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Romney-Ryan: Who’s on top?

The addition of a major player shakes up the campaign, and may just change the equation altogether.
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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (L) jokes with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (R) after announcing him as the "next President of the United States" during an event announcing him as his running mate in front of the USS Wisconsin August 11, 2012 in Norfolk, Virginia. Ryan, a seven term congressman, is Chairman of the House Budget Committee and provides a strong contrast to the Obama administration on fiscal policy. (Win McNamee/AFP/Getty Images)
It could not have been more perfect: the handsome, strong-jawed mainliner introducing his equally handsome, strong-jawed back-up player. Paul Ryan, as many have remarked, could easily be Mitt Romney’s sixth son.
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California: Where is the campaign love?

As Republican and Democratic candidates woo the Midwest, left-coasters are feeling ignored.
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US President Barack Obama speaks with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at a bill signing ceremony July 6, 2012 at the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. President Obama signed HR 4348, the transportation and student loans bill, into law during the ceremony. (Alex Wong/AFP/Getty Images)
SUNNYVALE — “We’re tired of being the ATM for this campaign,” grumbled Melinda Hamilton, 41, former mayor of this shiny-new community in the heart of Silicon Valley. “Obama comes here for fundraisers and leaves. We just don’t like being taken for granted.”
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Campaign 2012: The Republican Veepstakes

Who will Mitt Romney's VP pick be? What does it mean? Does anybody really care?
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Stumped: Senator Rob Portman, of Ohio, seen speaking to Representative Xavier Becerra, is one of several names being floated as possible picks for the Republican Party's vice presidential candidacy. (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
Seldom has so much been written by so many about so little. Mitt Romney’s possible choices for vice president have been dangled in front of the electorate for so long that it might create the illusion that it actually matters whether Ohio Senator Rob Portman, or Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, or Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan is on the other side of the ticket. If nothing else, the speculation about names and timing helps to distract from the distasteful schoolyard brawl that surrounds Romney’s tax returns. When have we ever had high party officials call the Senate majority leader “a dirty liar” on national television?
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Sheikh temple? Romney confuses religion for Arab title

Mitt Romney accidentally referred to the shooting that took place at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin as taking place at a "sheikh temple," confusing an Arab honorific title for the the name of the religious group.

Campaign 2012: In an Oregonian state of mind

Portland, with its pot and naked cyclists, could be the Northwest's 'coolest' city when it comes to politics too.
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The 2012 "Flashback Cruz" car show in Bend, Oregon featured over 5,000 vintage automobiles. (Jean MacKenzie/GlobalPost)
PORTLAND — Self-consciously quirky, outrageously liberal, Portland feels a bit like a hippie museum. On a recent, glorious Sunday, in the hipster Hawthorne neighborhood, white-bearded bikers in bandannas straddled their hogs in the sunshine, crowds of middle-aged, Birkenstocked customers strolled in and out of what could only be termed “head shops,” while others flipped through racks of vintage clothing — everything from old Simpsons T-shirts to velvet blazers to flowered hats from the '50s.
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Campaign 2012: Status quo you can believe in

In the Northwest, the American Dream is alive and well — and available from Amazon.com.
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Seattle, Washington is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest, and home to corporations such as Boeing, Starbucks, Microsoft and Amazon. It was a recent stop on Barack Obama's 2012 campaign trail. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
SEATTLE — Space needles and coffee, salty mist off the Puget Sound, great wealth in a laid-back setting: Seattle is unlike almost anyplace else. This is reflected in the attitude of the hip young professionals who flock to Seattle to staff companies like Microsoft, Boeing and Amazon that have made the city into a bubble of prosperity in the midst of the economic downturn. Most of Seattle’s voters will likely do their best to give President Barack Obama another term in office, although, judging from their discussions, their hearts are not exactly in it.
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Mr. Romney goes to Israel

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Like Barack Obama and George W. Bush before him, Mitt Romney will make a politically calculated trip to Israel next week. Unlike his predecessors, however, the GOP presidential hopeful is less concerned about demonstrating his foreign policy prowess than reassuring evangelical and neoconservative voters back home about his Judeo-Christian values. 

Obama’s stealth visit to Seattle

The president comes to woo the wealthy, leaves the hoi polloi alone.
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Mount Rainier is seen from Air Force One with US President Barack Obama aboard as he travels from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, Wash. — Traveling from east to west in Washington State is as much a revolution of mind as of geography. Just as apparent are the shifts in the political landscape. Seattle is home to Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing and Starbucks, spawning a wealthy and largely liberal population that has little in common with the conservative farmers of the eastern territories.
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2012 elections: Mitt, Barack, time-out!

The Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns were already unattractive. Now they've become downright absurd.
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US President Barack Obama runs onto the stage for a campaign event on July 14, at a high school in Clifton, Virginia. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama does not like his challenger, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Romney returns the favor. Both men want a seat in the Oval Office starting in January 2013, and are hell-bent on attaining their goal. Everyone understands this by now. What more is there to say? Quite a lot, apparently.
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