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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6:18am

Mon January 7, 2013
Political Junkie

John Boehner Has Been Up And Down And Up Again. Where Is He Now?

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 2:41 pm

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio bangs the gavel after being re-elected as House Speaker of the 113th Congress on Thursday on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Susan Walsh AP

As John Boehner finally got the votes to put him over the top, and his re-election as Speaker of the House became official, one had to wonder what was going on in his mind.

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6:08am

Mon December 24, 2012
Political Junkie

Remembering Those Who Left Us In 2012

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 2:43 pm

Ken Rudin collection

In political terms, 2012 was not the greatest of years. We witnessed an ugly, personal, petty, and often childish presidential election. Living in a "battleground" or "swing" state often meant being bombarded 24/7 by an incessant barrage of negative campaign commercials. And just as we were finally emerging from the campaign, we ended the year with an unfathomable tragedy, the gunning down of 20 children at an elementary school in Connecticut.

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1:53pm

Thu December 13, 2012
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

... And, it's the last ScuttleButton for 2012.

ScuttleButton, of course, is that once-a-week waste of time exercise in which each Monday or Tuesday (or, as they call today, "Thursday") 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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1:11pm

Mon December 3, 2012
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

We're close to reaching the breaking point. The White House knows it. Democrats and Republicans in Congress know it. Wall Street knows it, economists know it. We've been pushing this off for quite some time, and now it's time to take action.

Of course, I'm talking about solving this week's ScuttleButton puzzle.

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6:33am

Mon December 3, 2012
Political Junkie

Gov. Christie Re-Election Bid In N.J. Heads Up 2013 Election Calendar

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 10:01 am

President Obama is greeted by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in Atlantic City, N.J., on Oct. 31 before visiting areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

We may be still catching our collective breath over the 2012 elections, but fear not, political junkies: The 2013 elections are already getting under way. Here is what's at stake:

Governor: New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie (R) has announced he will seek re-election, and Virginia, where Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) must step down after one term.

Mayor: The big attractions are New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Detroit and Seattle.

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4:15pm

Mon November 26, 2012
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 5:40 pm

Ken Rudin collection

It costs $143.70 for an up close center-court ticket to see the Washington Wizards, D.C.'s purported professional basketball team that has yet to win a game after 11 starts.

It costs nothing to play ScuttleButton, America's favorite button puzzle game.

So which is the better deal?

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6:33am

Mon November 26, 2012
Political Junkie

The Tragedy Of The Demise Of Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 7:20 pm

Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned his House seat last Wednesday amid health and ethics concerns.
Charles Dharapak AP

It is always sad to watch a once-highly regarded public official, with seemingly unlimited potential, self-destruct. It's even sadder when that person offering so much hope represented a congressional district that has long been suffering economically, that desperately needed advocates on its behalf, and where the two previous incumbents left a trail of shame.

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3:08pm

Tue November 20, 2012
Political Junkie

Speaking Of Turkeys ... It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

Many of you will be out of town this week and likely to miss this week's ScuttleButton puzzle. So for that reason I'm going a bit easy on you with today's offering.

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6:33am

Mon November 19, 2012
Political Junkie

Both Sides Itching For A Confirmation Fight Over Susan Rice

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 7:23 pm

Some Republicans are betting that President Obama won't push for a Susan Rice nomination if it could jeopardize negotiations with the GOP on things like the budget, or immigration.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

The election was over. As President Obama faced the press in the East Room of the White House on Wednesday, the anger and bitterness of his long battle with Mitt Romney seemed to have faded. Unlike President George W. Bush after his 2004 re-election — and his comments about having political capital and intending to spend it — Obama seemed a bit more humble victor, talking more about compromise and saying he was willing to hear other points of view to solve the nation's problems.

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6:33am

Tue November 13, 2012
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

I know what you're thinking. Same old president. Same old Senate. Same old House.

And yes, same old 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.)

Read more

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