March 26, 2024

Welcome back to Sneak. Tonight's edition is 547 words, a 2-minute read.

Situational awareness: House Democrats are seizing on an anti-IVF push by a group of House Republicans to accuse the GOP of trying to "have it both ways," Axios' Andrew Solender has learned.

1 big thing: Rebuilding the bridge

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Congress has plenty of incentives to back up President Biden's promise today that the federal government will pay to rebuild Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The big picture: The bridge's stunning collapse after being hit by a freight ship will have economic impacts far beyond the city of Baltimore, Axios' Ivana Saric reports.

  • The Port of Baltimore handled a record 52.3 million tons of international cargo in 2023, worth about $80.8 billion, according to state archives.
  • It's closer to the Midwest than any other East Coast port and is within an overnight drive of one-third of the country's population, per the Maryland State Archives.

Flashback: In 2007, then-President George W. Bush signed a law for $250 million to rebuild the Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi just five days after it collapsed, Axios' Erin Doherty notes.

  • It took about a year to reopen the I-35 bridge.
  • Reopening a bridge as long as Baltimore's could take multiple years, Johns Hopkins engineering professor Benjamin Schafer told the N.Y. Times.

The bottom line: "I'm directing my team to move heaven and earth to reopen the port and build the bridge as soon as humanly possible," Biden said today.

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2. Kennedy's running mate

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. named Nicole Shanahan as his presidential running mate today, enabling him to pursue spots on the ballot in 23 more states.

  • "I'm so proud to introduce to you the next vice president of the United States, my fellow lawyer, a brilliant scientist, technologist, a fierce warrior mom, Nicole Shanahan," Kennedy said in Shanahan's hometown of Oakland, California.

Why it matters: Kennedy's selection of Shanahan could give him financial help, Axios' Erin Doherty reports.

  • Shanahan, 38, is the founder and president of Bia-Echo Foundation and the former wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
  • She has little political experience but has been a frequent donor to Democratic presidential campaigns, including for Pete Buttigieg and Marianne Williamson, per Forbes.
  • Shanahan donated $4 million to support the 30-second ad that ran during the Super Bowl backing Kennedy, she told the N.Y. Times last month.

Between the lines: Kennedy's campaign raised $3.2 million in February, while spending $2.9 million.

  • He ended February with about $5.1 million left in cash on hand, according to his FEC filing.

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3. NBC vs. Ronna McDaniel

Ronna McDaniel, left, on "Meet the Press" in November 2023. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC via Getty Images

NBC has dropped Ronna McDaniel as a paid contributor, NBCU News Group chair Cesar Conde confirmed in a memo to staff after the network's on-air talent publicly criticized the hiring.

  • The former RNC chair was exploring legal options if NBC moved to terminate her $300,000 contributor deal, two sources told Axios' Sara Fischer.

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4. Trump's Holy Week offerings

Screenshot via Truth Social

Former President Trump, who said he has "many" Bibles and called it his "favorite book," is promoting "God Bless the USA" Bibles for $59.99.

  • "We must make America pray again," Trump said in a video posted to his Truth Social account.
  • Trump was neither a regular churchgoer nor prone to open displays of faith before running for president.

The bottom line: Trump's real cash cow today was the public offering of his social media company, which closed at just under $58, a 16% pop.

  • He can't sell shares for six months, but it was a big day on paper.
  • Trump owns around 78 million shares of Trump Media & Technology Group, listed as "DJT" on Nasdaq, Axios' Dan Primack reports.