Scott Detrow

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Former Vice President Joe Biden is running for president. He has been deliberating this choice for months. But as of this morning, it is official. Biden posted this video on Twitter this morning.

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We are awaiting the release of special - the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report sometime later this morning, and we'll be covering that throughout the day. What we do have so far is a press conference that ended just a short while ago.

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It has been roughly 22 months since special counsel Robert Mueller began his investigation into the 2016 election. Along the way, he's charged 34 people, including 25 Russians. More than seven have been found guilty of crimes.

Most job openings — at least in theory — go to the more qualified applicant. That isn't always the case with the presidency of the United States, as scores of presidential losers have discovered.

Given the choice, Americans tend to gravitate toward the fresher, more exciting face. Charisma and change can hold more value than on-the-job training, relationships with world leaders or understanding of congressional dynamics.

Updated at 7:26 p.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders released 10 years' worth of tax returns Monday. The documents underscore how much money the populist presidential candidate has earned in recent years, as his public profile has risen.

In an interview with the New York Times before the returns were made public, Sanders dismissed the idea that his newfound wealth undercut his billionaire-bashing message.

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And we're joined now by NPR congressional correspondent Scott Detrow. Scott, thank you so much for being here.

SCOTT DETROW, BYLINE: Hey. Good evening.

MARTIN: What sort of reaction are we hearing from Capitol Hill?

Democratic presidential hopefuls are betting on bold.

The majority of the Democrats running for president want to create a national health insurance program. Several want to do away with private health insurance entirely. Candidates are engaging on questions about reparations for slavery, and most of the White House hopefuls have endorsed the goal of a carbon-neutral economy within the next decade.

Increase the size of the U.S. Supreme Court? Several candidates are now on board.

Looking out over a crowd of firefighters chanting, "Run, Joe, run," former Vice President Joe Biden urged patience.

"Save it a little longer; I may need it in a few weeks," he said, adding, "Be careful what you wish for."

Biden isn't officially running for president — at least not yet — but Tuesday's speech to the International Association of Fire Fighter's annual conference blocks from Capitol Hill served as the latest warmup act to a potential 2020 campaign.

Most of the Democrats running for president want to create a national single-payer health care system. They want to begin a massive transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. They want to legalize marijuana, pass broad family leave policies, and do a whole lot of other things that previous generations of presidential candidates have balked from fully endorsing.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is giving it another go, launching a second campaign for the White House four years after surprising Democrats with a strong bid for the party's 2016 nomination.

"We began the political revolution in the 2016 campaign, and now it's time to move that revolution forward," the independent senator told Vermont Public Radio in an interview airing Tuesday morning.

The Democratic Party is increasingly focused on and organized around diversity. It also has the most diverse field of candidates in the history of presidential politics. And voters in South Carolina, the first primary state with a predominantly African-American Democratic electorate, have been inundated with 2020 hopefuls in these early weeks of the campaign.

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Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey is the latest Democrat to enter the increasingly crowded race for the White House, making the initial announcement with a message of unity.

Updated at 9:10 a.m. ET

California Sen. Kamala Harris is running for president in 2020. The first-term Democratic senator made the announcement on ABC's Good Morning America Monday morning.

"I love my country, and this is a moment in time that I feel a sense of responsibility to fight for the best of who we are," Harris said.

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For those counting, we are on Day 17 of the partial government shutdown. About 800,000 federal employees are still going without pay, and there is no end in sight.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

President Trump and congressional leaders met at the White House on Friday in what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called a "lengthy and sometimes contentious" session and in which the president threatened to keep the government shut down for months or years.

And at the end, the two sides seemed no closer to resolving their standoff over funding a border wall that has forced a partial government shutdown now hitting the two-week mark, with the possibility of lasting much longer.

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House Democrats nominated Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve as the next speaker of the House. If approved by the full House, Pelosi would again wield the gavel in January — a dozen years after she became the first female speaker in 2007.

The vote was 203 voting for Pelosi, 32 opposing her and three members leaving their ballot blank. One member was absent.

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Mississippi Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith has held on to her seat after a closer-than-expected runoff election. It was close enough that President Trump traveled to the state twice to stump for her.

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Things may have changed, to borrow a phrase from the NPR Politics Podcast, by the time you finished digesting your turkey.

While most people try to take a break from the daily headlines during Thanksgiving, the political news often doesn't stop. That was especially true this year, as President Trump veered from grievance to grievance, the federal government published a report warning of the devastating consequences of climate change and U.S. border agents fired tear gas at migrants trying to force their way across the border with Mexico, among other major stories.

Progressive superstars like Beto O'Rourke, Andrew Gillum, and Stacey Abrams all either lost or are trailing extremely close races in Texas, Georgia, and Florida. But Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders insists Democrats' takeover of the House of Representatives and other key wins are a vindication of the progressive posture he's long advocated for.

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The last few weeks of any election are all about leaving one last impression with voters — a reminder of where a candidate stands and what he or she believes. This year in particular, the only closing argument that matters for Republicans is where they stand on President Trump.

Midterm elections usually are about the president to some degree, but 2018 is shaping up to be a nationwide rehashing of 2016's political feuds. Trump said so himself in a recent rally in Mississippi.

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