The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, May 24, 2012

By Amanda VanAllen

May 24, 2012 3:15am

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’ Amanda VanAllen, Carrie Halperin and Ben Waldron

PRESIDENT OBAMA
ABC News’ Matt Negrin: “In Memoriam: The Old Obama, Who Wanted to Bring People Together” The 2004 version of Barack Obama, who captured the nation with a dazzling speech about unity and went on to win the presidency on a message of hope, died on Monday. He was 8 years old. The cause of death appeared to be a bitter realization that he needed to win reelection in an increasingly partisan political environment, a cancer that he had been battling for months if not years.” LINK 

TRACKING THE POLLS
The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Mike Lillis: “Rocky path for Obama in Colorado“President Obama on Wednesday swept through Colorado, where he faces serious headwinds in his effort to retain an evenly split battleground state that went Republican in 2000 and 2004 but heavily supported the president’s 2008 campaign. LINK

The Washington Times’ Stephan Dinan: “Romney outpaces Obama in Ky., Ark. Primaries” President Obama won 58 percent of the vote in Kentucky’s Democratic primary on Tuesday but lost 42 percent of the vote to “uncommitted” — another worrisome sign for him as he seeks re-election.  By contrast Mitt Romney won 67 percent of the vote in Kentucky’s Republican primary Tuesday night, even with actual candidates such as Rep. Ron Paul, former Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich still on the ballot.  LINK


Bloomberg’s Michael C. Bender: “Romney Widens Lead Over Obama Among Voters in Florida” The biggest swing state is turning Mitt Romney’s way.  In three months of polling of Florida’s registered voters by Quinnipiac University, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has pulled ahead of President Barack Obama. A survey released today shows Romney leads Obama, 47 percent to 41 percent. LINK

MITT ROMNEY
The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser: “Romney proposes revamp of US education system” Mitt Romney on Wednesday proposed a significant restructuring of the American education system, one that would revamp funding formulas, encourage more charter schools, and revive the debate over how poor and disabled students choose the schools they attend.  Saying the country is “in the midst of a national education emergency,” Romney lamented that the current education system does not live up to the country’s standards. LINK

The Washington Post’s Felicia Sonmez: “Romney address to Latinos comes as campaign works to make up ground with key constituency” Mitt Romney’s address Wednesday to the Latino Coalition’s Small Business Summit Luncheon in Washington comes as polls show the presumptive GOP nominee lagging behind President Obama among Hispanic voters – and as Obama’s Spanish-language outreach effort continues to outpace his rival’s. Recent Washington Post-ABC News polling shows Obama leading Romney 71 percent to 27 percent among Hispanic voters. LINK

USA Today’s Jackie Kucinich: “Romney promises unemployment down to 6% in 4 years” Mitt Romney said he would bring the unemployment rate down to 6% in four years if elected president, in an interview with Time magazine. “I can’t possibly predict precisely what the unemployment rate at the end of one year, but I can tell you in a period of four years by virtue of the policies we put in place we’ll get the unemployment rate down to 6% or perhaps a little lower,” Romney said. LINK 

The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler: “Romney Faces Latino Challenge” President Barack Obama maintains a large lead among Hispanic voters in the presidential race, while Republican Mitt Romney will have to work to improve his standing with the fast-growing group of Americans, according to a new poll. At the same time, the poll suggests that Mr. Obama faces a challenge in getting Hispanic voters to the polls. LINK

The NY Times’ Trip Gabriel: “Romney Calls Education ‘Civil Rights Issue of Our Era’ and Urges Shift”Lamenting that millions of American children receive “a third world education,” Mitt Romney on Wednesday called for poor and disabled students to be able to use federal funds to attend any public, private or online school they choose. In an already feverish campaign contest with President Obama that has focused largely on the economy, Mr. Romney, the presumed Republican nominee, turned his attention to the issue of education .LINK

OTHER
Politico’s Dylan Byers:: “Rather: 2012 ‘worst’ presidential campaign” Newsman Dan Rather told CNN’s Erin Burnett tonight that the 2012 presidential campaign is “by far the worst” of the eleven he has covered in his career. “There have been bad ones before, but this is by far the worst so far,” the former CBS News anchor, now of HDNet’s Dan Rather Reports, said. “I think the fact that there were so many debates during the Republican primary contributed to it. LINK

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