Ron Elving

Ron Elving is Senior Editor and Correspondent on the Washington Desk for NPR News, where he is frequently heard as a news analyst and writes regularly for NPR.org.

He is also a professorial lecturer and Executive in Residence in the School of Public Affairs at American University, where he has also taught in the School of Communication. In 2016, he was honored with the University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching in an Adjunct Appointment. He has also taught at George Mason and Georgetown.

He was previously the political editor for USA Today and for Congressional Quarterly. He has been published by the Brookings Institution and the American Political Science Association. He has contributed chapters on Obama and the media and on the media role in Congress to the academic studies Obama in Office 2011, and Rivals for Power, 2013. Ron's earlier book, Conflict and Compromise: How Congress Makes the Law, was published by Simon & Schuster and is also a Touchstone paperback.

During his tenure as manager of NPR's Washington desk from 1999 to 2014, the desk's reporters were awarded every major recognition available in radio journalism, including the Dirksen Award for Congressional Reporting and the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In 2008, the American Political Science Association awarded NPR the Carey McWilliams Award "in recognition of a major contribution to the understanding of political science."

Ron came to Washington in 1984 as a Congressional Fellow with the American Political Science Association and worked for two years as a staff member in the House and Senate. Previously, he had been state capital bureau chief for The Milwaukee Journal.

He received his bachelor's degree from Stanford University and master's degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of California – Berkeley.

The national Democratic and Republican Party conventions are essentially the opposite of social distancing. Some are wondering if they're truly necessary any more, given the ongoing epidemic.

Mention government financing public works projects and sooner or later someone's going to bring up the Works Progress Administration.

That conjures scenes from the 1930s, the breadlines and soup kitchens and the wan-faced men selling apples on the street. And also the image of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the man elected president in 1932 promising a "New Deal" to end the Great Depression.

Let us all have a moment of sympathy – and perhaps even understanding — for Thomas Massie, Republican of Kentucky.

Massie was the guy who caught hell from all sides Friday when he tried to force a roll call vote on the coronavirus relief bill in the House of Representatives. He said he wanted every individual member to record his or her vote on the gargantuan $2 trillion package, which he called the biggest relief bill in the history of mankind.

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On March 18, in the midst of a presidential news conference on the coronavirus, Donald Trump compared himself to a "wartime president."

This president has never been shy about casting himself in heroic roles. But his attempt to adopt the military mien raised more than a few eyebrows under the circumstances.

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As the coronavirus shuts down their daily routines, some Americans have expressed the hope that the crisis would at last "bring us together" – or at least restore some sense of a shared national fate.

That is profoundly to be hoped. Public trust is essential in a public health crisis. Beyond that, there would be much to be gained by restoring a sense of national purpose.

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What is the value of one politician throwing his or her support behind another? This week saw the highest-ranking African American member of Congress, Jim Clyburn, throw his support behind former Vice President Joe Biden.

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As a legal process, President Trump's impeachment is over. But if it seemed to take a long time to reach the Senate's vote to acquit, the final judgment on Trump's impeachment will take far longer. History will be the final judge, and that court will be in session for a long time.

Aside from times of genuine national crisis, it is hard to recall a week with as many events of political significance as the one we have all just witnessed.

As a kickoff for the re-election year of a president, it could scarcely have been more fraught. And as always, our perception of events was subject to our differing political perspectives.

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NPR senior Washington editor and correspondent Ron Elving is with us now. Good morning, Ron.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: And the new normal - you must have been up much of the night.

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Week In Politics

Jan 18, 2020

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The impeachment trial of President Trump began for real this week with the swearing in of the U.S. Senate, which will hear the case, and some startling new charges. NPR senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving joins us.

Ron, thanks for being with us.

Book-length critiques of the presidency of Donald Trump keep piling up on American reading tables, so it seems time for a one-volume wrapup on what we have learned so far.

Imagine, for a moment, a high-octane courtroom prosecutor summing up for the jury a case built on the vivid testimony of multiple eyewitnesses.

Updated at 12:25 p.m. ET

Viewers tuning in for the latest Democratic presidential candidates' debate Tuesday night may sense something missing in Des Moines.

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Week In Politics

Jan 11, 2020

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President Trump's impeachment trial will probably begin within days. The confrontation with Iran reminds Congress of their powers in decisions to go to war. And Iowa feels the Bern. NPR senior editor and correspondent Ron Elving joins us now from Chicago. Ron, thanks so much for being with us.

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Don't put too much stock in all those New Year's predictions you're hearing and seeing about American politics in 2020. Anyone saying they know what will happen is probably just trying to get our attention.

And probably succeeding. We've all fallen for headlines and clickbait proclaiming foreknowledge of events. We do it for sports, the stock market and just about any other outcome that cannot be foreseen.

That goes for elections — especially for elections — and particularly in a high-stakes, pivotal cycle such as we are in now.

Week In Politics

Dec 28, 2019

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When it was announced Wednesday night in the House of Representatives that all of the time allotted for debate on impeachment had expired, a cheer went up within the chamber. After a dozen hours of rancor and wrangling, there seemed for a moment to be an end in sight.

The spirit of that cheer was generally shared by the nation at large. But alas, that night, there would be closure only for the House and not the nation.

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President Trump is accused of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The full House is expected to vote Wednesday. Ron Elving, NPR's senior Washington correspondent, joins us. Ron, thanks so much for being with us on a historic week.

Week In Politics

Dec 7, 2019

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Members of the House are drafting articles of impeachment this weekend. Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she had no choice.

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