Mara Liasson

Mara Liasson is the national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC — focusing on the White House and Congress — and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.

Each election year, Liasson provides key coverage of the candidates and issues in both presidential and congressional races. During her tenure she has covered six presidential elections — in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. Prior to her current assignment, Liasson was NPR's White House correspondent for all eight years of the Clinton administration. She has won the White House Correspondents Association's Merriman Smith Award for daily news coverage in 1994, 1995, and again in 1997. From 1989-1992 Liasson was NPR's congressional correspondent.

Liasson joined NPR in 1985 as a general assignment reporter and newscaster. From September 1988 to June 1989 she took a leave of absence from NPR to attend Columbia University in New York as a recipient of a Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism.

Prior to joining NPR, Liasson was a freelance radio and television reporter in San Francisco. She was also managing editor and anchor of California Edition, a California Public Radio nightly news program, and a print journalist for The Vineyard Gazette in Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

Liasson is a graduate of Brown University where she earned a bachelor's degree in American history.

Pages

It's All Politics
5:07 am
Sat February 9, 2013

Public Pressure, Background Checks Central To Obama Gun Control Strategy

President Obama speaks about his gun control agenda before law enforcement officials in Minneapolis on Monday. The president was doing what his aides say he didn't do often enough in his first term: getting outside of Washington to build public support for legislation.
Ben Garvin Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 9, 2013 12:11 pm

Gun control historically has been one of the most divisive issues in Congress, between the parties and even inside the Democratic coalition. Yet some in President Obama's own party say he has put together a gun agenda that is sweeping without being too painful for most Democrats to support.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:44 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Hillary Clinton Leaving The Stage — At Least For Now — And On A High Note

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a town hall meeting on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. She officially leaves her post on Friday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 11:26 am

Hillary Clinton leaves her job Friday as secretary of state with sky-high approval ratings, and there's already a superPAC established urging her to run for president in 2016.

Read more
Politics
5:29 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Senators Unveil Plan To Fix Immigration System

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 8:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

This week, talk of new immigration laws serves as a reminder that timing is everything. Wait until after a momentous election and it becomes possible to discuss an issue that previously seemed impossible.

INSKEEP: In this quiet week between the government's ongoing fiscal storms, President Obama today unveils an immigration plan.

MONTAGNE: A bipartisan group of senators has already made a proposal.

Read more
Politics
5:52 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Obama's Second Inaugural Address Didn't Win Over Many Republicans

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 8:48 pm

Many Republicans were hoping for something akin to the president's 2004 convention speech where he talked about there being no red America or blue America but the United States of America.

Race
4:44 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Civil Rights Highlighted On Inauguration Day

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 10:06 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

Four years ago, President Obama delivered an inaugural speech that many viewed as somber. He took office facing two wars and a global economic crisis.

INSKEEP: Yesterday, the president declared a decade of war is now ending. And he took a position in the economic battles that remain.

Read more
NPR Story
5:13 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Obama's Speech Acts Like Preamble To State Of The Union Address

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 5:19 pm

Robert Siegel talks to national political correspondent Mara Liasson for analysis of the president's speech on Inauguration Day.

Politics
6:55 am
Fri January 18, 2013

Does Obama's Second-Term Agenda Need Beefing Up?

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 9:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning. President Obama is set to take the oath of office for a second time. He has promised an ambitious agenda for the next four years. NPR's Mara Liasson tackles the question of whether it's ambitious enough.

Read more
U.S.
4:57 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Obama's Treasury Secretary Nomination Reflective Of His Second Term Priorities

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 6:26 pm

President Obama announced his nomination of Jack Lew as the new secretary of Treasury. Lew has been the president's third and — by some accounts — most successful chief of staff.

Politics
5:39 am
Thu January 10, 2013

Obama Wants Urgent Action To End Gun Violence

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:04 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Today, Vice President Biden holds another meeting on gun policy and this time he's talking to gun owners and gun sellers. The meeting will include the National Rifle Association and representatives from Wal-Mart, which is the nation's largest gun retailer. It's part of a White House effort to come up with new gun policies by the end of the month, as NPR's national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports.

Read more
Presidential Race
5:53 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Candidates Inject Economy Into Foreign Policy Debate

Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 9:46 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

The third and final presidential debate was less dramatic than the ones before.

GREENE: Less dramatic but not without some drama. President Obama and Mitt Romney discussed foreign policy under the questioning of moderator Bob Schieffer.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:54 am
Fri October 19, 2012

The Third-Party Factor: Will 2012 Look Like 2000?

Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson addresses students at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., in September.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Tue October 23, 2012 1:03 pm

As the presidential race enters its final weeks, there are many factors that could affect the outcome: a great — or terrible — debate performance by one of the candidates on Monday in Florida; the next jobs report; or the presence of third-party candidates who are on the ballot in almost every state.

Gary Johnson, the former two-term governor of New Mexico who's running on the Libertarian ticket, is on the ballot in 48 states.

Read more
NPR Story
4:52 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Obama, Romney To Meet In Town Hall-Style Debate

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 10:45 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne, good morning.

Presidential candidates play a game before debates, each lowers expectations that he'll do well, then tries to beat expectations. The last part didn't work out for President Obama this last time, so he tries again tonight.

INSKEEP: The president meets Mitt Romney with their contest effectively tied. They hold a town hall meeting with about 80 uncommitted voters.

Read more
NPR Story
4:47 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Biden, Ryan To Meet In Kentucky For Only V.P. Debate

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 5:35 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEPI, HOST: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Tonight, it is the vice presidential candidates who face the audience for their first and only debate. Joe Biden will be under pressure to shift the momentum back to the Democratic ticket. Republican challenger, Paul Ryan, will be trying to keep that momentum going in Mitt Romney's direction. ABC's Martha Raddatz will be moderating the debate, which will be held in Danville, Kentucky.

Read more
It's All Politics
6:00 am
Wed October 3, 2012

On Eve Of First Debate, NPR Poll Shows Romney Within Striking Distance

Early voting has begun in the battleground states of Ohio, Virginia and Iowa. Voting booths were set up for early voting Thursday at the Black Hawk County Courthouse in Waterloo, Iowa. Ahead of Wednesday's first presidential debate, an NPR poll finds President Obama with a 7-point lead nationally, but his GOP challenger, Mitt Romney, is within striking distance.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 1:38 pm

The latest poll by NPR and its bipartisan polling team [pdf] shows President Obama with a 7-point lead among likely voters nationally and a nearly identical lead of 6 points in the dozen battleground states where both campaigns are spending most of their time and money.

Read more
Politics
4:58 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Obama Holds Slim Advantage In Swing State Virginia

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 5:50 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Read more
Politics
4:50 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Romney, Obama Leave Attacks Behind At Clinton Talk

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 7:39 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

The presidential campaigns converged on New York City today. Mitt Romney and President Obama were both in town to talk foreign policy. The president addressed the annual meeting of the United Nations, and both candidates spoke at a gathering for the Clinton Global Initiative. As NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson reports, the Clinton event brought a welcome reprieve from the usual partisan wrangling.

Read more
Election 2012
6:04 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Romney Argues For The Proper Role Of Government

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been busy after a tape emerged of him telling wealthy donors that nearly half of Americans see themselves as victims dependent on the federal government. Now he's trying to make those remarks part of a broader argument: What is the proper role of government and who should pay for it?

Presidential Race
5:11 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

Romney Still Doing Damage Control For '47 Percent'

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:09 pm

Anytime a candidate calls an unexpected press conference in the evening, you know it's not good news. We look at the latest news and political fall out from the release of Mitt Romney's remarks at a private fundraiser. The comments were made in May and the recording was released by Mother Jones magazine.

Presidential Race
5:10 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Romney Criticizes Obama's Response To Libya Attack

Originally published on Wed September 12, 2012 5:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It didn't take long for the attacks in Benghazi and Cairo to become part of the presidential campaign. Mitt Romney jumped in first. In a statement last night before Ambassador Stevens' death had been announced, Romney accused President Obama of sympathizing with those who waged the assault. The Obama campaign responded, saying it was shocked that Romney would launch a, quote, "political attack" at this moment. And the politics have continued today as NPR's Mara Liasson reports.

Read more
Presidential Race
4:45 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Obama, Romney Pull Campaign Ads On Sept. 11

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 9:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Blue skies, a late summer day with hints of fall: The weather in New York and Washington today felt eerily similar to September 11, 2001.

Read more

Pages