The Note's Must-Reads for Monday, September 17, 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' Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen, and Carrie Halperin

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The Los Angeles Times' Paul Richter: " Obama's foreign policy approach: Act cautiously, and not alone" On the afternoon of March 15 last year, President Obama and top advisors sat in the White House Situation Room poring over grainy satellite photos of an armored column thundering down on a largely unprotected Libyan city. Their choices appeared to be stark: Plunge the United States into a new war in the Arab world, or risk the slaughter of thousands. LINK

USA Today's David Jackson: " Poll: Obama up by 11 in Pennsylvania" More evidence that President Obama has a big lead in the key state of Pennsylvania. A new Philadelphia Inquirer Pennsylvania Poll puts Obama ahead of Republican Mitt Romney by 50%-39%, putting the incumbent in position for a sixth straight Democratic win in the Keystone State. LINK

MITT ROMNEY: ABC News' Rick Klein: " 'World News' Political Insights: Mitt Romney's Own Empty-Chair Challenge" Things haven't been going Mitt Romney's way since roughly the moment that Clint Eastwood dressed down that empty chair. It isn't simply that the stunt distracted from an otherwise solid Republican National Convention, overshadowing a big introductory moment for the Romney campaign. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Sara Murray and Brody Mullins: " Investor Bankrolls Big Romney Campaign" billionaire investor whose family owns the Chicago Cubs is pressing ahead with a multimillion-dollar pro-Republican political campaign, bucking a political furor that emerged when the effort first become public. Joe Ricketts, the founder of what became online brokerage TD Ameritrade Inc., plans to spend $10 million airing ads supporting GOP nominee Mitt Romney and another $2 million to help Republicans running for Congress. LINK

The Boston Globe's Beth Healy: " Romney won't release names of donation bundlers" Some of Mitt Romney's largest Massachusetts financial backers are well known. His former partners at Bain Capital have given more than $3.3 million. New Balance chairman Jim Davis gave $500,000, and retired Reebok International chief Paul Fireman has contributed $250,000. LINK

Politico's Mike Allen and Jim Vandeheli: " Inside the campaign: How Mitt Romney stumbled" Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney's top strategist, knew his candidate's convention speech needed a memorable mix of loft and grace if he was going to bound out of Tampa with an authentic chance to win the presidency. So Stevens, bypassing the speechwriting staff at the campaign's Boston headquarters, assigned the sensitive task of drafting it to Peter Wehner, a veteran of the last three Republican White Houses and one of the party's smarter wordsmiths. LINK

HEALTHCARE / ECONOMY: The Hill's Sam Baker: " Despite GOP assault, voters give Obama the edge on healthcare" Voters may not love "ObamaCare," but they still prefer President Obama to Mitt Romney on healthcare issues. Several recent polls show Obama with an advantage - often a sizeable one - when voters are asked which candidate would do a better job handling healthcare. Obama held that lead even before Romney selected Paul Ryan as his running mate, which elevated the debate over Ryan's controversial Medicare plan. LINK

The Washington Post' s Philip Rucker and David Nakamura: " Romney, Obama turn campaign focus back to economy" Republican Mitt Romney, who last week struggled with his responses to a major ­foreign-policy crisis in the Middle East, will now turn his focus back to the economy with a new offensive aimed at recharging a campaign that even some allies believe he is losing. The Obama campaign, also sobered by the violent deaths of U.S. diplomats in Libya, seems willing to join Romney in a debate about the economy instead. LINK

FUNDRAISING: The Washington Times' Seth McLaughlin: " Fundraisers, not voters, attract nominees to opposition states" Mitt Romney made the more-than-2,200-mile journey last week from Reno, Nev., to Jacksonville, Fla., to appear at the only event he had penciled in for the following day: a fundraiser where guests ponied up as much as $50,000 to see the former governor up close and personal.The big-ticket reception was sandwiched between fundraising stops in two deep blue states that Mr. Romney has little chance of winning: Illinois, President Obama's political backyard, where the invite said the per-person ticket price topped out at $75,800; and New York, where the former Massachusetts governor held three fundraisers, including one at a private estate with a manicured lawn, a greenhouse and an "automobile stable" - otherwise known as a garage. LINK

Bloomberg's Jonathan D. Salant: " Wall Street Walks as Defense, Tech Back Obama's Campaign" Health care, telecommunications and defense industry workers are fueling President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, even as Wall Street walks away from his candidacy. Those industries were with Obama in 2008 after helping to bankroll President George W. Bush's re-election campaign in 2004, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks campaign donations. LINK

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