The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, January 13, 2011

By Jayson

Jan 13, 2011 5:32am

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates and Desk Assistants Jayce Henderson, Jacqueline Fernandez, Claudia Morales, Molly Hunter and Katy Conrad

PRESIDENT OBAMA / TUCSON SHOOTING RAMPAGE / JARED LOUGHNER:
ABC News’ Luis Martinez: “Sec. of State Hillary Clinton on Jared Loughner’s ‘Extremism’” In a sit-down interview with CNN’s Jill Dougherty, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was asked to explain comments she made on an overseas trip about extremists and Jared Loughner, the man accused of shooting of Rep. Giffords and 18 others in Tucson over the weekend. LINK

New York Times’ Helene Cooper and Jeff Zeleny: “Obama Calls for a New Era of Civility in U.S. Politics” President Obama offered the nation’s condolences on Wednesday to the victims of the shootings here, calling on Americans to draw a lesson from the lives of the fallen and the actions of the heroes, and to usher in a new era of civility in their honor. LINK

NY Daily News’ Lukas I. Alpert: “Obama urges togetherness in speech for Arizona shooting victims, says Giffords has opened her eyes” President Obama urged the nation to come together Wednesday night as he revealed gravely wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords had opened her eyes for the first time since the deadly shooting rampage. The overjoyed crowd gathered for an Arizona memorial service burst into wild applause at the astonishing news as a weeping First Lady clutched Gifford's astronaut husband Mark Kelly's hand. LINK

LA Times’ Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Michael Memoli and Scott Gold: “Obama urges Americans to debate 'in a way that heals'” President Obama, facing the challenge of consoling Arizona and uniting the nation, urged Americans on Wednesday not to point fingers of blame but to "expand our moral imaginations" and to "sharpen our instincts for empathy." LINK

Bloomberg’s Hans Nichols and Drew Armstrong: “Obama Calls for Civility Over Conflict in Arizona Speech President Barack Obama implored Americans to choose compassion over conflict in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, that killed six people, including a 9-year-old girl, and critically wounded a member of Congress. “The truth is, none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack,” Obama said at a memorial service yesterday for the victims of the Jan. 8 rampage. LINK

Politico’s Jonathan Allen & Kasie Hunt: “Nancy Pelosi was in room when Gabrielle Giffords opened her eyes” Simple sentiments, spoken by family and some of her closest friends in Congress, inspired the “miracle” of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ open eyes Wednesday evening.  Surrounded in her hospital room by her husband, her parents, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Arizona Democrat lifted her lids for the first time since a would-be assassin fired a bullet into through her brain Saturday during a rampage that killed six people in her native Tucson. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Patrick O’Connor and Janet Hook: “House Pays Tribute to Attack Victims” The House of Representatives, shaken by an attack on one of its members, put partisanship aside Wednesday to honor victims of the Saturday shooting spree outside a Tucson, Ariz., supermarket. LINK

USA Today’s William M. Welch: “Obama asks for words that heal, not wound” President Obama addressed a memorial service Wednesday for those killed and injured during a mass shooting in Arizona last week and urged Americans to "make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds." LINK

The Washington Time’s Karen Tumulty and Peter Wallsten: “Sarah Palin’s effort to defuse controversy backfires with ‘blood libel’ comment” The presidential-quality stagecraft was there: an American flag over Sarah Palin's left shoulder and another over her heart. So was the rhetorical polish, with its invocations of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, God and Ronald Reagan. LINK

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN:
ABC News’ Karen Travers: “”Vice President Biden Arrives in Baghdad to Meet with Iraqi Political Leaders” Vice President Biden has arrived in Baghdad for meetings with Iraqi political leaders. He traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan already this week. Biden is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqiyya leader Ayad Allawi, President Jalal Talabani, Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi, and other political leaders. Last month he issued commended Iraq’s political leaders for the formation and swearing-in of the new coalition government, led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. LINK

GUN-CONTROL ADVOCACY:
The Hill’s Mike Lillis: “Gun-control advocates disappointed with White House silence” The White House has disappointed gun-control advocates on and off Capitol Hill with its silence on the issue. Although President Obama ran on campaign vows of reinstating the assault-weapons ban and closing the gun-show loophole, among other reforms, he’s been all but mute on those issues since entering the White House two years ago — a silence that’s continued in the wake of Saturday’s shootings in Arizona. LINK

SARAH PALIN:
The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty and Peter Wallsten: “Sarah Palin’s effort to defuse controversy backfires with ‘blood libel’ comment” The presidential-quality stagecraft was there: an American flag over Sarah Palin's left shoulder and another over her heart. So was the rhetorical polish, with its invocations of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution, God and Ronald Reagan. LINK

G.O.P.:
Newsweek’s Andrew Romano: “The GOP’s Obama Envy” It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a governor in possession of the statehouse—and also in want of his party’s presidential nomination—must necessarily use his pre-election-year State of the State address as a platform for partisan showboating. After all, what better opportunity will he have, at least before primary season begins, to brag about his accomplishments and bill himself as the ideal alternative to the other party’s presumptive nominee? LINK

OTHER:
The Boston Globe’s Frank Phillips: “Kennedy’s decision throws field wide open”  Vicki Kennedy’s latest — and she says final — declaration this week that she will not run for Senate next year sets off a scramble among Democrats to find a candidate who can mount a serious challenge to Senator Scott Brown, the Republican whose election a year ago reshaped state and national politics. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO:
Obama on Giffords: 'Gabby Opened Her Eyes For The First Time'LINK
Hero Intern: 'Saturday We All Became Tucsonans'LINK

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