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 #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


John Delaney once had the spotlight all to himself.  At the time a three-term congressman from Maryland, he was the first to declare his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.  That was back in the summer …

Episode #270: A Low Barr for Exoneration

March 28th, 2019


We don’t know for sure what’s in the Mueller Report — all we have to go by is Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary.  But with President Trump claiming complete exoneration and Democrats demanding to see the …

Episode #269: Bayh, Beto & Biden

March 21st, 2019


What is more significant?  The fact that 12 Senate Republicans voted against President Trump’s wishes on his national emergency declaration, or that Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) voted in Trump’s favor …

Episode #268: Journey to the Centrists of the Earth

March 14th, 2019


With Senate Republicans who are considering voting to overturn President Trump’s emergency powers ruling on the border wall money possibly vulnerable …

Episode #267: The Star-Strangled Banner

March 7th, 2019


President Trump received the good with the bad this week: an enthusiastic reception at CPAC and a request for documents by the House Judiciary …

Episode #266: A Cancer on the Presidency?

March 1st, 2019


Aaron Blake of the Washington Post analyzes Wednesday’s intense day of Michael Cohen testifying before the House Government Oversight Committee, a day where the partisan divisions over President Trump — and thus Cohen’s …

Episode #265: Bern Baby Bern

February 22nd, 2019


Chris Edelson, a professor at American University who has written the definitive book about the history of the use of presidential emergency powers, …

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

February 14th, 2019


With all the professional politicians and presidential hopefuls calling for Gov. Ralph Northam to step down in the wake of a race-based controversy, …

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 …

Episode #231: Trick or Tweet

May 31st, 2018


After a week’s absence, the primaries return next Tuesday.  Nathan Gonzales of Inside Elections previews the contests in seven states, most notably …

Episode #230: 1968 — The Voters Have Their Say

May 24th, 2018


As the 1968 presidential candidates left their conventions and moved into the general election, the nation was watching to see what would happen.  …

Episode #229: All In The Family

May 17th, 2018


Sunday was Mother’s Day, and so we picked this week to spread some family love by playing some of our favorite segments from past broadcasts. We hear from two proud daughters. Shelley Moore Capito, the junior senator …

Episode #228: When The Blankenship Hit The Fan

May 10th, 2018


He disavowed both the Iran nuclear deal that Obama put together, as well as the comments his new attorney Rudy Giuliani said on the TV talk shows.  …

Episode #227: The Reporters Who Cried Wolf

May 3rd, 2018


After a month’s lapse, the primaries return next Tuesday, in Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and North Carolina.  One big race everyone is watching is …

Episode #226: 1968 — A Party Divided

April 26th, 2018


A half-century later, 1968 remains etched in our collective memory, a year of tremendous hope and utter tragedy.  This week we take the second of …

Episode #225: Republicans On The Run

April 19th, 2018


Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision to retire after this year and endorse Kevin McCarthy as his successor normally would mean that the California Republican …

Episode #224: The Speaker Has Spoken

April 12th, 2018


President Trump has never been shy about expressing his thoughts regarding the investigation into his 2016 campaign … and whether (1) Russia played a …

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