The Note’s Must-Reads for Friday, August 26, 2011

Aug 26, 2011 4:19am

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associate Jacqueline Fernandez and Desk Assistant Amanda VanAllen

ABC News’ Michael Falcone and Amy Walter: “August Is The Cruelest Month: Perry Usurps Romney’s Front-Runner Status” What the polls giveth, the polls taketh away. And just like that, after months of referring to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, that title — at least for the moment — got passed on to Texas Gov. Rick Perry yesterday. And it wasn’t just that Perry inched past Romney, who as of July topped the GOP leader board with 23 percent support among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in Gallup’s national poll. Perry blew right by him, surging to 29 percent compared to Romney’s 17 percent. LINK 

USA Today’s Jackie Kucinich: “Perry leads GOP field after only a week in the race” Just days after launching his campaign, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has surged into the lead of the race for the Republican nomination, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday. Perry led former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the previous front-runner, by 12 percentage points, 29%-17%, the poll showed. LINK 

New York Daily News’ Aliyah Shahid: “Texas Gov. Rick Perry surges ahead of Mitt Romney among GOPers in latest 2012 presidential polls” Rick Perry is doing the Texas two-step right past Mitt Romney. The Lone Star State governor and Republican presidential candidate is leading Romney – long considered the GOP front-runner – by double digits in several polls. LINK 

Politico's Molly Ball: "Clock ticking on Sarah Palin entry into 2012 presidential race" Even for Sarah Palin, there are deadlines. The former Alaska governor seems to believe that most of the rules of politics don’t apply to her — that with her media appeal and her grass-roots following, she could waltz into the presidential campaign at the 11th hour and make a go of it. But if she does want to run for president, she’ll have to get on the ballot. Palin has gestured vaguely at various self-imposed deadlines — the latest being late September — but there are some drop-dead dates that she cannot escape, starting with Oct. 31. LINK 

The Boston Globe's Matt Viser: "Perry’s critique of Romney health law has practical focus" Governor Rick Perry of Texas tepidly criticized Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care plan yesterday, but the two GOP rivals remain in general agreement over the Bay State’s right to develop its signature health care law. “Massachusetts is free to experiment with state-run health care,” Perry wrote last year in his book “Fed Up.” “If federalism is respected, the people of Massachusetts are free to try it while the rest of the nation sits back and watches to see if they have any success, and whether any success they do have is worth the price of liberty to get it.” LINK 

The Wall Street Journal's Neil King Jr. and Jonathan Weisman: "Perry surge upends the race" Texas Gov. Rick Perry's surge in the polls has shaken up the Republican presidential race, knocking Mitt Romney from his perch as the GOP front-runner and emboldening Republican voters who say 2012 is the year a rock-ribbed conservative can win the White House. Barely two weeks after launching his campaign, Mr. Perry has jumped ahead of Mr. Romney and the rest of the GOP field, according to several public opinion surveys. LINK 

The Washington Times’ Peter Wallsten and Krissah Thompson: “Obama faces uncomfortable questions from black community, lawmakers” From the start of his history-making tenure, the nation’s first black president took care never to be seen making policy or political decisions aimed solely or directly at black America. His position: He is the president of the whole country, focused on broad-based fixes to “lift all boats.” LINK  

The New York Times’ Jennifer Steinhauer: “For Some in G.O.P., a Tax Cut Not Worth Embracing” It is hard to find a tax cut that Congressional Republicans dislike. Unless it is a tax cut pushed by President Obama. In a turning of the tax policy tables, Democrats are increasingly hammering on Republicans who oppose the president’s proposal to extend for a year a payroll tax cut passed last year with bipartisan support. LINK

The Hills’ Peter Schroeder: “Five challenges for Ben Bernanke” When Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke steps to the lectern Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyo., he’ll have the weight of a struggling economy on his shoulders. With financial markets sliding and the recovery seemingly on the ropes, Wall Street and the business community will be dialed in to the speech for any signs of a new rescue plan from the central bank. LINK

Los Angeles Times’  Kim Geiger: “Dick Cheney says memoir will have heads 'exploding'” Dick Cheney is already promising there will be “heads exploding all over Washington” when his new book hits stores Tuesday. The 46th vice president made that declaration in an interview with NBC — portions of which were aired on the Today Show Wednesday morning — as he embarked on a media blitz to promote the book, “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir.” LINK

Cecil vs. Jesmer: DSCC and NRSC Directors on Senate 2012 RacesLINK
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