President Trump’s decision to go from blasting Muslim Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to questioning the loyalty of “Jewish people” who vote for Democrats was seen as baffling at the least, a deliberate anti-Semitic trope at the worst. Dartmouth Professor Bernard Avishai talks about what Trump is trying to accomplish by defining the Democratic Party as anti-Israel and anti-Jewish.The latest controversial comment by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has Rekha Basu of the Des ...more
Democrats have been wary about embracing the issue of gun legislation ever since 1994, when the assault weapons ban passed by Congress and signed by President Clinton was partially responsible for their electoral washout that year. Anna Greenberg, the managing partner at the Democratic polling firm GQR, argues that recent horrific mass shooting deaths and activity at the local level have increased the odds of passing legislation at the federal level.One of the reasons why the presidential ambit...more
The horrific acts of gun violence in El Paso and Dayton sound awfully familiar, and so has been the political reaction. As for the argument that this is more a mental health issue than a gun issue, Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Hamline University, talks about the mindset of those who commit gun crimes.It’s maddening enough for Americans to try and get our hands around the issues of guns and the large Democratic presidential field. We thought we’d reach out to a Danish...more
Twenty candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination met again for two nights this week, with the first grouping on Tuesday deciding the ideological direction of the party, and the second grouping on Wednesday getting into more personal attacks of their fellow Democrats. Janet Hook of the Los Angeles Times reports that while Joe Biden was expected to have the largest bullseye on his back, few expected him to lash out at so many of his rivals. And Kamala Harris, who seemed to gain i...more
Robert Mueller, at long last, testified before two House committees on Wednesday, part of the Democrats’ hope that what the former special counsel says about Donald Trump will be the beginning of the process that ends his presidency. But as NPR’s Ron Elving notes, little new information was uncovered, the partisanship was as bad as ever, and Republicans decided to portray Mueller as an incompetent anti-Trump advocate.Kentucky Democrats are pleased that they lured Amy McGrath, a form...more
President Trump’s incendiary tweets aimed at four congressional women of color has been condemned by the House. But there was less than a handful of Republicans who supported the measure and, as the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake points out, Trump’s actions seemed part of a continuing playbook to outrage people and be part of the conversation.The death of Ross Perot, at age 89, brings us back to 1992 and his remarkable bid for the presidency in which he got more votes than any ...more
For all the focus on the race for the presidency, the battle for control of the Senate is just as crucial, Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia helps breakdown the key races up in 2020.Carl Cannon, the Washington bureau chief of RealClearPolitics talks about his book, “On This Date — From the Pilgrims to Today, Discovering America One Day At a Time,” that has a fascinating entry for every day of the year.Robert Dallek is the author of another book, “Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Po...more
There’s no way we can celebrate Independence Day without hearing about significant independent presidential candidates of the past half century. Ron Rapoport, formerly of the College of William & Mary, takes us on a tour starting with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein in 2016 and traveling back to 1968 with George Wallace.Plus, we thought we would explore the question: What makes a political junkie? We hear from Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg, political analyst Stu Rothenberg, former...more
Round 1 of the Democratic debates is over. Now comes the fallout, the second-guessing, the rethinking of strategies. Will Joe Biden continue to have a lead in the polls? Did Bernie Sanders, rather than stand out as the principal challenger to Biden, become just one of the pack? Can Kamala Harris build on a very strong performance? Conversely, can Beto O’Rourke rebound from what was regarded as a less than stellar showing? And is there room for another candidate to break through? NPR...more
As we approach two Democratic candidate debates this week, Amber Phillips of the Washington Post offers a “what to look for” guide for the Wednesday and Thursday events.We’ve heard a lot from Democrats about how they see their now-24 candidate field. Now we hear from a Republican: GOP strategist Frank Donatelli offers his two cents on the opposition.And for all the criticism Joe Biden got for his comments about working with segregationists like the late Sen. James Eastland (D...more
We’re days away from the first Democratic debate of the 2020 campaign. Now that we know the lineup for each night, what should we expect? Plus, we discuss the possibility of West Virginia’s Joe Manchin leaving the Senate, and of departing White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders mulling a future run for governor of Arkansas. And we go back 20 years to remember Al Gore’s 2000 campaign for president. The post Episode #282: The Roaring Twenty appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie...more
There are two weeks to go until the first Democratic debate, and about eight months until the Iowa caucuses. We look at the current state of the presidential race in Iowa. Plus, as the fights over abortion rights intensify, we explore why Joe Biden changed his position on the Hyde Amendment. And four years after Donald Trump descended that escalator and announced his run for president, we look back at why political analysts underestimated his campaign from the very beginning. The post Episode #2...more
Fourteen candidates showed up last weekend at the California Democratic convention. We discuss who received a less-than-warm welcome, and how much attention went to Joe Biden, who skipped the event. Plus, an early preview of the race to take on Alabama Sen. Doug Jones. And former Rep. David Dreier talks about the influence his friend President Ronald Reagan had on his career. The post Episode #280: California, Here They Come (Mostly) appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
Does Robert Mueller’s decision to put President Trump’s future in the hands of Congress put more pressure on Nancy Pelosi? Plus, a look back at the history of relationships between other presidents and House speakers. And former GOP Congressman Tom Coleman discusses his call for impeachment and what’s going on in his party today. The post Episode #279: The Speaker and the President – On Speaking Terms? appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
It’s been 46 years since the Roe decision, and abortion continues to be a political punching bag. We look back at the history of abortion in politics. Plus, has Michigan Republican Congressman Justin Amash risked his political future by calling for President Trump’s impeachment? And Mayor Bill de Blasio’s numbers are abysmal at home in New York City. What kind of a send-off is that for someone who wants to be president? The post Episode #278: President de Blasio? Fuhgeddabowdit! appeared firs...more
Alabama’s new law that essentially bans all abortions is clearly intended to ignite a challenge of Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court. Could it lead to Roe being overturned? Plus, a preview of the battle for control of the Senate in 2020, and we explore which presidential candidates are likely to make the primary debate stage next month. And we reflect on the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, 65 years later. The post Episode #277: Fetal Attraction appeared first on Ken Rudin's ...more
With Joe Biden’s candidacy bringing back memories of the Hill-Thomas hearings, former Arizona senator Dennis DeConcini, a Democrat from the 1991 committee recalls that confirmation battle. Marvin Kalb, the former CBS and NBC newsman weighs in on Donald Trump’s attacks on the media. And author Rick Robinson joins us to talk about some famous political embarrassments and screw-ups of the past. The post Episode #276: Hill-Thomas Redux appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
With the Democratic field for 2020 shaping up to be the largest in history, we check in on Iowa to see who is making waves in the Hawkeye State. Plus, we remember the life of Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar by hearing from two of his colleagues: former Sen. Sam Nunn and former Fort Wayne Mayor Paul Helmke. And we listen back to Ken’s 2017 interview with the late Sen. Lugar. The post Episode #275: Honor. Integrity. Dick Lugar. appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
Now that the Mueller report is out, what will the Democrats do next? As debate swirls around the possibility of impeachment, we take a look back at the investigation of President Nixon in 1974, and examine the similarities and differences to today. Plus, we discuss the politics of the supposedly-independent Federal Reserve Board, and preview next month’s gubernatorial primary in Kentucky. The post Episode #274: Nixon’s The One. Is Trump? appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
President Trump’s feud with Rep. Ilhan Omar is not the first time that Trump has been accused of stoking Islamophobia to stir up his base. We look back at the history of American’s attitudes towards Muslims, and also examine how Rep. Omar has become a lightning rod among Democrats as well. Plus, we discuss how Mayor Pete Buttigieg has become a media phenomenon, and we look back at the ten worst presidential primary campaigns of recent memory. The post Episode #273: Who Am I to Buttigieg? appeare...more
Will Joe Biden's history of placing his hands on men and women hold him back from securing the Democratic nomination? Plus, journalist Evan Thomas discusses his new biography of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, entitled "First." And we reflect on the life of former South Carolina Sen. Fritz Hollings, who died recently at age 97. The post Episode #272: Going the Distance, Keeping His Distance appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
Former Maryland Congressman John Delaney was the first Democrat to jump into the presidential race, way back in the summer of 2017. We revisit Ken's conversation with him from shortly after he began his campaign. Plus, we rebroadcast several other conversations looking at the communication styles of past presidents, the first woman to serve in Congress, and a biography of President James K. Polk. The post Episode #271: First in War, First in Peace, First in Iowa appeared first on Ken Rudin's Pol...more
We don't know for sure what's in the Mueller report... we only know Attorney General Barr's summary of it. We explore how political animosity has exploded in the aftermath of last weekend's announcements. Plus, we preview Tuesday's mayoral runoff election in Chicago and remember the Democrats' VP nomination of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984. The post Episode #270: A Low Barr for Exoneration appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
Beto O'Rourke is in for 2020. Could Joe Biden be next to enter the crowded presidential field? Meanwhile, we meet presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, who tells us about the issues that are motivating her run for the White House. And we reflect on the legacy of the late Indiana Sen. Birch Bayh, and the lasting influence he had on the country and the Constitution. The post Episode #269: Bayh, Beto & Biden appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
We explore the increasing polarization of both political parties. How can centrist politicians reach across the aisle when more ideological members of their party threaten them with primary challenges? Plus, we discuss the Democrats' decision to exclude Fox News from hosting any presidential debates, and we go back 15 years to when a state senator named Barack Obama won the Illinois Senate primary. The post Episode #268: Journey to the Centrists of the Earth appeared first on Ken Rudin's Politic...more
President Trump's enthusiastic reception at CPAC followed a week marked by a failed North Korea summit in Hanoi and a request from the House Judiciary Committee for troves of documents. We recap an eventful week in the Trump presidency. Plus, getting to know the two latest entrants in the Democratic race: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. And could a serious Republican 2020 challenge to President Trump gain a footing in New Hampshire? The post Episode #267: T...more
All eyes were on former Trump attorney Michael Cohen's House testimony on Wednesday. What new, if anything, did we learn about President Trump? Were any minds changed? Plus, we discuss the possibility of an imminent presidential run by former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, and we look back at the history of the 22nd Amendment, which limits presidents to two terms in office. The post Episode #266: A Cancer on the Presidency? appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
What makes President Trump's national emergency declaration different from national emergencies declared by past presidents? Plus, why Bernie Sanders may have a tougher time standing out in a more crowded 2020 presidential field. We also get the latest from North Carolina's 9th congressional district, which is heading for a do-over election this year, and we look ahead to next week's mayoral election in Chicago. The post Episode #265: Bern Baby Bern appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie...more
Last week we thought that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was days away from leaving office. Then a poll showed that Virginians are split over whether Northam should resign. Plus, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota enters the presidential race. And we remember two former Congressmen who passed this week: Walter Jones, Jr. of North Carolina, and John Dingell of Michigan. The post Episode #264: Can “Minnesota Nice” Survive This Climate? appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.
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