Don Gonyea | WYPR

Don Gonyea

Even the most optimistic Democrats didn't have South Carolina on the list of Republican U.S. Senate seats they seriously thought they could flip at the start of 2020.

But a little more than two weeks out from Election Day, it's within reach.

Democrat Jaime Harrison — a 44-year-old former South Carolina Democratic Party chairman, congressional aide and lobbyist — has risen in the polls and is giving three-term incumbent Sen. Lindsey Graham something to worry about this election.

Ask any Republican strategist about the state of their party in 2020 and you'll get an answer something like this from GOP consultant Antonia Ferrier. "This is Donald Trump's party," she said, "and I don't think that should be much of a surprise."

It's a nondescript, utilitarian room in the bowels of a sports arena. The presidential nomination is on the line. Aides to three candidates still in the contest are haggling with convention staff over who speaks when, will their biographical videos be shown, whose office space is nearest the floor. It's a political junkie's dream. It could be real. But it's not. This is how it played out in a 2012 episode of NBC's prime-time drama The West Wing.

One of a series of reports looking at Joe Biden's potential running mates


Susan Rice has a ready answer when asked about possibly being Joe Biden's pick for vice president.

"Whether I'm his running mate or I'm a door-knocker, I don't mind," Rice said during a recent appearance on NBC's Meet the Press. "I'm going to do everything I can to help get Joe Biden elected and to help him succeed as president."

President Trump is acknowledging that he may have to temper his expectations, adamant at times, that his acceptance speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention should be a big event in front of thousands of people.

"We're very flexible," Trump said when asked during an interview Tuesday with Gray Television whether he may not have as big a gathering next month as he's planned on to celebrate his renomination to lead the GOP presidential ticket.

A loud and longtime complaint of civil rights activists and police reform advocates is that police unions are part of the problem of police brutality. Unions are designed to protect their members, and when it comes to officers charged with wrongdoing or excessive force, that means police unions are too often protecting bad cops and saving their jobs.

Updated at 7:00 p.m. ET

As President Trump attempts to project an image of America rising out of quarantine and beginning to reopen, he traveled on Tuesday to an Arizona factory that's expanded into production of N95 face masks to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

And while the trip was in part meant to tell a positive story about the Trump administration's response, it also highlights the challenges of the moment.

Linda Tripp, the government employee who secretly recorded conversations with Monica Lewinsky in the late 1990s about Lewinsky's affair with President Clinton, has died at age 70.

Tripp's death Wednesday was confirmed by Joseph Murtha, her former attorney. No cause of death was given, but news reports indicated she endured a brief case of pancreatic cancer.

Tripp started working at the White House in the Republican administration of George H.W. Bush and stayed for the early part of the Clinton administration.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading Democratic candidate for president, called for a far more urgent and better coordinated response to the coronavirus pandemic from the White House, in his first remarks of a new effort to reach voters while the campaign is essentially on hold.

Seven events, three states, two days.

Mike Bloomberg has wrapped up a barnstorming trip to capitalize on an unsettled Democratic presidential race.

Polls show the billionaire former New York City mayor gaining traction, as onetime front-runner Joe Biden has struggled after very disappointing finishes in the first two contests.

Bernie Sanders won in New Hampshire, with Pete Buttigieg in second. The two essentially tied in Iowa.

A top national labor leader is touting a new multilateral trade deal, and says his union side much improved the Trump administration's initial proposal.

The comments from Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, came Wednesday, just before the House overwhelmingly approved the pact called the USMCA.

The new deal between the United States, Mexico and Canada, which now heads to the Senate, would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

The current tally of 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls is enough to set a record in any previous primary season. But even with the giant number of candidates, the reality is that the winnowing has already begun.

The field is shrinking — slowly — but what's different this time compared to past campaigns is what's driving candidates to pack it in.

Here's what it's not — voters.

Trump campaign donors are under pressure.

Two high-profile episodes this week could signal a year in which the glare of the campaign usually reserved for candidates pivots to put those who make personal donations to political campaigns in the spotlight.

The first comes courtesy of Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, of San Antonio, who is also the co-chairman of his twin brother Julian Castro's campaign for the Democratic nomination for president.

January 2016. The New Hampshire primary was just weeks away. Donald Trump slid into a booth at the Red Arrow Diner in downtown Manchester and ordered a deep-fried concoction featuring a cheeseburger topped with mac 'n' cheese and smothered with cheesy sauce.

Former Vice President Joe Biden's 2020 presidential candidacy is barely a day old, but it is already ensnared in questions about how the Democratic candidate handled the 1991 sexual harassment accusations by law professor Anita Hill against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.

Biden appeared on ABC's The View Friday morning and told the show's five female co-hosts: "I'm sorry for the way she got treated." But then he added that people should go back and look at what he said during those hearings, asserting, "I don't think I treated her badly."

It was a frigid 15 degrees on the picket line along the railroad tracks in Wilmerding, Pa. More than 100 union members and activists chanted slogans of solidarity and in favor of a fair contract with Wabtec Corporation — a company that builds freight train locomotives. It turned out to be the final hours of a nine-day walkout by 1,700 workers.

It wasn't the biggest city in the mix. Or the most diverse. Or the flashiest. But in the end, the winner is — Milwaukee!

Democrats have chosen the city on Lake Michigan as the site of their nominating convention to be held in the summer of 2020. It beats out two other finalists — Houston and Miami. Each of those towns had much to entice the DNC: plenty of hotel rooms, major arenas, event space, experience with major conventions. Each also has a large Latino population — voters Democrats need as a major element of any winning coalition in the next presidential election.

Here's something Democrats thought they knew during the last presidential campaign: Wisconsin was safe. It was a lock for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. But when the votes were counted, it was a stunning upset for Republican Donald Trump.

In 2020, Democrats apparently aren't taking the state for granted.

Even though the first nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire are some 11 months away, and with Wisconsin's primary not until April 7 of next year, the campaign stops have already begun.

It took three full weeks — 21 days — for President Bill Clinton and the Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to settle an impasse that partially shut down the government in 1995-96.

That particular moment is a landmark in U.S. political history, birthing a new era of American gridlock that arguably led to the sharp partisanship that has gripped the nation — and delivered a new record for a partial government shutdown, marking Day 22 on Saturday.

Music was an integral part of life in the home of country music stars Johnny Cash and June Carter — as was Southern cooking.

If you missed the news on Monday, former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were spotted dining out at a Washington D.C. cafe, rekindling their Oval Office "bromance" over sandwiches and fennel salad.

But there's also word of another meeting between the two former running mates, in which they team up to [checks notes] solve a murder.

Certain rituals have grown up around the use of the presidential pardon.

The most common is a lengthy review by the Justice Department on the merits of any such petition for a pardon.

But for President Trump, the pardon seems to have become the ultimate symbol of presidential power — the ability to use this exclusive authority as an act of benevolent largess and as the ultimate political perk.

Don Blankenship is an unlikely hero to the working class.

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Jesse Ball's latest book Census is about a man — a widower — who learns he doesn't have long to live. So he takes one last trip with his adult son, who has Down syndrome. The father signs up as a census taker for the government, and he and his son head north.

"I suppose the profession is arbitrary," Ball says. "It's more of a model for the way we as a culture look at the world."

Add Planned Parenthood to the list of organizations looking to take advantage of President Trump's low approval ratings in the 2018 midterm elections.

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