Must Reads

The Independent Rundown, October 22

The day’s essential reads for independents and centrists.

Independent Nation gives you five must reads for independents and centrists for Monday, October 22.

1. “The Final Push,” in The New Yorker.

From a luxe headquarters in Chicago to a room with folding chairs in Nevada, the Obama campaign’s drive to the finish is all about ground game, and the foundation was laid in December of 2008. Ryan Lizza visits the president’s 2012 reelection campaign in some of the states where every vote will matter.

Read more in The New Yorker.

2. “Why Partisans Can’t Explain Their Views,” in The New York Times.

Call it the Paul Ryan Effect. Wonkish politicians, and even those who simply assert something without rattling off a ledger full of numbers, give the “illusion of explanatory depth” to people who are already going to vote for them anyway, write two researchers. It’s why partisans think they know what they think, but often have so much trouble supporting their beliefs with arguments. It’s also why party politics rots the brain.

Read more in The New York Times.

3. “The Digital Campaign,” at FRONTLINE.

You’re online now, and the people who want your vote know that. Employing teams of digital strategists, teams are tailoring ads, emails, and even door knocks to a degree previously unimaginable. Will precision targeting of voters using the Internet determine the 2012 campaign?

See more at PBS FRONTLINE.

4. “The Symbol Mitt Romney Demanded on His Official Gubernatorial Portrait,” at The Daily Beast.

Aside from breaking tradition by including wife Ann in his Massachusetts gubernatorial portrait, Romney insisted on incorporating the caduceus, a symbol associated with medicine. The Daily Beast’s Michael Daly talks to the artist about Romney’s proud achievement.

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Read more at The Daily Beast.

5. “Mike Bloomberg’s Genius Idea,” in The New Republic.

The Bloomberg PAC is painting itself as a sort of MacArthur Foundation grant for political candidates, writes Alec MacGillis. But the idea of a political patronage system to protect politics from the corrupting effects of money seems like an unlikely way to restore virtue to politics, no?

Read more at The New Republic.

Send stories you would like to see in the Rundown to Matt DeLuca at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @DeLucaMattS.