The political evolution of Colin Powell revealed a shift in the GOP

First Read is your summary of "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the major political news of the day and why they're important.


Colin Powell's political life until his passing on Mondayfrom a possible Republican presidential candidate from a possible presidential candidate, through GOP Secretary of State to a person who supported Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden -- also tells the story of the Republican Party's growth in the past 13 years.

The change was evident from Powell's words.

October 2008 (when the president endorsed Obama ahead of McCain): "I have several concerns with the direction that the Republican party has taken in recent times. It's shifted closer to the left than I'd like consider however, that's a decision which the political party must make."

Further: "And I was also concerned about the choice of [VP] Governor. Palin. She's an extremely distinguished lady and is to be respected; however, in the same way when we've seen her for a period of seven weeks, I'm not sure she's ready to serve as head of United States, which is the responsibility for the vice president."

Further: "I'm also troubled by not what Senator. McCain says, but the way that members of the Republican party are saying. There is a right to say things such like, "Well you're aware that Barack. Obama is a Muslim. But the right answer is that He's not an Muslim but is a Christian. He's always been always a Christian. The real question is, what happens if the person is a Muslim? Does there have to be something wrong in being an Muslim within this nation?"

The memory of the former Secretary of State Colin Powell

OCT. 19, 202102:44

2016 (when hacker emails exposed his views on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton): "Yup, the birther movement in general was racist. The 99 percent think. When Trump could not keep up his rhetoric, Trump also stated that he was interested in seeing if his certificate stated that his status as Muslim. Muslim. I've said it previously, "What if I was it?' Muslims were born Americans each and every single day."

The month of June is 2020. (after Trump's words and actions following George Floyd's demise): "We have a Constitution. We have to follow that Constitution. And the president's drifted away from it."

The month of January, 2021 (after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol) January 2021: the CNN's Fareed Zakariasays "Do [elected Republicans] realize that they encouraged, at least, this wildness to grow and grow?"

Powell: "They did, and that's why I can no longer consider myself a Republican."

Further: "Right now, we need you to be real Americans who we can trust, who can tell the truth, who will argue on the basis of facts, and not just argue on the basis of what their primary looks like."

This included Powell on Palin and The birther revolution, Trump at his White House, and finally on the 6th of Jan. 6 and the aftereffects.

The only public figure to have an appeal that is cross-pollinational?

By the way, here were Powell's final favorable/unfavorable numbers in our NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll (from Dec. 2004): 71 percent positive, 10 percent negative (+61).

In March 1996 the NBC/WSJ poll revealed Powell outshining Bill Clinton in a hypothetical general election matchup with 47 per cent to 38 percent and that was at a time when Clinton's rating for the job was at or above 50 percent.

Biden talks separately with progressives and then moderates

Another day of talks for reconciliation between Biden, the President. Biden as well as the Democrats.

At 22:00 p.m. ET, Biden, Vice President Harris and Treasury Secretary Yellen will meet along with House progressives. At 4:30 p.m. ET Then, they will have a meeting at 4:30 p.m. ET with House as well as Senate moderates.

The meetings today follow on from the conversation that Biden held during his meeting with Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. On Monday.

"Inside the White House, officials have been upping the pressure on members publicly and privately, saying the time had come to wrap up talks, according to a person familiar with the discussions," NBC's Sahil Kapur and Shannon Pettypiece wrote.

"Biden is expected to try to promote the idea to the general public on Wednesday during his first trip during his presidency to his home town, Scranton, Pennsylvania, in which he's witnessed important events during the course of his presidency. It was reported that the White House said the trip will be aimed at "continuing to build public support for the two bills."

Tweet of the day

Data Download The numbers you'll have to be aware of today

$17 million: What is does the Wall Street Journal reports that an Haitian group is demanding in ransom following the kidnapping of American as well as Canadian missionaries.

$250,000: This is the amount that the Virginia-based Dominion Energy donated to a political action group and is seeking to return it because it didn't know the PAC would be a target for Republican Glenn Youngkin.

12 Days: The time the process took in America to get between 44 million Covid cases to 45 million (for an example that it took 9 days to go between 43 and 44 million).

45,099,632: the amount of cases confirmed of coronavirus that have been confirmed in the United States, per the most recent information obtained from NBC News and health officials. (That's 120,758 additional cases since yesterday's early morning.)

730,948: This is the number of fatalities within the United States from the virus at this point, according to most recent figures obtained from NBC News. (That's 213 more deaths from yesterday's early morning.)

408,797,942: That's the number of doses of the vaccine given throughout the U.S., per the CDC. (That's 531,983 more doses than yesterday's early morning.)

10,681,175: That's the total amount of booster doses given throughout the U.S., per the CDC. (That's 219,889 more than yesterday's early morning.)

57 percent: This is the percentage in all Americans who have been fully vaccinated according to the CDC.

Discussion of about policy with Benjy and Benjy: Expanding Medicare as opposed to. Medicaid

The current politics of Democratic Health Care debates might not be the most logical when you're watching the 2020 primary elections.

The Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. was the most popular preferred choice of young voters during his two presidential campaigns, and was a major loser among seniors to other presidential candidates, including the president Joe Biden. His most famous policy, Medicare for All, included taking a well-liked government-run program that currently covers seniors, and expanding it to all different ages.

However, the health care debate that is taking place in reconciliation talks shifts the situation to a certain extent. Sanders has advocated for the increase in benefits for existing Medicare beneficiaries as his top goal, i.e. seniors. While, it's more middle-of the-road Democratic leaders, including House Minority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. and his colleagues, who are pushing the hardest to ensure health insurance coverage for the uninsured and young under the Affordable Care Act, including the possibility of a Medicaid expansion for working poor.

It is possible to imagine the reverse scenario: Sanders rewarding his young populist alliance by advocating for public health insurance for the poorest of the working class as well as Democratic leadership looking to reward the elderly who supported Biden during the primaries by offering an entirely brand new Medicare benefit that polls very well.

What's happening here? A portion of it is an extension of the ideological battles over Medicare for All. The left views Medicare as their preferred means to provide universal health care that is run by the government. So, anything that improves the quality of it (through more benefits or a less hefty starting age) is an important step in the right direction. They're also wary of privately-owned insurance that is a key component of the ACA.

Speaker Pelosi, Clyburn, and Biden All three were important players in the passage of the ACA that they hope to establish for the long run. Repairing its issues with the gap between low-incomes (Medicaid) or high-incomes (subsidies) could make all of the U.S. closer to universal coverage. Medicaid gaps are particularly significant in states that rejected ACA funding. Medicaid gap is particularly politically significant in states that rejected ACA funding, such as the state of Clyburn's South Carolina, as well as Georgia in Georgia, in which Democrats gained their Senate majority by winning two runoff wins.

And now, Sanders would likely tell you that this is a sloppy breakdown. In the end, he campaigned on the promise of making Medicare benefits greater in size and covering everyone. The Sanders budget included aid to the ACA. There are also moderate Democrats keen to highlight this legislation's Medicare provisions. There are a few centrists who are causing Democrats to make a choice.

However, the reality is Democrats have a finite amount of space to play with and, if they do, not all of these issues are likely to be able to remain in place. This creates a challenging zero-sum game going forward, because it appears that the need for seniors' aid and assistance for those who are uninsured are likely be difficult to integrate.

McAuliffe's defense of education

With less than two weeks until the start of Virginia's campaign in the governor's race, Democrat Terry McAuliffe is making two new TV advertisements.

One is a direct answer in response to Republican Glenn Youngkin's criticisms of his comments made about parents and schools.

Youngkin has shown weeks of ads , with McAuliffe declaring "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach," and this is clearly an integral aspect of his final campaign. However, with only two weeks remaining, McAuliffe says in his new advertisement that the Republican has taken his words out of the context (the Youngkin camp tweeted out an answer to that claim).

This isn't the only new advertisement from the McAuliffe camp that's coming up -- the candidate is trying to take the offensive with this brand new one-minute commercial that links Youngkin with Trump.

Today on the campaign trail, McAuliffe discusses the importance of sick days paid for at 12:45 p.m. ET in Northern Virginia.

And Youngkin will hold an early-vote event on the streets of Stafford, Va., at 12:30 p.m. ET.

ICYMI: What's going on in the world?

The New York Times reports that the FDA is expected to permit Americans to receive an alternative Covid-19 booster shot, in contrast to the one they received initially.

A former President Trump is suing to prevent the National Archives from handing over documents that pertain to Jan. 6 Committee's investigation.

The MTP Blog summarizes information about the race to the Senate following the third quarter deadline for fundraising.

Politico examines what they call the "11-candidate pileup" in the race to succeed former Florida Democratic Rep. Alycee Hastings.