OVERNIGHT CAMPAIGN: Pausing for 9/11 anniversary

On their way back from the Pentagon, Obama and the first lady made an unscheduled stop at Arlington National Cemetery, where they visited the graves in Section 60, for those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mitt Romney addressed a meeting of the National Guard Association in Reno, Nev., where he said it was a time to remember those who were lost — and "renew our resolve to protect America from the designs of evil men."

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Romney spoke of his own experience on that day, hearing the news while working just blocks from the White House and then driving into Virginia past a still-smoldering Pentagon.

"Cars had stopped where they were, and people had gotten out, watching in horror," Romney said. "I could smell burning fuel and concrete and metal. It was the smell of war, something I never imagined I would smell in America."

Vice President Biden joined firefighters in Shanksville, Pa. — the crash site of United Flight 93, the fourth plane hijacked during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks — for a barbecue and some small talk, showing off his notoriously colorful side.

He invited firefighters to join him in Washington for a beer, telling them: “This is no malarkey. You come to the White House. I’ll buy you a beer.”


TOMORROW’S AGENDA TODAY: President Obama will be campaigning in Las Vegas and in Denver.

Vice President Biden will be campaigning in Dayton, Ohio.

Ann Romney will hold a Women for Mitt rally at the Largo Community Center in Largo, Fla.

Paul Ryan will be campaigning in De Pere, Wis., followed by a campaign stop in Owensville, Ohio, which will feature a musical performance by country music star John Michael Montgomery.


TWEET OF THE DAY: Several lawmakers tweeted on the 9/11 attacks. The Hill’s Alicia M. Cohn has a rundown of them here.


QUOTE OF THE DAY: “She’s going to say, ‘Joe, what the hell are you doing?’ ” — Vice President Biden, asked what his wife will think of him having a hot dog for lunch. 


POLL POSITION:

A Washington Post/ABC News poll shows President Obama and Mitt Romney running neck and neck among likely voters after the party conventions and with less than two months until Election Day. Obama has 49 percent to Romney’s 48 among likely voters, a 2-point boost for Obama and a 1-point bump for Romney since the same poll last month.

Obama received a modest bounce out of the Democratic National Convention and now leads Romney by 6 percentage points, according to the latest Gallup poll. Obama leads Romney 50 to 44 percent, according to the survey, a 3-point bounce from his 47 to 46 percent lead before both parties' conventions.


SENATE SHOWDOWN:

The GOP-aligned outside group Crossroads GPS is up with new ads targeting Senate races in Virginia, Ohio and Nevada. The total buy is $2.3 million and will last a week.

ARIZONA: A Public Policy Polling survey gives Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) a lead of just 1 percentage point over Democratic challenger Richard Carmona, within the 3.1 percent margin of error.

MASSACHUSETTS: A Republican poll shows a 5-percentage-point drop in Sen. Scott Brown's lead following the Democratic convention, at which Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren spoke — but the two remain locked in a statistical tie. The poll, conducted by Kimball Political Consulting, gives Brown 46 percent support to Warren's 45 percent support, within the poll's 3.5 percent margin of error.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney chastised President Obama over a study that showed the president only attended 44 percent of his national intelligence briefings through May, joining a chorus of other Republicans who have knocked Obama on the issue.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also criticized Obama on skipping his briefings. "This was the same Sen. Obama who said the surge would not succeed, that it was doomed to fail," McCain told Fox News. "This was the same president who has pulled all of our troops out of Iraq without leaving a residual force, and the place is unraveling. Al Qaeda is making a comeback."

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is launching a television ad campaign in support of his House bid this week — a separate endeavor for the Washington lawmaker from his national campaign as Mitt Romney's running mate.

Obama bantered with Miami-based radio host DJ Laz in an interview that aired Thursday, joking about prominent rappers and the return of the National Football League.


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