President Trump’s attacks on Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is part of a familiar tactic of singling out a woman of color, a Muslim no less, for words or actions that the president finds objectionable … a tactic that he has been using since 2015, one that helps him with his base. But by being a controversial figure in her own right, Omar has become a lightning rod among some Democrats as well. Kevin den Dulk of Calvin College explores American views of Islam, from 9/11 to the c...more
The Democrats have a problem. Their ostensible frontrunner for 2020 is Joe Biden, the former vice president who has yet to enter the race. But he has a history of placing his hands on people, men and women, that may not be sexual in nature but is seen by some as clearly inappropriate — especially in this #MeToo era. Frank Wilkinson of Bloomberg Opinion assesses the Biden candidacy and suggests that he has other problems that could hold him back from the nomination. Evan Thomas has a won...more
John Delaney once had the spotlight all to himself. At the time a three-term congressman from Maryland, he was the first to declare his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination. That was back in the summer of 2017. Now, nearly two years later, there are 15, maybe 16 candidates running. But back then, he was in a Class of One, and he spoke to us about his reasons for running and odds of succeeding. Steve Farnsworth of the University of Mary Washington and author of “Presidential C...more
We don’t know for sure what’s in the Mueller Report — all we have to go by is Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary. But with President Trump claiming complete exoneration and Democrats demanding to see the entire finished product, Ken Walsh of U.S. News explains how politics has taken over the process. History will be made Tuesday in Chicago, as the two candidates running for mayor are both African-American women. NPR’s Cheryl Corley tells us about th...more
What is more significant? The fact that 12 Senate Republicans voted against President Trump’s wishes on his national emergency declaration, or that Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) voted in Trump’s favor after giving every indication they would not? Either way, Carl Hulse of the New York Times explains it all. Beto O’Rourke is in, and Joe Biden’s entrance may be just weeks away. Janet Hook of the Los Angeles Times lists their strengths and weaknesses. One of...more
With Senate Republicans who are considering voting to overturn President Trump’s emergency powers ruling on the border wall money possibly vulnerable to a primary battle from the right, and with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) ostensibly threatening primary challenges to Democratic House members who are prone to voting for GOP proposals, Nathan Gonzales of Inside Elections discusses the growing polarization between the two parties … and the possibility that voters are fine wit...more
President Trump received the good with the bad this week: an enthusiastic reception at CPAC and a request for documents by the House Judiciary Committee that is investigating alleged Trump crimes and lies. John Bennett of Roll Call gives us a review. Two more Democrats have jumped into the presidential contest. Bente Birkeland of Colorado Public Radio sizes up former Governor John Hickenlooper, who is running as a moderate, and Austin Jenkins of the Northwest News Network has the scoop on Wash...more
Aaron Blake of the Washington Post analyzes Wednesday’s intense day of Michael Cohen testifying before the House Government Oversight Committee, a day where the partisan divisions over President Trump — and thus Cohen’s credibility — were apparent. With Beto O’Rourke possibly about to launch a bid for the White House, Abby Livingston of the Texas Tribune talks about his appeal and how his campaign abilities could play in the retail politics states of Iowa and New Ha...more
Chris Edelson, a professor at American University who has written the definitive book about the history of the use of presidential emergency powers, looks at Donald Trump’s decision to bypass Congress to pay for the border wall and calls it an unprecedented overuse of power. Vermont Public Radio’s Bob Kinzel, whom Bernie Sanders spoke with as he declared his candidacy, outlines Sanders’ strengths and weaknesses as he plots a second bid for the White House. The investigation int...more
With all the professional politicians and presidential hopefuls calling for Gov. Ralph Northam to step down in the wake of a race-based controversy, a new poll made it clear that there was one group of people who haven’t been heard from until now: the people of Virginia. Mark Rozell of George Mason University talks about whether Northam can survive politically … which may not be the same for his lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, who has been accused of sexual assault by two wome...more
The Democrats gave a Pelosi clap to President Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday. We break down the points that Trump made in his speech. Plus, we discuss the unfolding leadership crisis in Virginia. And we examine the political career of New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, the latest Democrat to jump into the presidential race. The post Episode #263: The State of Disunion appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
There's a latte talk about former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz's potential independent presidential bid this week. Plus, what are the chances we could see a Republican challenger to President Trump's re-election campaign in 2020? And we discuss a new book about the Brown family dynasty in California. The post Episode #262: Grounds for Divorce — Schultz Brews Trouble for Dems appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
Have you lost count yet of how many presidential candidates are already in the 2020 race? This week, we examine the strengths and weaknesses of some of the leading candidates. Plus, will the media apply any of the lessons from its 2016 campaign coverage in 2020? And, we look back at the history of presidential candidates making appearances on television programs. The post Episode #261: The Medium is the Message appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
While President Trump serves fast food at the White House, federal employees and contractors face the hardships of going without pay for nearly a month. Is there any hope of a resolution to the budget impasse? Plus, why did House Republicans wait until now to punish Rep. Steve King for making racist remarks? We also learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard as she launches her presidential campaign, and preview a new political era in Kansas. The post Episode #260: Let Them Eat Crap appeared first on K...more
The government shutdown is close to becoming the longest in U.S. history. We look back at past government shutdowns and the political ramifications they had for both parties. Meanwhile, we examine the more prominent role that women will play in the 116th Congress. And with "only" 13 months to go until the Iowa caucuses, we look at the early groundwork being laid by candidates in the Hawkeye State. The post Episode #259: Shutdown in Washington, Starting Up in Iowa appeared first on Ken Rudin's Po...more
It's the first show of 2019, but we're not done with 2018 quite yet. Ron Elving is back to help Ken sort through the barrage of political news that developed last year. Plus, a preview of the 116th Congress as it gets sworn in today, and we examine President Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, along with the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. The post Episode #258: Shutting Down the Government … And Civility As Well appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
On our annual Remembrances Special, Ken is joined by political analyst Stu Rothenberg and USA Today commentary editor Jill Lawrence to reflect on the lives of many of the politicians and journalists who passed away in 2018. Plus, former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), who delivered one of the eulogies for President George H.W. Bush earlier this month, shares his memories of the 41st president. The post Episode #257: 2018 Remembrances Special appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
The sentencing of Trump fixer Michael Cohen and the conclusions drawn by prosecutors about Paul Manafort have put the president closer to legal peril than ever before. Alex Whiting of Harvard Law School explores Robert Mueller’s strategy and what constitutes criminal actions … and what may be impeachable. Mary Spicuzza of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ... Read moreEpisode #256: Where There’s Smock, There’s Firings The post Episode #256: Where There’s Smock, There’s Firings appeared first on K...more
We spend much of our show this week remembering the life and legacy of George Herbert Walker Bush. His biographer, Jon Meacham, talks about what he learned from the 41st President in putting together his book. And we bring you many soundbites from Bush’s political career — starting with a commercial from his 1964 Senate ... Read moreEpisode #255: Kinder, Gentler, and a Complex Legacy The post Episode #255: Kinder, Gentler, and a Complex Legacy appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
For all the racial gaffes and unforced errors made by Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, she still managed to win Tuesday’s runoff. Being a Republican in Ruby Red Mississippi certainly helped, and having President Trump campaign for her wasn’t bad either. Luke Ramseth of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger explains what was behind her eight-point victory over Democratic former ... Read moreEpisode #254: The Toppled Front Runner The post Episode #254: The Toppled Front Runner appeared first on Ken Rudin's Politica...more
Thanksgiving is an opportunity to step back from the daily grind of the political cycle, away from the recriminations and finger-pointing, and enjoy some time off with family and loved ones. So this week, we’re reaching back into the archives to revisit some of our favorite interviews. Chuck Hagel, the former two-term senator from Nebraska ... Read moreEpisode #253: Thanksgiving Appetizers The post Episode #253: Thanksgiving Appetizers appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
A week after the 2018 midterm elections and there’s still no shortage of uncertainty. Susan MacManus of the University of South Florida reports on the suspicion and vitriol taking place in Florida, where races for the Senate and governor are too close to call and are now the subject of a recount — bringing back ... Read moreEpisode #252: Florida. Again. The post Episode #252: Florida. Again. appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
It’s finally over. The 2018 midterms, with all its rancor and charges and bitterness, are over. But if it’s a referendum on President Trump, what’s the message if the Democrats did great in the House and the Republicans did great in the Senate? NPR’s Ron Elving has the answers. And we also hear from two ... Read moreEpisode #251: Not a Blue Wave, But a Purple Rain The post Episode #251: Not a Blue Wave, But a Purple Rain appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
It’s the Political Junkie Midterm Election Special: What’s at stake on November 6th and what to look for. We hear from: Republican strategist Vin Weber and Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg on the backdrop of the election, key races to watch, and their significance; Kelly Dittmar of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, ... Read moreEpisode #250: The 2018 Midterm Election Special The post Episode #250: The 2018 Midterm Election Special appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political...more
To put it mildly, presidents don’t always like the coverage they get in the press. But never — not even with Nixon, or Obama, both of whom had less than cordial relations with the media — has a president attacked reporters with such venom. Marvin Kalb, the former CBS and NBC newsman, has a new ... Read moreEpisode #249: The Washington Nationalist The post Episode #249: The Washington Nationalist appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
The president on CBS’ “60 Minutes” last Sunday was vintage Trump: combative, insistent and not willing to change his mind, even if the facts suggest he could be wrong. Aaron Blake of the Washington Post assesses the interview with Lesley Stahl. Sen. Susan Collins, the Maine Republican who voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the ... Read moreEpisode #248: After Kavanaugh The post Episode #248: After Kavanaugh appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
The drama and tension we saw last week during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court — beginning with emotional accusations against him by Christine Blasey Ford — reminded many of the contentiousness of another committee hearing 27 years ago. Then, Anita Hill went before the same ... Read moreEpisode #247: Hearing Problems The post Episode #247: Hearing Problems appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
While Washington is about to begin deciding the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the issue of his confirmation is playing out in campaigns across the country. Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum of St. Louis Public Radio discuss how Senator Claire McCaskill (D) and her GOP challenger, Josh Hawley, are handling it. One gubernatorial ... Read moreEpisode #246: Brett and Butter Issues The post Episode #246: Brett and Butter Issues appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
The primaries — which began in Texas in March and ended last week in New York — have produced some interesting stories, fascinating characters and crucial matchups for November. NPR’s Ron Elving tells us what we learned during the primary season and offers some observations about who benefits on Election Day. We have reports on ... Read moreEpisode #245: Counting Down to the Midterms The post Episode #245: Counting Down to the Midterms appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
A lot of fireworks and pent-up anger last week during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. But, as Robert Barnes of the Washington Post points out, were any minds changed? Is he less likely to get confirmed? Barnes suggests no. Former President Barack Obama made his long-awaited return to ... Read moreEpisode #244: 44 Takes On 45 The post Episode #244: 44 Takes On 45 appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
One of the main complaints Democratic Party leaders heard from Bernie Sanders supporters in 2016 was the outsized influence of superdelegates — those elected officials and other party bigwigs who were automatic delegates to the national nominating convention who could vote for whichever candidate they preferred, regardless of how the primary results went. Sanders backers ... Read moreEpisode #243: Super News for Berniecrats, Super Memories from Joe Lieberman The post Episode #243: Super News f...more
We remember the life, career, and legacy of John McCain, the Arizona Republican senator who died last Saturday at the age of 81. We speak with four people who knew him well: Mike Murphy was McCain’s chief strategist during his bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2000. Alan Simpson, the Wyoming Republican served together ... Read moreEpisode #242: Senator, Maverick, Patriot The post Episode #242: Senator, Maverick, Patriot appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
Chris Collins was a leading Republican congressman from New York, the first GOP House member to endorse Donald Trump in 2016. But his arrest last week on insider trading charges has effectively ended his political career. And now, as Randy Gorbman of radio station WXXI reports, it’s up to Republican leaders in the 27th District to come ... Read moreEpisode #241: Left Turn in Mass., Right Turn in Fla., A Turnaround in N.Y. The post Episode #241: Left Turn in Mass., Right Turn in Fla., A Turnar...more
The special congressional election in Ohio’s 12th District is still too close to call. But just the fact that a Democrat almost won this longstanding GOP bastion is enough for Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections, to call it bad news for the Republican Party and a possible reason to worry for November. ... Read moreEpisode #240: A Harbinger for November? The post Episode #240: A Harbinger for November? appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
The “impeach Rod Rosenstein” effort is going nowhere, to no surprise, but that hardly means conservatives in the House Republican conference are backing down. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is running to head up the party in the House, and there may be several dozen members of the Freedom Caucus ready to back him. Jack ... Read moreEpisode #239: Our Collusion Delusion Confusion The post Episode #239: Our Collusion Delusion Confusion appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
The victory of Democrat Conor Lamb in a solidly Republican House seat in Pennsylvania earlier this year brought national headlines. Could the same thing happen next month in Ohio? Owen Daugherty of the Columbus Dispatch talks about the special congressional election in the Buckeye State’s 12th District on August 7, a seat that Democrats haven’t ... Read moreEpisode #238: Rohrabacher, Russia Backer? The post Episode #238: Rohrabacher, Russia Backer? appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junk...more
The almost surreal news conference in Helsinki between President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin was the big story of the week, and we’ve got it covered. Amanda Sloat of the Brookings Institution reviews Trump’s relationship with NATO allies and discusses the reaction in the aftermath of Helsinki. Michael Steele, the former chair of the Republican ... Read moreEpisode #237: To Russia with Love The post Episode #237: To Russia with Love appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to succeed Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court has given the president his second chance to move the court in a more conservative direction. Burgess Everett of Politico reports on the senators who will be pressured by special interest groups regarding Kavanaugh’s confirmation. And Prof. Jeffrey Segal ... Read moreEpisode #236: Kavanaugh Comes A-Courtin’ The post Episode #236: Kavanaugh Comes A-Courtin’ appeared first on Ken Rudin's P...more
The announcement by Anthony Kennedy, the crucial “swing” justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, that is retiring has sent shock waves through both parties. And the battle to confirm President Trump’s nominee to succeed him will certainly consume the 2018 midterm elections. Court blogger Amy Howe talks about Kennedy’s influence, the list of potential successors, ... Read moreEpisode #235: Reshaping The Court … Again The post Episode #235: Reshaping The Court … Again appeared first on Ken Rudin's P...more
Faced with a losing political argument on “zero tolerance” and the separation of children from the parents who enter the U.S. illegally, President Trump signed an executive order that basically ended his own Administration’s policy — even though he had all along been blaming the Democrats for it. Veteran Republican strategist and pollster Whit Ayres ... Read moreEpisode #234: Zero Tolerance The post Episode #234: Zero Tolerance appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
Maine tried something this week that has never been tried before. It became the first to hold a statewide primary using a system called “ranked choice voting” — in which voters don’t simply indicate their choice on the ballot but “rate” the candidates in order of their preference. Rob Richie of FairVote.org explains the system and weighs ... Read moreEpisode #233: Pulling Rank in Maine The post Episode #233: Pulling Rank in Maine appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
It was a big primary night Tuesday in California, and KQED’s Scott Shafer has all the key results. The big takeaway: Democrats didn’t get shut out of some key House races because of the state’s unique “Top Two” system; it looks like there will be a Democrat and a Republican in all seven congressional districts ... Read moreEpisode #232: Buy Me Some Primaries and Cracker Jack The post Episode #232: Buy Me Some Primaries and Cracker Jack appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
After a week’s absence, the primaries return next Tuesday. Nathan Gonzales of Inside Elections previews the contests in seven states, most notably in California, where the large number of vulnerable Republicans may decide who controls the House in the next Congress. Until those elections take place, Paul Ryan is determined to remain as speaker … ... Read moreEpisode #231: Trick or Tweet The post Episode #231: Trick or Tweet appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
As the 1968 presidential candidates left their conventions and moved into the general election, the nation was watching to see what would happen. Would Richard Nixon, the Republican, hold onto his lead and become the 37th president? Could Hubert Humphrey, the Democrat, unite the party in time to give himself a chance to win? And ... Read moreEpisode #230: 1968 — The Voters Have Their Say The post Episode #230: 1968 — The Voters Have Their Say appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
Sunday was Mother’s Day, and so we picked this week to spread some family love by playing some of our favorite segments from past broadcasts. We hear from two proud daughters. Shelley Moore Capito, the junior senator from West Virginia, reminisces about her late father, former Governor Arch Moore. And Sheila Simon, the former lieutenant ... Read moreEpisode #229: All In The Family The post Episode #229: All In The Family appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
He disavowed both the Iran nuclear deal that Obama put together, as well as the comments his new attorney Rudy Giuliani said on the TV talk shows. Whatever President Trump is doing he is making news. Former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson is back on the program offering his observations, as well as a poignant thank you ... Read moreEpisode #228: When The Blankenship Hit The Fan The post Episode #228: When The Blankenship Hit The Fan appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
After a month’s lapse, the primaries return next Tuesday, in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and North Carolina. One big race everyone is watching is the Republican Senate primary in W.Va., a very pro-Trump state where the GOP would love nothing better than to knock off Democratic incumbent Joe Manchin. Greg Giroux of Bloomberg is here ... Read moreEpisode #227: The Reporters Who Cried Wolf The post Episode #227: The Reporters Who Cried Wolf appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
A half-century later, 1968 remains etched in our collective memory, a year of tremendous hope and utter tragedy. This week we take the second of three looks at that iconic year, focusing on the chaotic Democratic convention in Chicago. Ted Van Dyk, Hubert Humphrey’s top adviser, talks about how the vice president was boxed in ... Read moreEpisode #226: 1968 — A Party Divided The post Episode #226: 1968 — A Party Divided appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision to retire after this year and endorse Kevin McCarthy as his successor normally would mean that the California Republican would be the odds-on favorite to become either the next speaker or the next House minority leader (depending how the GOP does in November). But Seung Min Kim of the Washington Post says with the election ... Read moreEpisode #225: Republicans On The Run The post Episode #225: Republicans On The Run appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
President Trump has never been shy about expressing his thoughts regarding the investigation into his 2016 campaign … and whether (1) Russia played a role in his election, and (2) whether his campaign colluded with the Kremlin to make it happen. But this week’s action by the FBI, a raid on Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s ... Read moreEpisode #224: The Speaker Has Spoken The post Episode #224: The Speaker Has Spoken appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.