Mara Liasson

Mara Liasson is the national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC — focusing on the White House and Congress — and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.

Each election year, Liasson provides key coverage of the candidates and issues in both presidential and congressional races. During her tenure she has covered six presidential elections — in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. Prior to her current assignment, Liasson was NPR's White House correspondent for all eight years of the Clinton administration. She has won the White House Correspondents Association's Merriman Smith Award for daily news coverage in 1994, 1995, and again in 1997. From 1989-1992 Liasson was NPR's congressional correspondent.

Liasson joined NPR in 1985 as a general assignment reporter and newscaster. From September 1988 to June 1989 she took a leave of absence from NPR to attend Columbia University in New York as a recipient of a Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism.

Prior to joining NPR, Liasson was a freelance radio and television reporter in San Francisco. She was also managing editor and anchor of California Edition, a California Public Radio nightly news program, and a print journalist for The Vineyard Gazette in Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

Liasson is a graduate of Brown University where she earned a bachelor's degree in American history.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is giving his adopted party a lot to think about. He has offered radically different approaches to trade, immigration, the size of government and national defense.

Now Republicans are debating whether, win or lose, Donald Trump has permanently altered their party's DNA.

Here are 4 questions that Republicans are grappling with:

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ALLISON AUBREY, HOST:

The Democratic National Convention is over. Here are some of the big takeaways from a week in Philadelphia that had more suspense and drama than expected.

The Democrats Are Really, Really Good At This

Just like Barack Obama's two conventions, this one was flawlessly choreographed. Even the revolt of the Bernie Bros had a more-or-less happy ending.

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Tonight President Obama will take the stage at the Democratic National Convention with one goal: convincing voters to elect Hillary Clinton as his successor.

The stakes are high for the newly minted nominee, but they are arguably even higher for the incumbent president. A Clinton win would mean his policy legacy is kept intact and there's validation of his tenure in the White House.

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If Hillary Clinton wins the White House in November, she would be the first female president of the United States.

There would be a few other firsts in the family that night as well: Bill Clinton would be the first man married to a U.S. president. He would also become the first former president to become the first spouse.

Tuesday night, Bill Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to make the case for his wife. It will be his 10th time addressing the DNC.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Hillary Clinton will break the penultimate glass ceiling this week — becoming the first female nominee of a major American political party.

Conventions give candidates a second chance to make a first impression, even candidates who have been covered by the media as obsessively as Donald Trump.

The Republican convention in Cleveland gives Trump that chance. Here are six things to watch this week:

1. Will the Cleveland convention stick to a script?

Donald Trump's wife, Melania Trump, may be quiet but she's not invisible.

She spends most of her time at home, raising the couple's 10-year-old son, Barron, and sometimes makes appearances with her husband at rallies. On occasion, she introduces him.

Now, she is scheduled to address the Republican National Convention Monday night.

At a Milwaukee rally in April, she sounded a bit like her husband, the presumptive GOP nominee.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Donald Trump did what Republicans have begged their presidential candidate to do for months — lay out the case, from A to Z, against Hillary Clinton.

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Hillary Clinton delivered a remarkable speech Thursday, one that was billed as a foreign-policy address, but was principally about laying out the case for why Republican Donald Trump is disqualified to be commander in chief.

Here are three questions answered:

1. What did she do with this speech?

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are turning their attention to the general election and to one of the most important decisions they will make — choosing a vice president.

Picking a vice president is the first "presidential level" decision any candidate makes. Although vice presidential candidates have rarely, perhaps never, determined the outcome of an election, the choice tells voters a lot about the candidate.

The two most important criteria are always the same:

1. Pick someone who would ready to be president, if necessary, and
2. DO NO HARM

Hillary Clinton isn't over the finish line yet, but as she continues to battle Bernie Sanders she's also turning her attention to a general election matchup with Donald Trump.

A lot of Democrats say that in order to beat Trump, she needs to be developing a clearer message on the economy.

That's not Donald Trump's problem.

Not only does he have a simple, clear message — he often says so himself.

Five delegate-rich states on the East Coast will vote Tuesday: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Call it the "Acela Primary" for the train that runs through those states.

There's a lot at stake. Here are four things we're watching:

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Donald Trump is the GOP delegate leader and has the clearest path to the presidential nomination of any remaining candidate. But does he have an electoral path to 270 in November?

There's a basic math problem for any Republican nominee.

In every one of the past six presidential elections, Democrats have won states that add up to about 240 electoral votes — pretty close to the majority needed to win.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The remaining four Republican candidates debate once again tonight, this time in Miami. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich will be on the stage together for the last time before next Tuesday's big primary night, when voters in Ohio and Florida — Rubio and Kasich's home states — go to the polls. Tuesday is a make or break night for the two of them and tonight's debate is the last chance they have to change the dynamic in a race that has not been going their way.

Here are four things to watch — one for each candidate.

Tonight the two Democratic candidates — Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders — meet in Miami for a debate.

Before Tuesday night, the debate was looking like an unimportant afterthought to a race that could have been all wrapped up. But not anymore, after Sanders' stunningly unexpected win in Michigan last night.

Here are three things to watch:

The GOP may be in the midst of an identity crisis, but the Democratic Party is also facing a political crisis that could be made a lot worse if it doesn't win the White House in November.

Here's why:

Part of President Obama's legacy is the health of his party. He's had many successes in office — health care reform, climate change regulations, Wall Street reform — but his legacy will also include one huge failure: a diminished Democratic Party.

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