Domenico Montanaro

Domenico Montanaro is NPR's lead editor for politics and digital audience. Based in Washington, D.C., he directs political coverage across the network's broadcast and digital platforms.

Before joining NPR in 2015, Montanaro served as political director and senior producer for politics and law at PBS NewsHour. There, he led domestic political and legal coverage, which included the 2014 midterm elections, the Supreme Court and the unrest in Ferguson, Mo.

Prior to PBS NewsHour, Montanaro was deputy political editor at NBC News, where he covered two presidential elections and reported and edited for the network's political blog, "First Read." He has also worked at CBS News, ABC News, The Asbury Park Press in New Jersey, and has taught high-school English.

Montanaro earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Delaware and a master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University

A native of Queens, N.Y., Montanaro is a die-hard Mets fan and college-basketball junkie.

Some people do drink holy water, hoping for a little extra help from above.

But no one steals the pope's.

That is, no one, except Rep. Bob Brady. The Pennsylvania Democrat, a Roman Catholic, apparently eyed the glass atop the lectern next to Pope Francis during his address to Congress. Once Francis was done, Brady nabbed it, sneaked it back to his office — and drank it.

It's a new day, and it might not be the same again.

"My, oh my, what a wonderful day..." House Speaker John Boehner sang as he took to the podium in the Capitol Friday to announce his intention to resign as speaker of the House at the end of October.

But he isn't the only one reacting gleefully — conservatives are, too.

Boehner's resignation happens to coincide with the Values Voter Summit taking place in Washington Friday. Many at the conservative confab of religious voters were overjoyed.

Pope Francis speaks his mind, and he did that again in his address to a joint meeting of Congress on Thursday morning. But, in the vein of the best Jesuit teachers, Francis praised America, its rich political history and its ideals before delicately delivering some things its political leaders might, well, want to consider working on.

There were political messages that challenged the orthodoxy of both American political parties, but, in this 51-minute address, there were a lot more points of emphasis Democrats are happy about — and that put some pressure on Republicans.

Donald Trump went and gave a speech Tuesday night on the deck of a battleship, the appropriately named USS Iowa. Reporters were expecting a policy speech. What followed was not that at all.

But that's really not the point.

Toward the end of the 13-minute speech, Trump said 178 words that might explain his appeal to conservatives better than almost anything else. (More on that below.)

First, to the policy ...

Gentlemen, start your spending.

Jeb Bush and the superPAC supporting him have raised the most money of any campaign so far. And now, post-Labor Day, the superPAC is about to put that money to use.

Howard Dean didn't just go away in 2004. And it wasn't "The Scream" that did him in. Remember, that came in his speech after losing the Iowa caucuses.

It took Democratic candidates attacking him on the campaign trail and in debates to bring concerns about his record — and whether he could win — to the forefront for Democratic voters.

Five months have passed since we first fact checked Hillary Clinton's arguments defending her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. The controversy has not gone away, and the Clinton campaign, hoping for a post-Labor Day reset, is ramping up its defense.

Che faccia brutta!

Between catcalls and "Ciao, Bellas," it's a refrain heard in Italian piazzas in hushed, and sometimes not so hushed, side conversations between men scoping out women.

It's usually coupled with Shakespearean dramatization with one guy putting his hand to his stomach while he's bending over like he's going to vomit.

Che faccia brutta!

Rough translation: What an ugly face.

Everyone should be on notice to look out for the unexpected this year in politics.

What usually happens might not be the case this time around.

The rise of anti-establishment candidates, non-prototypical politicians, like Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Ben Carson is evidence of a clear anti-establishment sentiment. As the Washington Post's Dan Balz concluded in his most recent column:

Hillary Clinton has spent much of the summer fending off questions about her private email account during her time as secretary of state. Bernie Sanders is gaining on her in the polls. And there's a looming possible challenge from sitting Vice President Joe Biden.

That's a far cry from the beginning of this campaign when she was seen as an almost inevitable Democratic nominee.

Now, she's trying to regroup and make the case before the very people who will choose that nominee — not voters, but her base: the party establishment.

Alaska is on the "bucket lists" for a lot of people, but for President Obama it's on his famous list of things that rhyme with bucket.

When a wispy-haired, septuagenarian senator from Vermont with a Larry David-style and a life-long passion for talking about income inequality decided to run for president, not many took him seriously.

That's especially true, considering that senator, Bernie Sanders, was going up against the New York Yankees of Democratic politics — the Clintons.

But now Sanders is gaining in the polls, including in the gold-standard poll in Iowa — out Saturday night.

Donald Trump's been having a lot of fun at the expense of others lately.

Mitt Romney and Donald Trump's relationship had all the permanence of a Las Vegas wedding.

Perhaps Romney said it best when he took to the podium that fateful day in February of 2012 to accept Trump's endorsement.

"There are some things that you just can't imagine happening in your life. Uh, this is one of them," the eventual Republican nominee said to laughter.

Jeb Bush will release 33 years of tax returns later this afternoon, a Bush campaign aide confirms to NPR.

"This is more than any presidential candidate in the history of the United States," Bush spokeswoman Allie Brandenburger wrote in an email. "This display of transparency is consistent with the high level of disclosure he has practiced during his life in public office."

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom share pieces that have kept them reading. They share tidbits using the #NPRreads hashtag — and on Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you four reads.

From Edith Chapin, NPR's acting executive editor:

This post has been updated.

A day after a shooting left nine dead in a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., President Obama mourned the losses and lamented the politics of gun control.

"At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries," Obama said from the White House Briefing Room. "It doesn't happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it."

Still, Obama noted that power is limited.

If Hillary Clinton wants to be president, Jeb Bush might be the candidate she most wants to run against.

After nearly a week of confusion over his position on Iraq, the Middle East and the role of his brother as an adviser, Jeb Bush fully walked back his position that he would have gone to war in Iraq even knowing what we know now.

"So here's the deal," Bush told an audience in Arizona. "If we're all supposed to answer hypothetical questions, knowing what we know now, I would not have engaged. I would not have gone into Iraq. That's not to say that the world is safer because Saddam Hussein is gone. It is significantly safer."

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is considering running for president. He met with reporters Friday afternoon over lunch at the St. Regis Hotel sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. He dropped several pearls of wisdom.

Here are a dozen of them with audio attached.

On his Croatian/Czech background and his first run for governor in 1978
1. "People thought a Croatian was something that climbed out of the ocean or something."

No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio. That's exactly the argument Ohio Gov. John Kasich is making for why Republicans should choose him as their nominee in 2016.

"I will tell you that you can't be president if you don't win Ohio. That's not even a question," Kasich said Friday at a lunch with reporters in Washington sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. Kasich is thinking about running for president and is trying to determine whether he has a viable path.

It's been a tough week for a couple of candidates looking to break through on the presidential stage, namely Chris Christie and Martin O'Malley.

First, in New Jersey, David Wildstein, a former Christie ally and former Port Authority official, pleaded guity Friday to charges related to the "Bridgegate" scandal that closed several lanes of traffic to the George Washington Bridge over four days in 2013, ensnaring cars in massive backups.

Hillary Clinton's new logo has been much maligned. A simple, rightward-pointing "H" with a red arrow through it that looks like it could have been made with Microsoft Paint.

Red, the color of the other team. How could she? some Democrats wondered. It seemed so amateurish, some design experts lamented.

It's a long-time ritual — American presidents going before the Washington journalists who cover them to recognize some of the best work of the prior year from the assembled crowd.

Of course, there are also jokes. Here are eight Obama jokes that stood out from the 2015 White House Correspondents Dinner:

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