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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 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 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.
EPISODE 177
March 18
President Donald Trump has sent lawmakers a $46 billion emergency funding request to help the government fight the coronavirus and to reverse cuts pro

Listen: Pandemic response

The coronavirus crisis affects governance in Washington, St. Paul and beyond. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Jill Burcum.
EPISODE 176
March 4
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a primary election night rally Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in Los Angeles.

Listen: Biden's big breakthrough

The former vice president advanced his chances at the top job after a strong Super Tuesday showing. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 175
February 26
Bernie Sanders, center, was a frequent target of his Democratic presidential rivals at Tuesday night's debate in Charleston, S.C.

Listen: Democrats debate (and shout)

The clash between candidates in South Carolina could be consequential for its primary — and beyond. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 174
February 19
Democratic presidential candidate, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at the ?U.S. Conference of Mayors' Winter Meeting, Wednesday, J

Listen: The Bloomberg factor

The former New York mayor rises in the polls as he joins the Democratic 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 173
February 12
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks at her election night party, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/

Listen: The 'Playing Politics' podcast on the New Hampshire results

The election's first primary scrambled the 2020 race. 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 172
February 5
In this image from video, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, speaks on the Senate floor about the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump at the U.S.

Listen: Impeachment, Iowa and the State of the Union

Even by recent Washington standards, it's been an extraordinary week of news. 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 171
January 29
In this image from video, presiding officer Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts reads the first question from the majority during the impe

Listen: Impeachment questions

The U.S. Senate begins the question phase of the impeachment trial, while the big question of witnesses looms. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Adam Carter and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 170
January 22
In this image from video, impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks during the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Se

Listen: Impeachment strategies emerge

A sharp partisan divide marked the opening of the U.S. Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. 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 169
January 16
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with impeachment managers Reps. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, and Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

Listen: Impeachment (and Iowa)

Democrats debate as the Republican-led Senate takes up articles of impeachment. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.
EPISODE 168
January 8
A supporter of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah wears the words "powerful revenge" on her hand, ahead of the leader's televised speech in a so

Listen: Iran crisis cools – for now

A relatively restrained response from Tehran signaled that escalation wasn't immediate. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
EPISODE 167
December 18, 2019
Day breaks at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday morning, Dec. 18, 2019. The House of Representatives convened on Wednesday to debate whether to i

Listen: Impeachment

The House's historic vote on impeachment will have a decidedly different reception in the Senate. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's John Rash and D.J. Tice.
EPISODE 166
December 12, 2019
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., joined from left by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., House Financial Services C

Listen: Impeachment strategies

Republicans and Democrats plan their next steps on impeachment. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.