North Korean, South Korean leaders vow to end peninsula war and commit to denuclearization
North Korean, South Korean leaders vow to end peninsula war and commit to denuclearization
The Note's Must-Reads for Monday September 9, 2013

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 and Jayce Henderson

SYRIA IN THE MEDIA The New York Times' Mark Landler, Michael R. Gordon, and Michael S. Schmidt: " White House Adds Arab Support as It and Assad Use TV to Press Their Cases" At home and abroad, the Obama administration redoubled its campaign Sunday to build support for military action against Syria, saying it had won the backing of Saudi Arabia for a strike while still laboring to persuade a deeply reluctant Congress. ut Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, thrust himself into the debate as well, rejecting President Obama's claim that his forces used chemical weapons on civilians last month. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Carole Lee and Kristina Peterson: " Obama Hones Pitch on Syria As Opposition Rises at Home" In a week poised to define his second term, President Barack Obama will mount an intensive campaign to promote a U.S. military strike on Syria as opposition rises in both Congress and across the country.Mr. Obama will make his case repeatedly in coming days to Americans wary of opening a new military front in the Middle East, including in a battery of interviews set for Monday and a nationally televised address Tuesday evening. LINK

Politico's Josh Gerstein: " Live from the West Wing: Obama goes prime time" The uphill fight to get Congress to approve a military strike on Syria is pushing President Barack Obama to embrace a brand of communication he's long resisted: the delivery of a prime-time address to the nation from the White House. During his nearly five years in office, Obama has gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid high-stakes, nighttime White House speeches. His advisers have repeatedly denigrated the value of Oval Office addresses, accusing promoters of such talks as being out of touch with modern media realities. LINK

PRESIDENT OBAMA ON SYRIA ABC News' Jeff Zeleny: " Obama to Visit Capitol Hill to Make Case for Syria Strike" President Obama is planning to visit Capitol Hill on Tuesday, making his case on Syria face-to-face with senators, ABC News has learned. The president is scheduled to meet with Senate Democrats at their weekly policy luncheon, two Democratic aides said, intensifying his outreach as part of the administration's push for military strikes with Syria. He could also meet with other members of Congress, particularly those who remain undecided on Syria, officials said. LINK

The Washington Times' Guy Taylor: " Echoes of Bush: Obama shuns U.N., seeks coalition of willing" President Obama's stated willingness to go it alone on Syria surprises those who followed him during the previous administration, when, as a senator, he derided George W. Bush's commitment to multilateralism and questioned his "coalition of the willing" in Iraq. Now it is Mr. Obama who is chiding the United Nations for inaction and scrambling to put together a coalition of the willing, touting support from France and a few other nations as he works to convince Americans of the need for military strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad's chemical weapons capabilities. LINK

USA Today's Susan Page and John Kelly: " Uphill battle for Obama: Where Congress stands on Syria" President Obama faces a daunting and uphill battle to win congressional authorization for a military strike on Syria, a USA TODAY Network survey of senators and representatives finds. The comprehensive poll of Congress finds that only a small fraction of the 533 lawmakers - 22 senators and 22 House members - are willing to say they will support the use of force in response to the reported use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Lisa Mascaro and Kathleen Hennessey: " For Obama, a lot is riding on Congress' decision on Syria " The White House faces the strong possibility of a defeat over Syria that could seriously damage the president for the rest of his tenure, a peril the administration will battle this week as members of Congress return to work and open a decisive chapter of the Obama presidency. Administration efforts to seek support from lawmakers, including personal phone calls by the president, so far appear to have changed few minds. LINK

The Boston Globe's Matt Viser: " Saudis back US as Assad gives warning" Secretary of State John F. Kerry won key support from Saudi Arabia on Sunday for a strike on Syria, while Syrian President Bashar Assad denied using chemical weapons and warned of possible retaliation if the United States uses military force. The developments took place as Kerry continued trying to build an international coalition - attempting to bring Arab nations on board with several European nations - that would punish Assad for allegedly using chemical weapons and killing more than 1,400 Syrians in Damascus suburbs last month. Saudi Arabia would join France in supporting a US-led strike, although it is unclear whether the Saudis would provide military assistance. LINK

CHALLENGING STRIKES ON SYRIA The Hill's Alexandra Jaffe: " Senate primary challengers target GOP incumbents on Syria strikes" Republican Senate primary challengers are looking to use Syria as wedge to gain traction in their bids to unseat GOP incumbents. Against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), nearly every primary challenger has come out early and loud in opposition to military engagement in Syria LINK

HEALTH CARE The Washington Post's Sarah Kliff and Lena H. Su: " Left behind: Stories from Obamacare's 31 million uninsured" Every month, a hundred or so people crowd the lobby of the Arlington Free Clinic, clutching blue tickets to enter a health-care lottery. Uninsured and ailing, they hope to be among the two dozen who hit the jackpot and are given free care. Some might think the lottery's days are numbered, given that the insurance expansion under President Obama's health-care law is taking effect in January. But clinic officials say the lottery will stay because demand for their services is likely to be as high as ever. "We will be business as usual," said Nancy Sanger Pallesen, the clinic's executive director. LINK

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