- - Tuesday, October 2, 2012

CHICAGO — Some Illinois Republicans who rode a partisan tea party wave to take five U.S. House seats away from Democrats two years ago are wooing voters with a different approach this election. They are preaching unity and compromise.

To take back most of those seats, Democrats are counting on a big turnout in President Obama’s home state, new congressional boundaries favoring their candidates and big advertising dollars. They even voice hopes of retaking the House if they make similar gains in New York and California.

Republicans are pushing back hard, but with a softer message.

Pizzeria owner Bobby Schilling was a tea party-supported GOP winner in 2010. He now describes himself as center-right and says in a TV ad that being a congressman is not a “Democrat or Republican issue.”

CAMPAIGN

Pundits clash over video of 2007 Obama speech

Conservative news and opinion website The Daily Caller on Tuesday posted a 2007 videotape of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama speaking to a group of black ministers and blaming the federal government’s botched response to Hurricane Katrina on racism.

According to the Daily Caller’s report, the unedited recording of an Obama speech on the campus of Hampton University in June 2007 includes sharply worded rhetoric about racism that went unreported at the time and diverged significantly from the prepared text of the candidate’s speech.

“The people down in New Orleans they don’t care about as much,” Mr. Obama says on the tape.

He also speaks affectionately about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his pastor, who was in attendance at the speech.

After Mr. Wright’s inflammatory comments on 9/11 and black liberation theology surfaced, Mr. Obama distanced himself from the pastor a few weeks later.

The videotape fueled clashes on Tuesday night’s cable news networks, with Obama supporters dismissing the tape as “lame” and a rehash of old news, and critics of the president arguing that the clip shows hypocrisy and pandering on the part of Mr. Obama.

EDUCATION

Duncan wants print textbooks to be converted to digital

Education Secretary Arne Duncan is calling for printed textbooks to become obsolete within the next few years.

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