Fresh off his nominating convention, Mitt Romney is cranking up a well-financed political machine that will now bring its full force to bear on President Obama, with a hailstorm of ads and nonstop campaigning. But little of it may matter if Romney cannot win here in Ohio, where a loss would severely narrow his path to the White House.
That explains why Romney, Obama and their running mates will all campaign here over the Labor Day weekend. "It's possible to win without Ohio," said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. "But I wouldn't want to risk it."
To give a sense of the challenge for Romney: He could win Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Indiana, Iowa and Nevada -- all states carried by Obama in 2008 -- and still fall short without Ohio and its 18 electoral votes. No Republican has reached the White House without carrying Ohio.
NEW YORK TIMES
Paul Ryan, facing criticism for what fact-checkers said were false or distorted statements in his speech to the Republican National Convention, is now qualifying another claim: his best marathon time.
The Republican vice presidential nominee said on the nationally broadcast Hugh Hewitt Radio show Aug. 23 that his personal best for a 26.2-mile marathon was "under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty- something."
"I was fast when I was younger, yeah," he said. "I hurt a disc in my back, so I don't run marathons anymore."
That's a pace of about 6 1/2 minutes per mile for the course -- extremely fast for recreational runners.
After Runner's World said that it couldn't find any marathon results by Ryan, his campaign told the magazine that he ran Grandma's Marathon while he was a college student. He finished in 4 hours, 1 minute and 25 seconds in 1990, the magazine said. That's a 9-minute-mile pace.
Ryan said in comments provided by his campaign spokesman, Brendan Buck: "If I were to do any rounding, it would certainly be to four hours, not three."
Beer lovers, the secret is out. The White House has made public the recipe for two homemade beers that have become an object of fascination for beer drinkers everywhere. White House Honey Brown Ale, believed to be the first beer brewed on the White House grounds, includes light malt extract, amber crystal malt, honey, gypsum, yeast and corn sugar. The White House included recipes -- www.startribune.com/a1691 -- for both the honey ale and a honey porter that are brewed at the White House.