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Week In Politics: Protests In Baltimore

May 1, 2015
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, our Friday political conversation with columnists David Brooks of The New York Times and E J Dionne of The Washington Post and the Brookings Institution. Good to see you both here.

E J DIONNE, BYLINE: Good to be with you.

No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio. That's exactly the argument Ohio Gov. John Kasich is making for why Republicans should choose him as their nominee in 2016.

"I will tell you that you can't be president if you don't win Ohio. That's not even a question," Kasich said Friday at a lunch with reporters in Washington sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. Kasich is thinking about running for president and is trying to determine whether he has a viable path.

Baltimore's lead prosecutor, Marilyn J. Mosby, announced on Friday that the death of Freddie Gray was a homicide. Mosby, who took office in January, is charging six city police officers with a range of offenses — including second-degree murder and manslaughter.

The complexities of Baltimore seem largely out of the reach of the media outlets that descend, as usual, only when certain neighborhoods burn.

Birthday parties and backyard barbecues – rituals of daily life and love – seem to never make the headlines. Yet images of overturned cars claim the top spot on the evening news every time.

In West Baltimore, at Pennsylvania and North avenues, media featured a drug store on fire.

It's been a tough week for a couple of candidates looking to break through on the presidential stage, namely Chris Christie and Martin O'Malley.

First, in New Jersey, David Wildstein, a former Christie ally and former Port Authority official, pleaded guity Friday to charges related to the "Bridgegate" scandal that closed several lanes of traffic to the George Washington Bridge over four days in 2013, ensnaring cars in massive backups.

This week we mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. On our screens and in our memory's eye we can see the helicopters lifting the last, desperate evacuees from the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon.

On the Republican side of the 2016 race, this was the week the courting of the Latino vote seemed to begin.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas spoke Wednesday at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., after the group criticized him for skipping their summit last month. Meanwhile, Jeb Bush went on a Spanish-language tour — first to Puerto Rico and then speaking to the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in Houston.

Updated at 4:34 p.m.

David Wildstein, a former official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of conspiracy in connection with lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in 2013. The case could have implications for his former friend New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a likely Republican presidential candidate.

Indictments in April against two other officials linked to the scandal were unsealed today.

President Obama met Thursday with moderate Democrats in hopes of rallying support for a controversial Asia-Pacific trade deal.

The president will need approval from at least some members of his own party to win passage of a "fast-track" bill, authorizing him to complete trade negotiations and present the agreement for an up-or-down vote in Congress.

So far, most Democratic lawmakers have been skeptical.

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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