How the 2024 Campaign Could Get Completely Reshuffled By a Russia Crisis
If Putin is eventually deposed, it’s going to help some Republicans and hurt others.
1. Don’t Call It a Coup
I could spin you three different stories about what happened in Russia this weekend, but my big takeaway from Yevgeny Prigozhin’s failed mutiny/coup/whatever is that we came close to having the dynamic of the 2024 election completely reshuffled.
Pretend that events had unfolded differently this weekend: Prigozhin marches into Moscow maybe, and we get an actual Russian civil war. Or Putin is deposed in the chaos and uncertainty. You don’t have to squint too hard to see how we could have been looking at a headless nuclear state today. Or a nuclear power undergoing a civil war.
And if either of those scenarios had come to pass then the transformation of Russia would be the most important issue in the world for the foreseeable future. Because a transformation of Russia—either into something worse, something better, or internal chaos—would also transform Europe. It would alter calculations in China. It would destabilize the global economy.
Overnight, the future of the Russian state would have become Topic A in America. And when an issue gains sudden salience, it alters political dynamics.
So which candidates would it have helped? And which candidates would it have hurt?