The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Ronny on the Spot

A Senate panel postponed Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson's confirmation hearing amid allegations of misconduct.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Today in 5 Lines

  • President Trump defended his pick for veterans affairs secretary, Ronny Jackson, but hinted that Jackson might withdraw from consideration after a Senate panel postponed his confirmation hearing amid allegations of misconduct.

  • Alek Minassian, the man accused of plowing a van into pedestrians in Toronto on Monday, was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.

  • Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that his country would likely abandon the Iran nuclear deal should the United States withdraw.

  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt proposed a controversial rule establishing new standards for the research that can be used to write agency regulations.

  • President Trump and First Lady Melania will host their first state dinner for French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte, at the White House. The meal will consist of goat cheese gateau, rack of lamb, and jambalaya.

The Race We’re Watching

Voters in Arizona’s 8th congressional district are heading to the polls to choose a replacement for Republican Representative Trent Franks, who resigned in December amid reports of sexual misconduct. Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, a cancer research advocate and former ER doctor, is challenging Republican state Senator Debbie Lesko. The district, which is heavily Republican, went for Donald Trump by 21 points in the presidential election. It’s not likely that Tipirneni will win here, but if she can come close, Democrats are planning to call it a victory.

Polls close at 7 p.m. PT, 10 p.m. ET.

Today on The Atlantic

  • The Most Expensive ACA Insurance in the U.S.: Charlottesville residents were forced to look for their own solutions when health-insurance premiums started to spike. But their homegrown fixes aren’t necessarily sustainable—especially for a problem that could happen anywhere. (Rachel Bluth)

  • ‘This Is Indefensible’: A case of police brutality in New Jersey sheds light on what Conor Friedersdorf argues is the real source of cowardice in policing: officers unwilling to speak up about problematic colleagues.

  • How Anxiety Drove the Polls: A new report finds that white Trump voters were less motivated by economic hardship, and more concerned about demographic changes. (Olga Khazan)

  • A Negligent Nomination: That Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson’s confirmation hearing for secretary of veterans affairs has been postponed reveals less about the nominee and more about the larger flaws in Trump’s vetting process. (David A. Graham)


First Lady Melania Trump, left, and Brigitte Macron, wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, tour the National Gallery of Art. Jacquelyn Martin / AP

What We’re Reading

‘I Surely Expected Better’: The Center for American Progress, a leading progressive think tank that has led a campaign against workplace sexual harassment, reportedly “grappled with a divisive internal battle over sexual harassment” in 2016. (Sarah Mimms, BuzzFeed)

‘Kanye Tweets Right’: Conservatives who reject the liberal narrative about what it means to be black in America should be heartened by the rapper’s endorsement of conservative commentator Candace Owens, argues Rafael Mangual. (City Journal)

The Most Useless Force in American Politics: The centrist nonprofit group No Labels aims to bring politicians together to promote bipartisan legislation. Instead, it trafficks in empty “mealy mouthed defenses of political profiteers and empty buzzwords.” (Alex Nichols, The Outline)

What About Us?: At this point, no women and no minorities are in contention to replace Paul Ryan as House speaker. Republican women are wondering when they’ll see themselves represented in leadership. (Lauren Fox, CNN)


Zoom In on Texas: On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a 7-year-old gerrymandering case. Here’s how the Dallas-Fort Worth area could be affected. (James Barragán, Dallas News)

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)