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.

Pages

6:43am

Mon July 9, 2012
Political Junkie

The Green Party Makes Its Case As A Left-Leaning Alternative To Obama

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 3:07 pm

Green Party presidential candidates never attracted much support, but in 2000 they certainly attracted attention.
Ken Rudin collection

Last week's Political Junkie column ("Still Waiting For That Declaration of Independents") talked about the lack of ballot alternatives to President Obama (D) and Mitt Romney (R). If there is such dissatisfaction with the two major parties, I wondered, shouldn't there be greater support for a third party or independent presidential candidate?

Read more

3:32pm

Mon July 2, 2012
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin's Scuttlebutton 070212

How can everyone be carrying on about ObamaCare when there's ScuttleButtonCare to worry about?

Read more

12:07pm

Mon July 2, 2012
Political Junkie

Still Waiting For That Declaration Of Independents

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 9:13 pm

If this were truly a widespread sentiment, wouldn't there be more people calling for a third party candidate?
Ken Rudin collection

The nation celebrates its 236th year of independence this week, a holiday that reminds us of the freedoms America's early patriots fought for and which we continue to enjoy to this day.

Read more

12:56pm

Mon June 25, 2012
Political Junkie

It's ScuttleButton Time!

Ken Rudin's Scuttlebutton 062512

I'm heading out tomorrow to Aspen, Colo., where Neal Conan and the Talk of the Nation crew are doing the show all week, in advance of my Political Junkie TOTN segment on Wednesday. So I figured, why not put up ScuttleButton a day early?

Read more

6:48am

Mon June 25, 2012
Political Junkie

Age, Demographics And Ethics Make For A Tough Primary For Charlie Rangel

Originally published on Mon June 25, 2012 5:05 pm

Rangel has advancing age, health issues, ethics woes and changing demographics in his battle to win a 22nd term in Congress.
Ken Rudin collection

Back in 1970, the word on Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. was that, after a quarter-century in the House, it was time for him to go.

At 61 years of age and enmeshed in ethics controversies, Powell was long known for his flamboyance. He was also known for his chronic absenteeism, and a young state assemblyman by the name of Charles Rangel promised if elected he would be a full-time congressman.

Rangel went on to defeat Powell in a five-candidate Democratic primary by just over 200 votes (32.6-31.8 percent).

Read more

6:48am

Tue June 12, 2012
Political Junkie

A Congressional Election In Arizona We All Wish Didn't Have To Take Place

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 10:48 am

Giffords resigned her seat in January after 4 years in Congress.
Ken Rudin collection

If Republicans had their way, there would not have been a gubernatorial recall election in Wisconsin. An unnecessary waste of time, many of them said.

Democrats, for the most part, disagree. Scott Walker's policies, they argued, mandated the recall election.

As for today's special election in Arizona's 8th Congressional District, both Democrats and Republicans agree that it shouldn't be taking place at all.

Read more

6:48am

Mon June 4, 2012
Political Junkie

Wisconsin Recall Is Just One Of Many Highlights Of Big Tuesday Campaign Day

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 3:45 pm

Ken Rudin collection

Lots at stake tomorrow, June 5, with primaries in five states, in addition to what would be only the third recall of a sitting governor in U.S. history. Here's the lineup:

Read more

6:48am

Mon May 21, 2012
Political Junkie

What Does Ron Paul Want? Hint: It's Not About The 2012 GOP Nomination

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 1:16 pm

Ken Rudin collection

Ron Paul is not going to be the Republican nominee for president in 2012. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. Even Ron Paul knows it. His acknowledgement that Mitt Romney will be the nominee is just stating the obvious.

But what exactly did he mean when he said last week that he will "no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not voted"? Was he telling us that he was dropping out of the race?

Not quite.

Read more

12:49pm

Mon May 7, 2012
Political Junkie

Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar May Not Survive Tuesday's GOP Primary

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 11:03 pm

Both Democrats come off unsuccessful gov. campaigns; Barrett lost to Walker in 2010, and Falk lost the primary in 2006.
Ken Rudin collection

When Richard Lugar, the mayor of Indianapolis, first ran for the Senate, against Democratic incumbent Birch Bayh in 1974, a big part of his problem was that he was a partisan Republican.

In fairness, there was nothing wrong with being a partisan Republican in good GOP years ... in, say, 1972, when President Richard Nixon was on his way to a landslide re-election and Lugar was the keynote speaker at the GOP national convention.

Read more

6:45am

Mon January 9, 2012
Political Junkie

Mitt Romney, New Hampshire And The 'Expectations Game'

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 2:09 pm

Romney's N.H. victory celebration four years ago was premature. But it may not be this time.
Ken Rudin collection

A handful of new polls are out, all of which have Mitt Romney ahead in the Jan. 21 South Carolina primary by varying margins.

Read more

Pages