telling Americans that we should stay a few more years to eradicate the whole Taliban movement? In phase one of a long presidential campaign, Mr. Romney could duck those questions: the spotlight moved to the wisdom of the economic stimulus and the auto-industry bailout, contraception and, now, same-sex marriage and high school bullying.

Text 13

Is There a Romney Doctrine?

By DAVID E. SANGER

Published: May 12, 2012

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/sunday-review/is-there-a-romney-doctrine.html?ref=politics

In the long stretch before the Republican convention in August, the battle for Mr. Romneys mind on the key foreign policy questions that have defined the past few decades will have to be joined: When is a threat to America so urgent that the United States should intervene unilaterally? Is it worth the cost and casualties to rebuild broken societies? Should America feel it must always be in the lead as Mr. Romney seems to argue or let other powers play that role when their interests are more directly affected?

On these questions, Mr. Romneys own advisers, judging by their public writing and comments, possess widely differing views often a result of the scar tissue they developed in Iraq, Afghanistan and other Bush-era experiments in the exercise of American power. But what has struck both his advisers and outside Republicans is that in his effort to secure the nomination, Mr. Romneys public comments have usually rejected mainstream Republican orthodoxy. They sound more like the talking points of the neoconservatives the Bolton faction, as insiders call the group led by John Bolton, the former ambassador to the United Nations. In a stormy tenure in the Bush administration, Mr. Bolton was often arguing that international institutions, the United Nations included, should be routed around because they so often frustrate American interests.



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Romneys Adversarial View of Russia Stirs Debate

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/12/us/politics/romneys-view-of-russia-sparks-debate.html?_r=1&ref=politics

The Romney campaign has been critical of Mr. Obamas record and positions on a variety of national security issues, including containing Irans nuclear ambitions and confronting Chinas rise. But many of the positions taken by Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, have either been vague or not fundamentally different from those of the administration.

Russia, however, is an exception, one where Mr. Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, has carved out a clear contrast to Mr. Obama, who came to office promising to reset relations with Moscow, only to find that Russia can be a difficult partner. Just this week, President Vladimir V. Putin abruptly canceled his plans to visit the United States next week for the Group of 8 summit meeting and for talks with Mr. Obama at Camp David.

Mr. Romney was a leading opponent of the most recent arms-reduction treaty with Russia, ratified by the Senate and signed last year by Mr. Obama. Russia figures prominently in Mr. Romneys book, where he calls it one of four competitors for world leadership, along with the United States, China and violent jihadism embraced by Iran and terrorist groups.

Some advisers close to Mr. Romney, who declined to be quoted or identified by name, say Russia is a good illustration of his belief that national security threats are closely tied to economic power in this case stemming from Russias oil and gas reserves, which it has used to muscle European countries dependent on energy imports.

 

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Teenage Wasteland: Japanese Youth in Revolt, 1964

http://life.time.com/culture/teenage-wasteland-japanese-youth-in-revolt-1964/#1

In 1964, LIFE photographer Michael Rougier and correspondent Robert Morse spent time documenting one Japanese generations age of revolt, and came away with an astonishingly intimate, frequently unsettling portrait of teenagers hurtling willfully toward oblivion.

The teens and other young adults portrayed in Rougiers pictures, Morse noted in a 1964 LIFE special issue on Japan, are part of a phenomenon long familiar in countries of the Western world: a rebellious younger generation, a bitter and poignant minority breaking from [its] countrys past.

All through that past, a sense of connection with the old traditions and authority has kept Japanese children obedient and very close to the family. This sense still controls most of Japans youth who besiege offices and factories for jobs and the universities for education and gives the whole country an electric vitality and urgency. But as its members run away from the family and authority, this generation in rebellion grows.

Nowhere in the world does youth seem to dominate a nation as they do in Japan. They are overwhelming and everywhere, surging, searching, experimenting, ambitious at some times, helpless and without hope at others. Isolated on a tight little island, they have not, except on the surface, become international like their counterparts in freewheeling Europe.

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Teenage Wasteland: Japanese Youth in Revolt, 1964

http://life.time.com/culture/teenage-wasteland-japanese-youth-in-revolt-1964/#1

This is not true at all.

A large segment of Japanese young people are, deep down, desperately unhappy and lost. And they talk freely about their frustrations. Many have lost respect for their elders, always a keystone of Japanese life, and in some cases denounce the older people for for having gotten us into a senseless war.

Having sliced the ties that bind them to the home, in desperation they form their own miniature societies with rules of their own. The young people in these groups are bound to one another not out of mutual affection in many cases the lost ones are incapable of affection but from the need to belong, to be part of something.

While they might, to varying degrees, have shared a genuinely nihilistic outlook toward their own and their countrys future, the runaways, rock and roll fanatics, pill-poppers, motorcycle kids all of these groups, along with innumerable other subsets of Japans youth-driven subculture, attest to the breadth and depth of teen disaffection found, virtually anywhere one looked, in 1964 Tokyo.

That Michael Rougier, meanwhile, was able to so compassionately portray not only that disaffection, but also captured moments of genuine fellowship and even a fleeting sort of joy among these desperately searching teens.

 


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