The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday August 16, 2012

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

Compiled by ABC News' Carrie Halperin, Jayce Henderson Amanda VanAllen and Will Cantine


The Boston Globe's Brian Mooney: " President Obama's costly grass-roots investment not paying off in new voter registrations" President Obama's costly grass-roots investment is not paying off in new voter registrations. His reelection campaign has invested early and heavily in building infrastructure to reach his supporters and get them to the polls on Nov. 6, but in 10 key states which could decide the election, voter registration trends show scant evidence that the effort is bringing in new voters. LINK

USA Today's David Jackson: " Obama: I Have Strengthened Medicare" President Obama fought back against Republican criticism over Medicare Wednesday, saying he has improved the program by eliminating wasteful spending. LINK


ABC News's Amy Walter: " Romney-Ryan Ticket Elicits Mixed Emotions From Wisconsin Swing Voters" So how is the new Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan ticket playing in Ryan's home state of Wisconsin? Among a group of swing voters - twelve white, suburban women from the Milwaukee area - the feelings are mixed. LINK

Bloomberg's Lisa Lerer: " Ryan Learning Romney Ropes As Staff Studies Him Via Video" On the third day of his vice presidential campaign, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan met his staff. Fresh from a workout at a hotel gym in Iowa, Ryan stared into a video-conference monitor in exercise shorts and a University of Wisconsin baseball cap pulled down low. In Boston, a team of lawyers trooped into an office at campaign headquarters to greet their new boss - from 1,300 miles away. LINK


ABC News' Sunlen Miller: " McCain Says Obama Would Be 'Wise' To Replace Joe Biden With Hillary Clinton On The Ticket" Although he predicted it would not happen, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said today it would be "wise" for President Obama to take Vice President Joe Biden off the Democratic presidential ticket and replace him with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Carol E. Lee and Danny Yadron: " Biden's Remarks Draw New Scrutiny" Pointed assertions from Vice President Joe Biden this week have reignited discussion of whether he distracts from his party's message or reinforces it, a question that has arisen periodically since President Barack Obama chose him as his running mate four years ago. LINK

The New York Times' Jeff Zeleny: " Choice of Paul Ryan Shifts the Focus From Economy to Ideology" Four years ago, John Brooks cast his ballot for Barack Obama, becoming one of the voters won over by his promise for changing Washington. This time, he had been undecided, but he said Mitt Romney made his decision easier by placing Representative Paul D. Ryan on the Republican ticket. LINK

The Washington Post's Peter Wallsten and David Nakamura: " Ryan pick presents new challenges for Biden" From the moment he joined Barack Obama's 2008 ticket as the No. 2 candidate, Joseph R. Biden Jr. has relished the dual roles of elder statesman and resident lunch-bucket American, the experienced Washington hand who has helped guide the young and cerebral Ivy Leaguers trying to run the country. Now, the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) as the Republican vice presidential candidate presents a new set of challenges. LINK

Politico's Juana Summers: " Paul Ryan uses the 'M' word" For the first time since he was minted as his party's vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan used the "M" word in his stump speech as he campaigned Wednesday night on the campus of his alma mater. That is, he talked about Medicare, the federal health program for senior citizens that he has proposed - in the future - to turn into a voucher program for some people. LINK

USA Today's Kevin McCoy: " Ryan Corrected Hill Reports During VP Search" While being vetted by Mitt Romney's campaign, GOP vice presidential hopeful Rep. Paul Ryan amended two years of his financial disclosure statements to add an income-producing trust worth between $1 million and $5 million that he had previously neglected to report. LINK


ABC News' Mary Bruce and Jon Garcia: " Caterer At Obama Iowa Event Wears Pro-Romney Shirt" Ross Murty, the co-owner of the Village Corner Deli in Davenport, is a proud small-business owner who isn't afraid to speak his mind. Serving up pulled pork, beans and cheesy potatoes for the press at the president's campaign event Wednesday evening, Murty wore a T-shirt that said, "Government Didn't Build my Business, I Did." LINK

The Washington Times' Guy Taylor: " Obama vs. Romney on Syria policy" If killing Osama bin Laden, untangling U.S. forces from Iraq and fighting a bare-knuckle drone war against al Qaeda are the Obama administration's foreign policy triumphs, its biggest stumble may be its failure to produce an international solution to what has become an all-out civil war in Syria. LINK

USA Today's David Jackson: " Obama-Romney Race Descends To 'Hate' And 'Unhinged'" Presidential campaigns have never been for the faint of heart - but this one may be headed to the negative hall of fame by throwing around words such as "hate" and "unhinged." LINK


"Romney Says Obama Is "Intellectually Exhausted" And "Out Of Ideas" LINK "Michelle Obama Joins Her Husband On The Trail In Iowa" LINK


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