Scott Detrow

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What will the first Democratic presidential debates look like at the end of this month?

We got our first glimpse Saturday in San Francisco.

First, we saw the visual of candidate after candidate — 11 in all, with 3 more to come Sunday — parading across the stage at the California Democratic Party's annual convention.

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This weekend, 14 presidential candidates will converge on San Francisco for the California Democratic Party's annual convention.

It will be the largest gathering of presidential contenders so far, and the latest sign that California's days of bringing up the rear of the presidential primary calendar are long gone.

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The past few presidential campaigns, environmental activists have "been left begging for there to be a single question at a campaign debate about climate change," longtime climate change activist and author Bill McKibben recently told NPR.

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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.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO)

Updated at 6:05 p.m. ET

Eight Democratic presidential candidates faced the same basic question today in Houston: Why should women of color vote for them?

The first-ever She The People Presidential Forum — organized by and centered on questions from women of color — served as a repeated reminder of the key role that minority women play in Democratic politics.

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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.

In the final years of John Hickenlooper's time as Colorado governor, the Democrat had a rule about President Trump.

"I didn't let anyone in my office — no one could mention his name, because then we'd talk for 30 or 40 minutes and never get anything done. You could talk about it endlessly," he said.

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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.

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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Bernie Sanders made his mark in the 2016 presidential election talking about millionaires and billionaires, not Houthis and the 1973 War Powers Act.

But, two years later, foreign policy is something the Vermont independent has focused on quite a bit, including taking the lead on a recent Senate resolution demanding the withdrawal of U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen.

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Updated Dec. 13 at 5:21 p.m. ET

The Senate voted with support from lawmakers in both parties Thursday to end U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen. The 56-41 vote marks the first time the Senate utilized powers granted under the 1973 War Powers Act, which gives Congress the power to demand an end to military actions.

While the House likely won't vote on the measure, the bipartisan vote is a major rebuke to Saudi Arabia, long a key U.S. ally.

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