The Note’s Must-Reads for Monday, May 7, 2012

By Jayce Henderson

May 7, 2012 3:10am

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 right here at www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News’ Jayce Henderson and Carrie Halperin

PRESIDENT OBAMA & VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN:
ABC News’ Rick Klein: “‘World News’ Political Insights: President Obama Faces Mitt Romney, Himself in Reelection” Six months out from Election Day, President Obama is squaring up against two opponents. One is Mitt Romney, whose biography is both his main strength and a potential weakness when it comes to the critical issue of the economy. LINK

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza: “Can Obama win Arizona and its 11 electoral votes?” Can President Obama win in Arizona this fall? It’s a question of considerable debate among top strategists for both parties. And the answer is not insignificant when it comes to the electoral map, either. Arizona will award 11 electoral votes in November, the largest prize of any of the southwestern states — including Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado — expected to be seriously contested this fall. LINK

Boston Globe’s Callum Borchers: “Biden expresses ‘comfort’ with gay marriage rights” Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday highlighted President Obama’s advocacy of gay rights and declared his own “comfort” with giving equal legal rights to same-sex couples, but he stopped short of saying the Obama administration will officially endorse gay marriage in a second term. LINK

MITT ROMENY:
The Washington Times’ Seth McLaughlin: “Romney needs to get small donors hooked” In outspending former Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich en route to the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney proved he knows how to reel in big-cash backers. But if he hopes to go toe-to-toe this fall with President Obama, the former Massachusetts governor needs to show he can fish for small-dollar donors, too. LINK

Blooomberg’s Silla Brush and Tom Schoenberg:  ”Republican Rally to Romney as Obama Officially Starts Bid” Republican leaders rallied behind presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney as President Barack Obama officially began his re-election bid in the swing states of Ohio and Virginia.  Newt Gingrich and Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who both dropped out of this year’s Republican primary contest, said Romney, 65, would prove better at creating jobs and reducing the country’s debt than Democrat Obama. Each had criticized Romney during the primary campaign for failing to be sufficiently conservative. LINK

RON PAUL:
The New York Times’ Michael Shear: “Still in the Race, and Plotting a Path to the Convention” The marquee names in the cast of the 2012 presidential election are Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. But in the days ahead, watch out for a somewhat forgotten member of the extras: Ron Paul officially remains in the hunt for the Republican nomination. And now, his well-organized network of faithful supporters is causing trouble for Mr. Romney at state party conventions around the country. LINK

OTHER:
USA Today’s Susan Page: “Swing states’ poll: Big challenges loom for Obama, Romney” The first USA TODAY/Gallup Swing States Poll since the GOP settled on a presumptive nominee shows big challenges for each side: Mitt Romney in generating enthusiasm and a personal connection with his supporters, and Barack Obama in convincing Americans he should be trusted to manage a fragile economy. LINK

Politicos’ Maggie Habberman: “Biden leaves 2016 door open for himself and Hillary” On “Meet the Press,” Vice President Joe Biden left the door fairly wide open to the possibility of him running in 2016, joking that he and Hillary Clinton “may run as a team.” He added more seriously, “I don’t know whether I’m gonna run, and Hillary doesn’t know whether she’s gonna run.” LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Paul West: “Fractious Florida weighs heavily on presidential campaigns” No state is more crucial to Mitt Romney chances of winning the White House than Florida, and no issue here is more important than the economy. That dynamic played out recently when Vice President Joe Biden came to the perennial electoral vote battleground to promote the Obama administration’s environmental record by riding an airboat through the Everglades. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Valerie Bauerlein: “State Ban on Gay Nuptials Leads in Polls” Polls show a proposed North Carolina constitutional ban on gay marriage is leading ahead of a vote Tuesday, an indication of the resurgence of social conservatives here and a potential threat to President Barack Obama’s hope of carrying the swing state again in November. LINK

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