Meet the Press

First Read’s Morning Clips

OFF TO THE RACES: Breaking down the FEC reports

The 30 thousand foot view, from the New York Times: “Establishment-backed presidential candidates in both parties, facing stronger-than-expected challenges from insurgent campaigns, are rapidly losing one of their few remaining advantages in politics: money.”

BIDEN: NBC alumnus(!) Mike Memoli of the Los Angeles Times first had the scoop: “Vice President Joe Biden is nearing a final decision on a possible White House run, according to a message to his political network from one of his closest advisors. 'If he decides to run, we will need each and every one of you -- yesterday,' says the message from Biden's longtime aide Ted Kaufman.”

CARSON: He’s catching up to Donald Trump – with the backing of white evangelicals.

CLINTON: Here’s what you need to know about Hillary Clinton’s fundraising haul, from’s Alex Seitz-Wald.

CRUZ: He’s planning a religious liberty rally at Bob Jones University, POLITICO reports.

RUBIO: He got the endorsement of New Hampshire activist Chris Wolfe.

SANDERS: A new NBC News/ SurveyMonkey poll shows that Sanders is capturing the youth vote.

The AP: “The challenge now for the independent senator from Vermont is to convert all that money — he has $27 million to spend — into a winning campaign for president.”

TRUMP: Our team did a deep dive into his fundraising numbers.

OBAMA AGENDA: Iraq, unmentioned

The New York Times writes: “As he described the factors that went into his decision to keep American troops in Afghanistan, the one word President Obama did not mention on Thursday was Iraq. Four years ago, he stuck to his plan to pull out of Iraq, only to watch the country collapse back into sectarian strife and a renewed war with Islamic extremists. Facing a similar situation in Afghanistan, Mr. Obama has decided not to follow a similar course.”

The LA Times editorial board asks: Will we ever get out of Afghanistan?