Morning Must Reads: Realignment

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President Obama stops to view a generator as he tours a General Electric plant in Schenectady, New York on January 21. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

–John Heilemann tells the story of Obama’s White House realignment at the hands of Pete Rouse and the first flickers of the re-election effort as a shattering of hubris.

–His State of the Union address address will frame economic and budgetary priorities through the theme of global competitiveness.

–Obama will float corporate tax reform, but Treasury is reportedly set on holding out for a revenue neutral approach.

–Chris Christie reportedly passed on giving the Republican response. It’s a task that’s politically fraught.

–As a mere matter of electoral math, Obama will be hard to beat.

–Related: Businesses and economists are increasingly sunny about economic recovery in 2011.

–An evangelical makes the “values voters” case for Romney (namely that he’s electable). Mitt has a few on his side.

–Bill Kristol makes an open call for presidential candidates, which one could interpret as a knock on the assumed frontrunner.

–Larry Sabato handicaps George Allen’s return. A Tea Party primary, Jim Webb’s retirement decision and Obama’s coattails will factor. Allen is expected to announce his candidacy for his old Senate seat today.

–Our colleague Tony Karon writes the leaked “Palestine Papers” seriously undermine Mahmoud Abbas’s negotiating power and deal a significant blow to  Mideast peace talks.

–Robert Draper surveys the seemingly intractable poppy production and corruption of Afghanistan.

–And George Will wishes presidents would stop trying to “stroke every erogenous zone.”