Don Gonyea

In the summer of 1975, Teamsters President James Riddle Hoffa — Jimmy Hoffa — was already a legendary figure in both U.S. labor history and in American pop culture.

As a teenager in Detroit, he took to union organizing early on in the grocery business. He was smart and tough. With an emphasis on tough. A master strategist, he knew how to pick his targets, organize strikes and boycotts, and he rose through the Teamster ranks earning the deep loyalty of truckers and warehouse workers in a city that was becoming an industrial powerhouse.

This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home. We're going to the places presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world.

This post was updated at 6:13 p.m. ET

When tragedies happen, like the shooting in Charleston, they usually find their way into the realm of politics eventually.

This time is no different, as Democrats and Republicans are finding very different ways of talking about what happened in South Carolina. Democrats see race and gun control as issues at the center of it. Republicans, on the other hand, largely point to mental illness and label what happened a tragic but random act.

Jeb Bush is set to announce his candidacy for president Monday. If he wins, he would be the third Bush to be president in the past 25 years. Jeb Bush has said he's his own man. Well, here are five things you should know about him.

1. Jeb Bush is not his real name

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The latest name to make serious noise about a 2016 White House bid is the Republican governor of a state long been considered a key to GOP chances of winning the presidency — Ohio.

Evangelical voters are a major force in Iowa Republican politics. A force that can tip the balance in the state's marquee event: the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.

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Mike Huckabee kicked off his second run for the White House this week in Arkansas, a state where he has deep roots that he shares with another famous politician — Bill Clinton.

Huckabee and Clinton were both governors of the Southern state for more than a decade, and they also both hail from the same hometown — Hope.

When Mike Huckabee ran for president eight years ago, he was a new face on the national scene, a fresh upstart former governor of Arkansas and a one-time Baptist preacher, who quickly became a favorite among evangelical voters.

He had an ease on the campaign trail, an openness with the media, and a quirkiness that made him seem like a breath of fresh air.

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Don't expect labor support to get fired up for candidates who hedge their bets. That was the message from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka for 2016 presidential candidates. Translation: Hillary Clinton.

The list of official and likely candidates for president in 2016 includes some prominent Republicans who are currently governors. Three of them — Scott Walker, Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal — all tout executive experience as qualification for the White House. They also share something else — slumping poll numbers back home.

They've been working to make themselves familiar and friendly faces to the party faithful in early voting states, including at a big event hosted last week by the New Hampshire GOP.

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Baseball fans endure the long winter in part because they know, come March, the game will again come alive. They can't wait for their radio, TV, computer screen or smartphone to come alive with scenes from warm climates featuring men in crisp uniforms pitching and catching.

Major League Baseball's spring training is underway, but at this stage, wins and losses aren't really important. It's all about fundamentals: getting ready for the regular season and hopefully the playoffs.

It's the kind of moment rich with history — a moment to reflect on a searing date in the civil rights struggle, and to do so with the nation's first African-American president taking center stage at the memorial ceremonies. It's a time and place to reflect on where we have been and where we have come as a nation. But also to ponder the future for Barack Obama and whether the discussion of race and inequality will become major themes of his post-presidency, which begins in less than two years.

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This week's Conservative Political Action Conference has drawn a huge crowd of activists and politicos, per usual — but it's also a prime spot for 2016 presidential hopefuls. The GOP's potential candidates — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Gov. Scott Walker, Gov. Bobby Jindal — are rolling on and off the main stage, hoping to fire up the conservative audience. And how well they do with this crowd — an important part of their base — may say a lot about 2016. Here are five things I'll be watching for at CPAC:

The road to the White House begins with voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and in a handful of other states that hold primaries and caucuses early that winnow the field of candidates.

But those aren't the only stops on a would-be president's itinerary these days. There are also, increasingly, early trips outside the U.S. — to a city that's become a major draw for potential candidates: London.

Londoners welcome a chance for a sneak peek at possible presidents who are eager to be seen on the world stage.

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For his first major speech since confirming that he's exploring a presidential run, Jeb Bush chose an interesting location: Detroit.

Speaking to the city's Economic Club, an establishment institution in the Motor City for more than eight decades, he praised the city's emergence from bankruptcy.

There is not a lot of love between the U.S. labor movement and those on the long list of potential 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls. But there is one name among the GOP prospects that labor truly despises — and fears. He is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who weakened unions in his own state and appears ready to make his battles with labor a centerpiece of a bid for the White House.

Take a nearly century-old theater in downtown Des Moines. Fill it to capacity — that's 1,200 audience members and another 200 credentialed media — bring in a lineup that includes almost 10 would-be, might-be, could-be Republican presidential hopefuls, and it's looking like the 2016 campaign is officially underway.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa, a conservative from the northwest corner of the state, is hosting the Iowa Freedom Summit Saturday along with Citizens United.

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The World War II era is about to officially draw to a close in the United States Congress. This comes after seven full decades during which there was always a veteran of that war in the legislative body.

The election is over, right? Republicans gained control of the U.S. Senate and padded their majority in the House.

So the big drama of the campaign may have subsided, but there is still a handful of congressional contests up in the air.

There are runoff elections scheduled. A couple of races that are still too close to call. And at least one official recount coming.

U.S. Senate Races

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