Bill and Hillary Clinton are making their mark on Minnesota. Tonight, the former president will accept an award and deliver a speech at the University of Minnesota. Next week, a fundraiser will kick off the operations of Minnesotans Ready for Hillary, a super PAC that is helping prepare the way for a possible presidential run by the former first lady and secretary of state, whose memoir is being published tomorrow.
The two events give The Daily Circuit all the excuse it needs to hold a wide-ranging conversation about the major national political stories of the moment. Our regular Monday guest, Ken Rudin, joins the show for an extended conversation, along with POLITICO's Alexander Burns.
Learn more about the top political stories:
• Why Obama's deal to free Bowe Bergdahl riles Democrats, too
In a difficult election year for congressional Democrats, the Obama administration's swap of prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl for five high-level Taliban isn't helping, as the ensuing flap is prompting some Democrats to question the president's decisions - once again. (Christian Science Monitor)
• Lessons of the VA Scandal
The endemic and systemic problems in the VA go back decades. Presidents from George H.W. Bush on have struggled to bring functionality to the VA, both when it was an agency and after it became a Cabinet department. Some presidents, notably Bill Clinton, did better than others, but none succeeded in creating an agency that worked smoothly and well. (Norm Ornstein, The Atlantic)
• Hillary Clinton's "Hard Choices": Bergdahl, Benghazi and more
As she mulls a potential presidential campaign, the book, published by Simon & Schuster, which is owned by CBS Corp., offers rich detail of her four-year tenure as secretary of state on issues such as Benghazi, U.S. relations with Russia, shifting strategy in Afghanistan, the fallout from the Arab Spring and the worsening chaos in Syria. She touches on negotiations with the Taliban and attempts to secure the freedom of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, whose recent release has been the subject of a growing controversy for the White House. (CBS News)