Episode #288: Dems’ Family Feud

The Democratic candidates took the debate stage in Detroit this week. We discuss how Tuesday’s debate exposed the ideological split in the party, while Wednesday’s debate saw more personal attacks on fellow Democrats. Plus, we get a scorecard of the candidates vying to become Mississippi’s next governor. And we replay a 2017 interview with George Mitrovich, a beloved civic leader and political maven from San Diego, who died recently.

Episode #287: An Unimpeachable Hearing

Robert Mueller’s long-awaited congressional testimony satisfied few, and the partisanship was as bad as ever. We discuss what, if anything, changes politically. Plus, a look at the Democratic Party’s effort to unseat Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2020, and New York Times journalist Carl Hulse discusses his new book on how McConnell and his Senate majority have taken complete control over the judiciary confirmation process.

Episode #286: A Tweet Too Far?

President Trump’s incendiary tweets about four female members of Congress were condemned by the House, but where was the outrage from Republicans? Plus, we reflect on the legacy of Ross Perot and his remarkable independent presidential campaign. And we look back at how a tragic car crash on Chappaquiddick Island 50 years ago derailed the political career of Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Episode #285: The Senate 2020, The President 1850

This week, we break down the key Senate races up in 2020. Plus, journalist Carl Cannon talks about his book, On This Date, recounting moments from political history. And we discuss the legacies of several former presidents of long ago: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Zachary Taylor, and Millard Fillmore.

Episode #284: Independents Day

We celebrate Independence Day by looking back at the significant independent presidential candidates of the past half century. Plus, we hear from a variety of political analysts and veteran politicians, and our listeners, on what being a political junkie means to them.

Episode #283a: Dems the Word in Miami

Democratic Debate lineup buttons

Round 1 of the Democratic debates is over. In this bonus episode, NPR’s Ron Elving joins Ken to recap how each of the candidates performed.

Episode #283: The Way We Were

The first Democratic candidate debates are this week, and we discuss what to look for as the candidates face off. Plus, does it matter that Joe Biden made nice with a Senate segregationist 40 years ago? And a GOP strategist offers his two cents on the Democratic field.

Episode #282: The Roaring Twenty

We’re days away from the first Democratic debate of the 2020 campaign. Now that we know the lineup for each night, what should we expect? Plus, we discuss the possibility of West Virginia’s Joe Manchin leaving the Senate, and of departing White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders mulling a future run for governor of Arkansas. And we go back 20 years to remember Al Gore’s 2000 campaign for president.

Episode #281: You Can Run, But You Can’t Hyde

There are two weeks to go until the first Democratic debate, and about eight months until the Iowa caucuses. We look at the current state of the presidential race in Iowa. Plus, as the fights over abortion rights intensify, we explore why Joe Biden changed his position on the Hyde Amendment. And four years after Donald Trump descended that escalator and announced his run for president, we look back at why political analysts underestimated his campaign from the very beginning.

Episode #280: California, Here They Come (Mostly)

Fourteen candidates showed up last weekend at the California Democratic convention. We discuss who received a less-than-warm welcome, and how much attention went to Joe Biden, who skipped the event. Plus, an early preview of the race to take on Alabama Sen. Doug Jones. And former Rep. David Dreier talks about the influence his friend President Ronald Reagan had on his career.

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