The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday September 11, 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, Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen and Will Cantine

OBAMA ON SYRIA ABC News' Devin Dwyer and Jonathan Karl: " Obama Pleads His Case on Syria: 'I Believe We Should Act'" Stymied by lagging public opinion and an 11th-hour diplomatic curveball, President Obama tonight argued that he still needs congressional authorization for military strikes against Syria even though it's possible he may not have to use it. "America is not the world's policeman. Terrible things happen across the globe, and it is beyond our means to right every wrong. LINK

USA Today's Alia E. Dastagir: " Obama's Syria speech: 10 things you need to know" President Obama told the nation Tuesday he is exploring a Russian diplomatic plan to end a chemical weapons dispute in Syria, but reserves the right to take military action. Obama spoke to the country about why Syria matters, and where the nation goes from here. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Carol E. Lee and Janet Hook: " Obama Holds Fire on Syria, Waits on Russia Plan" President Barack Obama told Americans Tuesday he would pursue a newly energized diplomatic course to try to resolve the standoff with Syria, but he insisted that the U.S. must conduct military strikes, if needed, in response to the Assad regime's alleged use of chemical weapons. Mr. Obama said in a televised address that he asked Congress to postpone a vote on a resolution to authorize military force, which he looked likely to lose. LINK

The Boston Globe's Noah Bierman and Bryan Bender: " Credibility stakes high for Obama in Syria speech" President Obama's speech to the nation Tuesday night has turned into a defining moment for the remainder of his term. The outcome of his call for Congress to authorize military strikes against Syria could determine both his credibility on domestic issues and his power on the international stage, analysts said Monday. The stakes remained high even in light of Monday's development that Russia is pushing Syria to allow United Nations control of its alleged chemical weapons. In an interview with CBS, Obama said Monday night that any proposed diplomatic solution must be backed by the "credible military threat from the United States." LINK

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan and Dave Boyer: " Obama asks Congress to delay Syria vote, give diplomacy a chance to work" President Obama and his Western allies faced off against Russia on the international stage Tuesday, battling over how exactly to force Syria to turn over its chemical weapons, even as the president pleaded with Congress to give him time to see the diplomatic efforts through. In an address to the nation Tuesday night, Mr. Obama said he still favors a missile strike against Syria as punishment for a chemical weapons attack. But he said he wants to wait to for the international community to work its will. LINK

The New York Times' Mark Lander and Jonathan Wiseman: " Obama Delays Syria Strike To Focus On A Russian Plan" President Obama, facing implacable opposition to a strike in Syria in Congress and throughout the country, said Tuesday that he would hold off on military action for now and pursue a Russian proposal for international monitors to take over and destroy Syria's arsenal of chemical weapons. Speaking to the nation from the White House, Mr. Obama laid out his most extensive and detailed case for an attack to punish Syria for its use of chemical weapons. But he also acknowledged the deep doubts of Americans who after the experience of Iraq and Afghanistan view any form of military engagement in Syria with alarm. LINK

Politico's John F. Harris: " Obama's Zig vs. Zag" Two weeks of zig-zag foreign policy by President Barack Obama - marching to war one moment, clinging desperately to diplomacy the next - culminated Tuesday night, appropriately enough, in a zig-zag address to the nation that did little to clarify what will come next in the Syria crisis but shined a glaring hot light on the debate in the president's own mind. LINK

The Washington Post's Zachary A. Goldfarb and David Nakamura: " Obama Takes Syria Case To The Public In White House Address" President Obama said Tuesday that he would seize one last diplomatic opening to avoid a military strike on Syria, while trying to convince a skeptical United States that it must retaliate against the Middle Eastern nation's alleged use of chemical weapons if the effort fails. In a nationally televised prime-time address from the East Room of the White House, Obama cautiously embraced a Russian proposal that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad give up its stockpile of chemical weapons, signaling that he would drop his call for an assault on the regime if Assad complies. LINK

RUSSIAN PLAN ON SYRIA Bloomberg's Michael Tackett: " Obama Gains Time on Syria as Russian Plan Offer Off-Ramp" President Barack Obama addressed the nation last night with an assist from an unexpected source, the benefit of additional time, and at least the prospect of an outcome that stops short of military action in Syria. Whether by good fortune or design, it wasn't the speech that had been envisioned just 24 hours earlier, thanks to Russian President Vladimir Putin seizing on an off-hand comment from Secretary of State John Kerry that the U.S. might stand down if Syria turned over its chemical weapons. As such, Obama was able to delay a showdown vote with Congress, where momentum was moving away from him. He also reduced the risk of further erosion in public support that could become a drag on his domestic agenda, including the implementation of his landmark health care law and lifting the federal government's debt ceiling. LINK

NYC PRIMARY ELECTIONS ABC News' Abby Phillip: " New York City Voters Reject Spitzer, Weiner" It was a rollercoaster ride for New York City voters, but tonight they chose to jump off. Democratic voters went to the polls today and rejected the comeback bids of former Rep. Anthony Weiner and former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer after Democratic primary races that made the city the spectacle of the nation. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Tina Susman: " New York Democrats poised to nominate Bill de Blasio for mayor" Weary of scandal and swayed by promises of a better future for residents being priced out of the city, voters on Tuesday rejected former Rep. Anthony Weiner's bid for a political comeback and threw their support behind the liberal public advocate Bill de Blasio to be the Democratic candidate for mayor. LINK

The New York Daily News' Mara Gay: " Sydney Leathers, former sexting partner of Anthony Weiner, attempts to crash his election night party" From the beginning, the scandal threatened to overshadow Weiner's campaign - but for a brief moment early this summer, the Democrat, helped by a popular, progressive platform and big name, seemed like the man to beat. Instead, of course, Leathers would end up going public with more explosive revelations; within weeks, Weiner's mayoral bid tanked. LINK

FEDERAL SPENDING The Hill's Pete Kasperowicz: " House releases short-term spending resolution" House Republicans on Tuesday released a copy of their short-term spending resolution for 2014, which covers federal government spending through December 15. That language is accompanied by a concurrent resolution that says no money can be spent to implement the 2010 healthcare law known as ObamaCare. Read more: LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " Crisis In Syria: Presidential Address to the Nation" LINK

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