Author: Ron Elving

The Night In 1968 When A Nation Watched An American Presidency Crumble

NPR Enlarge this image Sen. Eugene McCarthy, D-Minn., waves to supporters in his campaign headquarters, March 13, 1968, the day after the New Hampshire primary showed strong support for his opposition to the Vietnam war. Anonymous/AP hide caption toggle caption Anonymous/AP On the night of March 12, 1968, TV audiences saw an American presidency of monumental proportions begin to crumble before their eyes. The occasion was the New Hampshire presidential preference primary, the “first in the nation” primary that has long been a tradition in the Granite State. There have been other dramatic outcomes in New Hampshire, both before...

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Blame Game Begins Over Shutdown

NPR We talk about what preceded the decision to shut down the government and what happens next. SCOTT SIMON, HOST: Going to turn now to NPR’s Ron Elving. Ron, thanks very much for being with us. RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Scott. SIMON: You heard Democratic Senator Van Hollen. We had Republican Congressman Cole. What points do they make that stand up for you? ELVING: These are a couple of reasonable guys, and they are making reasonable arguments. And if they were speaking for the two parties, I very much doubt we’d have a shutdown this...

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8 Congressional Chairmen Are Calling It Quits. Here’s Why And What It Could Mean

NPR [embedded content] YouTube Capitol Hill Republicans are nervous about November. The margins of their majority are dwindling in both chambers. It’s looking like a good year to run as a Democrat, and President Trump isn’t helping with his weak polls and potent controversies. But at least one of the woes afflicting the current majority on the House side has its roots in the politics of a generation ago. And its power to shape elections even now testifies to the enduring legacy of a leader who left the halls of power long ago — Newt Gingrich Gingrich was the...

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Why Trump Continues to Forge An Unlikely Bond with Religious Conservatives

NPR Enlarge this image President Trump has won over religious conservatives with promises of Supreme Court nominees, hard line support for Israel and a host of other items. Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images A Senate election in Alabama. A Republican tax bill moving through Congress. Violent protests in the Middle East following U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. What could these widely disparate matters have in common, besides heavy news coverage? It turns out that they all have enabled President Trump to send a message to one...

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The NRA Wasn’t Always Against Gun Restrictions

NPR Enlarge this image The late Charlton Heston, the former actor and head of the National Rifle Association, addressing gun owners during a “get-out-the-vote” rally in New Hampshire October 2002. Jim Cole/AP hide caption toggle caption Jim Cole/AP Once again, and sadly not for the last time, a mass shooting has stunned the nation and shocked the rest of the civilized world, spurring a national debate about guns and gun laws. And once again, and surely not for the last time, that debate features the preeminent organization of gun owners, the National Rifle Association, known as the NRA. Founded...

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What Is The ‘Regular Order’ John McCain Longs To Return To On Health Care?

NPR On Tuesday on the Senate floor, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called for a return to “regular order”: the traditional legislative process, with more bipartisanship. Mark Wilson/Getty Images In an emotional return to the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon, Sen. John McCain admonished the leaders of his party for their managing of the health care bill and called instead for “regular order.” “Let’s trust each other. Let’s return to regular order,” the Arizona Republican said. “We’ve been spinning our wheels on too many important issues because we keep trying to find a way to win without help from across the...

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Week Of High Expectations Stumbles To New Lows For Team Trump

NPR President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the Oval Office on Friday, March 24, 2017. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP This was to have been the week when President Trump turned his fledgling presidency around, setting a course for success and letting the wind fill its sails at last. Instead, it became his worst week to date, ending with the ship becalmed and its crew in disarray. After other controversies had spoiled the weather, the Republicans proved unable to muster the votes to pass their repeal-and-replace Obamacare bill in the House. The president and Speaker Paul Ryan had to...

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President Trump Seems Determined to Continue the Permanent Campaign

Enlarge this image President Trump is getting out of Washington for a campaign-style rally Saturday, his first since becoming president. He seems determined to keep up campaign-style politics even while governing. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption toggle caption Win McNamee/Getty Images Americans have complained for years about presidential campaigns that start too early and last too long. Now, they are confronted with one that refuses to end — even after reaching the White House. There may never be a “last word” written or spoken about President Trump’s 77-minute barrage in the East Room Thursday, but the first word from many was: “Wow.” That was the initial reaction blurted out by Brett Baier at Fox News, as well as by Wolf Blitzer at CNN. For the first time since he took the oath, the president took questions from all kinds of news organizations. And he took them very, very personally. “I’ll tell you what else I see,” the president said with some heat. “I see tone. You know the word ‘tone’? The tone is such hatred. I’m really not a bad person, by the way. No, but the tone is such — I do get good ratings, you have to admit that — the tone is such hatred.” The impromptu news conference came sprawling onto screens everywhere out of a planned introduction for Alex Acosta, the new nominee to be...

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