Playing Politics | Star Tribune
Playing Politics

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 John Williams 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 64: 'Playing Politics' podcast: Legislative session goes up to – and over – the last minute

Some lawmakers huddled under blankets at 6:33 a.m. as the special session 7:00 a.m. adjournment time came closer.

Despite a budget surplus and a special session, lawmakers have not yet reached agreement on key budget bills. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.


Episode 63: 'Playing Politics' podcast: Turmoil at home as Trump heads abroad

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., on March 24, 2017. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Continuing controversy regarding Russia and the FBI engulfs Washington as the president gets set for his first major diplomatic trip. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.


Episode 62: 'Playing Politics' podcast: FBI firing rocks Washington

FILE -- FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, in Washington, May 3, 2017. President Donald Trump fired Comey on May 9. (Gabriella Demczuk/The New York Times)

President Trump's dismissal of FBI Director James Comey ramps up the Russia issue. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Jill Burcum.


Episode 61: 'Playing Politics' podcast: Legislature stalled over transit, other issue roadblocks

Gov. Mark Dayton talked at a news conference in October.

The GOP-led House and Senate differ sharply from DFL Gov. Mark Dayton as time slips away on the 2017 session. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.


Episode 60: 'Playing Politics' podcast: 100 days of upheaval

President Donald Trump poses for a photograph Friday along the West Wing Colonnade at the White House after an interview with the Associated Press.

Has there been more political than policy change during the president's first few months? Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D. J. Tice.


Episode 59: 'Playing Politics' podcast: Special election in Georgia turns into Trump referendum

In a Monday, March 27, 2017 photo, Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff is seen with supporters outside of the East Roswell Branch Library in Roswell, Ga., on the first day of early voting. President Donald Trump is attacking Ossoff, the leading Democratic candidate for a special election in a typically conservative Georgia congressional district, with Republicans bidding to avoid a major upset. On Twitter, Trump said Monday April 17, 2017, that "The super Liberal Democrat in the Georgia Congressional race tomorrow wants to protect criminals, allow illegal immigration and raise taxes!" (AP Photo/Alex Sanz)

An Atlanta-area House race reflects a national split on the president's performance. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.


Episode 58: 'Playing Politics' podcast: Deep divisions at the State Capitol

The Minnesota State Capitol gets ready for the 2017 legislative session January 3 after years of renovation and a $300 million makeover. ] GLEN STUBBE * gstubbe@startribune.com Wednesday, December 28, 2016 The Minnesota State Capitol gets ready for the 2017 legislative session January 3 after years of renovation and a $300 million makeover. ORG XMIT: MIN1612281544187822

A projected budget surplus hasn't yet bought political compromise between Gov. Dayton and the Republican House and Senate. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.


Episode 57: 'Playing Politics' podcast: Gorsuch vote is Washington's next flashpoint

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch takes his seat as he arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 20, 2017, for his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The impending vote on President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, the president's rollback of Obama-era environmental measures and ongoing fallout on the failure of the House healthcare bill are among the issues discussed on this week's "Playing Politics" podcast with WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.


Episode 56: 'Playing Politics' podcast: Another wild week in Washington

FBI Director James Comey, left, and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers, testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 20, 2017, before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The capitol roiled from hearings on the Russian meddling in the U.S. election, the healthcare debate, and a Supreme Court nomination. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.


Episode 55: 'Playing Politics' podcast: Trump's taxes (and Maddow's reporting) in spotlight

President Donald Trump gives a 'thumbs-up' as he walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, before boarding Marine One for the short flight to nearby Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump is traveling to Michigan and Tennessee and returning to Washington later this evening. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

A busy news week in Washington and St. Paul includes more questions than answers regarding the president's tax returns. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash.


Episode 54: 'Playing Politics' podcast: GOP resistance over Obamacare replacement

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee Headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 8, 2017, as the GOP works on its long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Democratic opposition to the House plan was expected, but Republicans pose the most significant hurdle. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J.Tice.


Episode 53: 'Playing Politics' podcast: Hard work ahead after Trump speech, state budget forecast

President Donald Trump arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, for his address to a joint session of Congress. At right is Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image via AP)

Congress and the Minnesota Legislature must focus on governing after president's address and an update on state revenues. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Jordana Green and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.


Episode 52: 'Playing Politics' podcast: Keith Ellison and the future of the Democratic National Committee

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Juli·n Castro, center, tours the Minneapolis Promise Zone with north Minneapolis with U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges on Thursday, August 6, 2015. ] LEILA NAVIDI leila.navidi@startribune.com / BACKGROUND INFORMATION: In April, HUD announced the expansion of the Promise Zones Initiative to eight additional cities from across the country, including Minneapolis, MN. ORG XMIT: MIN1508061731220018

This weekend's election for DNC chair will signal a direction for the Democrats in the Trump era. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.


Episode 51: 'Playing Politics' podcast: Flynn's resignation and the Russian question

President Donald Trump passes National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as he arrives via Air Force One at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., Monday, Feb. 6, 2017. Trump stopped for a visit to the headquarters for U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command before returning to Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) ORG XMIT: MIN2017021412503022

Scrutiny intensifies after reports of Trump campaign contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.


Episode 50: 'Playing Politics' podcast: Suite use prompts capitol grilling

Ted Mondale and Michele Kelm-Helgen responded after Minnesota Legislative Auditor James Nobles delivered his report to the committee.

A report from the legislative auditor found the use of luxury suites at U.S. Bank Stadium to be unethical. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.


Episode 49: 'Playing Politics' podcast: Consequential confirmation votes ahead

President Donald Trump applauds as he stands with Judge Neil Gorsuch in East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, after announcing Gorsuch as his nominee for the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) ORG XMIT: MIN2017020111220820

Senate showdowns still await some of President Trump's cabinet nominees and his Supreme Court selection. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.


Episode 48: 'Playing Politics' podcast: Dayton, health care in Capitol spotlight

Gov. Mark Dayton's cancer diagnosis comes amid debate over state priorities. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.


Episode 47: 'Playing Politics' podcast: An unprecedented presidency begins

President-elect Donald Trump boards an evaluator after meeting with Martin Luther King III at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, Jan. 16, 2017. President-elect Donald Trump met with King to discuss the legacy of his father, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and observe the holiday of the civil rights icon. (Hilary Swift/The New York Times)

What does the turbulent transition presage for President-elect Trump? Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and D.J. Tice.


Episode 46: 'Playing Politics' podcast: Trump meets the press

President-elect Donald J. Trump prepares to take more questions from reporters after his lawyer, Sheri Dillon, spoke about his business operations, at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York, Jan. 11, 2017. The event is his first formal news conference since July. (Damon Winter/The New York Times)

The president-elect held his first news conference since July. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Patricia Lopez.


Episode 45: 'Playing Politics' podcast: A new session at a refurbished capitol

Dan Stewart and Par Kamrath of JE Dunn dusted on the third floor just before the stsrt of session. Parts of the Capitol are still under construction.

Political focus shifts to St. Paul as the 2017 legislative session commences. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's John Williams and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's John Rash and Lori Sturdevant.