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THIS WEEK: An invasion's impact at home

We'll feel the effects of Vladimir Putin's tanks here at home

MOLINE, Ill. — It's something Europe hasn't seen since World War II.

It's the scene of tanks and warplanes as Russia invades the neighboring sovereign nation of Ukraine.

And the Biden Administration pins the blame on one person.

"Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences," said President Joe Biden in a national address

But it's not just Russian President Vladimir Putin who may face the consequences of this Russian action against Ukraine.

"If this escalates further, I think this just kinda adds to Republican's message that Democrats are not moving us in the right direction, that perhaps there's just a sense of malaise, to bring a phrase from the Carter Administration," said Monmouth College political scientist Andre Audette on "News 8 THIS WEEK with Jim Mertens".

Historically, the party in power faces headwinds in what are called the midterm elections.

Add the Russian action to historic rates of inflation and the political fallout can be dire for Democrats.

"I really think that there are very few scenarios where this can actually help Democrats come 2022 elections in November."

You can hear our entire interview with political scientist Dr. Andre Audette on THE CITIES PODCAST.

Several Republicans, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have spoken positively of Vladimir Putin's strengths and strategies.

President Donald Trump praised Putin's ability to go into Ukraine and face few challenges.

“I went in yesterday and there was a television screen, and I said, ‘This is genius.’ Putin declares a big portion of the Ukraine — of Ukraine. Putin declares it as independent,” the former president said during a radio interview as the invasion began.

“Oh, that’s wonderful.”

"That's not something that we see all the time," said Dr. Audette.

"It's very unusual that we would have a former US President talking up Putin who many view to be one of the primary enemies of the United States, or at least a 'frenemie' of sorts."

But besides the politics, it's the economy that is impacted by the Russian movements into a neighboring country.

But economics and politics are seldom separate from one another.

"That can only be exasperated by the inflation that we see," said Dr. Audette.

"People who are paying more for gasoline, paying more for food, a lot of different commodities that are increasing in prices so I think that's going to hurt Democrats."

You can watch "News 8 THIS WEEK with Jim Mertens" Sunday mornings at 10 on WQAD News 8.


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