Ron Elving http://kcur.org en Why Scott Walker Is Looking Beyond His Fan Base http://kcur.org/post/why-scott-walker-looking-beyond-his-fan-base Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker officially announced this week that he is running for — wait for it — re-election as governor of Wisconsin.<p>It will be at least six months before he says anything definitive regarding that <em>other</em> office, the oval-shaped one in Washington, D.C.<p>And that's to be expected.<p>Governors in both parties routinely run for re-election while keeping coy about the White House — much like Bill Clinton in 1990 and George W. Bush in 1998 and Rick Perry in 2010.<p>Of course there's no question what's on Walker's mind, long term. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:56:00 +0000 Ron Elving 54402 at http://kcur.org Why Scott Walker Is Looking Beyond His Fan Base Immigration Turbulence Buffets Boehner http://kcur.org/post/immigration-turbulence-buffets-boehner Will the real John Boehner please stand up?<p>Just a dozen days ago, Speaker Boehner and his GOP leadership team embraced <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2014/01/31/269508298/after-3-day-retreat-gop-battle-plan-still-only-an-outline">a set of principles</a> for updating the nation's immigration laws.<p>In that moment, the House seemed about to acknowledge the most pressing issue before the Congress – the elephant in the room, if you will. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 16:12:00 +0000 Ron Elving 51103 at http://kcur.org Immigration Turbulence Buffets Boehner Congressman's Exit Closes Book On 'Watergate Babies' http://kcur.org/post/congressmans-exit-closes-book-watergate-babies Henry Waxman's retirement means more than the loss of a legendary legislator on health care, energy and other regulatory issues. It also closes an era that began 40 years ago with the election of the "Watergate babies."<p>When Waxman departs, there will no longer be a House member who has been serving since that historic class of 75 Democrats was first elected in 1974. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Ron Elving 50556 at http://kcur.org Congressman's Exit Closes Book On 'Watergate Babies' Obama Showed A Deft Hand With Speech. Why Not With Congress? http://kcur.org/post/obama-showed-deft-hand-speech-why-not-congress The toughest test of a card player comes not with a big hand or a sheer bust, but rather with cards somewhere in between. Then it's not the deal that makes the difference — it's the sheer skill of the player.<p>The hand President Obama was playing in his <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/01/28/267858893/live-blog-president-obamas-state-of-union-address">latest State of the Union speech</a> could scarcely be called a powerhouse. Pre-speech coverage was dominated by polls showing his approval rating well underwater and the national mood dyspeptic at best. Wed, 29 Jan 2014 12:36:00 +0000 Ron Elving 50435 at http://kcur.org Obama Showed A Deft Hand With Speech. Why Not With Congress? 'Nuclear Option' Vote Marks Tectonic Shift In Senate Rules http://kcur.org/post/nuclear-option-vote-marks-tectonic-shift-senate-rules Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's move Thursday to make possible the confirmation of presidential nominees with a simple majority marks a tectonic shift in the rules and folkways of the Senate.<p>Back in 2005, then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist called this idea "the constitutional option" when he came close to invoking it on behalf of the judicial nominees of President George W. Bush.<p>That sounded a lot more dignified than the name Frist's predecessor, Trent Lott, had used just two years earlier: "the nuclear option."<p>Guess which name stuck. Thu, 21 Nov 2013 22:16:00 +0000 Ron Elving 47216 at http://kcur.org 'Nuclear Option' Vote Marks Tectonic Shift In Senate Rules 7 Election Lessons We Should Have Seen Coming http://kcur.org/post/7-election-lessons-we-should-have-seen-coming In the end, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/11/06/243439199/your-election-news-in-five-headlines" target="_blank">they pretty much all won</a>. The people who were expected to prevail Tuesday night wound up in the winner's circle. In New Jersey and New York, of course, and in Virginia, too, in the end. Wed, 06 Nov 2013 15:49:00 +0000 Ron Elving 46403 at http://kcur.org 7 Election Lessons We Should Have Seen Coming Tom Foley, A House Speaker Who Embraced Compromise And Comity http://kcur.org/post/tom-foley-house-speaker-who-embraced-compromise-and-comity Former Speaker of the House Tom Foley was the product of far different times, yet his career in politics a generation ago still carries a message current congressional leaders might want to heed.<p>Foley came to Washington with new Democratic members elected on the coattails of Lyndon Johnson's presidential landslide in 1964. The son of a judge, he had hoped to follow his father on the bench but missed out on an appointment and decided to run for Congress instead. Fri, 18 Oct 2013 23:58:00 +0000 Ron Elving 45465 at http://kcur.org Tom Foley, A House Speaker Who Embraced Compromise And Comity Former House Speaker Tom Foley Dies At 84 http://kcur.org/post/former-house-speaker-tom-foley-dies-84-0 Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel.<p>Former Speaker of the House Thomas Foley died today at his home in Washington, D.C. He was 84 years old. Foley had been in hospice care following a stroke and a bout with pneumonia earlier this year. He was a Democrat who served in Congress for 30 years, beginning with the Lyndon Johnson landslide of 1964 and ending with the Newt Gingrich revolution of 1994, when Foley lost his own seat. Fri, 18 Oct 2013 20:43:00 +0000 Ron Elving 45460 at http://kcur.org President Obama's 'It's Good To Be The King' Moment http://kcur.org/post/president-obamas-its-good-be-king-moment It is good to be the king.<p>That old adage holds, even though nowadays we call our chief executive "Mr. President."<strong></strong><p>After another long day of showdown over the shutdown, President Obama was able to dominate the headlines, break the tension and change the atmosphere in Washington. He could demonstrate everything that is different about being in the White House — as opposed to that other House where Speaker John Boehner lives.<p>The president could do all this just by putting out the word that he was about to appoint the most powerful central banker in the world. Wed, 09 Oct 2013 18:00:00 +0000 Ron Elving 44939 at http://kcur.org President Obama's 'It's Good To Be The King' Moment With Shutdown Looming, Senate Takes Up Stopgap Spending Bill http://kcur.org/post/shutdown-looming-senate-takes-stopgap-spending-bill Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And on Capitol Hill, words of anger and frustration today over the increasing likelihood of a government shutdown. This morning in the House, members of both parties took to the floor and pointed fingers.<p>REPRESENTATIVE EARL BLUMENAUER: If you're serious about working together to solve problems, why don't you work together to solve problems?<p>REPRESENTATIVE TED POE: Where oh where has the Senate gone? Where oh where can they be? Mon, 30 Sep 2013 20:30:00 +0000 Ron Elving 44455 at http://kcur.org Obama's Shift On Syria: A Show Of Strength Or Fear? http://kcur.org/post/obamas-shift-syria-show-strength-or-fear One line President Obama might have borrowed for his speech to the nation Tuesday night was a famous one from John F. Wed, 11 Sep 2013 11:54:00 +0000 Ron Elving 43443 at http://kcur.org Obama's Shift On Syria: A Show Of Strength Or Fear? Goodbye, Again, To Obama's Most Audacious Hope http://kcur.org/post/goodbye-again-obamas-most-audacious-hope The sudden eruption of second-term scandals in his administration will have many costs for President Obama, but surely the most grievous will be the lost opportunity to transcend the partisan wars of Washington. That aspiration was his fondest dream for his second term, much as it was for his first. Now it seems destined to be dashed once again.<p>Of course, there are those who believe Barack Obama never intended to be anything but a conquering hero of the left. Tue, 14 May 2013 23:26:00 +0000 Ron Elving 36761 at http://kcur.org Goodbye, Again, To Obama's Most Audacious Hope Logic Behind Obama News Conference Hard To Fathom http://kcur.org/post/logic-behind-obama-news-conference-hard-fathom On Tuesday afternoon, President Obama declared May as Older Americans Month, National Foster Care Month, National Building Safety Month, Jewish American Heritage Month and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.<p>The president also issued a statement on the investiture of the new king of the Netherlands.<p>While small and routine, these moves were all easy to understand, as were the accompanying proclamations from the White House press shop.<p>What was not clear was the executive thinking behind the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/04/30/180026256/obama-to-hold-news-confe Tue, 30 Apr 2013 23:26:00 +0000 Ron Elving 35975 at http://kcur.org Logic Behind Obama News Conference Hard To Fathom Reluctant Justices May Be Forced To Make History http://kcur.org/post/reluctant-justices-may-be-forced-make-history Now and then, an issue before the U.S. Supreme Court changes the course of the nation's political history — whether the justices like it or not.<p>It's happening again with gay marriage. This week the court heard oral arguments in two key cases. One could restore legal same-sex marriage in California; the other could end discrimination against gay married couples in the administration of more than 1,000 federal programs.<p>The questions from the pivotal justices indicated they might prefer these cases — and these issues — be decided by someone else. Thu, 28 Mar 2013 22:04:00 +0000 Ron Elving 34259 at http://kcur.org Reluctant Justices May Be Forced To Make History Fiscal Cliff Debate: Why The (Very) Few Rule The Many In Congress http://kcur.org/post/fiscal-cliff-debate-why-very-few-rule-many-congress In the final hours of the latest budget crisis in Washington, several salient facts are increasingly clear.<p>First, the leaders of the two parties in the Senate might still put together a negotiated deal that would avert the combination of tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. Sun, 30 Dec 2012 20:48:00 +0000 Ron Elving 29713 at http://kcur.org Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye Dies At 88 Of Respiratory Complications http://kcur.org/post/hawaii-sen-daniel-inouye-dies-88-respiratory-complications Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block.<p>Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii has died. He was 88. He was the president pro tempore of the Senate, an honor held by the most senior member of the majority party and a position that stands third in the presidential line of succession. Inouye died today at Walter Reed hospital outside Washington, D.C., from complications of respiratory disease. Mon, 17 Dec 2012 23:17:00 +0000 Ron Elving 29165 at http://kcur.org All Eyes On The Battleground States As Polls Close http://kcur.org/post/all-eyes-battleground-states-polls-close Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And in our studio, NPR's senior Washington editor Ron Elving. Every couple of years, here we are around this time trying to figure out who has been elected to what. Tonight, what are you looking for? What are the important signs you're looking for in the numbers as they come in?<p>RON ELVING, BYLINE: We're looking to see if Mitt Romney can develop a trajectory up the East Coast a little bit like Hurricane Sandy did about 10 weeks ago. Wed, 07 Nov 2012 01:08:00 +0000 Ron Elving 27185 at http://kcur.org NPR Poll Finds Presidential Race Too Close To Call http://kcur.org/post/npr-poll-finds-presidential-race-too-close-call The <a href="http://media.npr.org/documents/2012/oct/NPROctpoll.pdf" target="_blank">latest and last NPR Battleground Poll</a> for 2012 shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holding the narrowest of leads in the national sample, but trailing President Obama in the dozen states that will decide the election.<p>The poll adds evidence that the Oct. 3 debate between the two men redefined the race. Tue, 30 Oct 2012 02:36:00 +0000 Ron Elving 26761 at http://kcur.org NPR Poll Finds Presidential Race Too Close To Call Analysis: Romney Debate Strategy Shows He Thinks He's In the Driver's Seat http://kcur.org/post/analysis-romney-debate-strategy-shows-he-thinks-hes-drivers-seat In his third debate with President Obama, Mitt Romney dialed up "cool and cautious" on his mood meter. And that tells you a great deal about where this presidential race stands with two weeks to go.<p>Romney had to know the president would be coming after him in Boca Raton, Fla., but he decided to avoid the aggressive and even angry notes he had struck in the first two debates. He had achieved what he could with this approach in the initial clash in Denver on Oct. 3, when he seemed the more decisive and strong-willed candidate on stage. Tue, 23 Oct 2012 16:43:00 +0000 Ron Elving 26433 at http://kcur.org Analysis: Romney Debate Strategy Shows He Thinks He's In the Driver's Seat George McGovern, An Improbable Icon Of Anti-War Movement http://kcur.org/post/george-mcgovern-improbable-icon-anti-war-movement If George McGovern often seemed miscast as a presidential candidate, he was at least as improbable as an icon of the anti-war movement.<p>The Vietnam War gave birth to an opposition movement unlike any America had seen in its previous wars. It was young, unconventional and countercultural, defiant of authority and deeply suspicious of government.<p>McGovern himself was none of these things.<p>He was, at the time of his presidential nomination, a 50-year-old two-term senator from South Dakota, a family man and the son of a small-town Methodist minister. Mon, 22 Oct 2012 10:36:00 +0000 Ron Elving 26346 at http://kcur.org George McGovern, An Improbable Icon Of Anti-War Movement A Stronger Showing At Hofstra, But Ghost Of Denver Still Haunts Obama http://kcur.org/post/stronger-showing-hofstra-ghost-denver-still-haunts-obama President Obama beat at least one of his adversaries on the stage at Hofstra University last night. He easily outperformed that guy — whoever he was — who debated against former Gov. Mitt Romney two weeks ago in Denver.<p>That much was obvious — and necessary for the president. The question now is whether it will be sufficient to restore his momentum in the race itself.<p>Some "instant polls" and other quickie measures were heartening to the Obama camp. But no matter how much Obama's showing at Hofstra surpassed his Denver no-show, it will not eradicate the damage or make up for lost time. Wed, 17 Oct 2012 11:49:00 +0000 Ron Elving 26122 at http://kcur.org A Stronger Showing At Hofstra, But Ghost Of Denver Still Haunts Obama A Fighter To The End, Arlen Specter Seemed To Thrive On Controversy http://kcur.org/post/fighter-end-arlen-specter-seemed-thrive-controversy Imagine a lawyer's lawyer, a fighter's fighter and a pol's pol. Now imagine one person as all three. That was Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who died Sunday at age 82.<p>Over the course of three decades in the U.S. Senate (1981-2011), Specter came to personify the pragmatic, independent operator who sized up the substance and politics of every issue for himself. Mon, 15 Oct 2012 11:56:00 +0000 Ron Elving 25991 at http://kcur.org A Fighter To The End, Arlen Specter Seemed To Thrive On Controversy 7 Signals Stolen From The Running Mates' One-Game Playoff http://kcur.org/post/7-signals-stolen-running-mates-one-game-playoff You may have noticed that the vice presidential debate took place on the same day as four crucial games in this year's baseball playoffs. In case you were distracted at all by the latter, here's some of what you may have missed:<strong></strong><p><strong>1) Joe Biden still has his fastball.</strong> Fri, 12 Oct 2012 17:57:00 +0000 Ron Elving 25918 at http://kcur.org 7 Signals Stolen From The Running Mates' One-Game Playoff That's Why Incumbents Used To Say No http://kcur.org/post/thats-why-incumbents-used-say-no In case anyone was wondering, this week's presidential debate demonstrated why incumbent presidents and others leading in the polls used to refuse to debate their challengers.<p>After John F. Kennedy used the first TV debates to boost his campaign against incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon in 1960, there simply were no debates until 1976. Running again with a big lead in 1968 and 1972, Nixon declined to debate and won both times. Lyndon B. Thu, 04 Oct 2012 18:07:00 +0000 Ron Elving 25531 at http://kcur.org That's Why Incumbents Used To Say No Republicans Or Democrats: The Choice Comes Down To Competing Myths http://kcur.org/post/republicans-or-democrats-choice-comes-down-competing-myths Early in his acceptance speech last night, President Obama laid out the voters' task in these words:<p>"On every issue, the choice you face won't be just between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice ... between two fundamentally different visions for the future."<p>It's a thought that emerges often in the Obama campaign, the idea of 2012 as a watershed election — "a hinge of history," as Vice President Biden called it at the convention in Charlotte, N.C. Some might see this as a device to drive Democratic turnout in the midst of a tepid economic recovery. Fri, 07 Sep 2012 12:07:00 +0000 Ron Elving 24121 at http://kcur.org Republicans Or Democrats: The Choice Comes Down To Competing Myths What The Democrats' Do-Over Really Says About Party Platforms http://kcur.org/post/what-democrats-do-over-really-says-about-party-platforms Party platforms are like contracts: No one bothers to read them until something bad happens.<p>We all know that parties to any agreement should study the fine print in advance, and surely that applies to the national political parties. The delegates really ought to spend some of their time in the host city studying the document they are voting to adopt.<p>But hey, it's a convention. It's a party. Who wants to sit in their hotel room and read?<p>Platforms can lead to awkward moments, and worse. Thu, 06 Sep 2012 15:13:00 +0000 Ron Elving 24059 at http://kcur.org What The Democrats' Do-Over Really Says About Party Platforms Bill Clinton, Politics' Comeback Kid, Rides Again At The DNC http://kcur.org/post/bill-clinton-politics-comeback-kid-rides-again-dnc Bill Clinton will add yet another chapter to his storied career tonight when the former president places in nomination the name of the current president, Barack Obama.<p>It will be the focal point of the evening and for some, perhaps, the most newsworthy moment of the entire convention. The old Clinton-Obama feud remains an endless source of political gossip, and the convention planners are happy to have the former president's supposedly unedited and unvetted remarks as a rare source of suspense. Wed, 05 Sep 2012 11:53:00 +0000 Ron Elving 23978 at http://kcur.org Bill Clinton, Politics' Comeback Kid, Rides Again At The DNC GOP's 'We Built It' Refrain Is Both Puzzling and Telling http://kcur.org/post/gops-we-built-it-refrain-both-puzzling-and-telling <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DkINRPpXf8</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBOqLxzGTx8</p> Fri, 31 Aug 2012 11:41:00 +0000 Ron Elving 23760 at http://kcur.org GOP's 'We Built It' Refrain Is Both Puzzling and Telling Ryan's Speech Revives The Spirit Of Jack Kemp, War Over Reaganomics http://kcur.org/post/ryans-speech-revives-spirit-jack-kemp-war-over-reaganomics The second night of the Republican convention was an orchestrated buildup for Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan.<p>Ryan emerged at the evening's end to deliver the payoff speech and introduce himself to a national audience. Thu, 30 Aug 2012 11:27:00 +0000 Ron Elving 23689 at http://kcur.org Ryan's Speech Revives The Spirit Of Jack Kemp, War Over Reaganomics Republicans Reach Out To Women More In Convention Programming Than Platform Writing http://kcur.org/post/republicans-reach-out-women-more-convention-programming-platform-writing In case you missed it, the theme here in Tampa at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday was: "We Built It." Intended as a reference to building a business, the three words also suggested another construction project under way — a bridge to female voters.<p>Ann Romney, the wife of presidential nominee Mitt Romney, was obviously the focal point for the strategy. Wed, 29 Aug 2012 09:03:00 +0000 Ron Elving 23617 at http://kcur.org Republicans Reach Out To Women More In Convention Programming Than Platform Writing