Each Monday we feature several important stories in US politics — ones that just occurred, are defining moments, or are key markers on the horizon. We call these Monday Eye Openers.
Romney and Ryan hammer Obama in Ohio
This weekend, Mitt Romney jump-started his campaign by skydiving from 128,000 feet above the earth’s surface. Wait, no—that was Felix Baumgartner, but Romney did try to energize his supporters in the crucial swing state of Ohio by hitting Barack Obama on China.
According to Politico, both the Republican presidential candidate and his running mate, Paul Ryan, criticized Obama’s unwillingness to brand China a “currency manipulator” in separate rallies in the swing state.
“It’s time for us to stand up to China for their cheating,” Romney told a cheering rally in Portsmouth, Ohio.
Obama focuses on debates
Meanwhile, CNN reports that President Obama spent the weekend preparing for the second presidential debate, scheduled for Tuesday. Atlanta mayor and fellow Democrat Kasim Reed said that Obama needs to “step up” his performance after some felt Romney got the better of him in their first encounter.
Reed said on NBC’s Meet The Press that Obama must “stand up and every time sharply address him.” There were plenty of sharp remarks in the Vice Presidential debates and both politicians were parodied over the weekend on Saturday Night Live’s cold open alongside surprise guest Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt.
Clinton hitting campaign trail
From a fast runner to a fast talker, we move to news of Bill Clinton. We haven’t seen too much of Bubba recently, but the Democrats’ last two-term President is hitting the campaign trail hard these days. CBS News has the story, including the news that Clinton and Bruce Springsteen will pair up at a Thursday rally in Ohio. No word yet on whether Clinton will bring his saxophone.
Arlen Specter passes away
Longtime Senator Arlen Specter passed away this weekend at the age of 82. Characterized by NBC News as “a gruff, independent-minded moderate,” Specter was elected to five consecutive six-year Senate terms in Pennsylvania.
Closer to Home, the Race for Governor Heats Up
Finally, the Washington gubernatorial race continues to hum along in advance of Tuesday’s debate, scheduled to take place after the presidential debate. Jay Inslee’s campaign took a hit when the Tacoma News Tribune endorsed his rival, while the Spokane Spokesman-Review’s Jim Camden gives a lighthearted take on Republican candidate Rob McKenna’s widely-syndicated Gangnam Style dance, saying it could lock up the coveted “dork vote.” McKenna will need every vote, as he’s aiming to be Washington’s first Republican governor since 1980.