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Obama: Siding in favor of affirmative action

“The Obama administration weighed in on affirmative action for the first time at the Supreme Court on Monday, urging that university admissions preferences for qualified black and Latino students be upheld,” the L.A. Times reports. “‘Race is one of many characteristics (including socioeconomic status, work experience and other factors) that admissions officials may consider in evaluating the contributions that an applicant would make to the university,’ U.S. Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli Jr. said in his brief, siding with the University of Texas.”

Six-column, two-deck front page Des Moines Register headline: “Obama, Ryan outline differences in Iowa.”

The Des Moines Register: “President Barack Obama kicked off his three-day Iowa tour with a clarion call to view this election as a stark choice about America’s future — and ended the day in the Bud Tent at the Iowa State Fair. Before he got to his Bud Light and pork chop, there was plenty of red meat politics, and lots of idyllic Iowa scenes. He stopped at a farm to talk about the drought and rode by scores of wind towers, hundreds of people waving American flags, and thousands of acres of drought-shriveled corn.”

And there’s this: “Iowans look anew at Medicare.”

“He began a three-day bus tour through the state today on less sure footing, with polls showing Iowa up for grabs in November. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sent his newly-announced running mate, Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, to the Iowa State Fair today to try to steal some of Obama's thunder,” Newsday writes. “Obama is using Ryan's presence to make the argument that Republicans are obstructionists, saying the lawmaker is ‘one of the leaders of Congress standing in the way’ of passing a farm bill that would provide relief from the drought.”

Obama will be in New Hampshire this weekend.

Channeling First Read, AP writes: “In his run for a second term, President Barack Obama had an opponent before he had an opponent: House Republicans. They shellacked him in the midterm elections, blocked much of his legislative agenda and pushed economic views that are wildly different from his. Mitt Romney put a campaign face on all that for Obama: Paul Ryan.”

First Lady Michelle Obama and Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas were on the Tonight Show. Obama teased Douglas about her penchant for fast food and talked about that Kiss Cam moment.