The Note’s Must-Reads for Friday April 15th, 2011

By Jayson

Apr 15, 2011 4:31am

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 at www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates and Desk Assistants Claudia Morales, Jacqueline Fernandez, Jayce Henderson and Amanda VanAllen

PRESIDENT OBAMA:
ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos: “Obama Exclusive: I Was Born in Hawaii and I Don’t ‘Have Horns” I thought the president would take a pass when I asked him about Donald Trump’s rise to the top of the Republican field in my exclusive interview today. Far from it. He grabbed at the chance with a big smile – saying he thinks the whole issue will be a problem for Republicans. LINK

The Hills’ Daniel Strauss:  “Back on Trail, Obama Tries to Recapture 08’s Energy” President Obama admitted Thursday night that his first term in office has left him a little older and a little "dinged up," but during his first appearance as a candidate for reelection, he said he was proud of what his administration has accomplished in two and a half years. In a fundraising speech in his hometown of Chicago, Obama drew on the hopeful tone of his 2008 campaign while acknowledging that some of the sheen of his first presidential campaign was gone now. LINK

2012 CAMPAIGNING/ ELECTION:
Politico’s Mike Allen: “Barack Obama kicks off 2012 campaign in Chicago” President Barack Obama made his debut as a candidate for reelection on Thursday night by urging hometown supporters to “take ownership” of his infant campaign while he continues his “day job.” “You’re making me blush,” the president said as he was welcomed with thunderous applause at his first stop. LINK

The Boston Globe’s Donovan Slack: “Romney makes the most of funding rules” Mitt Romney kicked off his presidential exploratory committee this week in an enviable position. Since his defeat in the 2008 GOP presidential primary, a few political friends have given generously to Romney’s political operation, providing him a financial and organizational edge as the 2012 campaign gets underway. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler: “Obama Uses Partisan Message in Fundraising Effort” President Barack Obama took his sharper and more partisan message on the road Thursday as he officially kicked off what could be a record fundraising drive toward his re-election. LINK

BUDGET:
The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold: “Budget deal: CBO analysis shows initial spending cuts less than expected” A federal budget compromise that was hailed as historic for proposing to cut about $38 billion would reduce federal spending by only $352 million this fiscal year, less than 1 percent of the bill’s advertised amount, according to the Congressional Budget Office. LINK

The Washington Post’s Paul Kane and Philip Rucker: “Congress approves budget deal, prepares for debt-ceiling debate” On his 100th day ruling the House, Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) watched a quarter of his troops abandon him. Boehner’s leadership team relied on a large bloc of Democrats on Thursday to muscle through the spending bill that was the product of six weeks of negotiations with the White House and Senate Democrats. LINK

The LA Times’ Patrick McGreevy: “California Law Makers Stripped of State Cars” California lawmakers Thursday were stripped of a valued perk — a state-purchased car that has been replaced with a $300 monthly transportation allowance. The California Citizens Compensation Commission, responsible for setting state officials' salaries and benefits, said the move would save more than $2.3 million over the next five years, cutting in half what taxpayers spend on lawmakers' transportation. LINK

The Washington Time’s Ralph Z. Hallow: “Budget cuts too small for many conservatives” They don’t want to undermine the work of their congressional allies, but leading conservatives and Republican presidential hopefuls are already voicing their displeasure with the spending-cut and budget deals taking shape on Capitol Hill. LINK

G.O.P:
The New York Times’ Carl Hulse: “Unruly G.O.P. Puts Boehner to a Test in Budget Vote” It should have been a moment of victory for Speaker John A. Boehner and fellow members of a House Republican leadership team still learning on the job as they forced through a record level of spending cuts. Instead, it felt a little like defeat. LINK

HEALTH CARE
USA Today’s Kelly Kennedy: “Healthful behavior is a key to health care system” As the House takes up Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal that caps Medicare spending and turns it over to private insurers, some health care industry experts say it won't work without a key piece: encouraging healthy behavior. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO:
“Harry Ried Embarrassed by Debt Vote” LINK

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