The Note’s Must-Reads for Monday, October 24, 2011

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 Digital News Associate Jayce Henderson, and Desk Assistants Amanda VanAllen and Erin McLaughlin

PRESIDENT OBAMA / ADMINISTRATION: ABC News’ Kirit Radia: “ About that 3 a.m. call…Clinton defends Obama’s National Security chops” Now that Osama bin Laden, Moammar Gadhafi and Anwar al-Awlaki have meet their end under President Obama’s term in office, how does Hillary Clinton feel about Obama’s ability to handle national security issues, namely those “3 a.m. calls” she implied he wouldn’t be able to handle during the 2008 presidential primary campaign? “President Obama has passed with flying colors every leadership challenge,” Clinton said today on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” LINK

The Washington Post’s Zachary Goldfarb: “ Obama’s efforts to aid homeowners, boost housing market fall far short of goals” It was a critical plan to jump-start the economy. President Obama pledged at the beginning of his term to boost the nation’s crippled housing market and help as many as 9 million homeowners avoid losing their homes to foreclosure. LINK

USA Today’s Susan Page: “ Obama team moves to rekindle 2008's magic with young voters” President Obama’s re-election campaign launches an initiative this week aimed at rekindling the connection with younger voters that helped fuel his 2008 campaign. The outreach effort, called “Greater Together,” will tap Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites and target students on college campuses in key states, such as the University of Wisconsin, Ohio State University and Penn State. The initiative’s website will go up Tuesday, and the first of a series of “Obama Student Summits” will be held Nov. 2. LINK

G.O.P.: ABC News’ David Kerley and Jordyn Phelps: “ GOP rivals tag Herman Cain a flip-flopper” Despite the fact that the number one campaign issue on voters’ minds is jobs, contending Republican presidential candidates have spent much of the last week talking about abortion. The sparring among the Republican candidates over the issue began after Herman Cain told CNN’s Piers Morgan Wednesday that while he is personally against abortion, the decision should ultimately lie with the family facing the choice — not the government. LINK

Boston Globe’s Shira Schoenberg: “ Sununu to endorse Romney for president” Former New Hampshire Governor John H. Sununu, one of the most influential voices in state politics, will endorse Mitt Romney tomorrow. Sununu told the Globe that three things made up his mind: Romney’s commitment to cutting spending and cutting taxes; his decision to keep Massachusetts out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which would have instituted a cap and trade policy for greenhouse gasses; and his speech at the Citadel in South Carolina on foreign policy, where Romney talked about strengthening America’s military. LINK

Bloomberg’s John McCormick: “ Cain confronts own abortion sentiment in Talk to Iowa social conservatives” Businessman Herman Cain faced a gathering of social conservatives in Iowa last night, seeking absolution for remarks he made about abortion and personal choice that have left some in the early-voting state unsettled. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Elizabeth Williamson: “ Paul’s policies foreign to GOP” Throughout the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, Texas congressman Ron Paul has called for a deficit-saddled nation to withdraw not only from Iraq, but from Afghanistan and other parts of the world. Mr. Paul said Sunday he was doubtful the president really would end the U.S. engagement there. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Neil King Jr.: “ Calendar gives Romney a boost” After months of uncertainty, the calendar for the 2012 Republican nomination process has snapped into focus, creating a dash through five states in the early weeks of the year followed by an unusual three-week lull. LINK

The New York Times’ Adam Liptak and Michael D. Shear: “ Republicans Turn Judicial Power Into a Campaign Issue” Republican presidential candidates are issuing biting and sustained attacks on the federal courts and the role they play in American life, reflecting and stoking skepticism among conservatives about the judiciary. LINK

The Washington Times’ Seth McLaughlin: “ GOP hopefuls jockey for role of ‘anti-Romney’” Though the front-runners have changed, the 2012 Republican presidential race has been remarkably consistent: Mitt Romney versus the rest of the field. LINK

L.A. Times’ Noam Levey: “ Medical aid for illegal immigrants could haunt Mitt Romney” The Massachusetts healthcare law that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed in 2006 includes a program known as the Health Safety Net, which allows undocumented immigrants to get needed medical care along with others who lack insurance. The program, widely supported in Massachusetts, drew little attention when Romney signed the trailblazing healthcare law. LINK

NY Daily News’ Philip Caulfield: “ Rick Perry questions President Obama’s birth certificate in new Parade magazine interview” Rick Perry, birther? The Republican White House hopeful said he has “no reason to believe” that President Obama was not born in the United States – but he still isn’t sure if Obama’s birth certificate is legit. “I don’t have a definitive answer,” Perry said in an interview with Parade magazine, after being pressed for a firm answer on whether he thought Obama was born in the United States. LINK

CONGRESS: The Hill’s Russell Berman: “ Former members’ campaigns alive, well and spending money” The disgraced lawmakers might be gone, but their campaigns live on. The handful of members of Congress who have resigned amid scandal in recent years have maintained active campaign accounts, federal records show, and they have spent tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions on legal fees, travel, public relations consultants and, in at least one case, the salary of a family member. LINK

SUPERCOMMITTEE: Politico’s Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman: “ Supercommittee lobbying: 200 companies, 12 members” In just six weeks, nearly 200 companies and special interests have reported that they’re lobbying the 12-member supercommittee. It’s a stunning ratio of lobbyists to lawmakers but makes sense when you consider the high stakes faced by interests ranging from the health care industry to Native American tribes. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS: ABC News: “ Clinton warns Iran: U.S. committed to IraqLINK

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