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Donald Trump held a kickoff event for his South Carolina campaign on Tuesday, and his speech was, to put it mildly, a doozy. Speaking in Sun City, S.C., without the aid of a TelePrompTer — because "Maybe when you run for president you shouldn't be allowed to use a TelePrompTer, because you find out what you're getting" — he was defensive, brash, angry, funny and self-aggrandizing.

Some said it was the End of The Donald, others the Beginning of the End.

Republican officials and professionals called it the moment when the Trump house of cards had begun its inevitable tumble. Many in the media agreed.

But was it so, or are we in Washington, the political-professional establishment, missing again what we have missed before?

This post has been updated to note that Kasich officially announced he's running.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich officially became the 16th candidate to officially enter the crowded race for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday.

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Donald Trump quickly earned the scorn of many veterans' groups this weekend with his controversial comments about Sen. John McCain's military service.

At the State Department in Washington on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed Bruno Rodriguez, the foreign minister of Cuba. Later in the day, Kerry sat down with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep to discuss the U.S.-Cuba relationship, and the pact that recently was negotiated with Iran regarding that nation's nuclear program.

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At the State Department in Washington today, Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed Bruno Rodriguez, the foreign minister of Cuba.

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After more than half a century, the U.S. and Cuba have resumed diplomatic ties.

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JOHN KERRY: So it's an historic day, a day for removing barriers.

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To promote his economic ideas and tout his blue collar credentials, Scott Walker has been using a unique tactic: talking about his shopping habits. In his presidential campaign kick-off, the Wisconsin governor talked about how much he and his wife, Tonette, love a certain Wisconsin-based discount retailer.

"Some of you know that Tonette and I like to shop at Kohl's. Over the years, I've learned that if I'm going to buy a new shirt, I go to the rack that says that the shirt was $29.99 but now is $19.99," he said.

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In American presidential politics, a single utterance, a single moment can set off a firestorm. That's what happened this weekend in Iowa.

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How Should Republicans Deal With Donald Trump?

Jul 20, 2015
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Veterans groups have added to the chorus of condemnation against Donald Trump — much of it coming from within his own party — following disparaging remarks the real-estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate made about Sen. John McCain's war record.

And Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America:

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What Trump's Candidacy Means For The GOP

Jul 19, 2015
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took an ongoing feud with Sen. John McCain to a new level today, mocking the former GOP nominee for having been a prisoner of war and calling him a "loser" for failing to win the White House in 2008.

"He was a war hero because he was captured," Trump said at the 2015 Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa.

"I like people who weren't captured," the current Republican front-runner told political consultant Frank Luntz, who hosted the event.

"He lost and let us down," Trump said. "I've never liked him as much after that."

Temperatures soar, flowers bloom and the sun rises early. On these long summer days, there still seems to be plenty of time for achieving your 2015 goals.

But not if you are a business lobbyist. For you, time is short.

Here's what you want by Christmas: a Pacific Rim trade deal; an updated No Child Left Behind Act; revival of the Export-Import Bank; long-term highway funding and a completed federal budget.

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Hillary Clinton Returns To A Very Different Arkansas

Jul 18, 2015

Hillary Clinton may find you can't go home again when she returns to Arkansas Saturday night.

The 2016 hopeful returns to Razorback State for the first time since she announced her second bid for president, keynoting the Arkansas Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner in Little Rock.

But the state is hardly politically recognizable to the one that first launched the Clinton name to national political prominence and where she served as first lady for 12 years.

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The Iran deal dominated the week in politics, starting with President Obama's announcement Tuesday morning.

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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.

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