The election of 2008 shattered political barriers; illuminated undercurrents of race, gender, and class; and ignited an extraordinary battle among some of the most formidable rivals ever to seek the presidency: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John McCain. It was an election that played out against a backdrop of war, economic collapse, and deep pessimism about the future.
"The best of the genre"
Four years ago, a bright young presidential candidate named Barack Obama campaigned on a theme of hope and change, and made history. Today, he finds himself in another bitter, divisive presidential race but without the buzzwords. Instead, an embattled president struggles with a dysfunctionally divided Congress, a controversial healthcare bill, a decade-long war, and a stagnant economy.
"Fascinating. Couldn't stop listening."
Trump ignored transition planners during the campaign, then did things his way after he won. The administration is still playing catch up.
"Charting Trump's Rise in the Decline of the Middle Class" is from the Politics and Power section of The Washington Post. It was written by Dan Balz and narrated by Jill Melancon.
"Pope Francis at Congress: a Spiritual Leader’s Advice to Politicians" is from the September 25, 2015 Politics and Power section of The Washington Post. It was written by Dan Balz and narrated by Sam Scholl.
Tonight on the program, an update on the 2016 presidential election with Dan Balz, chief correspondent at the Washington Post.
Next, a discussion about President Obama's final trip to Asia before leaving office with Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group.
We continue with Steve Schwarzman, C.E.O. of Blackstone and founder of the international Schwarzman Scholarship, along with three inaugural scholars.
We conclude with Mike Allen of Politico.
Thursday was supposed to be a glorious anniversary for President Trump and the Republicans. Seven years after President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, Republicans were poised to take the first concrete step toward repealing and replacing that law. Instead, Thursday produced an embarrassing setback that left the way forward far from certain.
"A Postponed Health-Care Vote, a Big GOP Embarrassment and No Good Options Ahead" is from the March 23, 2017 Politics section of The Washington Post. It was written by Dan Balz and narrated by Jenny Hoops.
The Gallup organization regularly publishes reports on the partisan leanings of the states, a series of snapshots of the ebb and flow of political self-identifications across the country. The most recent compilation provides one more piece of evidence of the degree to which Americans have moved away from the Democratic Party since former president Barack Obama was first elected.
"Democrats Have No Quick Fixes in Their Bid to Regain Ground Lost" is from the February 04, 2017 Politics section of The Washington Post. It was written by Dan Balz and narrated by Jill Melancon.
The most important relationship in the White House should be the one between President Trump and Vice President Pence. By the accounts of those around the two leaders, that bond is extremely strong. Which makes it even more inexplicable that Pence was kept in the dark during what became one of the biggest headaches to hit the new administration.
"Will Pence’s Loyalty to Trump Be Returned in Full by the President?" is from the February 18, 2017 Politics section of The Washington Post. It was written by Dan Balz and narrated by Jill Melancon.
That is the imagined ideal of Inauguration Day, a time of coming together in the spirit of national unity. It is a theme that President-elect Donald Trump sounded shortly after accepting a concessionary phone call from Hillary Clinton on the night he won the presidency — “Now it is the time for America to bind the wounds of divisions,” he said. — and likely a sentiment he will express again when he takes the oath on Friday.
"Trump Is Right. He Didn’t Create the Country’s Divisions. But Will He Heal Them?" is from the January 19, 2017 Politics section of The Washington Post. It was written by Dan Balz and narrated by Sam Scholl.
Democrats continue to digest last month’s election results and probably will do so for months to come. The devastation of losing a presidential contest most Democrats thought they would win has been compounded by the decimation of the party at all levels that has occurred since President Obama was first elected.
Less than two weeks into the presidency of Donald Trump, the center ground, to the extent it still existed, has collapsed. Trump’s presidency has done more than polarize the country; it has established terms of battle likely to persist indefinitely.
"The Trump Effect Is in Full Flower, and No One Is Immune" is from the January 31, 2017 Politics section of The Washington Post. It was written by Dan Balz and narrated by Sam Scholl.
Some favored Mitt Romney, who had trashed Trump during the campaign. Many wanted the ultimate loyalist, Rudolph W. Giuliani. Others preferred Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) or retired Gen. David Petraeus. Trump, who hated being pressured when making important decisions, insisted that he needed more time. He seemed to have misgivings about all of them.
There is no benign explanation for President Trump’s false assertion that millions of people voted illegally in the last election. It is either a deliberate attempt to undermine faith in the democratic process, an exhortation to those who favor new restrictions on access to the ballot box or the worrisome trait of someone with immense power willing to make wild statements without any credible evidence.
A look at President Trump's second week in office with Dan Balz of the Washington Post.
We conclude with Lisa Monaco, former counter-terrorism adviser to President Obama.
FARMVILLE, Va. — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton weren’t on the stage at the vice-presidential debate here Tuesday night, but it didn’t really matter. They were still front and center.
In perhaps the most piercing insult, Trump said his party is harder to deal with than even Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, whom conservatives loathe.
Donald Trump has one week to prepare for his next debate with Hillary Clinton. It is a critical event for him. Yet everything he’s done before and after the first debate sends a loud, clear message: He seems to think debate prep is for chumps. A candidate charged with lacking discipline just spent the week providing evidence for the prosecution.
"The first will be to respond to and explain what has been learned from the hacking of campaign chairman John Podesta’s email account and other recent revelations. The second and perhaps even more important task will be to make a strong, affirmative and compelling case for a possible Clinton presidency."
Two speeches. Two Americas. A pair of apocalyptic arguments and one call to burn down the house. That’s the summation from just two remarkable hours Thursday that crystallized the final month of Campaign 2016.