The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Oct 20, 2010 4:15am

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates and Desk Assistants CLAUDIA MORALES, JAYCE HENDERSON JACQUELINE NG FERNANDEZ, AND MAGGY PATRICK

PRESIDENT OBAMA AND ADMINISTRATION
The Miami Herald’s Lesley Clark: “Obama taps Miami Dade College president” The president of Miami Dade College was chosen to lead an initiative aimed at boosting Hispanic achievement. LINK

Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman: “Obama heads west aiming to defend Democratic hold on key statesPresident Barack Obama heads west today aiming to defend his party’s congressional majorities with campaign stops in Democratic-leaning states where he’s likely to have the biggest impact less than two weeks before the election. The president will raise money and headline events in five states over four days with a focus on three incumbent Democrats in close races: Senators Barbara Boxer in California, Patty Murray in Washington and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada. He’ll also campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidates John Kitzhaber in Oregon and Mark Dayton in Minnesota and raise money for House candidates. LINK

The New York Daily News’ Adam Lisberg: “First  Lady hits NYC to defend Obama – and raises $1M for Democrats” First Lady Michelle Obama barnstormed Manhattan Monday to defend her husband's administration — and to fire up Democratic voters. She told a cheering crowd at a Times Square fund-raiser that it would take more time and effort to turn the country around. LINK

Politico’s Robin Bravender: “EPA in the cross hairs” Congressional Republicans planning an assault on the Obama administration’s environmental record aim to turn Lisa Jackson into public enemy No. 1.  On the campaign trail, Republicans have adopted the Environmental Protection Agency as a favorite symbol of the White House’s regulatory overreach. And behind the scenes in Washington, GOP staffers and K Street lobbyists who say they've been dissed by the EPA administrator are looking forward to getting some revenge. LINK

ELECTIONS/DEMOCRATS
ABC News’ Jonathan Karl: “Democrats Brace For a Bloodbath in Ohio” Democrats are bracing for a political bloodbath in Ohio. Perhaps no state has swung more dramatically away from the Democratic Party over the past two years. John Kasich, former chairman of the House Budget Committee and Republican candidate for governor, is feeling confident about his chances of victory in November, and a poll out today from Quinnipiac University might be a good indication why: Kasich leads Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, 51 percent to 41 percent, with just 7 percent of Ohio voters undecided. LINK

The Washington Post’s Shailagh Murray: “Democrats bank on early voting to bridge enthusiasm gap” Walter Grimsley woke up Saturday morning and remembered he had an errand to run. He had to go vote. The government retiree's phone had been ringing every few hours with reminder calls from Democratic volunteers. Canvassing teams appeared at his door at least 10 times. At a voting booth set up next to the produce section of his neighborhood grocery store, Grimsley cast his ballot for Sen. Harry M. Reid and the rest of the Democratic ticket, just as he had always intended. LINK

Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift: “Presidential Contenders” The looming defeat of Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, an antiwar Democrat and a staunch liberal, after three terms in Washington has sparked talk, particularly among conservatives, of an unlikely scenario: that Feingold could challenge President Obama for the Democratic nomination. National Review editor Rich Lowry said on last weekend’s McLaughlin Group—a show on which (full disclosure) your author is a regular guest—that if Feingold loses, as polls suggest he will, Obama had better offer him a cabinet post quickly to take him out of the presidential competition. LINK

The Washington Times’ Sean Lengell: “Outspoken Democrat Grayson vulnerable” Rep. Alan Grayson is hailed by liberals as an uncompromising breath of fresh air and reviled by conservatives as a crass ideological bully. Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean says the "spirit of Harry Truman has been reincarnated" in the feisty Florida freshman Democrat. Conservative talk-radio icon Rush Limbaugh, conversely, has called him "an absolute lunatic." LINK

The Hill’s Sean J. Miller: “Pelosi ‘majority makers’ are facing electoral peril” Two-term Democrats, whose victories helped secure the Speaker’s job for Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), are facing the possibility of a near-wipeout in the Nov. 2 election. LINK

SENATE RACE
The Los Angeles Times’ Kim Murphy: “Alaska Senate race keeps surprises coming” Reporting from Juneau, Alaska — The tone — or was it the tune? — for this year's strange U.S. Senate race in Alaska was perhaps set last week, when incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a normally dignified politician who favors pearl earrings and tough policy talk, started singing what sounded like "The Mickey Mouse Club" theme song during a radio interview. LINK

The Denver Post’s Allison Sherry: “Buck’s remarks spur backlash in close Senate race” GOP Senate hopeful Ken Buck's statement comparing the roots of homosexuality with alcoholism has unleashed a backlash — from doctors to high-dollar Democratic operatives — that threatens to drag down his early momentum 13 days before the election. LINK

 USA Today’s John Fritze: “Tea Party favorites challenge status quo” LOUISVILLE — They defined the election. Now, they hope to redefine the Senate. LINK

CANDIDATES/ADS
The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler: “’Don’t Vote’ Ads Aimed at Latinos Pulled’” The man behind a TV ad urging Latinos not to vote in the hotly contested Nevada Senate race says he doesn’t know what he’ll do now that Univision, the Spanish-language network, said it would not run the spot. LINK

The Boston Globe’s David Filipov: “For Baker, relaxing could be the key” Classic rock thumped in the black Yukon hybrid sport utility vehicle as Charles D. Baker, Republican candidate for governor, rode down Route 128 to a campaign rally on a recent Saturday. He analyzed the play of Boston Celtics forward Glen “Big Baby’’ Davis as only a former schoolboy basketball player can. He uttered salty oaths of admiration each time he saw a vintage automobile that looked as cool as his rebuilt 1964 Ford Mustang. LINK

CLARENCE THOMAS
ABC News’ Jake Tapper, Ariane de Vogue and KGO’s Mark Matthews: “Virginia Thomas Leaves Anita Hill a Voicemail Asking for An Apology — Hill Says No” A few days ago, Brandeis University professor Anita Hill received  a message on her voice mail at work. “Good morning, Anita Hill, it's Ginny Thomas,” said the voice. “I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband. So give it some thought and certainly pray about this and come to understand why you did what you did. OK, have a good day.” LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO
ABC News: “Political Punch: Inside the ‘Overhaul’” Former Obama Car Czar on saving the American auto industry. LINK
ABC News: “O’Donnell Questions Separation Church, State” Delaware Senate candidates O'Donnell, Coons debate First Amendment. LINK

 

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