Sam Sanders

Sam has worked at Vermont Public Radio since October 1978 in various capacities â

The White House Correspondent's Dinner-industrial complex has grown exponentially over time. Besides the dinner itself, the most high-profile annual social event in Washington, D.C., there are days of "nerd prom" events planned throughout the District — before and after the main event.

All the ramp-up parties hosted the week of, by the likes of Tinder and Google. The brunches on Saturday. The pre-parties on Saturday evening. The watch parties for those who can't get in. The after parties Saturday night all around the city. The day-after "hangover brunches" on Sunday.

Two Black Lives Matter protesters took to the stage last August during a Bernie Sanders campaign rally in Seattle. As they moved closer and closer to Sanders' podium and mic, at times raising their fists to the crowd, Mara Jacqueline Willaford told Sanders to yield the mic to a fellow protester.

"If you do not listen to her," Willaford said to Sanders, "your event will be shut down right now."

On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced that former slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman would grace a new version of the $20 bill. The news came after a prolonged effort to get women's faces on U.S. currency, with Tubman's name mentioned for several months. On the surface, the Tubman 20 announcement could be seen as an overwhelmingly acceptable development. A feel good story. A chance to celebrate.

During an exchange over how high to raise the minimum wage in Thursday night's Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders began to shout over each other, hands raised, fingers pointed, both seeming to get a bit red in the face, while the audience cheered and booed in equal parts.

It was quite a scene. As NPR's Ron Elving put it, "Both Sanders and Clinton showed flashes of animosity bordering on contempt."

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president, the first of Sanders' fellow members of the U.S. Senate to do so.

In a New York Times op-ed, Merkley wrote that Sanders is "boldly and fiercely addressing the biggest challenges facing our country." Merkley praised the Vermont senator for opposition to international trade deals, his push for renewable energy, his calls to crack down on big banks, and his fight to address campaign finance laws.

The things they do for love.

Politicians will eat almost any food, adopt any colloquialism, endure any level of awkward — just to seem "authentic."

The latest example? Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, riding the New York subway through the Bronx, saying hi to babies and taking selfies along the way.

Depending on your point of view, the event — and it was an event — could be viewed as either a shining testament to Clinton's New York bona fides, or just the latest example of how out of touch she is.

Here's how it all happened.

This post has been updated at 10 a.m. ET, April 8

In a prolonged exchange Thursday afternoon, former President Bill Clinton forcefully defended his 1994 crime bill to Black Lives Matter protesters in the crowd at a Hillary Clinton campaign event.

He said the bill lowered the country's crime rate, which benefited African-Americans, achieved bipartisan support, and diversified the police force. He then addressed a protester's sign, saying:

President Obama delivered a stern rebuke to the media, for their role in the 2016 campaign and, as he sees it, not holding candidates accountable for "unworkable plans."

On Sunday, after Bernie Sanders' commanding wins in the Alaska, Hawaii and Washington state Democratic presidential caucuses, Leslie Lee III, an American freelance writer living in Japan, tweeted, "I knew it. I knew if Bernie won Hawaii it would magically become a white state."

And then he tweeted again: "Ever since I voted for Bernie, I've been bingewatching Friends. #BernieMadeMeWhite."

Lee said he wrote that to contradict a narrative he sees playing out in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Shortly after this week's terror attacks in Brussels, American politicians and elected officials of all stripes issued statements and made comments. Many said they stand in solidarity with Belgium, that the country was in their thoughts and prayers. President Obama said America would do all it could to help bring the perpetrators to justice.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz for president. The news is the latest indication that the Republican Party establishment might finally view Cruz as a viable alternative to Donald Trump

How many Donald Trump jokes can be made in one night? Let the Gridiron Club count the ways.

The D.C. journalism and political establishments gathered on Saturday night to make fun of themselves and an increasingly unpredictable presidential campaign at the Gridiron Club and Foundation's 131st Anniversary Spring Dinner.

To understand how Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign is reacting to the candidate's gigantic loss in South Carolina's Democratic primary, it's important to understand how he reacted to another loss just a few weeks ago, in Iowa.

After disappointing finishes in presidential nominating contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Jeb Bush suspended his campaign for president Saturday night.

How many ways can The Internet mock Jeb Bush?

So many. So many ways. Here's the latest.

This past Sunday during 11 a.m. worship service at Bible Way Church of Atlas Road in Columbia, S.C., there was a short celebration of Black History Month. The church honored John Wesley Matthews Jr., a long-serving black state senator.

After Matthews accepted an award, the pastor of the church, Darrell Jackson Sr., took time to acknowledge another special guest.

After a razor-thin victory in the Iowa caucuses, and a double-digit loss to Bernie Sanders in the New Hampshire primary, Hillary Clinton is looking to South Carolina for a big win later this month. And she's counting on strong black support in that state to give her a definitive victory.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

I'm David Greene in Des Moines, Iowa, at Smokey Row, a coffeehouse in Des Moines.

Renee, you should really see this. It is - I mean it is hundreds of people, I think, just packed in here.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Since 1972, Iowa has held the first presidential nominating contests in the country. Over the years, the Iowa caucuses have grown in size, scope and importance, sometimes launching underdogs to the presidency or upsetting established political juggernauts.

In just about every stump speech he gives these days, businessman turned presidential candidate Donald Trump can't stop using the phrase "silent majority."

Sometimes he'll ask the audience members if they've heard it before and point out that it's been around for a while. And then he'll say that the silent majority feels abused, or forgotten, or mistreated. And usually, toward the end of his speech, Trump says that the silent majority is back.

Depending on whom you ask, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's State of the Union response this week was either going to save the modern Republican Party or kill conservatism.

This week, those differing responses evoked two different hashtags. Both, in some ways, were about Haley's heritage, and they bring to light the tricky way she'll have to navigate race should she take on a more prominent role in the 2016 election.

#DeportNikkiHaley

Phil Robertson, patriarch of the hit A&E reality show Duck Dynasty, has endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for president. The announcement was made with a YouTube video showing Robertson and Cruz in full camo gear and face paint, hunting ducks.

Everyone agrees that Hillary Clinton is a grandmother. But some aren't so sure she's an abuela.

In a wide-ranging interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, President Obama had some advice for college protesters across the country.

It seems everybody loves Beyoncé. But not everyone can say her name.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was asked about the performer Wednesday by an audience member at a town hall in Iowa: "If you could choose, would you rather be the president or Beyoncé?"

A day before the last Republican presidential debate of the year, two Republican candidates held rallies near the Las Vegas strip, less than a mile apart. In spite of their proximity, the events had almost nothing in common.

Marco Rubio was in a medium-size hotel ballroom, with a few hundred people in attendance. It seemed, at first, that Rubio might struggle to fill the room, as supporters came in slowly. But fill it did.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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