The Note’s Must-Reads for Monday, May 23, 2011

By Jayson

May 23, 2011 4:43am

PRESIDENT OBAMA:
NY Daily News’ Joshua Greenman: “Mr. President, this is Your Mess and Here’s How to Fix it” President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were sitting just feet apart in the White House Friday, but it seemed like miles. After Obama gave relatively perfunctory remarks summarizing Thursday's speech on the Middle East – barely touching upon the explosive question of the 1967 borders – Netanyahu could not contain himself. LINK

The Hills’ Mike Lillis: “Obama Reiterates Call for 1967 Borders as ‘Foundation’ for Middle East Talks” Facing criticism about his Middle East peace proposal, President Obama on Sunday reiterated his recent call to base negotiations for a Palestinian state on Israel's 1967 borders. The president was quick to guarantee America's commitment to Israeli security, and he clarified that land swaps negotiated between Israeli and Palestinian leaders would ensure that any final boundary would "be different" than the one that existed in 1967. LINK

Bloomberg’s Kate Andersen Brower: “Obama to Rally European Support for Democracy Movements”  President Barack Obama arrives in Europe today seeking more resources to promote and support the pro-democracy movements in the Middle East and North Africa that have supplanted the economy at the top of his international agenda. The six-day trip is anchored by Obama’s address to U.K.’s Parliament on May 25 in which the president will seek to reaffirm and refine the trans-Atlantic alliance amid economic and political upheaval. LINK

The Boston Globe’s Mark Arsenault: “Presidential critic spurs racial debate”  A leading black scholar is unapologetic for his scathing and racially loaded comments about President Obama last week, which have ignited fierce blowback from African-American leaders and intellectuals in arguments that continue to rage in black media and on the Web. “You can imagine, some are nailing me to the wall or attempting to,’’ Cornel West, professor of African-American studies and religion at Princeton University, said in an interview. LINK

ELECTIONS:
ABC News’ Rick Klein: “'World News' Political Insights: Big Exits Force GOP to Look Within in 2012” After months of peering outside for inspiration, it's time for Republicans to start looking within again. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' decision to join the all-star ranks of the not-running-in-2012 answers one of the last remaining questions in an early campaign season that's been full of them. LINK

LA Times’ Kate Linthicum: “When it’s Time to Run for Office, Fewer Women Stand Up” Fifteen people sit on the Los Angeles City Council. It's possible that in a few months, only one will be a woman. In a few years, there could be none. If City Councilwoman Janice Hahn wins a July runoff election for a South Bay congressional seat, Jan Perry will be the council's lone female. And Perry must surrender her seat in 2013 because of term limits. LINK

NY Times’ Michael D. Shear: “Pawlenty Announces Candidacy a Day Early” On the eve of his own planned campaign announcement, Tim Pawlenty released an Internet video declaring that he is running for president because he — unlike President Obama — has the courage to face America’s challenges. In another slickly produced video that has become a hallmark of his campaign, Mr. Pawlenty, the former Republican governor of Minnesota, confirmed Sunday night that he would officially begin his bid for his party’s nomination in Iowa on Monday. LINK

Washington Posts’ Karen Tumulty and Dan Balz “With Daniels Out, GOP Presidential Field Takes Clearer Shape” Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’s decision not to run for president in 2012, while deflating the hopes of many in the Republican establishment, has helped solidify what has been a fluid GOP field and brings more clarity to the challenges ahead for each of the leading contenders. Daniels, who had been deliberating for more than a year, made his announcement around midnight Saturday. He joined a growing list of potential candidates who looked at the race and decided to take a pass. LINK

Politico’s Jonathan Martin: “With Mitch Daniels out, GOP looking for new 2012 option” Mitch Daniels’s overnight decision against a presidential bid will immediately raise the volume on the low-hum grumbling among Republican insiders that they’re gearing up to face President Obama with the weakest primary field in recent memory. The pressure on a handful of Republicans who’ve insisted they won’t consider running but would be potentially strong alternatives to Mitt Romney will now significantly intensify, but the ultimate beneficiaries of Daniels’s absence may be two candidates already on course to run: Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Patrick O’Connor and Jonathan Weisman: “Election Picture Sharpens for GOP” The race for the Republican presidential nomination gained some long-awaited clarity Sunday when Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels ended months of speculation with an early-morning email alerting supporters that he won't run. LINK

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