Podcast

Ken Rudin's Political Junkie

Essential political news, analysis and history with veteran political analyst Ken Rudin.

Episodes

  • Episode #264: Can “Minnesota Nice” Survive This Climate?

    Feb 14 2019

    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

  • Episode #263: The State of Disunion

    Feb 07 2019

    There were so many things to see and watch for during President Trump’s State of the Union message Tuesday night:  his plan for the border wall, whether he would be bipartisan or defiant, and whether he would address the growing call among Democrats for investigations into his campaign and administration.  There was also Nancy Pelosi, the leader of the newly-empowered Democratic majority in the House.  And what about all the record number of new women in the chamber?  Jonathan Karl, the ch...more

  • Episode #262: Grounds for Divorce — Schultz Brews Trouble for Dems

    Jan 31 2019

    Howard Schultz, the billionaire founder and former CEO of Starbucks attracted a lot of attention last Sunday when he said on “60 Minutes” that he was strongly considering running for president as a centrist independent.  Schultz is a Democrat and a longtime critic of President Trump, and his hinting about a presidential campaign has angered many Democrats, who say he could split the anti-Trump vote with the Democratic nominee and re-elect the president.  Carl Cannon of RealClear Poli...more

  • Episode #261: The Medium is the Message

    Jan 24 2019

    This week we focus on the 2020 presidential race for the entire program.  We start with Janet Hook, national political reporter for the Los Angeles Times, who sums up strengths and weaknesses of some of the leading Democratic candidates. Jay Rosen, the media critic and journalism professor at NYU, fears that the mistakes the media made during the 2016 campaign will be repeated in 2020. And Jane Hall, a journalism professor at American University, discusses the growing incidents of presidential c...more

  • Episode #260: Let Them Eat Crap

    Jan 17 2019

    The government shutdown is now approaching a month.  Are we any closer to a deal?  Ken Walsh of usnews.com doubts it.  He assesses the damage, both to the Republican Party and to the country. We have a segment concerning two controversial House members.  Steve King is an Iowa Republican who is best known for a history of racially-tinged comments.  But his latest musings, on white supremacy, caused such an uproar that his own party stripped him of his committee assignments.  Lindsey McPherson of ...more

  • Episode #259: Shutdown in Washington, Starting Up in Iowa

    Jan 10 2019

    With so many inspiring stories about the record-breaking number of new women elected to Congress, why is everyone focusing on how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) danced on a roof when she was in college?  Why, in this era of Trump and profanity, are we fixating on the obscenity from Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)?  And is the issue for 2020 whether or not Elizabeth Warren is “likable?”  Kelly Dittmar of the Center for American Women and Politics raises the question of gender bias. Meanwhile, P...more

  • Episode #258: Shutting Down the Government … And Civility As Well

    Jan 03 2019

    It’s the first show of 2019 but we’re not through with 2018 quite just yet.  NPR’s Ron Elving joins Ken for a review of the year, highlights and lowlights. Sarah Binder of George Washington University previews the 116th Congress that started this week. And Amanda Sloat of the Brookings Institution assesses President Trump’s decision to withdraw American troops from Syria and the resulting resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Music used in this podcast: I’ll ...more

  • Episode #257: 2018 Remembrances Special

    Dec 20 2018

    Political analyst Stu Rothenberg and USA Today commentary editor Jill Lawrence join Ken to remember those in the political world who died this year — it’s the Political Junkie 2018 Remembrances Special. In addition to their conversations about the giants who left us, we also hear from: Alan Simpson, on George Bush. Mike Murphy, on John McCain. Paul Begala, on Zell Miller. Paul Tonko, on Louise Slaughter. Mara Liasson, on Charles Krauthammer. We hope you will join in our celebration...more

  • Episode #256: Where There’s Smock, There’s Firings

    Dec 13 2018

    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 lays out the actions taken by Wisconsin’s Republican legislature, designed to curtail the powers of the state’s newly el...more

  • Episode #255: Kinder, Gentler, and a Complex Legacy

    Dec 06 2018

    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 campaign in Texas, and ending with Bill Clinton reading aloud a letter Bush sent him as Clinton was about to be inaugurated in 1993. And we hear from Carol Anderson...more

  • Episode #254: The Toppled Front Runner

    Nov 29 2018

    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... The post Episode #254: The Toppled Front Runner appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #253: Thanksgiving Appetizers

    Nov 21 2018

    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,... The post Episode #253: Thanksgiving Appetizers appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #252: Florida. Again.

    Nov 15 2018

    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... The post Episode #252: Florida. Again. appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #251: Not a Blue Wave, But a Purple Rain

    Nov 08 2018

    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... The post Episode #251: Not a Blue Wave, But a Purple Rain appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #250: The 2018 Midterm Election Special

    Nov 01 2018

    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 post Episode #250: The 2018 Midterm Election Special appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #249: The Washington Nationalist

    Oct 25 2018

    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... The post Episode #249: The Washington Nationalist appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #248: After Kavanaugh

    Oct 18 2018

    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... The post Episode #248: After Kavanaugh appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #247: Hearing Problems

    Oct 04 2018

    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... The post Episode #247: Hearing Problems appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #246: Brett and Butter Issues

    Sep 27 2018

    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... The post Episode #246: Brett and Butter Issues appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #245: Counting Down to the Midterms

    Sep 20 2018

    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... The post Episode #245: Counting Down to the Midterms appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #244: 44 Takes On 45

    Sep 13 2018

    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... The post Episode #244: 44 Takes On 45 appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #243: Super News for Berniecrats, Super Memories from Joe Lieberman

    Sep 06 2018

    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 post Episode #243: Super News for Berniecrats, Super Memories from Joe Lieberman appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #242: Senator, Maverick, Patriot

    Aug 30 2018

    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... The post Episode #242: Senator, Maverick, Patriot appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #241: Left Turn in Mass., Right Turn in Fla., A Turnaround in N.Y.

    Aug 16 2018

    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... The post Episode #241: Left Turn in Mass., Right Turn in Fla., A Turnaround in N.Y. appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #240: A Harbinger for November?

    Aug 09 2018

    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... The post Episode #240: A Harbinger for November? appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #239: Our Collusion Delusion Confusion

    Aug 02 2018

    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 post Episode #239: Our Collusion Delusion Confusion appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #238: Rohrabacher, Russia Backer?

    Jul 26 2018

    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... The post Episode #238: Rohrabacher, Russia Backer? appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #237: To Russia with Love

    Jul 19 2018

    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... The post Episode #237: To Russia with Love appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #236: Kavanaugh Comes A-Courtin’

    Jul 12 2018

    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... The post Episode #236: Kavanaugh Comes A-Courtin’ appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #235: Reshaping The Court … Again

    Jun 28 2018

    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... The post Episode #235: Reshaping The Court … Again appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #234: Zero Tolerance

    Jun 21 2018

    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... The post Episode #234: Zero Tolerance appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #233: Pulling Rank in Maine

    Jun 14 2018

    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... The post Episode #233: Pulling Rank in Maine appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #232: Buy Me Some Primaries and Cracker Jack

    Jun 07 2018

    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... The post Episode #232: Buy Me Some Primaries and Cracker Jack appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #231: Trick or Tweet

    May 31 2018

    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... The post Episode #231: Trick or Tweet appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #230: 1968 — The Voters Have Their Say

    May 24 2018

    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 post Episode #230: 1968 — The Voters Have Their Say appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #229: All In The Family

    May 17 2018

    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 post Episode #229: All In The Family appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #228: When The Blankenship Hit The Fan

    May 10 2018

    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... The post Episode #228: When The Blankenship Hit The Fan appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #227: The Reporters Who Cried Wolf

    May 03 2018

    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... The post Episode #227: The Reporters Who Cried Wolf appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #226: 1968 — A Party Divided

    Apr 26 2018

    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... The post Episode #226: 1968 — A Party Divided appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #225: Republicans On The Run

    Apr 19 2018

    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... The post Episode #225: Republicans On The Run appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #224: The Speaker Has Spoken

    Apr 12 2018

    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... The post Episode #224: The Speaker Has Spoken appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #223: He Had A Dream

    Apr 05 2018

    Fifty years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, and what have we learned?  What lessons has he taught us — and what lessons were ignored.  Wornie Reed, a professor at Virginia Tech... The post Episode #223: He Had A Dream appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #222: 1968 — Turbulence and Tragedy

    Mar 29 2018

    A half-century later, 1968 remains etched in our collective memory, a year of tremendous hope and utter tragedy.  This week we take the first of three looks at that iconic year. Gary Eichten, a... The post Episode #222: 1968 — Turbulence and Tragedy appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #221: Barack to the Future

    Mar 22 2018

    So what’s the lesson to be learned from the Republican loss in Pennsylvania’s 18th District special election?  Jack Pitney of Claremont McKenna College suggests that while it’s clearly bad news for the GOP, there’s... The post Episode #221: Barack to the Future appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #220: Lamb Chops the GOP

    Mar 15 2018

    It’s a solidly Republican district that both Donald Trump and Mitt Romney easily carried.  The previous Republican congressman was considered so strong that Democrats failed to even run a candidate in either 2014 and... The post Episode #220: Lamb Chops the GOP appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #219: And The Oscar Goes To…

    Mar 08 2018

    It appears that for all the angst over how to respond to the latest mass shootings, this time in Parkland, Florida, Congress is not in any hurry to enact new gun laws.  But what... The post Episode #219: And The Oscar Goes To… appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #218: On Guns, Does Anything Change?

    Mar 01 2018

    The latest incident of gun violence has led to the predictable debate about what Congress can, and will, do.  Harry Wilson of Roanoke College reminds us that while previous shootings may have moved public... The post Episode #218: On Guns, Does Anything Change? appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #217: The Lines Are Drawn in Pennsylvania

    Feb 22 2018

    The new congressional map drawn by the Democratic-controlled Pennsylvania Supreme Court may not only abolish the Republican-drawn gerrymander that’s been in effect since 2011, but it could give the Dems anywhere from 3 to... The post Episode #217: The Lines Are Drawn in Pennsylvania appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #216: Kelly On The Ropes

    Feb 15 2018

    There have been many crises and mini-crises in the Trump White House, but usually they seem to vanish pretty quickly … as new ones pop up.  But the current imbroglio involving former staff secretary... The post Episode #216: Kelly On The Ropes appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

  • Episode #215: One Dare Call It Treason

    Feb 08 2018

    There doesn’t seem to be any letting up in the war between Democrats and Republicans in the House over the propriety of the investigation into President Trump and Russia.  Republicans on the House Intelligence... The post Episode #215: One Dare Call It Treason appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.