Episode 126: Primaries, Presidents and Punchlines

What are the odds that Ken Rudin would be off recovering from a bad case of the flu, the same week that this long, arduous Republican primary came to a sudden end? Or, for that matter, that Donald Trump would hold out among a crowded field of qualified candidates to become the presumptive GOP nominee? We put the show in the capable hands of Neal Conan this week to find out.

With Trump’s sweeping victory in Indiana on Tuesday, Ted Cruz and John Kasich saw the writing on the wall and suspended their campaigns. Now Trump appears to have a clear path to the nomination. Brian Howey, the publisher of a non-partisan website covering Indiana politics, talks about how Cruz’s attempt to make Indiana the linchpin to his campaign fell short, and how on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders defied the polls and beat Hillary Clinton.

The presidential race may have been dominated by insurgents, but as Jennifer Duffy of The Cook Political Report tells us, the down-ballot House and Senate races have largely favored the establishment candidates.

Our “this week in political history” feature goes back to 2011 when President Obama announced that a raid in Pakistan had successfully killed Osama bin Laden. Mark Bowden, author of The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden, discusses the circumstances that led up to that daring operation, and its impact on Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

And David Litt, a former White House speechwriter, tells us what’s it like to write jokes for the commander-in-chief and how to master the art of political comedy.

Photo via Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

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