Presidential Politics

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

While controversy surrounding the president's opposition research has been hogging headlines recently, the practice of digging up dirt on an opponent is as old as politics. In fact, today's first guests, consultants John Hancock and Michael Kelley, say it's essential to a successful campaign.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

The same group of elderly white men meet every morning at 6 a.m. at Fubbler’s Cove diner on Front Street in Orrick, Missouri. And pretty much every day they discuss the usual stuff: the weather, the crops, etc.

On a recent warm spring day, I dropped in to ask for their opinions on how they think national politics affects them.

“You probably don’t want to hear,” said one, who asked that I not use his name.

These guys disagree all the time – about everything from the new mayor to the food.  But it doesn’t get in the way of their daily coffee and conversation.

New America / Flickr - CC

Today, Kansas's newest poet laureate discusses how to find extraordinary meaning in the seemingly ordinary events of our lives. Then, we speak with political journalist and long-time confidant to Hillary Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal, whose new writing delves into the complex life of one of America's great presidents, Abraham Lincoln.

Richard Nixon Presidential Library

Before President Donald Trump's thin-skinned, media-obsessed administration over a country deeply divided, there was Richard M. Nixon. Historian John A. Farrell's new biography includes astonishing revelations about the 37th president that have some drawing political parallels to the current chief executive.

nrkbeta / Flickr - CC

Matthew Dowd's career is an unusual one. He was a strategist for Republican President George W. Bush's re-election campaign, and, before that, a staffer for Missouri's Democratic Congressman Dick Gephardt. Now, he is taking an Independent tack to get past partisan gridlock. Today, we speak with the ABC News analyst about his life, his career, and the political situations in Austin, Springfield and Washington.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

When Donald Trump declared his presidential candidacy, few guessed he stood a real chance. The now-president's longtime friend and former adviser Roger Stone thought otherwise. Today, he shares his insight. Then, we learn about the evolution of Kris Kobach's voter Crosscheck program and the story of how one Kansan got caught up in it.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

On Saturday afternoon, the day after the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th president of the United States, thousands gathered in Washington Square Park for the Women's March on Washington in Kansas City

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

It only took a couple of hours after President Donald J. Trump took the oath of office on Friday for about 300 people to gather on the Liberty Memorial lawn to protest his administration.

Who spoke was not a surprise: Black Lives Matter, people representing Latinos, immigrants and the LGBT community. Many wore bandanas across their faces.

The crowd was peaceful, and there were a number of parents who brought their kids.

It's been three weeks since the election, and public reactions are still hot. Today, Kansas City's own David Von Drehle, editor-at-large for Time magazine, treads the political aftermath.

Bill Weld in Kansas City
Brian Ellison / KCUR 89.3

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, the Libertarian party vice presidential nominee, told a rally of 200 people in midtown Kansas City Thursday that only he and his running-mate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, could change Washington.

Calling political paralysis “the elephant and the donkey in the room,” Weld said something needs to be done to reign in the major parties’ hold on power.

Courtesy Ry Kincaid

When he debuted his one-man show at Kansas City’s Fringe Festival in the summer of 2015, Ry Kincaid was already thinking ahead to the 2016 election. No one, however, could have foreseen the need for entertaining relief would be so acute.

Unlike everything else in this season’s torturous exercise in democracy, Kincaid’s Presidential Briefs is good-hearted humor. In writing 44 original songs – one for each United States president – all performed in under an hour, Kincaid was partly trying to be helpful.

When Donald Trump explained his remarks on grabbing women as "locker room talk," some women responded by sharing their own stories of survival. Has the conversation on sexual assault and the casual objectification of women reached a tipping point?

Plus, Question Quest finds out what's in the center of the United States.

Guests:

An interview with the political correspondent at NPR. How did her conservative Christian background and growing up in KC help her connect with people on the campaign trail?

Plus, Question Quest looks into a mysterious octagon in Belton.

Guest:

Of the millions who watched last night's presidential debate, eight undecided voters from the Kansas City area watched from KCUR's studios. UMKC's Division of Diversity and Inclusion Vice Chancellor Susan Wilson invited them to see if what they heard influenced how they would vote. Susan shares what she found with Up to Date host Steve Kraske.

Democratic strategist and pollster Celinda Lake says Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both know women will play an important role in the 2016 election, and they need to win them over by November. Lake says women and men look for different things, so the candidates will need a multifaceted approach to win.

It's this season's most compelling made-for-TV drama: The 2016 election. From costumes to stage sets to the use of music and more, we explore the role of political theater. How do candidates present themselves on stage and screen for drama ... or comedy?

Guests:

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Congress is in recess until September but the upcoming general election, ongoing data breaches, and sustained congressional unpopularity means our elected officials won't get much time to relax. While they sit on opposing sides of the aisle, Reps. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Missouri, and Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas, agree there's plenty of work left to be done.

It's hard to remember a time when voters were more frustrated with the Democratic and Republican options on offer. With the possibility of a banner year for the Greens and Libertarians, we look at the role and influence of third parties.

Guests:

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

To say they know a little something about national politics would be an understatement: David Von Drehle, editor-at-large for TIME, and Mike Allen, chief White House correspondent for POLITICO, share their insights on the presidential race so far and what to expect from the rest of the election season.

You think this Republican National Convention is full of drama? The 1976 convention at Kemper Arena was the last contested party convention. It pitted President Gerald Ford, who rose to the presidency after Richard Nixon resigned, against Ronald Reagan, who was becoming the darling of conservatives.

Guests:

For years, political polling told us who was  likely to vote and how, but the cell phone complicated all that. With fewer people answering — or even owning — land-line numbers, polls became less reliable. A Chicago start-up is changing that tradition, and finding success.

Guest:

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

U.S. Congressman Kevin Yoder says it remains to be seen if Kansans will back presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump in November.

Though Yoder has endorsed Trump, he waited to do so until after Ted Cruz and other candidates had dropped out of the race.

“My position is I support the nominee,” says Yoder.

Yoder says while Trump wasn’t his first choice, he doesn’t think Hillary Clinton reflects Kansas values.

DonkeyHotey / Flickr

Politics happen along party lines, and we mean that in more ways than one. Kansas Citians on the art of political fundraising. Specifically, the local fundraising parties that fill the coffers of national candidates.

Guests:

  • Sharon Hoffman, organizer for a variety of causes and candidates, including Obama's 2008 and 2012 Kansas City campaigns
  • Annie Presley, principle, McKellar Group

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

Thousands of Kansas Citians crowded Bartle Hall Wednesday afternoon in support of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who visited just before state caucuses in Kansas and primary in Missouri.

For many in the Kansas City area, the name Jeff Roe may ring a bell. Known as a “bad boy” of Missouri politics, Roe has been behind some of the most ruthless political campaigns in the past decade. Now, he takes on his biggest campaign yet — Ted Cruz's run for President.

Guest:

Here comes 2016 and with it, an ever-evolving set of elections that will have many of us hanging onto our seats from January all the way to November. On this edition of Up To Date, the Political Pundits discuss presidential elections, a big U.S. Senate race in Missouri and a governor’s race to boot.

Guests:

When Karl Rove set out to win the White House with George W. Bush in 2000, the role model he used for guidance had been dead for nearly a century. On this edition of Up To Date, Rove talks about  the "revolutionary" William McKinley and weighs in on Donald Trump's presidential prospects.

The much-anticipated Iowa Caucuses — which are known to decide each party's final front runners — are three months away.  On this edition of Up To Date, we talk to Des Moines Register reporter Jason Noble about the culture the caucuses have created in the state and why Iowa has dibs on the first major contest in the presidential  race. 

Former U.S. Senator John Danforth has spent years speaking out against the abuses of our political system. On this edition of Up To Date,  he speaks with Steve Kraske about Missouri, the 2016 presidential race and his latest book, The Relevance of Religion: How Faithful People Can Change Politics.

John Heilemann co-authored the definitive books on presidential campaigns: Game Change on the 2008 election and Double Down, Game Change 2012. He speaks with Steve Kraske about the in-depth research and interview process used in writing those manuscripts, and we get his thoughts on the current race.

John Heilemann is one of the speakers at Village Shalom's Ages of Excellence dinner on Oct. 22, 2015.  

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