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For some weeks now, as Bernie Sanders has extended his remarkable and improbable run as a presidential candidate, people have been asking: "What does Bernie want?"

That question is a distant echo of "What does Jesse want?" a relic of the 1988 runner-up candidacy of Jesse Jackson, another "outsider" challenger with a dedicated hardcore following. But more about Jackson in a moment.

Washington Republicans will meet in the Tri-Cities Friday to select delegates to this summer’s national convention in Cleveland. They are describing this year’s presidential campaign as “a Reagan restart” and “an outsider’s election.”

Despite badly lagging in the delegate count, Bernie Sanders' campaign manager told NPR the campaign believes Sanders can and will be the Democratic nominee by winning over superdelegates at the 11th hour.

The general election ads are already out, and it seems clear: This election will be fought out (and hard) on the airwaves. This week, a Democratic superPAC released two ads attacking Donald Trump on statements he has made about women. Here's one:

Now that Oregon's May primary is over, the winners are looking ahead to November's general election. But the primary was notable for another reason.

There was a third major party on the ballot.

Washington Republicans will ultimately coalesce around Donald Trump as the apparent presidential nominee. That’s the prediction of state Republican Party Chair Susan Hutchison as her party gathers Wednesday for its state convention in the Tri-Cities.

After months of bashing the Republican National Committee and big fundraisers, Donald Trump is getting on board.

"These are highly sophisticated killers, and when they give $5 million, or $2 million or $1 million to Jeb [Bush], they have him just like a puppet," Trump said at the Iowa State Fair last year. "He'll do whatever they want. He is their puppet."

But now the de facto GOP nominee has inked two joint fundraising agreements with the RNC and 11 state parties on Tuesday to start taking in enormous checks from big donors.

De facto Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has released the names of 11 people he would consider nominating to the Supreme Court should he be elected president.

Only one of them, as far as we know, has publicly called the candidate "Darth Trump."

The list includes conservative federal and state judges, all "representative of the kind of constitutional principles I value," Trump said in a statement.

"This is an intolerable situation," Sen. Lamar Alexander said last week in a heated speech on the Senate floor.

The Tennessee Republican is chairman of the Senate's education committee, and he is furious with the Education Department. He even gave states some remarkable advice:

"If the regulations are not consistent with the law, I don't believe [states] should follow them," he said. "If the department persists, then the state should go to court to sue the department."

Bud Pierce kicked off his first run for public office last fall. Now, the Salem oncologist has been nominated to take on incumbent governor Kate Brown in the November general election.

After an unruly and chaotic Nevada Democratic convention over the weekend, Bernie Sanders is doubling down on accusations that the state party treated him unfairly, and he denies that his supporters were inciting violence.

‘Tis the season for campaign fundraising. That means candidates are dialing for cash and hosting at all manner of events to bring in the money. Some of them tried and true approaches and some a bit more novel.

Feminine products are having a moment. With some calling for a red wave to take the taboo out of menstruation, politicians across the country are trying to make tampons and sanitary pads as affordable and accessible as possible.

Five states have eliminated sales taxes on pads and tampons: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland and Minnesota. In New York, a bill awaits the governor's signature, and other efforts to improve access to sanitary products are underway.

Harry Truman had been vice president for only 82 days when Franklin Roosevelt died, so there was quite a lot he needed to learn when he became president in 1945.

"He didn't even know the atomic bomb existed," historian David Priess said. "He didn't know about the Manhattan Project."

Priess, a former CIA officer and author of The President's Book of Secrets, a history of the president's daily brief, said that experience made Truman resolve that no future president should come into office unprepared.

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are turning their attention to the general election and to one of the most important decisions they will make — choosing a vice president.

Picking a vice president is the first "presidential level" decision any candidate makes. Although vice presidential candidates have rarely, perhaps never, determined the outcome of an election, the choice tells voters a lot about the candidate.

The two most important criteria are always the same:

1. Pick someone who would ready to be president, if necessary, and
2. DO NO HARM

North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory defended HB2, the state's so-called bathroom bill, and said the "political left" fed the emergence of transgender issues in politics.

"Most people had never heard of this issue five months ago, until the political left started saying, 'We need bathroom rules and policies,' not just for government facilities and schools but also for the private sector," McCrory said in an interview with NPR's All Things Considered.

Ahead of our forthcoming podcast, I've been heads-down in some reading and interviews about the way we talk about, well, white people. Whiteness has always been a central dynamic of American cultural and political life, though we don't tend to talk about it as such.

If you've ever played three-dimensional chess, you have some notion of what Paul Ryan is dealing with in his political game with Donald Trump.

Except that Ryan's dilemma has more than just three dimensions.

On the first level, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is the highest federal officeholder in the Republican Party. In this role, he is slated to be the chairman of the party's national convention in July. And in both roles, it is presumed he will back the party's nominee for president.

Alex Brandon / AP Photo

Injured veterans who struggle to conceive children may get some help from the federal government. Washington Sen. Patty Murray says the Senate may vote next week on an appropriations bill that includes an amendment to cover their fertility treatments

Donald Trump arrived in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to meet with his party's congressional leaders to hash out their differences and talk GOP unity ahead of what is likely to be a pitched general-election battle against Hillary Clinton.

First up was a private meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan. The two arrived around 9 a.m. ET at the Republican National Committee in a session orchestrated by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.

A day after de facto Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said "there's nothing to learn" from making his tax returns public before this November's elections, the billionaire is taking heat from the party's 2012 nominee over that stance.

It may be too late for a man identified as a white nationalist leader to be removed from a list of Trump delegates, an official in the California secretary of state's office told NPR.

"The Trump campaign did not reach out to our office about removing William Johnson's name as a delegate until Tuesday, May 10 — which is past the statutory deadline to submit delegate lists to the Secretary of State's office," Press Secretary Sam Mahood said in a statement.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders told an audience of thousands in Salem Tuesday night that he's the best candidate to take on apparent Republican nominee Donald Trump in the fall.

"Our campaign is generating the energy and the enthusiasm that we need to have a large voter turnout in November," Sanders told the standing-room-only crowd at the Salem Armory.

When apparent Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump did a pre-primary campaign swing through the Northwest last weekend, he hopped between Eugene, Spokane and Bellingham aboard a Boeing 757 emblazoned with the word TRUMP in capital letters.

Over the weekend, Sarah Palin had a message for House Speaker Paul Ryan: You're going to pay for not getting on board the Trump Train.

The GOP's 2008 vice presidential nominee unleashed on her party's 2012 vice presidential nominee, saying, "his political career is over but for a miracle because he has so disrespected the will of the people."

Palin is now backing the House speaker's GOP primary challenger. But primary upsets remain rare and difficult to orchestrate.

Hillary Clinton would have a significant electoral advantage over Donald Trump in the general election, based on an NPR analysis.

The Democratic former secretary of state would start out with already exactly enough electoral votes to win the presidency, 270-191, based on states considered safe, likely and to lean toward either candidate. The ratings, which will be updated at least monthly until Election Day, are based on fundamentals — historical trends and demographics, plus reporting and polling (both public and private).

The race to become Oregon's next secretary of state is heating up. The three Democratic candidates in this month's primary are trading barbs after one of them received a huge contribution from a New York billionaire.

And no, it's not Donald Trump.

What do Realtors, teachers and unionized plumbers have in common?

According to Washington’s Public Disclosure Commission, these groups control the top political action committees in the state so far this year. So what exactly are they after?

Bernie Sanders has some of the most ambitious and sweeping policy proposals of all the presidential candidates. His campaign has centered on a promise of "revolution."

Hillary Clinton snagged another endorsement over the weekend, but don't expect her to trumpet it on the campaign trail.

"I have a little announcement to make ... I'm voting for Hillary. I am endorsing Hillary," noted conservative author P.J. O'Rourke said on NPR's Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me. The episode aired over the weekend.

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