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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 202
October 7
President Donald Trump removes his mask as he stands on the Truman Balcony upon returning to the White House Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, after testing posit

Listen: The COVID campaign

President Donald Trump's coronavirus diagnosis keeps the pandemic central to the election. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
EPISODE 201
September 23
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg clapped after listening to students sing opera Oct. 3, 2019, at Amherst College in Amherst, Mass.

Listen: Court fight convulses Congress, campaign

The debate over approving a Supreme Court justice impacts the 2020 election. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 200
September 17
President Donald Trump talks with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos before a town hall at National Constitution Center, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, i

Listen: Trump's night with undecided voters

The president took questions in prime time as the national election looms. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Jordana Green and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
EPISODE 199
September 10
President Donald Trump at a news conference Aug. 31 at the White House. “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed,” Trump told auth

Listen: Woodward book's bombshells

How will the the revelations about the president's handling of the pandemic play out in the campaign? Listen to the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
EPISODE 198
August 26
President Donald Trump arrives to address the Republican National Convention, in Charlotte, N.C., Monday afternoon, Aug. 24, 2020. Six months after Tr

Listen: The Republican National Convention

The virtual gathering is energizing the GOP base. But can it expand it? Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 197
August 19
In this combination image from video, former first lady Michelle Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and former Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich speak

Listen: The real consequences of a virtual conventions

Online-only nominating gatherings will still impact the presidential election. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
EPISODE 196
August 12
FILE - In this March 9, 2020, file photo, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate former Vice P

Listen: The Harris effect

How will the selection of Joe Biden's running mate impact the race? Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 195
August 5
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey addresses protesters at a Defund the Police march to protest the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died in police

Listen: Walz, Frey spar over National Guard deployment

Differing accounts reveal a fissure between the Minnesota governor and Minneapolis mayor. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
EPISODE 194
July 29
Attorney General William Barr listens during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the oversight of the Department of Justice on Capitol Hill, Tuesda

Listen: Hearings, but is anyone listening?

The appearance of Attorney General William Barr before Congress seemed to create more heat than light. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
EPISODE 193
July 22
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz walks after providing an update on the state's plan to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities Tuesday, J

Listen: Minnesota's mask mandate

Gov. Tim Walz's move comes after several states and multiple Minnesota cities had acted to require masks. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Jason DeRusha and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 192
July 15
Children arrive for classes at Forest View Elementary where social distancing is enforced.] Kids are back to school! Sort of. In what could be a previ

Listen: Schools loom as next big decision

The pandemic's impact on K-12 education is the just the latest issue facing state and local leaders. Hear the "Playing Politics" podcast analysis from WCCO Radio's Jason DeRusha and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
EPISODE 191
July 8
President Donald Trump listens during a "National Dialogue on Safely Reopening America's Schools," event in the East Room of the White House, Tuesday,

Listen: Pandemic, police and politics

In Washington and St. Paul, response to the crises split along intensifying partisan lines. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
EPISODE 190
June 17
U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and John Bolton, right, national security adviser, attend a briefing from Senior Military Leadership in the Cabinet

Listen: Bolton bombshells emerge

The highly anticipated book by the former adviser to President Donald Trump is set to soon be released. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 189
June 10
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, standing a distance from police Chief Medaria Arradondo, watched as the chief outlined how the city will enforce the new

Listen: Protests roil locally, and nationally

Response to the killing of George Floyd impacts politics in Minneapolis and the U.S. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
EPISODE 188
June 3
Samaya Bunbuenano, 12, held her little brother Dayton Majors, 11, in front of a large mural of George Floyd on Wednesday at Cup Foods in Minneapolis.

Listen: Ellison ups charges in George Floyd case

Minnesota's attorney general announced the move as nationwide protests continue. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
EPISODE 187
May 27
George Floyd Credit: Facebook

Listen: Frey, his city and nation call for justice

The Minneapolis mayor calls for the arrest of the officer involved in the killing of George Floyd. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 186
May 20
Tim Walz at the State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn., on December 18, 2018. ] RENEE JONES SCHNEIDER ¥ renee.jones@startribune.com

Listen: As Walz turns the dial, critics turn up the heat

A gradual adjustment of rules on restaurants and other entities by Minnesota's governor comes amid a growing debate on the pace of pandemic-rules easing. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
EPISODE 185
May 13
Governor Tim Walz speaks during a news conference Tuesday, May 5, 2020 with MMB Commissioner Myron Frans to discuss the State of Minnesota’s budget

Listen: Walz faces most consequential call yet

Minnesota's governor weighs whether, and how much, to "turn the dial" on the state's pandemic response. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
EPISODE 184
May 6
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz put his mask back on at the conclusion of a news conference Tuesday.

Listen: Rising deficit, COVID-19 deaths shake state

Minnesota faces extraordinary challenges from the coronavirus pandemic. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 183
April 29
Vice President Mike Pence visits the molecular testing lab at Mayo Clinic Tuesday, April 28, 2020, in Rochester, Minn., where he toured the facilities

Listen: Mike Pence, unmasked at Mayo

The vice president's visit to the Mayo Clinic stirred controversy. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
EPISODE 182
April 22
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz provides an update on the state's response to COVID-19 during a news conference on Monday, April 20, 2020 in St. Paul, Minn. A

Listen: Pandemic protest and process

Demonstrations against stay-at-home orders come amid Gov. Tim Walz's announcement of dramatically expanded testing. 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 181
April 15
A sign put up by the Brooklyn Center Police Department reminded motorists of Gov. Tim Walz's stay-at-home order.

Listen: Growing partisan divisions on pandemic response

Republican pushback in Minnesota and throughout the country reflects a widening divide on mitigation strategy. Hear the "Playing Politics" podcast with WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 180
April 8
FILE -- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, during a campaign rally in Boston, Feb. 29, 2020. No legi

Listen: Bernie Sanders leaves the race — and a legacy

The Vermont senator didn't get the Democratic presidential nomination, but helped frame the debate. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 179
April 1
President Donald Trump has been reluctant so far to use his bully pulpit to urge governors to issue orders that would help effectively create a nation

Listen: The press, the president, and the pandemic

How should the news media cover the COVID-19 briefings at the White House? 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 178
March 25
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference against a backdrop of medical supplies at the Jacob Javits Center that will house a tempora

Listen: Mixed signals on pandemic

Federal and state responses vary widely as governors and President Donald Trump approach COVID-19 differently. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.