Biden's presidency is now in doubt after Putin's Ukraine move

First Read is a briefing from "Meet the Press", and the NBC Political Unit about the most important political stories of the day and why they are important.

Biden's presidency is now in doubt after Putin's Ukraine move

WASHINGTON -- Russia's Putin orders troops to Ukraine if it's Tuesday. ... Germany blocks approval for Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Interviews with President Biden at the Supreme Court are underway. ... U.S. Covid hospitalizations keep declining. ... Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin's approval rating is underwater. Kari Lake is on the airwaves for the Arizona governor's election. ... We're also watching a race for Jacksonville's city council today.

First, let's be clear: Russia's move into Ukraine raises many questions -- both domestic and international -- that we won’t have the answers to for several weeks. It could even be months.


 

What percentage of President Biden's domestic agenda, time, energy, and attention will be devoted to Ukraine now that there is a global pandemic and rising inflation?

What political liability does it make for Biden or Democrats? Can it bring about any political unity in America? Jane Timken , a Ohio Senate hopeful, stated that "It is not coincidence that Vladimir Putin invades Ukraine under Joe Biden’s weak and feckless leadership." John James, who is running in Michigan for Congress, tweeted that "A weak White House has cost." Florida GOP Senator Marco Rubio did not name-check Biden but tweeted that "Weakness invites aggressiveness".

How united is Europe on the international front? (The more united Europe is in opposition to Russia, the greater political support for Biden.

Did NATO expansion with the help of the United States contribute to this crisis? Tom Friedman says

Putin: Will he stop at Ukraine?

Perhaps most importantly, what does all this mean for democracy and territorial sovereignty, as well as the post-Cold War order?

None of these questions have been answered yet.

Data Download: The number for the day is... 41%

This is the percentage drop in Covid hospitalizations during the past two weeks (as at Monday afternoon), down approximately 118,000 to 69,000 per NBC's analysis.

This is despite the fact that the average daily Covid case dropped 64% over the same period, from 304,000 cases to around 108,000. The average daily death rate has fallen by 13 percent, as it has been during almost all pandemics. It was at its lowest point since the beginning of the epidemic, when it dropped from 2,665 in January to 2,308 Monday.

You need to be familiar with the following numbers:

41 Percent: This is Virginia's GOP Governor. The approval rating of Glenn Youngkin in the most recent poll by the Wason Center for Civic Leadership, Christopher Newport University.

3 The number of Trump-backed primary challengesrs who spoke at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference this Week, including Harriet Hageman, Kelly Tshibaka and David Perdue.

1 The number of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates will also be speaking at CPAC. Tulsi Gabbard.

$24 Million: How much will the U.S. women’s national soccer team receive in a settlement for gender discrimination.

Roundup of the midterm

Today's voters in Jacksonville, Fla. will vote to fill a vacant seat on the city council. Local party leaders from both parties believe that the seat has symbolic significance heading into the midterms. NBC's Shaquille Beerster reports.

Brewster was told by Dean Black, Duval County's Republican Chair, that "we've invested more money, greater resources, and more energy in this single city council election race than any other city council races in our history." "We know that we can't allow leftist, woke ideologies to take root in our community, and we will do everything in our power to stop them."

In one of the counties NBC News tracks as part of its "County to County” series, Nick Howland will face off against Tracye Polson. Duval County, a long-standing GOP stronghold, has seen significant demographic shifts that have boosted Democrats over recent cycles.

Daniel Henry, the county's Democratic Chair, stated Tuesday's race would indicate whether Duval will "remain blue" after Democrats flipped it in favor of statewide candidates for 2018 gubernatorial elections and 2020 presidential elections. Republicans retained local offices.

"This special election is almost like a test to see if local Republicans can continue to control the County despite the increase in voter population."

The top Republicans spending in Pennsylvania's GOP Senate Primary, which included Mehmet Oz and David McCormick, skipped last evening's primary debate. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star reported that Jeff Bartos, a real estate developer, criticized the trio as "political tourist".

An dispute in Ohio about the state's new legislative district is leading to a "constitutional crises," Heidi Prryzbyla, NBC's Anchor from the Buckeye State reports.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a former White House press secretary and is running for governor in Arkansas. also weighed in about the Wisconsin governor's race. She supported former Lt. Governor. Rebecca Kleefisch was the GOP primary winner.

Trump's latest technology company, Truth Social, just launched a social media app. Yesterday morning, was the top-rated app in the list of free apps.

Fox News reports that Christine Nolan, former U.S. Attorney, is running for Vermont's open Senate Seat as Republican.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) is the Chairman of NRSC. He has his own 11-point policy plan for the midterms.

Ad watch: Kari lake takes to the airwaves

Kari Lake, a former news anchor, is running her first TV ad for her Republican campaign to become Arizona's governor. The commercial introduces her as the "Trump-endorsed candidate for governor," and then she launches into a lie about 2020.

If you are watching this ad, you may be watching fake news programs. How do you know that it is fake? Lake tells viewers that they won't cover the most important story: the 2020 rigged election.

This is obviously false. This is false. A Republican-led audit in Arizona proved that there was no widespread fraud in the 2020 elections.

Lake is the second Republican nominee to air TV ads. Karrin Taylor Robson (the first candidate), has already air multiple ads in her favor, which highlight an endorsement by former Arizona Governor. Jan Brewer.

ICYMI: What other happenings around the world

Dr. Paul Farmer, who established a global nonprofit that provided health care for millions of people living in poverty, has passed away.

The Washington Post's Dan Balz examines new analysis by prominent center-left analysts who warn Democrats that they are still in a "politics to evade."


 

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