Don Gonyea

Although Don Gonyea is a NPR National Political Correspondent based in Washington, D.C., he spends much of his time traveling throughout the United States covering campaigns, elections, and the political climate throughout the country. His reports can be heard on all NPR programs and at NPR.org.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Gonyea chronicled the controversial election and the ensuing legal recount battles in the courts. At the same time George W. Bush moved into the White House in 2001, Gonyea started as NPR's White House Correspondent. He was at the White House on the morning of September 11, 2001, providing live reports following the evacuation of the building.

As White House correspondent, Gonyea covered the Bush administration's prosecution of wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq and during the 2004 campaign he traveled with President Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry. In November 2006, Gonyea co-anchored NPR's coverage of historic elections when Democrats captured control of both houses of the US Congress. In 2008, Gonyea was the lead reporter covering the entire Obama presidential campaign for NPR, from the Iowa caucuses to victory night in Chicago. He was also there when candidate Obama visited the Middle East and Europe. He continued covering the White House and President Barack Obama until spring 2010, when he moved into his current position.

Gonyea has filed stories from around the globe, including Moscow, Beijing, London, Islamabad, Doha, Budapest, Seoul, San Salvador, and Hanoi. He attended President Bush's first ever meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Slovenia in 2001, and subsequent, at times testy meetings between the two leaders in St. Petersburg, Shanghai and Bratislava. He also covered Mr.Obama's first trip overseas as president.

In 1986, Gonyea got his start at NPR reporting from Detroit on labor unions and the automobile industry. He spent countless hours on picket lines and in union halls covering strikes, including numerous lengthy work stoppages at GM in the late 1990s. Gonyea also reported on the development of alternative fuel and hybrid-powered automobiles, Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assisted-suicide crusade, and the 1999 closing of Detroit's classic Tiger Stadium — the ballpark of his youth.

Over the years Gonyea has contributed to PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the BBC, CBC, AP Radio, and the Columbia Journalism Review. He periodically teaches college journalism courses.

Gonyea has won numerous national and state awards for his reporting. He was part of the team that earned NPR a 2000 George Foster Peabody Award for the All Things Considered series "Lost & Found Sound."

A native of Monroe, Michigan, Gonyea is an honors graduate of Michigan State University.

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Politics
5:44 am
Mon August 18, 2014

An Unprecedented Transfer Of Power Marked Ford's Presidency

President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford, with Jack and Susan Ford at their Alexandra, Va. home on August 12, 1974. The Ford family lived there for ten days until the executive mansion was ready.
David Hume Kennerly Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 8:11 am

Forty years ago, America was getting to know a new president: Gerald Ford. He took office after scandal forced the resignation of Richard Nixon, famously declaring: "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over."

Taking on the presidency meant a transfer of power unlike any the country had ever seen. Ford often said he had never aspired to the White House. But there he was, in the summer of 1974.

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History
4:09 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Forget Tea Pot Dome: Harding's Love Letters Make For A New Steamy Scandal

A letter from Warren G. Harding to his lover, Carrie Fulton Phillips, dated Jan. 24, 1916.
Don Gonyea NPR

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 7:50 pm

President Warren G. Harding presided over Prohibition, died before completing his first term, and is consistently ranked by historians and the public as one of the worst U.S. presidents.

But suddenly he's getting a lot of attention, thanks to a cache of steamy love letters he wrote to a mistress over 15 years. Sealed for a half-century, today the Library of Congress made the entire collection available to the public.

James Hutson, chief archivist of the manuscript division at the library, pulled a box of the letters from the collection this morning.

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Politics
5:35 am
Fri July 18, 2014

While Campaigning For Other Democrats, Sen. Warren Gains Fans

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:49 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We report next on a woman who's become a focus of presidential speculation. Hillary Clinton, of course, is an overwhelming front-runner for the Democratic nomination, but Elizabeth Warren has excited a lot of Democratic activists. The Massachusetts senator is spending her summer traveling the country.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Politics
4:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Like Clockwork, Impeachment Talk Surfaces — But Action's Unlikely

President Obama waves before boarding Air Force One prior to his departure from Andrews Air Force Base on June 26.
Jose Luis Magana AP

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 1:00 pm

When a U.S. president gets deep into a second term, there are certain things that you can count on.

Political victories are tougher to come by.

The battle scars are deeper.

Public approval falls, and the opposing party looks for new ways to gain some advantage.

And in the modern presidency, there's another second-term development that's becoming just as predictable as the list above — calls for the president to be impeached.

It happens even when there's little — or no — chance of success.

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Sports
8:12 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Die-Hard Fans Still Fill The Grids With Balls And Strikes

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 12:23 pm

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

And before R. A. Dickey headed off to the ballpark, I tossed him one more question about a decades-old baseball ritual - following the game with a pencil and a scorecard - keeping score.

R. A. DICKEY: I grew up watching WGN and TBS from my living room and having a scorebook there and, like, keeping score off the television. At the end of it, it's like you've put together this really neat puzzle and woven this story, and you've somehow played a part in it.

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Politics
8:12 am
Sun June 29, 2014

In The Battle To Host The 2016 GOP, It's Alt Country Vs. Rock

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 3:13 pm

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

Call it the first official contest of the 2016 presidential campaign. Sure, the election's a couple of years away. Nevertheless, we have a pair of finalists. They are cities hoping to host the Republican National Convention two summers from now. In this corner, Dallas, Texas.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BIG D")

FRANK LOESSER: (Singing)You're from Big D. My, oh, yes. I mean, big D, little A, double L, A, S.

GONYEA: And the other contender, hailing from the shores of Lake Erie...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BURN ON")

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Politics
5:25 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Meet The New Stars Of Campaign Ads: Mom And Dad

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., talks with her father, former New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu, on Feb. 1. The two appear together in recent television ads for her re-election campaign.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 7:14 pm

It's the summer of a campaign year and once again the airwaves, the Internet, and likely your own Facebook and other social media feeds are full of political ads.

In the primaries, we've already seen ads featuring cartoon turtles, gator wrestling, lots of dogs, horses and, of course, guns — propped against pickup trucks or resting over shoulders.

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Iraq
4:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

The Specter Of Iraq Haunts The Political Life Of Barack Obama

President Obama speaks to troops at Fort Bragg, N.C., in December 2011.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 7:08 pm

Iraq has long played a major role in President Obama's political life, going back to his earliest days as an Illinois state senator barely known outside of his Chicago district.

Obama's early anti-Iraq war stand would become a centerpiece of his first run for the White House, but it's since been a persistent crisis that's been his to manage, despite his every effort to put it behind him.

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Politics
4:18 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

As News Of Cantor's Upset Settles, A Shakeup Still Looms On The Hill

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 6:24 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: And I'm Melissa Block. Republicans are reeling from the

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Politics
5:25 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Clinton Uses 'Hard Choices' Book Tour To Steer Benghazi Message

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 7:46 am

Republicans have been using the 2012 attack in Libya against her. Analysts say while Hillary Clinton is talking about Benghazi, she is defining the issue herself well ahead of any political campaign.

Politics
5:29 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Senate Expected To Approve Sebelius Replacement At HHS

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 12:40 pm

The Senate votes Thursday on the nomination of Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be Health and Human Services Secretary, replacing Kathleen Sebelius. Burwell was running the Office of Management and Budget.

Politics
4:22 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

With California Campaign, Political Pundit Decides To Try It Himself

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 11:08 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You'll hear this all the time in news stories about politics. At a certain point a political analyst or pundit is quoted offering insight. Maybe they're university professors with expertise on an issue or on candidates in their region of the country. So what happens when one of those go-to experts removes their pundit hat and becomes a candidate? NPR's Don Gonyea has one such story and he gets some well-known pundits to comment.

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Politics
5:11 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Mitt Romney Emerges As A Player In Midterm Elections

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 9:43 am

The ex-presidential candidate is on the campaign trail, picking winners in a number of key primaries. He says his goal is to help the GOP have a great 2014, including seizing control of the Senate.

It's All Politics
3:30 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Former Obama Campaigner Tries Running For Himself In Iowa

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 9:41 am

Could President Obama one day motivate future generations to run for office, the way that John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan have? It's too early to tell if a trend will take hold, but there is at least one key Obama campaign veteran now running for statewide office.

Brad Anderson was the spokesman for Obama's 2008 Iowa campaign. Four years later, he ran the president's entire Iowa operation. Now Anderson is running for Iowa secretary of state.

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Politics
4:37 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Voters Go To Polls On Primary Season's Busiest Day Yet

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 8:16 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Politics
4:05 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

After Nearly 50 Years In Office, Conyers Might Not Make The Ballot

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 3:11 pm

A local elections official has ruled that Rep. John Conyers of Detroit, who's served in the House for nearly 50 years, has failed to collect enough valid signatures to appear on the Democratic primary ballot. He's appealing the decision; if he loses, it could be an ignominious end to a distinguished career.

Politics
6:06 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Gaffe Breathes New Life Into Iowa Senate Race

Iowa Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst debates fellow U.S. Senate candidate Mark Jacobs, a retired CEO, in April.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:04 pm

This year, Iowa will elect a new U.S. senator, thanks to the retirement of five-term Democrat Tom Harkin.

For a time, this was a seat Democrats didn't think they needed to worry about; Rep. Bruce Braley was considered the favorite to win the seat in November.

Thanks to a serious gaffe, though, the seat looks to be in play. Now, five Republican hopefuls, none well-known statewide, are all racing toward the June primary.

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Politics
4:22 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Politicians Get Personal With Memorable Early Campaign Ads

Dr. Monica Wehby, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Oregon, appears in the much-talked-about campaign ad "Trust."
Dr. Monica Wehby Senate campaign

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:15 pm

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Race
6:44 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Obama, Bush Mark Passage Of 1964 Civil Rights Act

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 7:37 am

Barack Obama and George W. Bush, two U.S. presidents with little in common in terms of policy, personal style and politics, each paid tribute to the legacy of President Lyndon Johnson.

News
4:08 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Austin Hosts Presidents Past And Present To Honor Civil Rights

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 8:12 pm

President Obama is in Austin, Texas, honoring the legacy of President Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He's one of four U.S. presidents to appear at a civil rights summit this week.

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