The Note’s Must-Reads for Tuesday: April , 5, 2011

By Jayson

Apr 5, 2011 5:20am

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

PRESIDENT OBAMA
The Wall Street Journal’s Carol E. Lee: “Obama Casts Himself as 2012 Underdog” Seeking to energize his grassroots supporters early in his re-election campaign, President Barack Obama tried to cast himself as the underdog in the 2012 political fight where the Republican field is still taking shape.  LINK

USA Today’s Susan Page and Richard Wolf: “Obama begins 2012 run with challenges, advantages” He was a long shot when he launched his race for the White House four years ago. This time, he's the front-runner. LINK

The Washington Time’s Stephen Dinan: “House GOP offers last-minute shutdown reprieve” Seeking to buy more time for spending negotiations to bear fruit, House Republican leaders announced another one-week stop-gap spending bill late Monday night that would cut $12 billion more from 2010 spending levels. LINK

The Boston Globe’s Donovan Slack and Theo Emery: “Targets set high for Obama reelection” President Obama officially kicked off his reelection bid yesterday, launching what analysts expect will end up being the most expensive political campaign in history and one that will probably rely on donors with deep pockets. Obama set the spending record, $760 million for the primary and general elections, in 2008. LINK

The Hill’s Michael O’Brien: “President Obama officially launches 2012 reelection campaign without a remark” President Obama on Monday officially launched his campaign for a second term in office with a video message that featured no remarks from Obama and only a few glimpses of the president. In both style and substance, Obama de-emphasized himself in his formal reelection announcement, instead turning attention to the volunteers and grassroots supporters who helped deliver him the White House in 2008. LINK

The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny and Jackie Calmes: “Obama Opens 2012 Campaign, with Eye on Money and Independent Voters” President Obama did not directly ask supporters to send contributions as he formally opened his re-election bid on Monday. But to build the grass-roots network that he believes is essential to winning a second term, he is preparing to undertake the most ambitious fund-raising effort by a sitting president. LINK

The Washington Post’s Paul kane and Jon Cohen: “Details and deadlines test budget negotiators” As federal officials began formal preparations for a government shutdown, House and Senate leaders struggled Monday to reach agreement over tens of billions of dollars in spending cuts that would avert the federal work stoppage. LINK

GOP
ABC News’ John R. Parkinson: “Bloody Pig’s Foot Mailed to Top House Republican” A bloody pig’s foot was sent to the chairman of the House committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Pete King, R-New York, along with an anti-Semitic note referencing King’s contentious hearings last month examining the radicalization of American-Muslim youths. The package was intercepted before it reached King’s DC office, at a postal screening facility off Capitol Hill that radiates and searches congressional mail for explosives and chemicals before being delivered to an office, according to a congressional source familiar with the investigation. LINK

Politico’s David Rogers &Jack Bresnahan: “GOP bill: Fund Pentagon for year, government for week” President Barack Obama called top lawmakers to the White House for a meeting Tuesday, even as House Republicans edged closer to a real government shutdown Friday if the GOP’s demands for domestic spending cuts are not immediately met. A draft bill being prepared by the House Appropriations Committee on Monday night would put the Defense Department on permanent footing through the end of this fiscal year but require $12 billion in new cuts as the price for keeping domestic agencies and the State Department operating another week. LINK

The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and David Fahrenthold: “GOP 2012: overhauls on entitlements and taxes, $6.2 trillion in cuts over decade” House Republicans plan to propose Tuesday historic changes to Medicare, Medicaid and other popular programs that pour federal money into Americans’ lives, arguing that a sacrifice now will keep those programs solvent for the future. LINK

FOREIGN
Bloomberg’s Flavia Krause-Jackson and Patrick Donahue: “Qaddafi Diplomacy Rebuffed as Europeans Back Rebel Demands” Muammar Qaddafi’s diplomatic outreach failed to win backing from European leaders, as Italy rejected a reported cease-fire proposal and recognized the rebels’ interim council as the nation’s legitimate government. In Libya, rebels pushed back regime loyalists to gain control of most of the oil port at Brega, according to al- Jazeera television.  LINK

GITMO
The Hill’s Jordy Yager: “In about-face, mastermind of 9/11 attack to face military trial at Gitmo”  In a reversal of Obama administration policy, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks will be tried before a military commission. President Obama had long fought to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the other 9/11 suspects in civilian court. LINK

BOOKMARKS:
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