Jack Gruber / AP

In @cnn poll 78% of @POTUS #JointAddress watchers say positive, 69% say policies will move country in right direction, 69% more optimistic— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) March 1, 2017

The news looks good: 57% of respondents to a CNN poll last night had a "very positive" reaction to Trump's speech.

But the context makes it look less sexy: 68% gave former President Obama a "very positive" reaction to his first joint session, compared to 66% for former president George W. Bush.

The same pattern came out on moving the country in the right direction, with 69% saying Trump would do that. Again, a good number, but Obama scored 88% in 2009, and Bush 91% in 2001.

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Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

7 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been highly influential in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.