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President Biden. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden surprised patients at the Children's National Hospital on Friday for a Christmas Eve celebration.

Driving the news: First ladies typically visit the hospital's patients during the holidays, but the president joined her this year — the first time a sitting president joined his wife, according to AP.

  • The first lady read "Olaf’s Night Before Christmas" to the patients, the White House said.

In photos:

First lady Jill Biden and President Biden visit the Children's National Hospital on Friday. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP
Biden speaks with a participant. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP
Children gather around the Christmas tree with the Bidens. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP
Biden shares a book with a child. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP

Go deeper

Focus group: Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Pool/Getty Images 

As President Biden approaches the one-year mark of his presidency, some swing voters say his handling of the pandemic has weakened him in their eyes.

  • But they see him projecting strength when he talks about protecting American democracy.

Driving the news: These were key takeaways from the latest Engagious/Schlesinger swing-voter focus groups for Axios, conducted Tuesday, just days after the president's Jan. 6 anniversary speech.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenge to affirmative action at Harvard, UNC

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a pair of cases challenging the consideration of race in the college admissions processes.

Why it matters: The conservative high court's ruling could determine the future of affirmative action in higher education.

Europe's energy reliance on Russia is a crucial shield for Putin

Photo: Pavel Bednyakov/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Cracks in the NATO alliance regarding sanctions for Russia should President Vladimir Putin order troops into Ukraine are in large part based on energy supply concerns.

Why it matters: Russia holds tremendous leverage over some European countries because it provides roughly 40% of Europe's natural gas supply. In Germany, this figure is greater than 50%.

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