'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup

NPR's It's All Politics podcast features Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving and Political Editor Ken Rudin. They dissect the latest news from inside the Beltway, along with other political stories from around the country.

Note: This archive goes through July 16, 2009. Find more recent episodes of the It's All Politics podcast.

Sonia Sotomayor, Patrick Leahy and Jeff Sessions
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Topics: Sorting through Sonia Sotomayor’'s Senate confirmation hearings. Plus: Health care overhaul moves through Congress, the end of the Richard Burris era and Rep. Mark Kirk expected to move full steam ahead toward the U.S. Senate.

Sarah Palin resigns
Robert DeBerry/The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman/AP

Topics: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin resigns, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford stays on the job, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan decides against 2010 Senate run and Al Franken begins his Senate term. Plus: Decoding Colorado'’s political stripes.

Al Franken
Jeffrey Thompson/Getty Images

Topics: Al Franken heads to the Senate. What's next for Norm Coleman? Plus: The myth of the 60-vote Senate majority, Mark Sanford's future, Sarah Palin flags a new controversy and in New York, Carolyn Maloney is set to challenge Kirsten Gillibrand.

Topics: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admits affair in an unforgettable news conference. Who’'s left to make a White House run in 2012? Plus: Unpacking President Obama'’s presser. Tapes reveal Nixon’'s take on abortion. The New York Senate and California politics.

Topics: What do the Iranian election results mean for the U.S.? For U.S. politics? The GOP may need to smooth divisions before the election can be the signature issue separating Republicans from President Obama. Plus: the Ensign affair.

Patrick Leahy and Sonia Sotomayor
Charles Dharapak/AP

Topics: Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Pat Leahy sets Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings for July 13. Republicans say that's too soon to prepare. Also, who'’s leading the GOP? Plus: Creigh Deeds wins in Virginia. George Bush plans another birthday airplane jump.

President Obama delivers a speech aired live on June 4 reaching out to the Muslim world.

Topics: President Obama addresses the world'’s Muslims from Cairo. Also, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) announces he won’'t run for a third term. Plus: Chris Christie to face off against Gov. Jon Corzine this fall. Obama taps GOP Rep. John McHugh as Army secretary.

Topics: President Obama names a replacement for Supreme Court Justice David Souter and makes history in doing so. Meanwhile, the president flies to Nevada to help Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in his re-election bid. Plus: What to do with Roland Burris?!

Barack Obama

Topics: President Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney offer dueling national security speeches. Plus: Cheney’'s recent media blitz, Democrats bail on Obama'’s Guantanamo plan and Judy Chu’'s victory in California.

Barack Obama and Dick Cheney

Topics: President Obama says he won’'t release the so-called “torture photos.” Plus: Michael Steele; Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announces his Senate run; and a longtime Hispanic congressional district may elect an Asian-American woman.

Arlen Specter

Topics: The plot thickens in the Arlen Specter saga as Tom Ridge and Joe Sestak play in the background. Plus: What did Nancy Pelosi know and when did she know it, Jeff Sessions' triumphant return to the Judiciary Committee and a final farewell to Jack Kemp.

Barack Obama

Topics: The president celebrates his 100 days with a news conference and Arlen Specter celebrates his switch to the Democratic Party by voting against the Obama budget. Plus: One person is helped by the swine flu outbreak: Kathleen Sebelius.

Barack Obama

Topics: Opening a firestorm of opinions, the White House releases memos detailing the interrogation techniques used by the CIA during the Bush administration. Plus: preparing for Obama's 100-day mark, the Jane Harman controversy, and NY-20.

Tea Parties in America

Topics: President Obama takes on foreign policy south of the border, and tackles Somali pirates and the uncertainty regarding North Korea and Iran. The White House has also released the president's tax returns. Plus: tea parties around the country, the Minnesota Senate race, NY-20, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Barack Obama

Topics: President Obama returns from his whirlwind trip to Europe (and Iraq), the Minnesota Senate race shows some light at the end of the tunnel, and there's a new congressman in Illinois. Plus: the Ted Stevens case and a victory for same-sex marriage in Vermont.

Ted Stevens

Topics: Attorney general Eric Holder throws out Sen. Ted Stevens' conviction, but there won't be a Senate do-over. Plus: Who speaks for Sarah Palin? What will the unresolved Minnesota Senate race do to Tim Pawlenty's White House hopes? And when will we get a verdict in NY 20?

Kent Conrad

Topics: Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) tries to stem the rising federal debt by trimming Obama's record-setting budget as partisanship takes over in Congress. Plus: Obama's evening press conference, the AIG dust settles, bragging rights on Tuesday in NY-20 and should Arlen Specter pull a Lieberman and declare as an independent?


Topics: Populism gains strength after AIG's bonuses ruffle feathers on Capitol Hill and nationwide. Who's to take the blame? Tim Geithner? Chris Dodd? Plus: Raising taxes on AIG execs, Andrew Cuomo makes a splash, new polling data on Obama and David Plouffe gets Organizing for America underway.

Arlen Specter

Topics: Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your earmarks. Plus: Charles Freeman blames the "Israel Lobby" for his withdrawal, Arlen Specter has a moderate voting record to blame if he loses next year's Senate primary, and Michael Steele has, well, only himself to blame for his latest contretemps. And, oh, guess what? Still no resolution to Franken-Coleman in Minnesota.

Michael Steele

Topics: RNC Chairman Michael Steele and radio host Rush Limbaugh duke it out, to the Democrats' delight, and Mitt Romney makes slow and steady progress to the GOP nomination, with only 1,060 days or so until the Iowa caucuses. Plus: Are Kentucky Republicans looking for someone to relieve pitcher-turned-senator Jim Bunning? And it looks like we will have Roland Burris to kick around for awhile.

President Obama waves as he prepares to deliver his address to a joint session of Congress

Topics: President Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday has gotten a mostly positive response, and Republicans seem much friendlier to him this week. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who delivered the GOP response to the address, was less well-received. Plus: D.C. voting rights, open Cabinet posts and Roland Burris.

Roland Burris

Topics: Roland Burris faces calls to step down from the Illinois Senate seat that then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed him to. What's in store for Burris? Plus: Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) pulls out of consideration for secretary of commerce and more Cabinet and Senate news.

President Obama

Topics: The $800 billion stimulus package awaits a final vote, with Democrats fully supporting it and the GOP vocally opposing it. Will it help the economy? And what will the political fallout be? Plus: Upcoming races, and U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) sets a record for longevity.

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) talks to members of the media Jan. 7 on Capitol Hill

Topics: The GOP wrangled over the economic stimulus bill, elected the first black chairman of the Republican National Committee and saw Bonnie Newman named to replace New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg (left), President Obama's nominee for commerce secretary. Plus: Who'll fill other Cabinet posts?

Rod Blagojevich addresses state Senate at impeachment trial. Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Topics: Despite President Obama's romancing the GOP, not one House Republican voted for the stimulus plan. It passed anyway. Plus, the U.S. Senate confirmed Tim Geithner, Obama's controversial pick for Treasury secretary; and Illinois impeached Gov. Rod Blagojevich (left).

Barack Obama is sworn in

Topics: After an inauguration ceremony that drew 1.8 million people, according to best estimates, President Obama very quickly took action on national security issues, lobbying rules, staff salaries and FOIA transparency. Plus: Cabinet confirmations, critical sub-Cabinet positions, the N.Y. Senate seat and Illinois Gov. Blagojevich.

Hillary Clinton speaks at her confirmation hearing for secretary of state

Topics: Barack Obama isn't president yet, but he has signaled his choices for some Cabinet posts. High-profile confirmation hearings this week included Hillary Clinton for secretary of state and Eric Holder for attorney general. Plus: Updates on Illinois, New York and Minnesota Senate seats.

U.S. Senate appointee Roland Burris is escorted away from the Capitol. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Topics: Roland Burris, appointed by embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama, is turned away from the Capitol. Plus: More on the Burris-Blagojevich spectacle; Obama Cabinet news; and the Minnesota Senate race goes on.

ballot from Minnesota

Topics: An Iraqi journalist hurls a shoe at President Bush during a news conference. Plus: Caroline Kennedy's bid for the New York Senate seat and the recount for Minnesota Senate race.

Rod Blagojevich

Topics: What to do about Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was arrested earlier this week on corruption charges? Plus: The fate of the soon-to-be-vacated New York Senate seat and the surprise verdict in the New Orleans congressional race.


Topics: The president-elect's new cabinet picks. Plus: The Georgia Senate runoff election (with unusual tape of Chambliss declaring victory) and the announcement by Sen. Mel Martinez that he won't seek another Senate term.

Hillary Clinton as possible Secretary of State

Topics: Cabinets and crystal balls this week as Ron Elving and Ken Rudin make their presidential Cabinet predictions. Plus: President-elect Obama may pick Sen. Hillary Clinton for secretary of state. We also discuss Barack Obama's rage problem or lack thereof.

Palin Return to Alaska

Topics: Alaska continues to get exposure from the Berkowitz-Begich race, along with talk about Sarah Palin's future. Plus: The latest on the Minnesota Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken, and Joe makes it into the podcast again — Joe Lieberman, that is.

Obama in Election Day

Topics: A look at the highs and lows of President-elect Barack Obama's campaign. Plus: Sarah Palin may actually be moving to Alaska after all, if Sen. Ted Stevens is elected, feted and then convicted.

map of the U.S.

Topics: NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin have one last chance to make their predictions. What states will the presidential race come down to? Will the Democrats get a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate? Will Obama's 30-minute infomercial intrude on the podcast, too?

Sen. Barack Obama at a rally in North Carolina

Topics: Some polls show Obama with a with a substantial lead, but is it too soon to say the race is over? Plus: If McCain does lose (and even if he wins), is Sarah Palin the future of the Republican Party? And what's up with all this talk of real versus unreal America?

town hall debate

Topics: Analyzing the town hall presidential debate. Plus: Polls from unexpected battleground states including Missouri and tightening Senate races.

debate image

Topics: NPR's political editors discuss the debates so far. Plus: An update on how national events are making for some surprisingly close Senate races and a look at the latest polls, which have Obama ahead in some battleground states.

debate prep

Topics: Obama and McCain confront the country's economic woes. Plus: A look at Senate seats up for grabs.

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

Topics: McCain and Obama BOTH claim to be the change that Wall Street needs. Plus: Tina Fey shows America how a Sarah Palin accent is done and revisiting the electoral map.

Sarah Palin

Topics: It's all Palin, all the time. Plus: Dissecting Palin's interview with Charlie Gibson on ABC News and Palin's statements on the Iraq war.

Topics: Speculation abounds about the candidates' vice presidential picks. Plus: The candidates spar about national security, and a judge rules that Alaska Sen. Ted Steven will have to face a jury of his peers.

Russian Troops Remain In Georgia
Uriel Sinai/Russian troops in Georgia. Getty Images

Topics: A new book attempts to swift boat Obama. Plus: Why John McCain knows so much about Georgia; interpreting what the Dem convention speaking schedule means for the veep shortlist; and a look at the tradition of placing vanquished candidates' names in nomination.

Arizona Sen. John McCain
Getty Images

Topics: Republican congressmen keep debating after the session ends. Plus: Attack ads from the two candidates and speculations about vice presidential picks.

Sen. Ted Stevens
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Topics: NPR's Ken Rudin and Mara Liasson discuss Sen. Ted Steven's indictment and its implications for Alaskan politics. Plus: Possible vice presidential picks and both campaigns' charges that McCain has gone negative and Obama has become arrogant.

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama
Michael Gottschalk/AFP/Getty Images

Topics: Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's trip overseas. Plus: Arizona Sen. John McCain focuses on domestic issues in what becomes an unlucky week for him. Still, he manages to creep ahead in the polls in a few battleground states.

New Yorker
Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Topics: Was the New Yorker cover funny? Are there funny jokes about Illinois Sen. Barack Obama? Plus: the candidates' speeches before various special interest groups, including Arizona Sen. John McCain's speech for the NAACP.

Jesse Jackson
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Topics: Obama and McCain –- are they flip-flopping, or refining their positions? Plus: New players in the McCain campaign; the retiring of Clinton'’s debt; and the three Jesses who made news last week.

Two campaign posters for John McCain are covered by a pair of flags
Don Emmert/Getty Images

NPR White House Correspondent Don Gonyea fills in for Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving. Topics: John McCain shakes up his campaign organization, and Barack Obama talks about faith. Plus: foreign trips for the candidates, and a mailer misfire in a Florida congressional race.

Charlie Black
Charles Dharapak/AP

Topics: The first joint appearance of Clinton and Obama in Unity, N.H. Plus: A top McCain adviser makes a verbal gaffe; and Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith could face a re-election battle.

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Topics: Illinois Sen. Barack Obama opts out of public money for the general election. Plus: Did GOP Arizona Sen. John McCain switch his position on offshore drilling? And Obama appoints a former top Clinton adviser to his staff.

Adlai Stevenson
Getty Images

Topics: In this bonus podcast, the editors take a historical look back at both good and bad vice presidential picks, including Thomas Eagleton, Geraldine Ferraro, Dan Quayle and Jack Kemp.

McCain and Jindal
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Topics: Now that New York Sen. Hillary Clinton has dropped out of the race and the attention has turned to the general election, who will the two candidates pick for their vice presidential running mates?

Obama clinches the nomination.
Chip Somodeveille/ Getty Images

Topics: Illinois Sen. Barack Obama clinches the Democratic nomination. Plus: What went wrong for New York Sen. Hillary Clinton? And, the political editors remember Sen. Robert Kennedy on the 40th anniversary of his assassination.

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan released a tell-all book.
Chip Somodeville, Getty Images

Topics: Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan releases a tell-all memoir lambasting the Bush administration for using propaganda to sell the Iraq war. Plus: A preview of the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee meeting; Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr; and the primary for the New Jersey Senate seat.

A cartoon rendering of NPR political editors Ron Elving (left) and Ken Rudin
Melissa Gray, NPR

The 100th Podcast With a Cartoon of the Political Editors!...Topics: Sen. Barack Obama takes the majority of pledged delegates. Plus: Will Hillary Clinton's voters back Obama? Possible vice-presidential running mates for Sen. John McCain; and Sen. Edward Kennedy's brain tumor.

Mark Wilson, Getty Images

Topics: Former candidate John Edwards endorses Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. Plus: Bob Barr runs as a Libertarian candidate for president; John Hagee as Arizona Sen. John McCain's own controversial "pastor problem"; and the congressional race in Mississippi.

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton speaks after the Indiana and North Carolina primaries.
Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Topics: Will New York Sen. Hillary Clinton drop out? Plus: Arizona Sen. John McCain and Supreme Court appointments; superdelegates, cash and racial politics in the Democratic campaign; and competitive House races.

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama talks to Indiana voters.
Scott Olson, Getty Images

Topics: The upcoming Democratic primaries in Indiana and North Carolina. Plus: The Rev. Wright speaks in D.C., superdelegates declare allegiances and GOP Arizona Sen. John McCain's whereabouts.

Pennsylvania primary
Robyn Beck, AFP/Getty Images

Topics: New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama go negative in Pennsylvania. Exit polls show that voters question Clinton's trustworthiness — but they also raise doubts about Obama's ability to "close the deal." Plus: Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain tours New Orleans.

Democrats debate
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Topics: The Democrats debate in Philadelphia. Plus: Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain attempts to woo independent and Democratic voters.

Gen. David Petraeus
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Topics: The presidential candidates return to the Senate to question Gen. David Petraeus. Plus: The latest polls out of Pennsylvania; libertarian candidates; and a newly elected member of Congress who was at Jonestown.

Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Topics: The role of superdelegates. Plus: Pennsylvania's Democratic primary on April 22; Arizona Sen. John McCain's possible picks for vice president; and the New Jersey Senate race.

Hillary Clinton
Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

Topics: The ongoing, fierce Democratic race. Plus: Arizona Sen. John McCain's foreign policy speech; New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's trip to Bosnia as a first lady; and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's endorsement of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. This week, NPR reporter Robert Smith fills in for Ken Rudin.

Barack Obama
William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Topics: Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's speech on race. Plus: The release of 11,000 pages of documents from New York Sen. Hillary Clinton’'s days as first lady, and Republican Arizona Sen. John McCain makes a press conference gaffe. This week, NPR producer Evie Stone fills in for Ron Elving.

Eliot Spitzer
Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Topics: New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigns. Plus: A look at the 2008 congressional races and the debate over the fate of the Florida and Michigan delegates.

John McCain
Rick Gershon/Getty Images

Topics: Arizona Sen. John McCain sweeps the March 4 primaries, making him the presumptive GOP nominee. Plus: A look at New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's victories in the Ohio and Texas primaries on March 4.

Hillary Clinton
J.D. Pooley/Getty Images

Topics: The 20th Democratic debate of this election cycle. Plus: A remembrance of long-time political conservative commentator, William F. Buckley.



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