Ron Elving http://publicradioeast.org en Why Scott Walker Is Looking Beyond His Fan Base http://publicradioeast.org/post/why-scott-walker-looking-beyond-his-fan-base Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker officially announced this week that he is running for — wait for it — re-election as governor of Wisconsin.<p>It will be at least six months before he says anything definitive regarding that <em>other</em> office, the oval-shaped one in Washington, D.C.<p>And that's to be expected.<p>Governors in both parties routinely run for re-election while keeping coy about the White House — much like Bill Clinton in 1990 and George W. Bush in 1998 and Rick Perry in 2010.<p>Of course there's no question what's on Walker's mind, long term. Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:27:00 +0000 Ron Elving 39244 at http://publicradioeast.org Why Scott Walker Is Looking Beyond His Fan Base Immigration Turbulence Buffets Boehner http://publicradioeast.org/post/immigration-turbulence-buffets-boehner Will the real John Boehner please stand up?<p>Just a dozen days ago, Speaker Boehner and his GOP leadership team embraced <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2014/01/31/269508298/after-3-day-retreat-gop-battle-plan-still-only-an-outline">a set of principles</a> for updating the nation's immigration laws.<p>In that moment, the House seemed about to acknowledge the most pressing issue before the Congress – the elephant in the room, if you will. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 16:12:00 +0000 Ron Elving 34074 at http://publicradioeast.org Immigration Turbulence Buffets Boehner Congressman's Exit Closes Book On 'Watergate Babies' http://publicradioeast.org/post/congressmans-exit-closes-book-watergate-babies Henry Waxman's retirement means more than the loss of a legendary legislator on health care, energy and other regulatory issues. It also closes an era that began 40 years ago with the election of the "Watergate babies."<p>When Waxman departs, there will no longer be a House member who has been serving since that historic class of 75 Democrats was first elected in 1974. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 12:00:00 +0000 Ron Elving 33264 at http://publicradioeast.org Congressman's Exit Closes Book On 'Watergate Babies' Obama Showed A Deft Hand With Speech. Why Not With Congress? http://publicradioeast.org/post/obama-showed-deft-hand-speech-why-not-congress The toughest test of a card player comes not with a big hand or a sheer bust, but rather with cards somewhere in between. Then it's not the deal that makes the difference — it's the sheer skill of the player.<p>The hand President Obama was playing in his <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/01/28/267858893/live-blog-president-obamas-state-of-union-address">latest State of the Union speech</a> could scarcely be called a powerhouse. Pre-speech coverage was dominated by polls showing his approval rating well underwater and the national mood dyspeptic at best. Wed, 29 Jan 2014 12:36:00 +0000 Ron Elving 33092 at http://publicradioeast.org Obama Showed A Deft Hand With Speech. Why Not With Congress? 'Nuclear Option' Vote Marks Tectonic Shift In Senate Rules http://publicradioeast.org/post/nuclear-option-vote-marks-tectonic-shift-senate-rules Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's move Thursday to make possible the confirmation of presidential nominees with a simple majority marks a tectonic shift in the rules and folkways of the Senate.<p>Back in 2005, then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist called this idea "the constitutional option" when he came close to invoking it on behalf of the judicial nominees of President George W. Bush.<p>That sounded a lot more dignified than the name Frist's predecessor, Trent Lott, had used just two years earlier: "the nuclear option."<p>Guess which name stuck. Thu, 21 Nov 2013 22:16:00 +0000 Ron Elving 28272 at http://publicradioeast.org 'Nuclear Option' Vote Marks Tectonic Shift In Senate Rules 7 Election Lessons We Should Have Seen Coming http://publicradioeast.org/post/7-election-lessons-we-should-have-seen-coming In the end, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/11/06/243439199/your-election-news-in-five-headlines" target="_blank">they pretty much all won</a>. The people who were expected to prevail Tuesday night wound up in the winner's circle. In New Jersey and New York, of course, and in Virginia, too, in the end. Wed, 06 Nov 2013 15:49:00 +0000 Ron Elving 27135 at http://publicradioeast.org 7 Election Lessons We Should Have Seen Coming Former House Speaker Tom Foley Dies At 84 http://publicradioeast.org/post/former-house-speaker-tom-foley-dies-84-0 Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel.<p>Former Speaker of the House Thomas Foley died today at his home in Washington, D.C. He was 84 years old. Foley had been in hospice care following a stroke and a bout with pneumonia earlier this year. He was a Democrat who served in Congress for 30 years, beginning with the Lyndon Johnson landslide of 1964 and ending with the Newt Gingrich revolution of 1994, when Foley lost his own seat. Fri, 18 Oct 2013 20:43:00 +0000 Ron Elving 25826 at http://publicradioeast.org President Obama's 'It's Good To Be The King' Moment http://publicradioeast.org/post/once-again-grand-gulf-between-president-and-speaker It is good to be the king.<p>That old adage holds, even though nowadays we call our chief executive "Mr. President."<strong></strong><p>After another long day of showdown over the shutdown, President Obama was able to dominate the headlines, break the tension and change the atmosphere in Washington. He could demonstrate everything that is different about being in the White House — as opposed to that other House where Speaker John Boehner lives.<p>The president could do all this just by putting out the word that he was about to appoint the most powerful central banker in the world. Wed, 09 Oct 2013 16:20:00 +0000 Ron Elving 25138 at http://publicradioeast.org President Obama's 'It's Good To Be The King' Moment With Shutdown Looming, Senate Takes Up Stopgap Spending Bill http://publicradioeast.org/post/shutdown-looming-senate-takes-stopgap-spending-bill Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And on Capitol Hill, words of anger and frustration today over the increasing likelihood of a government shutdown. This morning in the House, members of both parties took to the floor and pointed fingers.<p>REPRESENTATIVE EARL BLUMENAUER: If you're serious about working together to solve problems, why don't you work together to solve problems?<p>REPRESENTATIVE TED POE: Where oh where has the Senate gone? Where oh where can they be? Mon, 30 Sep 2013 20:32:00 +0000 Ron Elving 24502 at http://publicradioeast.org Obama's Shift On Syria: A Show Of Strength Or Fear? http://publicradioeast.org/post/obamas-shift-syria-show-strength-or-fear One line President Obama might have borrowed for his speech to the nation Tuesday night was a famous one from John F. Wed, 11 Sep 2013 11:54:00 +0000 Ron Elving 23060 at http://publicradioeast.org Obama's Shift On Syria: A Show Of Strength Or Fear? Goodbye, Again, To Obama's Most Audacious Hope http://publicradioeast.org/post/goodbye-again-obamas-most-audacious-hope The sudden eruption of second-term scandals in his administration will have many costs for President Obama, but surely the most grievous will be the lost opportunity to transcend the partisan wars of Washington. That aspiration was his fondest dream for his second term, much as it was for his first. Now it seems destined to be dashed once again.<p>Of course, there are those who believe Barack Obama never intended to be anything but a conquering hero of the left. Tue, 14 May 2013 23:33:00 +0000 Ron Elving 14046 at http://publicradioeast.org Goodbye, Again, To Obama's Most Audacious Hope Logic Behind Obama News Conference Hard To Fathom http://publicradioeast.org/post/logic-behind-obama-news-conference-hard-fathom On Tuesday afternoon, President Obama declared May as Older Americans Month, National Foster Care Month, National Building Safety Month, Jewish American Heritage Month and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.<p>The president also issued a statement on the investiture of the new king of the Netherlands.<p>While small and routine, these moves were all easy to understand, as were the accompanying proclamations from the White House press shop.<p>What was not clear was the executive thinking behind the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/04/30/180026256/obama-to-hold-news-confe Tue, 30 Apr 2013 23:26:00 +0000 Ron Elving 12960 at http://publicradioeast.org Logic Behind Obama News Conference Hard To Fathom Reluctant Justices May Be Forced To Make History http://publicradioeast.org/post/reluctant-justices-may-be-forced-make-history Now and then, an issue before the U.S. Supreme Court changes the course of the nation's political history — whether the justices like it or not.<p>It's happening again with gay marriage. This week the court heard oral arguments in two key cases. One could restore legal same-sex marriage in California; the other could end discrimination against gay married couples in the administration of more than 1,000 federal programs.<p>The questions from the pivotal justices indicated they might prefer these cases — and these issues — be decided by someone else. Thu, 28 Mar 2013 22:04:00 +0000 Ron Elving 10496 at http://publicradioeast.org Reluctant Justices May Be Forced To Make History RNC Chair's 'Postmortem' Report A Line In The Sand For Divided GOP http://publicradioeast.org/post/rnc-chairs-postmortem-report-line-sand-divided-gop The release of a "<a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/03/18/174665725/rnc-report-a-postmortem-on-failed-2012-election" target="_blank">postmortem</a>" report on the 2012 national election by the Republican National Committee is either the first step toward the GOP's recovery or the latest sign that the party is headed for a breakup.<p>Or, it could be both.<p>RNC Chairman Reince Priebus put out a <a href="http://www.gop.com/news/chairmans-blog/rnc-chairman-reince-priebus-remarks-from-the-national-press-club/" target="_blank">hard-eyed assessment</a> of the state of his party, excoriating failures Tue, 19 Mar 2013 14:31:00 +0000 Ron Elving 9737 at http://publicradioeast.org RNC Chair's 'Postmortem' Report A Line In The Sand For Divided GOP Could There Be A Tie In The Electoral College? http://publicradioeast.org/post/could-there-be-tie-electoral-college Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block.<p>Most polls in the presidential race show the national popular vote to be a virtual tie. But as we know, the popular does not pick the president. That's the job of the Electoral College. And some election number crunchers are starting to explore the nightmare scenario of an Electoral College tie. Wed, 24 Oct 2012 21:16:00 +0000 Ron Elving 4459 at http://publicradioeast.org Analysis: Romney Debate Strategy Shows He Thinks He's In the Driver's Seat http://publicradioeast.org/post/analysis-romney-debate-strategy-shows-he-thinks-hes-drivers-seat In his third debate with President Obama, Mitt Romney dialed up "cool and cautious" on his mood meter. And that tells you a great deal about where this presidential race stands with two weeks to go.<p>Romney had to know the president would be coming after him in Boca Raton, Fla., but he decided to avoid the aggressive and even angry notes he had struck in the first two debates. He had achieved what he could with this approach in the initial clash in Denver on Oct. 3, when he seemed the more decisive and strong-willed candidate on stage. Tue, 23 Oct 2012 16:47:00 +0000 Ron Elving 4319 at http://publicradioeast.org Analysis: Romney Debate Strategy Shows He Thinks He's In the Driver's Seat George McGovern, An Improbable Icon Of Anti-War Movement http://publicradioeast.org/post/george-mcgovern-improbable-icon-anti-war-movement If George McGovern often seemed miscast as a presidential candidate, he was at least as improbable as an icon of the anti-war movement.<p>The Vietnam War gave birth to an opposition movement unlike any America had seen in its previous wars. It was young, unconventional and countercultural, defiant of authority and deeply suspicious of government.<p>McGovern himself was none of these things.<p>He was, at the time of his presidential nomination, a 50-year-old two-term senator from South Dakota, a family man and the son of a small-town Methodist minister. Mon, 22 Oct 2012 10:36:00 +0000 Ron Elving 4213 at http://publicradioeast.org George McGovern, An Improbable Icon Of Anti-War Movement A Stronger Showing At Hofstra, But Ghost Of Denver Still Haunts Obama http://publicradioeast.org/post/stronger-showing-hofstra-ghost-denver-still-haunts-obama President Obama beat at least one of his adversaries on the stage at Hofstra University last night. He easily outperformed that guy — whoever he was — who debated against former Gov. Mitt Romney two weeks ago in Denver.<p>That much was obvious — and necessary for the president. The question now is whether it will be sufficient to restore his momentum in the race itself.<p>Some "instant polls" and other quickie measures were heartening to the Obama camp. But no matter how much Obama's showing at Hofstra surpassed his Denver no-show, it will not eradicate the damage or make up for lost time. Wed, 17 Oct 2012 11:49:00 +0000 Ron Elving 3858 at http://publicradioeast.org A Stronger Showing At Hofstra, But Ghost Of Denver Still Haunts Obama A Fighter To The End, Arlen Specter Seemed To Thrive On Controversy http://publicradioeast.org/post/fighter-end-arlen-specter-seemed-thrive-controversy Imagine a lawyer's lawyer, a fighter's fighter and a pol's pol. Now imagine one person as all three. That was Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who died Sunday at age 82.<p>Over the course of three decades in the U.S. Senate (1981-2011), Specter came to personify the pragmatic, independent operator who sized up the substance and politics of every issue for himself. Mon, 15 Oct 2012 11:56:00 +0000 Ron Elving 3670 at http://publicradioeast.org A Fighter To The End, Arlen Specter Seemed To Thrive On Controversy 7 Signals Stolen From The Running Mates' One-Game Playoff http://publicradioeast.org/post/7-signals-stolen-running-mates-one-game-playoff You may have noticed that the vice presidential debate took place on the same day as four crucial games in this year's baseball playoffs. In case you were distracted at all by the latter, here's some of what you may have missed:<strong></strong><p><strong>1) Joe Biden still has his fastball.</strong> Fri, 12 Oct 2012 17:44:00 +0000 Ron Elving 3541 at http://publicradioeast.org 7 Signals Stolen From The Running Mates' One-Game Playoff