By Michelle Koepp
“Winners have more friends than losers do” Charlie Crist writes in his recently-released book, “The Party’s Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat.” The former Republican politician, who governed Florida from 2007 to 2011, is running for his old job again, but this time as a Democrat. Supporters argue that Crist’s shift in allegiances is the sign of a rational politician who is unafraid to make a dramatic, albeit risky, political evolution. Detractors argue that Crist will play any card just in the hopes of coming out the winner.
Will she stay or will she go? The Russian parliament says it supports Crimea in their quest to separate from Ukraine, despite the threat of sanctions and travel bans, and Russia’s Foreign Ministry warns that Russia will retaliate if sanctions are imposed. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Obama both say they want to preserve the Russian-American relationship, but with Russian troops pouring into Ukraine, and US fighter jets entering the region, how will the standoff end? We’ll get the latest from the White House’s Deputy National Security Adviser, Tony Blinken.
Plus, with neighbors like these…as Russia moves in to Ukraine, its neighbors to the west worry about the possibility of the same thing happening to them, and beef up their defense systems. The Ambassadors from two former eastern bloc countries – Lithuania and Estonia – join us for a look at security in the region, and if their countries could be next.
Then, Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist says the Republican party has been hijacked by the extreme right. Our Sunday exclusive with the man who went from party insider to persona non grata, on why he supports raising the minimum wage, what he thinks of ObamaCare and why the party’s over for the GOP.
And, our political panel – Donna Brazile, AB Stoddard and Ben Ferguson – on the annual gathering of the Conservative Political Action Committee, who is making it clear that the party has only just begun.
State of the Union airs at 9am and 12noon Eastern on CNN.
By Tracey Webb
Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, March 6, 2014.
1. The Ukraine crisis. The U.S. has begun its sanctions squeeze on Russia over its movement of troops into Ukraine's Crimea region. President Obama signed an executive order that imposes financial penalties on individuals and entities seen as violating Ukraine's territorial integrity, though Russian President Vladimir Putin is not on the list. The order also allows visa bans to be imposed on certain individuals. Senior administration officials said the sanctions are intended to "send a strong message that we intend to impose costs on Russia for this intervention."
By Tracey Webb Follow @WebbWriterguru
Your daily scoop of what State of the Union is watching today, March 5, 2014.
1. The Ukraine crisis. Diplomacy was at the forefront in an effort to end the standoff between Russia and Ukraine and Western allied countries. Secretary of State John Kerry held face-to-face talks in Paris with foreign ministers of Ukraine and several European nations, as well as Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, Kerry said while Russia's violation of Ukraine's sovereignty won't go unanswered, "It is important to try and resolve this issue through dialogue... I don't believe any of us are served by greater confrontation." Still, the situation remains tense. The U.S. and its European allies haven't ruled out imposing tough sanctions against Russia, and Russia is threatening to confiscate Western assets if that occurs.
Former US ambassador to Russia John Beyrle and former CNN foreign affairs correspondent Jill Dougherty, who is a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, discuss foreign policy implications of the Ukraine crisis.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that President Obama's budget guts the U.S. defense dept.
This week's panel discusses how the unfolding crisis abroad in Ukraine could impact public opinion of Obama at home.
Bill Burton, Ross Douthat, and Amy Walter discuss public opinion polls and the 2014 outlook on the Obama administration.
Former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon on Russia 'violation of international law' in Ukraine's Crimea region.