Ron Elving

Ron Elving is the NPR News' Senior Washington Editor directing coverage of the nation's capital and national politics and providing on-air political analysis for many NPR programs.

Elving can regularly be heard on Talk of the Nation providing analysis of the latest in politics. He is also heard on the "It's All Politics" weekly podcast along with NPR's Ken Rudin.

Under Elving's leadership, NPR has been awarded the industry's top honors for political coverage including the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a 2002 duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for excellence in broadcast journalism, the Merriman Smith Award for White House reporting from the White House Correspondents Association and the Barone Award from the Radio and Television Correspondents Association. In 2008, the American Political Science Association awarded NPR the Carey McWilliams Award "in recognition of a major contribution to the understanding of political science."

Before joining NPR in 1999, Elving served as political editor for USA Today and for Congressional Quarterly. He came to Washington in 1984 as a Congressional Fellow with the American Political Science Association and worked for two years as a staff member in the House and Senate. Previously, Elving served as a reporter and state capital bureau chief for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He was a media fellow at Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Over his career, Elving has written articles published by The Washington Post, the Brookings Institution, Columbia Journalism Review, Media Studies Journal, and the American Political Science Association. He was a contributor and editor for eight reference works published by Congressional Quarterly Books from 1990 to 2003. His book, Conflict and Compromise: How Congress Makes the Law, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1995. Recently, Elving contributed the chapter, "Fall of the Favorite: Obama and the Media," to James Thurber's Obama in Office: The First Two Years.

Elving teaches public policy in the school of Public Administration at George Mason University and has also taught at Georgetown University, American University and Marquette University.

With an bachelor's degree from Stanford, Elving went on to earn master's degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of California-Berkeley.

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2:49pm

Fri March 27, 2015
It's All Politics

How Senate Democrats Will Choose Their Next Leader

Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., left, with then-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle at a 1995 news conference on Capitol Hill. Harry Reid took over as leader in 2005 after Daschle unexpectedly lost his re-election. At the time, Reid was unknown to most Americans, but he beat back a challenge Dodd.
John Duricka AP

When word came of Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's decision to retire, various observers and Democratic constituencies quickly emerged with their choices for his successor as the party's Senate leader.

There were those who touted Patty Murray of Washington, the proven problem-solver and veteran legislator who has worked her way up the ladder of Senate succession. Others talked up Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who in just two years has emerged as a star in the caucus and who has also joined the leadership in a junior role.

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6:16pm

Thu March 26, 2015
It's All Politics

Amazingly, Congress Actually Got Something Done

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 6:58 pm

House Speaker John Boehner takes the gavel from Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Jan. 6 at the start of the 114th Congress.
Mark Wilson Getty

They said it couldn't be done. And for more than a decade they were right.

But on Thursday, staring at a deadline that could have disrupted health care to millions of seniors, the House got something done.

It voted to fix the flawed formula for compensating doctors who provide services to patients under Medicare. But this time it wasn't just a patch for a few months or years — like the ones Congress has done 17 times since 2003.

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11:21am

Wed March 25, 2015
It's All Politics

With Sen. Dan Coats' Retirement, One More Gone From The Old School

Sen. Dan Coats on midterm election night in 2014.
AJ Mast AP

Senate Republican Dan Coats of Indiana announced Tuesday — probably surprising no one — that he would not seek another term in 2016. Although he has been a stalwart Republican through a turbulent generation in Washington, Coats seems less at home in the hyper-partisan world of Congress today.

While Coats, 71, said his decision was strictly personal and age-related, he did refer to the "terribly dysfunctional Senate" in an interview with the Howey Politics Indiana newsletter.

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5:03am

Mon March 23, 2015
It's All Politics

5 Reasons Cruz Announced His Candidacy Early

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 9:48 am

Sen. Ted Cruz needs buzz, money and to be taken seriously. He hopes he can accomplish that by getting in early.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has apparently had enough of the fig leaf most presidential candidates wear as their unofficial spring costume the year before the election actually happens.

That is a bold stroke, but entirely in keeping with the go-for-broke style the junior senator from Texas has exhibited since first challenging the Republican establishment's candidate for the Senate in 2012.

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8:03am

Thu March 19, 2015
It's All Politics

A First For Joe: Biden Could Break Tie To Confirm Attorney General

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 10:55 am

Vice President Biden and House Speaker John Boehner wait for President Obama's State of the Union address in front of a joint session of Congress in 2012. As vice president, Biden is also leader of the U.S. Senate, but only gets a vote when senators are evenly divided.
Saul Loeb AP

Vice President Joe Biden has been more visible than almost any of his 46 predecessors in the nation's No. 2 office. He's had more access to the Oval Office and more input on policy than all but a handful.

But there is one VP duty Biden has never fulfilled, because he's never had a chance: He has never broken a tie in the Senate, which is a salient VP responsibility embedded in the Constitution. In these past six years and two months, there hasn't been a Senate tie to break.

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11:01am

Tue March 10, 2015
It's All Politics

Wild Day In Madison Likely To Be Another Win For Gov. Walker

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 8:21 pm

Protesters filled Wisconsin's state Capitol in Madison on Monday, demonstrating against last weekend's shooting death of Tony Robinson, an unarmed black man.
Andy Manis AP

You could scarcely imagine a day that better demonstrated the split personality of Wisconsin politics.

On Monday, the state Capitol building in Madison was flooded once again with an angry crowd of protesters. This time the outrage was sparked by a local police officer who shot and killed an unarmed 19-year-old black man.

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4:21pm

Wed March 4, 2015
It's All Politics

Failed Keystone Veto Override Marks Another Win For Veto Pen

President Obama arrives at the TransCanada Stillwater Pipe Yard in Cushing, Okla., in 2012 after renewed momentum in Congress to approve construction of the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Congress mustered big majorities for the Keystone XL, which you might think would mean that pipeline would soon be under construction to carry Canadian crude oil from Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico.

But you would be forgetting the presidential veto, which President Obama signed on Feb. 24 with little or no fanfare.

Wednesday, the Senate put an end to years of legislative effort by upholding the Obama veto. The Senate voted 62 to 37 in favor of the override, but it wasn't enough.

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10:01am

Wed February 18, 2015
It's All Politics

Why Congress Doesn't Really Worry About What Most Americans Think

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 1:27 pm

The heightened partisanship cemented in congressional districts has created havens for both Democrats and Republicans, whose job security now often depends more on pleasing primary voters than on the high-altitude questions facing the nation at large.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

With each week, we have come to expect another jarring outrage from the self-proclaimed Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, the new breed of terrorists that is redefining terror.

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11:39am

Fri February 13, 2015
Politics

Why Convention Sites Don't Make Very Good Swing State Strategy

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 4:04 pm

If the Democrats do win Pennsylvania, it won't be because they had their convention in Philadelphia, which is already a mother lode of Democratic votes. And if the Republicans wind up winning Ohio, it won't be because they won over a lot of precincts in Cleveland, which is a similarly rich trove of Democratic support in elections at all levels.
Matt Rourke AP

Put it in the category of things we know for sure that just ain't so.

No sooner did the Democratic National Committee announce it had chosen Philadelphia, Pa., as its 2016 convention site than a lot of us political analyst types popped out the conventional wisdom about "appealing to a swing state in the general election."

It sounds good and it makes sense, as far as it goes. It just doesn't go very far.

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10:13am

Tue February 10, 2015
It's All Politics

In White House Memory, A-U-M-F Translates To B-U-S-H

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 9:26 am

President George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, vowing to tap "every resource" to fight terrorism. Two days before the speech, he had signed an Authorization for Use of Military Force passed by Congress.
WIN MACNAMEE AFP/Getty Images

Update: 9:30 a.m. ET Wednesday

President Obama has sent Congress proposed legislative language that would grant him specific permission to make war on the group calling itself the Islamic State.

If approved by the House and Senate, that language will formalize the struggle against the Sunni extremists who are also known as ISIS or ISIL — and are best known for such actions as the torture killing of a captive Jordanian pilot and the beheading of other hostages from around the world.

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1:48pm

Tue February 3, 2015
It's All Politics

Life In The 'New' Washington: In Your Face! No, In YOUR Face!

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 7:28 pm

President Obama delivers remarks during a meeting with people who wrote him letters explaining how they benefited from the Affordable Care Act in the White House on Tuesday.
Evan Vucci AP

President Obama entertained a group of Americans on Tuesday in the intimate Roosevelt Room at the White House, thanking them for their written testimonials to the benefits of his Affordable Care Act. A few hours later, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the ACA in its entirety.

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1:57pm

Mon January 26, 2015
It's All Politics

Abortion Vote Shows How Much Democrats' World Has Changed

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 8:25 am

Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., announces he will vote to pass the health care reform bill after President Obama agreed to sign an executive order reaffirming the ban on the use of federal funds to provide abortions, March 21, 2010.
Alex Brandon AP

This week, Congress returns with House leaders vowing to revisit the anti-abortion bill they pulled off the floor last week. The ban on abortions after 20 weeks was withdrawn when it appeared there weren't enough Republican votes to pass it.

Why did it need quite so many Republican votes? Because the GOP can no longer count on a contingent of Democrats to help out on abortion-related votes.

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10:06am

Fri January 23, 2015
It's All Politics

Senate Says Climate Change Real, But Not Really Our Fault

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 2:20 pm

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., was the only senator to vote against an amendment calling climate change "real and not a hoax."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Breathtakingly broad as its jurisdiction may be, the U.S. Senate does not usually vote on the validity of scientific theories.

This week, it did. And science won. The Senate voted that climate change is real, and not a hoax. The vote was 98-1.

The vote was about an amendment to the bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The near-unanimity of the climate change judgment was notable, because so many senators have cast doubt on ideas of "global warming."

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6:27am

Wed January 21, 2015
It's All Politics

Obama State Of The Union Seeks To 'Turn The Page' To A Brighter Chapter

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 7:25 am

Mandel Ngan AP

In the first minute of his hourlong State of the Union address, President Barack Obama summed up his theme in single sentence: "Tonight, we turn the page."

The president then detailed a page of history filled with the financial crisis of 2008, the recession and unemployment and deficits that followed and the two distant and difficult wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It was a reminder of the ills that helped elevate young Sen. Obama to the Oval Office six years ago. And now, after many battles, he was ready to declare he had turned that page.

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3:16pm

Tue January 20, 2015
It's All Politics

Obama Joins Ike, The Gipper, Bill And George II In A Club No One Wants To Be In

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:06 pm

President Dwight Eisenhower delivers his State of the Union address before a joint session of the 86th Congress in 1959. Behind him are Vice President Richard Nixon (left) and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn.
AP

President Obama begins his seventh year in office Tuesday facing a Congress where both the House and Senate are in the hands of the opposition party. He shares this in common with every other president fortunate enough to even have a seventh year in office since the 1950s.

Dwight Eisenhower in 1959, Ronald Reagan in 1987, Bill Clinton in 1999 and George W. Bush in 2007 all climbed the rostrum for this late-in-the-game challenge looking out at majorities of the other party in both chambers.

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