Swing State Bracketology, Obama on Afghanistan, Mitt's Birthday Ideas (PM NOTE)

From Z. Byron Wolf ( @zbyronwolf) and Sarah Parnass ( @wordsofsarah)

Swing State Bracketology - For people who may know next to nothing about basketball, but a little bit about swing states - We're not talking about who Obama should pick if he wants to win the tournament. We're talking about applying a nakedly political calculus to the vodoo of NCAA picks. I still get an all North Carolina Finals. Try it out and send us your picks. http://abcn.ws/wO1fqj

Obama on Afghanistan Shooting - From Mary Bruce - President Obama today said the alleged shooting of 16 Afghan villagers by a U.S. soldier underscores the need to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan responsibly according to his plan to transition to an Afghan lead by the end of 2014. Speaking to ABC's Orlando affiliate WFTV, the president said the "tragic" incident signals "the importance of us transitioning in accordance with my plan so that Afghans are taking more of the lead for their own security and we can start getting our troops home."

"We've got to do it in a responsible way, reducing our footprint progressively, giving Afghans more and more responsibility, while we keep an eye on going after Al Qaeda and making sure that no attacks against our homeland can be launched from that region," the president said. "That's going to be my continued focus over the next couple of years." http://abcn.ws/zhhuPD

Rick Santorum: US Should Apologize for Afghanistan Shooting - http://abcn.ws/xsoaaf

Santorum also said the war effort was falling apart because of the timeline he set in place. He called the war there "a very winnable operation." http://abcn.ws/xJsqe4

Has the U.S. Reached a "Sell-By Date" in Afghanistan? ABC News' White House Correspondent Jake Tapper talks national security with Jay Carney in light of the shooting in Afghanistan. http://abcn.ws/AtiJUt

Confident Man: President Obama Sheds 'Underdog' Status, Refers Often to His Next 5 Years  - http://abcn.ws/zDl8qa

GOP's Long Primary Slog Set for Southern Swing in Alabama and Mississippi - http://abcn.ws/xOMAPQ

Happy Birthday, Mitt Romney -

He's opting out of Medicare - http://abcn.ws/xCIHX9

And was rained on / unable to get Meatloaf cakes - http://abcn.ws/yz10GM

But Amy Walter has these birthday ideas for the GOP frontrunner - http://abcn.ws/y3mSlE

Richard Nixon, Love Bard - Love letters between former President Nixon and his wife reveal a softer side of Dick Nixon. http://abcn.ws/A9PTRj

Barbara Mikulski to Be Longest Serving Woman on Capitol Hill - Saturday makes 12,858 days of service for the senator from Maryland. http://abcn.ws/wscFw3

Clinton Reflects -  Former President Bill Clinton praises Obama for the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in a documentary from the Obama campaign, to be released Thursday. Clinton said he hoped he would have made the same call in office. http://abcn.ws/zrNVvM

Lovie Smith Says He Has Obama's Back - The Chicago Bears' coach says in a web video for the Obama campaign that he's putting his support behind the president and African American voters should, too. http://abcn.ws/yqMV4e

If You're Mitt Romney… You're Probably not a Redneck -  Comedian Jeff Foxworthy backs Mitt Romney in Alabama. http://abcn.ws/Af6WQv

Obama on Offense, Touts Energy Policy - http://abcn.ws/AyLouW

Turning a DC Restaurant into an Obama Event Site - How does a local bistro transform into a presidential dinner destination? http://abcn.ws/wE9tx9

Hoopster-in-Chief - The president challenges voters to match his NCAA bracket with a new interactive web feature that'll score the Obama campaign contact info for potential supporters. http://abcn.ws/ya9dSH

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