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Playing Politics

Listening to the "Playing Politics" podcast from the Star Tribune and WCCO Radio is like taking a seat at the Editorial Board table and hearing an informed and opinionated weekly discussion of all things political in Minnesota and the nation. "Playing Politics" features WCCO’s Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune’s John Rash in addition to editorial writer Patricia Lopez and columnists Lori Sturdevant and D.J. Tice – award-winning journalists who bring varied perspectives to the issues of the day.

EPISODE 143
April 10, 2019
President Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, before boarding Marine One helicopter, Wednesday, A

Listen: White House wrestles with border issue

President Donald Trump searches for solutions to the growing humanitarian challenge on the U.S.-Mexico border. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 142
March 20, 2019
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa), center, speaks to the press following the Budget and Economic Forecast with other members of the House

Listen: A slow-going legislative session

Minnesota's DFL governor and GOP-led Senate are once again sliding into stalemate. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 141
March 14, 2019
In this photo dated November 12, 2018, the actual Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 - Max 8 plane, that crashed Sunday March 10, 2019, shortly after take-

Listen: The politics of grounding planes

President Donald Trump announces an immediate grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 140
March 6, 2019
Rep. Ilhan Omar spoke to attendees of a Minneapolis immigration round table discussion in January.

Listen: Omar controversy continues

The Fifth District Democrat may be implicitly rebuked by her congressional colleagues. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 139
February 28, 2019
Michael Cohen, former attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, is sworn in before testifying before the House Oversight and Reform Committee in the R

Listen: Cohen questioning reflects nation's partisan split

The president's former lawyer's testimony rivets the nation. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Jason DeRusha and the Star Tribune's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 138
February 20, 2019
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz proposed a state budget that would raise gas and vehicle taxes and spend more money on priorities he touted as a candidate.

Listen: Walz budget, Mueller investigation

The Minnesota governor's call for a gas tax to fund roads and bridges might mean legislative gridlock. Plus, news from Washington. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 137
February 13, 2019
Omar: “We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identi

Listen: National spotlight on Omar, Klobuchar

Minnesota representative's tweets and senior senator's presidential bid reverberate. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 136
February 6, 2019
President Donald Trump gives his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 at the Capitol in Washington, as Vic

Listen: Elusive unity

Congress, president still seem at odds after the State of the Union address. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 135
January 30, 2019
From left: FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel and National Intelligence Director Dan Coats testify at a hearing with the Senate I

Listen: Trump takes on intelligence officials

The president's worldview diverges sharply with the annual threat assessment. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 134
January 23, 2019
The dome of the U.S. Capitol at sunset in Washington, Jan. 22, 2019. Senate Republicans and Democrats on Tuesday offered the first glimmers of a poten

Listen: Shutdown impact intensifies

Washington's ongoing gridlock is having widespread political and governance ramifications. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 133
January 15, 2019
FILE - In this July 7, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit in Hamburg. Putin is more

Listen: Russia intrigue intensifies

Back-to-back stories from the New York Times and Washington Post bring more scrutiny to President Donald Trump. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 132
January 10, 2019
President Donald Trump spoke Tuesday night from the Oval Office about border security.

Listen: Washington stalemate

Primetime addresses by President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders fail to end the partial shutdown of the federal government. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 131
January 2, 2019
President Donald Trump listens during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in Washington.

Listen: Shutdown showdown

The standoff between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats reflects a changing political dynamic in Washington. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 130
December 19, 2018
In this photo taken Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, Turkish and U.S. troops conduct joint patrols around the Syrian town of Manbij, as part of an agreement th

Listen: Trump's withdrawal from Syria

Allied, congressional concern is voiced over the implications of the president's plan. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 126
November 15, 2018
U.S President Donald Trump, second left, watches French President Emmanuel Macron putting his hand on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's knee during ce

Listen: Post-midterm malaise hits White House

President Donald Trump faces controversy regarding his trip to France, tweets on California, and other issues. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D. J. Tice.
EPISODE 125
November 7, 2018
DFL gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz was congratulated by supporters as he was led through the kitchen to give a victory speech after his win.

Listen: Election reveals deepening divides

The DFL sweep reflects an amplifying of the metro-rural split in Minnesota. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 124
October 31, 2018
FILE - In this March 23, 2016 photo, the Constitution is held by a member of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump says he wa

Listen: Trump challenges birthright citizenship

The president continues his campaign focus on the immigration issue. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis with WCCO Radio's Jason DeRusha and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 123
October 25, 2018
A member of the FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction team works outside the Time Warner Center, in New York, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. A police bomb squad

Listen: Pipe bombs reflect overheated political environment

Explosive devices were sent to former President Obama, Hillary Clinton, CNN and others. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 122
October 18, 2018
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. Pompeo met with

Listen: Khashoggi case becomes foreign policy crisis

The disappearance and apparent murder of a Saudi journalist has international and domestic political implications. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 121
October 10, 2018
Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson (left), republican, along with Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Congressman Tim Walz, DFL, participated in

Listen: Walz-Johnson race heats up

A sharper contrast in priorities, and style, emerges in the campaign for Minnesota governor. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D. J. Tice.
EPISODE 120
October 3, 2018
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison on June 17, 2018, in Minneapolis. (Craig Lassig/Zuma Press/TNS)

Listen: Ellison allegations cloud campaign(s)

Accusations from a former girlfriend of the DFL-endorsed candidate for attorney general are impacting other elections, too. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 119
September 26, 2018
FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Commit

Listen: Kavanaugh nomination headed for a Senate showdown

The Supreme Court nominee faces new accusations prior to Thursday's testimony. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 118
September 12, 2018
President Donald Trump participates in the September 11th Flight 93 Memorial Service, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, in Shanksville, Pa. Trump is marking 17

Listen: Anonymous Op-Ed dominates week in Washington

A commentary from a "senior official" is the latest challenge for the Trump administration. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 117
September 5, 2018
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, center, joined by from left, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen.

Listen: Kavanaugh hearings split Senate and maybe the nation

Highly charged confirmation proceedings reflect America's deep divisions. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.
EPISODE 116
August 22, 2018
President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, leaves New York Federal Court after making a plea deal on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018. Co

Listen: Manafort conviction, Cohen plea put pressure on Trump

The president's former lawyer directly implicates him on payoffs. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.