The Note's Must-Reads for Monday, April 23, 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 New York Times' Charlie Savage: " Shift on Executive Power Lets Obama Bypass Rivals" One Saturday last fall, President Obama interrupted a White House strategy meeting to raise an issue not on the agenda. He declared, aides recalled, that the administration needed to more aggressively use executive power to govern in the face of Congressional obstructionism. LINK

The Boston Globe's Jonathan D. Salant: " Obama takes passive stance on stronger election laws" Barack Obama pledged as a presidential candidate to strengthen the Federal Election Commission and nominate members "committed to enforcing our nation's election laws." Since taking office, he hasn't pushed for achievement of either goal. The president has taken no action to reshape the FEC, even as five of the six commissioners are serving on expired terms. LINK

MITT ROMNEY: ABC News' George Stephanopoulos: " George Will Writes Off Jeb Bush as VP Possibility" As speculation over who Mitt Romney will choose as his running mate reaches a fever pitch, ABC's George Will struck one big name off the list of possibilities today: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. "If Jeb Bush is to be Romney's running mate, it would mean that in seven of nine presidential elections there would be a Bush on the Republican ticket," Will said today on "This Week."  LINK

USA Today's David Jackson: " Axelrod: Voters don't know Romney yet" A top political aide to President Obama said today that Republican Mitt Romney is moving up in the polls because people don't really know his economic policies - yet. When voters do learn more about Romney, senior adviser David Axelrod said, "they're going to think this is very familiar - we tried this - this was a big failure." LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Patrick O' Connor: " Pushback for Romney Fund" A new effort by Mitt Romney's presidential campaign to substantially increase the amount of money wealthy backers can give has hit a hurdle: new Securities and Exchange Commission rules that are making some Wall Street donors skittish about writing checks. The effort, the Romney Victory fund, was announced earlier this month. LINK

Politico's Reid Epstein: " Mitt Romney plays the victim card" Meet Mitt Romney the victim. And that may be a good thing for his campaign.  Following the still-rippling kerfuffle over Hilary Rosen's comments that Ann Romney "hasn't worked a day in her life," Romney is portraying himself as the victim of the liberal media and secular culture, and some social conservatives who opposed him in the GOP primary are rallying around him as a result. LINK

The New York Daily News' Alison Gendar: " Mitt Romney aide with history of snarky comments about women in politics removes hundreds of tweets from online profile" A Romney aide is rewriting history - his own. Richard Grenell, a former Bush official, removed hundreds of Tweets and comments from his online profile this weekend after reporters zeroed in on his penchant for snarky comments about women in politics. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Noam Levy: " Romney's healthcare plan may be more revolutionary than Obama's" As he pushes to "repeal and replace" President Obama's healthcare law, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has turned to proposals that could alter the way hundreds of millions of Americans get their medical insurance. In public, Romney has only sketched the outlines of a plan, and aides have declined to answer questions about the details. LINK

OTHER: The Washington Times' Seth McLaughlin: " Campaign 2012's silly season in full swing" Dogs on roofs, dogs on the menu, wars on women, bureaucrats behaving badly - with the drama largely drained from the Republican nominating race and not much on the schedule until August, the campaign's silly season has begun in earnest. LINK

The Hill's Josh Lederman: " The 2012 GOP presidential dropouts: Where are they now?" The six major GOP candidates who dropped out of the presidential race may be gone, but they aren't altogether forgotten.  Rick Perry is wading into a Senate primary in Texas. Herman Cain is crisscrossing the country supporting candidates who have embraced his 9-9-9 tax plan. LINK

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