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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8:29am

Sat August 11, 2012
Election 2012

5 Vice Presidential Picks Who Were Key To Victory

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 11:09 am

Ken Rudin collection

There have been a number of instances in recent history where the choice of a vice presidential running mate was an important stepping stone toward winning in the fall.

Of course, it's much too early to know how much of a difference GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's choice of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan will make. In the meantime, here is my subjective list of the top five instances in the past half-century or so where a selection of a running mate was crucial to victory:

1. 1960: John Kennedy-Lyndon Johnson (D)

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2:03pm

Tue August 7, 2012
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

With lots of Olympic records being broken this year, I thought I'd do my part by coming up with one of the shortest ScuttleButton puzzles in recent history — just two buttons this week.

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6:48am

Mon August 6, 2012
Political Junkie

The United States Of America ... All Ten Of Them

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 10:56 am

For Romney to win the election, he is going to have to pick off some big states from Obama's 2008 tally.
AP

In 92 days, we will either re-elect President Obama or replace him with his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney. On paper, at least, voters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia will make that decision.

But if you look at the travel schedules and campaign budgets of Obama and Romney, it's clear that the 2012 election will be decided in only ten or fewer states.

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12:26pm

Tue July 31, 2012
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

Question: What does ScuttleButton have in common with the Olympics?

Answer: Easy. Accusations of doping.

How else could you explain the week-after-week brilliance that you get in each button puzzle?

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6:43am

Mon July 30, 2012
Political Junkie

Latest Tea Party Vs. GOP Establishment Battle Comes Tuesday In Texas

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 10:16 am

Dewhurst and Cruz buttons.
Ken Rudin collection

One question heard over and over again this year: Is the Tea Party still relevant?

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12:00pm

Tue July 24, 2012
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin collection

The Summer Olympics start soon, and I have a feeling that one record — the longest time it's ever taken you to figure out a ScuttleButton puzzle — could very well be broken this week.

You'll have a head start, of course, if you know how to play.

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6:48am

Mon July 23, 2012
Political Junkie

Road Map For Mitt Romney: Positive, And Negative, V.P. Picks Dating Back To 1964

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 10:27 am

Who will be Romney's VP? The naming of his running mate is likely going to come in mid-August, after his foreign trip and the conclusion of the Olympics.
Ken Rudin collection

Forget the widespread rumor going around in recent weeks that Mitt Romney was going to announce his running mate this month. Perhaps, if the persistent attacks on Romney's taxes, investments and stewardship of Bain Capital started to show sharp erosion in his numbers, he would have moved up a V.P. announcement. But that hasn't happened. With polls indicating a continuous dead heat with President Obama, Romney is about to embark Tuesday on a week-long trip to Britain, Israel and Poland without first naming someone to his ticket.

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6:48am

Tue July 17, 2012
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 7:44 am

Ken Rudin's ScuttleButton 071712

Instead of getting caught up into guessing who will be Mitt Romney's running mate, shouldn't you be figuring out this week's ScuttleButton puzzle?

Last week's offering was perhaps the toughest one in quite awhile. But it's even tougher when you don't know how to play.

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6:48am

Mon July 16, 2012
Political Junkie

Would Romney, Already Looked At Skeptically By The Right, Pick Rice?

Originally published on Mon July 23, 2012 5:03 pm

Condoleezza Rice, shown here visiting a school in Moscow in 2011, is the latest rumored choice for Mitt Romney's running mate.
Korotayev Artyom ITAR-TASS/Landov

Pretty soon we'll be obsessing full time over Mitt Romney's running mate selection, but until then I thought I'd weigh in one on Veepstakes story that's been making the rounds in recent days.

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6:48am

Tue July 10, 2012
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

. Ken Rudin's ScuttleButton 071012

Two things you never thought would happen:

The Washington Nationals are in first place at the All-Star break. And ScuttleButton remains America's favorite button puzzle.

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