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Obama agenda: Hitting the GOP field

“In a sharp rebuke of his Republican rivals, President Barack Obama said anyone who wants to be commander in chief must support the entire US military, including gay service members,” the AP writes. “A combative Obama criticized GOP presidential candidates for staying silent when the crowd at a recent debate booed a gay soldier who asked a question of the contenders via videotape. ‘You want to be commander in chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient,’ Obama said during remarks at the annual dinner of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest gay rights organization. Referencing the boos at the Sept. 22 Republican debate, he said: ‘We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens.’”

John Harwood says that Obama will likely borrow from George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election playbook. “Circumstances have changed drastically since 2004. America’s economic woes stand to dominate the 2012 dialogue no matter what — probably to Mr. Obama’s detriment. Yet in important electoral battlegrounds, Mr. Obama’s strategists intend to use abortion, gay rights, the environment and successes in the fight against Al Qaeda to counter economic attacks and drive a wedge between Republicans and swing voters. The Democratic shift from defense to offense on those issues stems from evolving public attitudes, intensifying Republican conservatism and the raid that killed Osama bin Laden on Mr. Obama’s orders.”

Channeling what we wrote on Friday, the New York Times notes the president’s growing list of foreign- policy and national-security accomplishments -- which have been overshadowed by the struggling U.S. economy. “Ten years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, economic insecurity has replaced national security as Americans’ chief concern, leaving Mr. Obama with little credit for his record of hunting and killing terrorists — a topic that stirred public passions not long ago.”

“The Obama campaign is likely to beat its $55 million target for combined third-quarter contributions to joint party and presidential committees — but likely to lag its record-breaking second-quarter haul, according to Democrats involved in the effort,” Politico reports. (The debt-ceiling debate wiped out about a month of Obama/DNC fundraising…)

“If, as now expected, the justices agree to review the [health] law’s constitutionality, those deliberations would certainly define the court’s coming term,” AP writes. “Their decision could rank as the court’s most significant since the December 2000 ruling that effectively sealed George W. Bush’s election as president.”