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The Read: Political chatter from elsewhere

Each Saturday on the Politics Now blog, you'll find a list of stories that caught the eyes of The News' political reporters. Here's a sampling of what they were reading the last couple weeks:

New York Times columnist David Brooks said during an appearance at UB on Thursday that he found Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comments "offensive," and he wrote about it in a much buzzed-about piece headlined "Thurston Howell Romney."

Further commentary on how Republican policies have allowed many to avoid paying income taxes comes from Will Wilkinson at the Economist, who writes, "It's cheeky indeed to have supported, and to continue to support, policies intended to reduce the tax burden of the middle class, and then to pretend alarm at the rise of a vast 'taker' class which consumes but does not finance federal benefits." 

The Romney campaign is keeping its chin up, reports National Journal's Beth Reinhard: “'We’re working harder and smarter,' said Romney’s political director, Rich Beeson. 'We’re not trying to personally lower the unemployment rate with campaign staffers.'” 

Why are Romney's unfavorable ratings so high? John Avlon of the Daily Beast: "At times, he seems like a Monty Python caricature of a self-consciously noble knight with a killer instinct for self-sabotage and alienating allies, all adding up to the title, Sir Not Very Well-Liked."

President Barack Obama was asked tough questions during a Spanish-language forum in Florida this week, and blamed problems he encountered trying to pass immigration reform on Congress, reports Politico's Reid Epstein

The Times' Peter Baker and Eric Lipton look at that age-old practice by incumbents of using the office to further their political careers: "Locked in a tight race with Mitt Romney, Mr. Obama and his team have been pulling every lever of the federal government within reach, announcing initiatives aimed at critical constituencies, dispatching cabinet secretaries to competitive areas, coordinating campaign events to match popular government actions and forestalling or even reversing other government decisions that could hurt the president’s chances of a second term."

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