Ken Rudin

Ken Rudin is NPR's Political Junkie. For most of the past 20 years, Rudin has been the eyes and ears of political coverage as political editor. Rudin focuses on all aspects of politics, from presidential elections with the primaries, national conventions, debates and general election, to the races for the House, Senate and state governors. He has analyzed every congressional race in the nation since 1984.

In 2011, Rudin added to his duties by becoming part of the network's StateImpact project. This local-national journalism initiative will add editorial resources and reporters to NPR member stations in all 50 states, to better inform the public about the impact that the actions of state governments has on citizens and communities. Rudin mentors and advises these reporters on covering the effects politics and politicians have on people.

In addition to his role with StateImpact, Rudin continues to contribute NPR's political coverage. Every Wednesday, he can be heard on Talk of the Nation in the "Political Junkie" segment. In his "Political Junkie" weekly column on NPR.org, Rudin previews the politics of the week, and delves into campaign history, strategy and trivia, including the popular ScuttleButton contest.

Rudin was a key player on the NPR team that won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton award for excellence in broadcast journalism in 2002 for coverage of campaign finance.

From 1983 through 1991, Rudin worked at ABC News, serving first as deputy political director and later as the off-air Capitol Hill reporter covering the House. He first joined NPR in 1991, as its first political editor. Rudin returned to NPR in 1998, after a three-year absence during which he was the managing editor of the Hotline, a daily political newsletter. He also wrote the "Political Graffiti" column for The Hill, a newspaper covering Capitol Hill.

A political junkie for many decades, Rudin has one of the most extensive collections of campaign buttons in the country, a collection that now surpasses 70,000 items. Rudin is a graduate of Pace University in New York.

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11:15am

Mon February 11, 2013
Political Junkie

As With The Losses In '64 And '76, More Self-Examination In The GOP

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 11:51 am

Moderates triumphed at the '76 convention but their candidate, Ronald Reagan, lost the general election in the fall,
Anthony Camerano AP

Another defeat in the race for president has led to the inevitable round of soul-searching for the Republican Party. This time — unlike, say, in the aftermaths of the defeats of 1964 and 1976 — it is less clear how to get the GOP out of its rut.

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11:40am

Tue February 5, 2013
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:22 pm

Ken Rudin collection

So what did you do during the blackout on Super Bowl Sunday? Other than, say, apply some deer antler spray?

For most Americans, it was trying to figure out the ScuttleButton puzzle on Super Bowl Sunday. Actually, it's always difficult trying to solve ScuttleButton while watching the game on Super Bowl Sunday. But now it's time to focus on the new puzzle.

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11:54am

Mon February 4, 2013
Political Junkie

Ed Koch, New York City, And The Politics Of Resentment And Race

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 4:19 pm

Koch served as mayor for three terms (1978-89).
Ken Rudin collection

For anyone who lived in New York during his tenure — and even if you didn't — Ed Koch was a larger-than-life figure, a feisty, combative and mostly-successful mayor who, for better or worse, dramatically changed the city and left his mark in the history books.

But how will history judge him?

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10:00am

Thu January 31, 2013
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

What if everyone who was in this country illegally decided to try their hand at solving ScuttleButton each week? Would they be able to stay? Would that be considered "amnesty?"

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6:48am

Mon January 28, 2013
Political Junkie

It's Splitsville Between GOP & Hillary Clinton; Fox Breaks Up With Sarah Palin

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 11:07 am

It's not what you think.
Ken Rudin collection

Washington, D.C., has never been a "love thy neighbor" kind of place, certainly not in the past four years when Republicans worked to stymie President Barack Obama at all costs, or the eight preceding years when Democrats had similar feelings about President George W. Bush.

So how do you explain the love affair of the past few years between Republicans and Hillary Clinton?

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2:07pm

Tue January 22, 2013
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

I have a confession to make.

Yes, sometimes it's true, I do bend the rules to suit ScuttleButton. Sometimes I completely violate the precepts that ScuttleButton was founded on. So yes, many of you who write in to complain do have valid points.

But this week I may have gone too far. You'll see what I mean once you figure out the puzzle. I just want you to know that there was a serious rule violation this week and that I'm aware of it.

Not that anything will change.

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6:33am

Tue January 22, 2013
Political Junkie

Monday Was All About Obama. Now All He Needs Is A Cabinet.

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 1:37 pm

President Barack Obama, center, makes a statement to the media before the start of a meeting with his Cabinet on Nov. 28, 2012.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

The day had history and symbolism written all over it: the inauguration of President Barack Obama, coming on the very day the nation was honoring the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The pomp, the ceremony, the speech, the festivities, the parade, the emotions, the hugs, the tears. It's all part of America's finest moment, and yesterday was no exception.

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6:43am

Tue January 15, 2013
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

While you're gearing up for the Political Junkie D.C. Live Road Show on Wednesday evening — see below for details — why not try and solve this week's ScuttleButton puzzle first?

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6:13am

Mon January 14, 2013
Political Junkie

This Particular Nomination May Not Be About Obama; It's About Chuck Hagel

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 1:12 pm

Former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., speaks at the White House on Monday after President Obama nominated him to replace U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Democrats are fond of saying that Republicans are interested in only one thing, and that is to thwart President Obama at every opportunity. He proposes something, the GOP opposes it. He says it's day, they say it's night. In some cases, those complaints are justified; in others, it's just whining.

But it's a complex story about the opposition to Obama's choice of Chuck Hagel, the former two-term Republican senator from Nebraska, to become the next secretary of defense. It may not be about Obama at all.

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6:53am

Tue January 8, 2013
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

The fiscal cliff drama? Over. The Redskins' season? Kaput.

There's only one thing left. ScuttleButton.

ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday I put up a vertical display of buttons on this site. Your job is to simply take one word (or concept) per button, add 'em up, and, hopefully, you will arrive at a famous name or a familiar expression. (And seriously, by familiar, I mean it's something that more than one person on Earth would recognize.)

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