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/ Source: NBC News
By Mark Murray

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. Enter The Economic-Populism Debate

Yes, Bernie Sanders (who announced his presidential bid on Thursday) and Mike Huckabee (who goes next week) probably won’t win their party’s presidential nominations. But they are going to elevate issues like workers’ wages, trade, and income inequality in their respective fields.

2. Enter The Criminal Justice-Reform Debate

After the unrest in Baltimore, after Hillary Clinton’s call to “end the Era of Mass Incarceration” and after Rand Paul said Hillary is a Johnny-Come-Lately to the debate, we learned this week how criminal-justice reform will be a 2016 issue – and one with bipartisan appeal. Of course, the devil’s always in the details in getting that bipartisan support.

3. Jeb Sticks to His Guns on Immigration

Unlike John McCain in 2008 or Marco Rubio and Scott Walker this cycle, Jeb Bush is NOT backing away from supporting comprehensive immigration reform, guaranteeing it as a major GOP primary issue. “I love you and I love National Review,” Jeb said on Thursday. “I just think you’re wrong on immigration, and you think I’m wrong.”

4. 181 Clinton Foundation Donors Lobbied Hillary’s State Department

Conservative author Peter Schweizer hasn’t been to prove a quid pro quo – that donations to the Clinton Foundation directly resulted in action by Hillary’s State Department. But this Vox story is damning enough: 181 Clinton Foundation donors lobbied the State Department. Folks, this is AFTER the safeguards/disclosures put in place after Clinton became Obama’s secretary of state.

What Didn’t Matter As Much

1. Friday’s Bridge-gate Indictments And Guilty Plea

No doubt today’s news wasn’t good for Chris Christie’s presidential hopes. But it’s significant ONLY IF you didn’t already think his 2016 White House dreams were doomed. Indeed, our March NBC/WSJ poll found a whopping 57 percent of Republican voters saying they couldn’t see themselves backing Christie in 2016.

2. O’Malley’s Tough Week

Someone who also experienced his fair share of bad news this week was former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, whose policing policies as Baltimore mayor came under criticism. But like Christie, O’Malley’s 2016 chances were already pretty slim before this week.

3. Jeb Losing The Adelson Primary

National Review reported that Jeb Bush is “already a dead man” in the competition to woo GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson – due to Bush foreign-policy adviser James Baker speaking to J Street, a left-leaning Jewish group. But if there is ONE THING Jeb doesn’t need help with right now, it’s money.