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The Week in 2016: What Mattered (And What Didn’t)

In today's rapid-fire political news cycle, it's easy to get overwhelmed by all the different news out there. So here's a look back at the past week in the 2016 presidential contest, making sense of the developments and events that we think mattered – and those that didn't.

What Mattered

1. The 2016 Money Chase: Maybe the most important news we learned this week is that money-in-politics stories will be fertile ground throughout the 2016 contest. The Clinton Foundation. The Koch and Adelson primaries. Jeb’s Super PAC. None of those stories is going away.

2. The Kitchen Sink Gets Thrown at Hillary: This week, Republicans and the news media – including yours truly – unloaded on Hillary Clinton, especially when it comes to the Clinton Foundation. The “Clinton Cash” quid-pro-quo angle hasn’t quite delivered (see below), but that didn’t stop the pile on. Honest question: At this pace, are we going to have anything new to say come June?

3. Hillary and the Great Democratic Trade War: Here’s the week’s other Hillary-related story: She’s the only Democrat who seems not to have taken a position in the Great Democratic Trade War pitting President Obama (who supports it) against organized labor and some progressives (who are opposed). Clinton can’t stay undecided forever.

4. Scott Walker And LEGAL Immigration: Some conservatives pounced on Scott Walker’s apparent opposition to even LEGAL immigration, which the business community tends to like. Keeping track of Walker’s stance on all things immigration-related is turning into quite the 2016 task.

What Didn’t Matter As Much

1. The “Clinton Cash” Book: Despite all of the attention it got, conservative author Peter Schweizer’s new book hasn’t appeared to deliver – at least not yet – on its central promise: proving that Clinton Foundation donation and Bill Clinton speaking fees directly resulted in action by Hillary Clinton’s State Department. There are PLENTY of other Clinton Foundation angles to pursue, but this one might not be it.

2. Rubio’s Rise in The Polls: Even the Rubio campaign is urging caution in the polling that shows him out in front of the GOP race after his presidential announcement. The reason: Like in 2012, expect the GOP polling to bounce all over the place. But here’s good news for Rubio: He isn’t going to be Tim Pawlenty, who never got a bounce after his announcement (and who departed the ’12 race after the Ames Straw Poll).

3. John Kasich’s 2016 moves: Yes, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and his allies formed a 527 political organization as he thinks about a presidential run. But don’t miss this by conservative writer Philip Klein: “John Kasich should be punished for expanding Obamacare.” Or even this by Kasich himself on Friday: “If I can win, I’m likely to run.” If???