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First Read's Morning Clips

<p>A roundup of the day's most important political stories.</p>

OBAMA AGENDA: Hello, governors

Obama meets with governors today. He spoke at a dinner with them last night and made a 2016 joke: “Tonight, we want to make sure all of you make yourselves at home. To which some of you are thinking, ‘That’s been the plan all along.’”

Governors – Democrat and Republican -- at the National Governors Association meeting acknowledged that the health-care law is here to stay. Said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R): "We're just trying to make the best of a bad situation. … We're trying to make it work as best we can for the people of Iowa."

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) said he has "a lot of issues" with the bill, "but it is the law, so I'm trying to work in that context." Even Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) said repeal would be “complicated.”

Bobby Jindal (R-LA), with perhaps his eye on a 2016 prize: "I don't think that it's so deeply entrenched that it can't be repealed. But I do think, as we argue for repeal, we have to show folks what you replace it with."

Obama and Russia’s Putin had a one-hour “constructive” phone call on the situation in Ukraine, according to a White House official.

But Gallup finds that “for the first time, more Americans think President Barack Obama is not respected by other world leaders than believe he is. Americans' opinions have shifted dramatically in the past year, after being relatively stable from 2010 to 2013.” By just a 41%-53% margin Americans think Obama is respected by leaders abroad. That’s a reversal from 51%-43% last year and 67%-20% when he first took office.

AP: “Ukraine's acting government issued a warrant Monday for the arrest of President Viktor Yanukovych, last reportedly seen in the pro-Russian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, accusing him of mass crimes against protesters who stood up for months against his rule.”

Mikhail Gorbachev called for unity.

Susan Rice said on “Meet the Press” she has no regrets about Benghazi: "I commented that this was based on what we knew on that morning (and) was provided to me and my colleagues - and indeed to Congress - by the intelligence community. And that's been well validated in many different ways since. And that information turned out, in some respects, not to be 100 percent correct. But the notion that somehow I or anybody else in the administration misled the American people is patently false.”

Reuters headline: “Obama adviser Rice has no regrets on 2012 Benghazi comments.”

And nearly the same one from Time: “Susan Rice Has No Regrets On Benghazi Remarks.”

Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham expressed disbelief. McCain said he was “almost speechless” and claimed that he believes the talking points “came from the White House.”

Egypt’s interim prime minister’s government resigned, which could pave the way for the head of the military to run for president.

OFF TO THE RACES: Looking at the 2014 gubernatorial races

National Journal looks at the top 15 gubernatorial races most likely to flip party control. Here are the Top 5: PA (R), ME (R), FL (R), IL (D), AR (D). Nine of the 15 are Republican.

Politico compares Jim Messina to Karl Rove.

ARKANSAS: The RGA is up with another ad hitting Mike Ross (D) for voting with Democratic leaders.

KANSAS: Senate candidate Milton Wolf is in hot water over the posting of grisly x-rays. Wolf, a radiologist, is a distant cousin of President Obama taking on incumbent Pat Roberts (R).

After first being defensive about the images, Wolf apologized: "Several years ago, I made some comments about these images that were insensitive to the seriousness of what the images revealed. Soon thereafter, I removed those images. However, my mistakes are my own and I take full responsibility for them."

MASSACHUSETTS: Deval Patrick says he could run for president beyond 2016.

TEXAS: Greg Abbott has expanded his lead in a University of Texas, Texas Tribune poll, 47%-36%. (One caveat: this is a poll conducted online, which does not meet NBC standards.)

WISCONSIN: “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said an investigation into coordination between his gubernatorial campaign and public employees in his county executive’s office is ‘old news’ and that the probe should not give pause to Republicans who see him as a potential 2016 presidential candidate,” the Washington Post writes. Walker told the Washington Post: “This is an old news story. Many of the ones that have been highlighted of late have actually been in the[Milwaukee] Journal-Sentinel and other places several years ago.”

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: “Scott Walker on Fox News dodges question on secret emails.”

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel with this story: “In the heat of the 2010 governor's race, Scott Walker urged both county employees and campaign aides to go to news websites and post comments promoting him and his record, newly unsealed documents show.”


*** Monday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: NBC’s Chuck Todd interviews Gov. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, former Senator Chris Dodd. Then, we’ll take a deep dive into the state of politics in Florida with the Miami Herald’s Marc Caputo as we launch our new state of the state’s series. Plus, we’ll have updates on the latest from Ukraine, a packed data bank and Chuck’s Monday Takeaway.

*** Monday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: For today’s inaugural 11:00 am ET edition of News Nation, Tamron talks to Bobby Ghosh about the latest in Kiev; Dave Zirin with the latest on two historic players, Michael Sam and Jason Collins; Mark Murray with his First Read; Keith Beauchamp on the Injustice Files: Sundown Towns: do they still exist today?; and the Sister Wives join to talk about the court ruling on Utah Polygamy and their show.

*** Monday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Kristen Welker, filling in for Andrea Mitchell, interviews NBC’s Richard Engel, Nicholas Burns, NBC’s Pete Williams, USA Today’s Susan Page, the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart, NBC’s Bill Neely, and the Washington Post’s Anne Gearan.