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

Hillary's emails, a health care challenge in the Supreme Court and Ben Caron's comments on homosexuality. Here's a a look at everything that mattered, and didn't this week.
Image: File photo of former U.S. Secretary of State Clinton checking her PDA upon her departure in a military C-17 plane from Malta bound for Tripoli
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton checks her PDA upon her departure in a military C-17 plane from Malta bound for Tripoli, Libya, in this October 18, 2011, file photo. An investigative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives will subpoena Clinton's personal emails regarding the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the Washington Post reported on March 4, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Files (LIBYA - Tags: POLITICS)KEVIN LAMARQUE / Reuters

In today's rapid-fire political news cycle, it's easy to get overwhelmed and difficult to sort it all out. 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.Hillary’s personal emails: No, they don’t hurt her standing with Democrats or her viability as a general-election candidate. But they do matter when it comes to future GOP investigations and the Clintons’ relationship with the political press corps.

2. The oral arguments in King vs. Burwell: If the Supreme Court strikes down the billions in Obamacare subsidies in 30-plus (mostly Republican) states, it’s going to produce a mad political scramble – just right when the ’16 campaigning is beginning to start in earnest – to pick up the pieces. But did we get some clues that the court will ultimately uphold the subsidies? We’ll find out in June.

3. Marco Rubio’s Money (Bra)Man: With much of Florida’s GOP donor community going with Jeb Bush over Marco Rubio, the news that Miami billionaire Norman Braman is willing to give a Rubio Super PAC about $10 million is a big deal for Rubio.

4. Jeb: Please, please don’t give me more than $1 million – at least right now: Then again, $10 million isn’t going to be enough to go toe-to-toe with Bush. That Jeb, via the Washington Post, is asking donors NOT to give him more than $1 million right away is a big tell how much he and his Super PAC are going to raise.

What Didn’t Matter (As Much)

1. The CPAC straw poll: Remember that result from last weekend? A Paul (either Rand or Ron) has now won the CPAC straw poll five times in the last six years. The exception: Mitt Romney in 2012.

2. The end of the DHS/immigration fight: What started out with a bang ended with a whimper – and a win for President Obama and Democrats. The political world (including GOP critics) has moved along. But should we get ready for another potential shutdown later this fall?

3. Ben Carson’s comment comparing being gay to prison rape: “Because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight – and when they come out, they’re gay,” Carson told CNN. It’s one thing to say something controversial when you’re a frontrunner; it’s another when you’re not.