Ken Rudin's Political Junkie

50 EpisodesProduced by Ken Rudin

Essential political news, analysis and history with veteran political analyst Ken Rudin.

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Episode #281: You Can Run, But You Can’t Hyde

June 13th, 2019


A new poll in Iowa shows a continuing, though diminished, lead for Joe Biden … a continuing, though diminished, second-place finish for Bernie …

Episode #280: California, Here They Come (Mostly)

June 6th, 2019


Fourteen candidates — though not Joe Biden — showed up last weekend at the California Democratic convention.  Melanie Mason of the L.A. Times offers her observations and analysis.

The thought that Roy Moore might once …

Episode #279: The Speaker and the President – On Speaking Terms?

May 30th, 2019


If nothing else, Robert Mueller’s comments on Wednesday that he is finished with the Trump investigation, and it’s now up to Congress to decide how to proceed, has put further pressure on Nancy Pelosi. The Speaker of …

Episode #278: President de Blasio? Fuhgeddabowdit!

May 23rd, 2019


The battles over abortion continue, as they have since Alabama passed a very restrictive law and, quite frankly, as they have since the Roe decision …

Episode #277: Fetal Attraction

May 16th, 2019


Alabama’s new law essentially banning all abortions, with no exceptions for rape or incest, is designed to force the issue to the Supreme Court. 

Episode #276: Hill-Thomas Redux

May 9th, 2019


With Joe Biden’s candidacy bringing back memories of the 1991 Hill-Thomas hearings, former Arizona senator Dennis DeConcini, then a Democratic member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, shares his memories of the …

Episode #275: Honor. Integrity. Dick Lugar.

May 2nd, 2019


Joe Biden’s entry into the race gives Iowa Democrats the largest presidential field in history — certainly since the first-in-the-nation caucuses began in 1972.  With around 280 days to go before the caucuses — and …

Episode #274: Nixon’s The One. Is Trump?

April 25th, 2019


President Trump may have claimed total exoneration after the release of the Mueller Report, but Democrats came away more distressed than ever with his actions … so much so that the “I” word — “Impeachment” — is now …

Episode #273: Who Am I to Buttigieg?

April 18th, 2019


President Trump’s attacks on Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is part of a familiar tactic of singling out a woman of color, a Muslim no less, for …

Episode #272: Going the Distance, Keeping His Distance

April 11th, 2019


The Democrats have a problem.  Their ostensible frontrunner for 2020 is Joe Biden, the former vice president who has yet to enter the race.  But he has a history of placing his hands on people, men and women, that may …

Episode #271: First in War, First in Peace, First in Iowa

April 4th, 2019


Former Maryland Congressman John Delaney was the first Democrat to jump into the presidential race, way back in the summer of 2017. We revisit Ken's conversation with him from shortly after he began his campaign. Plus, …

Episode #270: A Low Barr for Exoneration

March 28th, 2019


We don't know for sure what's in the Mueller report... we only know Attorney General Barr's summary of it. We explore how political animosity has …

Episode #269: Bayh, Beto & Biden

March 21st, 2019


Beto O'Rourke is in for 2020. Could Joe Biden be next to enter the crowded presidential field? Meanwhile, we meet presidential candidate Marianne …

Episode #268: Journey to the Centrists of the Earth

March 14th, 2019


We explore the increasing polarization of both political parties. How can centrist politicians reach across the aisle when more ideological members …

Episode #267: The Star-Strangled Banner

March 7th, 2019


President Trump's enthusiastic reception at CPAC followed a week marked by a failed North Korea summit in Hanoi and a request from the House …

Episode #266: A Cancer on the Presidency?

March 1st, 2019


All eyes were on former Trump attorney Michael Cohen's House testimony on Wednesday. What new, if anything, did we learn about President Trump? Were any minds changed? Plus, we discuss the possibility of an imminent …

Episode #265: Bern Baby Bern

February 22nd, 2019


What makes President Trump's national emergency declaration different from national emergencies declared by past presidents? Plus, why Bernie Sanders may have a tougher time standing out in a more crowded 2020 …

Episode #264: Can “Minnesota Nice” Survive This Climate?

February 14th, 2019


Last week we thought that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was days away from leaving office. Then a poll showed that Virginians are split over whether …

Episode #263: The State of Disunion

February 7th, 2019


The Democrats gave a Pelosi clap to President Trump's State of the Union address on Tuesday. We break down the points that Trump made in his speech. …

Episode #262: Grounds for Divorce — Schultz Brews Trouble for Dems

January 31st, 2019


There's a latte talk about former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz's potential independent presidential bid this week. Plus, what are the chances we …

Episode #261: The Medium is the Message

January 24th, 2019


Have you lost count yet of how many presidential candidates are already in the 2020 race? This week, we examine the strengths and weaknesses of some of the leading candidates. Plus, will the media apply any of the …

Episode #260: Let Them Eat Crap

January 17th, 2019


While President Trump serves fast food at the White House, federal employees and contractors face the hardships of going without pay for nearly a …

Episode #259: Shutdown in Washington, Starting Up in Iowa

January 10th, 2019


The government shutdown is close to becoming the longest in U.S. history. We look back at past government shutdowns and the political ramifications …

Episode #258: Shutting Down the Government … And Civility As Well

January 3rd, 2019


It's the first show of 2019, but we're not done with 2018 quite yet. Ron Elving is back to help Ken sort through the barrage of political news that …

Episode #257: 2018 Remembrances Special

December 20th, 2018


On our annual Remembrances Special, Ken is joined by political analyst Stu Rothenberg and USA Today commentary editor Jill Lawrence to reflect on the …

Episode #256: Where There’s Smock, There’s Firings

December 13th, 2018


The sentencing of Trump fixer Michael Cohen and the conclusions drawn by prosecutors about Paul Manafort have put the president closer to legal peril …

Episode #255: Kinder, Gentler, and a Complex Legacy

December 6th, 2018


We spend much of our show this week remembering the life and legacy of George Herbert Walker Bush.  His biographer, Jon Meacham, talks about what he learned from the 41st President in putting together his book.  And we …

Episode #254: The Toppled Front Runner

November 29th, 2018


For all the racial gaffes and unforced errors made by Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, she still managed to win Tuesday’s runoff.  Being a Republican in Ruby Red Mississippi certainly helped, and having President Trump campaign …

Episode #253: Thanksgiving Appetizers

November 21st, 2018


Thanksgiving is an opportunity to step back from the daily grind of the political cycle, away from the recriminations and finger-pointing, and enjoy …

Episode #252: Florida. Again.

November 15th, 2018


A week after the 2018 midterm elections and there’s still no shortage of uncertainty.  Susan MacManus of the University of South Florida reports on …

Episode #251: Not a Blue Wave, But a Purple Rain

November 8th, 2018


It’s finally over.  The 2018 midterms, with all its rancor and charges and bitterness, are over.  But if it’s a referendum on President Trump, what’s the message if the Democrats did great in the House and the …

Episode #250: The 2018 Midterm Election Special

November 1st, 2018


It’s the Political Junkie Midterm Election Special:  What’s at stake on November 6th and what to look for.  We hear from: Republican strategist Vin …

Episode #249: The Washington Nationalist

October 25th, 2018


To put it mildly, presidents don’t always like the coverage they get in the press.  But never — not even with Nixon, or Obama, both of whom had less than cordial relations with the media — has a president attacked …

Episode #248: After Kavanaugh

October 18th, 2018


The president on CBS’ “60 Minutes” last Sunday was vintage Trump: combative, insistent and not willing to change his mind, even if the facts suggest …

Episode #247: Hearing Problems

October 4th, 2018


The drama and tension we saw last week during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court — beginning with emotional accusations against him by Christine Blasey Ford …

Episode #246: Brett and Butter Issues

September 27th, 2018


While Washington is about to begin deciding the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the issue of his confirmation is playing out in campaigns across the country.  Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum of St. Louis …

Episode #245: Counting Down to the Midterms

September 20th, 2018


The primaries — which began in Texas in March and ended last week in New York — have produced some interesting stories, fascinating characters and crucial matchups for November.  NPR’s Ron Elving tells us what we …

Episode #244: 44 Takes On 45

September 13th, 2018


A lot of fireworks and pent-up anger last week during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.  But, as Robert Barnes of the Washington Post points out, were any …

Episode #243: Super News for Berniecrats, Super Memories from Joe Lieberman

September 6th, 2018


One of the main complaints Democratic Party leaders heard from Bernie Sanders supporters in 2016 was the outsized influence of superdelegates — those elected officials and other party bigwigs who were automatic …

Episode #242: Senator, Maverick, Patriot

August 30th, 2018


We remember the life, career, and legacy of John McCain, the Arizona Republican senator who died last Saturday at the age of 81.  We speak with four people who knew him well: Mike Murphy was McCain’s chief strategist …

Episode #241: Left Turn in Mass., Right Turn in Fla., A Turnaround in N.Y.

August 16th, 2018


Chris Collins was a leading Republican congressman from New York, the first GOP House member to endorse Donald Trump in 2016.  But his arrest last …

Episode #240: A Harbinger for November?

August 9th, 2018


The special congressional election in Ohio’s 12th District is still too close to call. But just the fact that a Democrat almost won this longstanding GOP bastion is enough for Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of …

Episode #239: Our Collusion Delusion Confusion

August 2nd, 2018


The “impeach Rod Rosenstein” effort is going nowhere, to no surprise, but that hardly means conservatives in the House Republican conference are backing down.  Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio is running to head up the party in …

Episode #238: Rohrabacher, Russia Backer?

July 26th, 2018


The victory of Democrat Conor Lamb in a solidly Republican House seat in Pennsylvania earlier this year brought national headlines.  Could the same …

Episode #237: To Russia with Love

July 19th, 2018


The almost surreal news conference in Helsinki between President Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin was the big story of the week, and we’ve got it covered.  Amanda Sloat of the Brookings Institution reviews Trump’s …

Episode #236: Kavanaugh Comes A-Courtin’

July 12th, 2018


President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to succeed Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court has given the president his second chance to move the court in a more conservative direction.  Burgess Everett …

Episode #235: Reshaping The Court … Again

June 28th, 2018


The announcement by Anthony Kennedy, the crucial “swing” justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, that is retiring has sent shock waves through both parties.  And the battle to confirm President Trump’s nominee to succeed him …

Episode #234: Zero Tolerance

June 21st, 2018


Faced with a losing political argument on “zero tolerance” and the separation of children from the parents who enter the U.S. illegally, President …

Episode #233: Pulling Rank in Maine

June 14th, 2018


Maine tried something this week that has never been tried before.  It became the first to hold a statewide primary using a system called “ranked …

Episode #232: Buy Me Some Primaries and Cracker Jack

June 7th, 2018


It was a big primary night Tuesday in California, and KQED’s Scott Shafer has all the key results.  The big takeaway: Democrats didn’t get shut out …

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