Cover art for podcast Ken Rudin's Political Junkie

Ken Rudin's Political Junkie

50 EpisodesProduced by Ken RudinWebsite

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

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Episode #306: Standing Up to a President

December 5th, 2019


Ken Rudin is away this week to take care of some family matters, so Political Junkie coordinating producer Douglas Bell sits in the host chair to …

Episode #305: Talking Turkey and Politics

November 27th, 2019


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 #304: Sherrod Brown and His Desk of History

November 22nd, 2019


Ten Democratic candidates resumed their presidential debate series on Wednesday in Atlanta.  NPR’s Ron Elving sizes up the winners and losers, but he also wonders how many people are watching.

Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown

Episode #303: When Is Late “Too Late?”

November 15th, 2019


The announcement that former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has joined the already crowded Democratic presidential field — with reports that Michael Bloomberg, the ex-NYC mayor, may join as well — raises the question …

Episode #302: The Difficulty of Being a GOP Governor in Kentucky

November 7th, 2019


It wasn’t the most memorable off-year election in history, but there were some great storylines. How does a vastly unpopular governor in Kentucky …

Episode #301: Another Leftwing Third Party Candidate?

October 31st, 2019


The implied attack on Tulsi Gabbard by Hillary Clinton, suggesting that she might be used by the GOP as a third-party candidate to hurt the Democrats …

Episode #300: Oops: Memorable Presidential Primary Debate Moments

October 24th, 2019


The death of Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings is a blow to the forces in the House pushing for impeachment. But Jim Rosapepe, who served with Cummings in the state legislature, says he was much more than a voice …

Episode #299: The Democrats’ Heart and Soul

October 17th, 2019


There were many things we learned after the fourth Democratic debate, but two things stand out: Elizabeth Warren, by nature of all the attacks on her, seems to be the party frontrunner, and, as Vermont Public Radio’s 

Episode #298: The Perils of Voting to Impeach

October 10th, 2019


Democrats who are skittish about an impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s conduct often point to what happened in 1998, when the Republican House voted to impeach President Clinton … and paid the price on Election …

Episode #297: Defending Her City

October 3rd, 2019


The city of Dayton, Ohio was one of those rocked by gun violence this year. Mayor Nan Whaley is on the Political Junkie talking about what needs to …

Episode #296: Crossing a Line

September 26th, 2019


Former Democratic Congresswoman Leslie Byrne talks about what the possibility of impeaching President Trump means for her party. Plus, we discuss the shocking announcement by Rep. Joe Kennedy III that he will challenge …

Episode #295: Cokie

September 19th, 2019


Despite gaffes and unsteady debate performances, Joe Biden is still atop the pack. We recap last week's Democratic debate. Plus, author Bob Mann looks back on the so-called "Daisy ad,” considered to be one of the most …

Episode #294: Carolinas On My Mind

September 12th, 2019


North Carolina’s special election comes to a close. How jmuch of a role did President Trump play in Dan Bishop's victory? Plus, we assess former …

Episode 293: A Scoop of Cold Warrior With Sprinkles

September 6th, 2019


Democrats, minus some candidates, prepare to debate yet again. Will Joe Biden continue to hold onto his frontrunner status? Plus, with Congress back …

Episode #292: A Cancer on the Presidency

August 29th, 2019


This week, we revisit some segments from the archives. John Dean, the former White House counsel under President Nixon, reflects on how the Watergate tapes led to Nixon's downfall. Plus, Scott Romney, the son of …

Episode #291: Sixty-Four Ten or Fight!

August 22nd, 2019


What is President Trump trying to accomplish by defining the Democratic Party as anti-Israel and anti-Jewish? Plus, will the latest controversial remark by Rep. Steve King hurt his chances at re-election next year? We …

Episode #290: Getting the Ban Back Together

August 16th, 2019


Democrats have been wary of gun legislation since 1994, when the assault weapons ban was partially responsible for their electoral washout that year. …

Episode #289: Guns, Hate, and Inaction

August 8th, 2019


Two horrific mass shootings bring back the familiar refrain of what, if anything, will be done about the scourge of gun violence in the U.S. We …

Episode #288: Dems’ Family Feud

August 2nd, 2019


The Democratic candidates took the debate stage in Detroit this week. We discuss how Tuesday's debate exposed the ideological split in the party, …

Episode #287: An Unimpeachable Hearing

July 25th, 2019


Robert Mueller's long-awaited congressional testimony satisfied few, and the partisanship was as bad as ever. We discuss what, if anything, changes …

Episode #286: A Tweet Too Far?

July 18th, 2019


President Trump's incendiary tweets about four female members of Congress were condemned by the House, but where was the outrage from Republicans? Plus, we reflect on the legacy of Ross Perot and his remarkable …

Episode #285: The Senate 2020, The President 1850

July 11th, 2019


This week, we break down the key Senate races up in 2020. Plus, journalist Carl Cannon talks about his book, On This Date, recounting moments from …

Episode #284: Independents Day

July 3rd, 2019


We celebrate Independence Day by looking back at the significant independent presidential candidates of the past half century. Plus, we hear from a …

Episode #283a: Dems the Word in Miami

June 28th, 2019


Round 1 of the Democratic debates is over. In this bonus episode, NPR's Ron Elving joins Ken to recap how each of the candidates performed.

The post

Episode #283: The Way We Were

June 26th, 2019


The first Democratic candidate debates are this week, and we discuss what to look for as the candidates face off. Plus, does it matter that Joe Biden made nice with a Senate segregationist 40 years ago? And a GOP …

Episode #282: The Roaring Twenty

June 20th, 2019


We’re days away from the first Democratic debate of the 2020 campaign. Now that we know the lineup for each night, what should we expect? Plus, we …

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

June 13th, 2019


There are two weeks to go until the first Democratic debate, and about eight months until the Iowa caucuses. We look at the current state of the presidential race in Iowa. Plus, as the fights over abortion rights …

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

June 6th, 2019


Fourteen candidates showed up last weekend at the California Democratic convention. We discuss who received a less-than-warm welcome, and how much attention went to Joe Biden, who skipped the event. Plus, an early …

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

May 30th, 2019


Does Robert Mueller’s decision to put President Trump’s future in the hands of Congress put more pressure on Nancy Pelosi?  Plus, a look back at the history of relationships between other presidents and House speakers. …

Episode #278: President de Blasio? Fuhgeddabowdit!

May 23rd, 2019


It’s been 46 years since the Roe decision, and abortion continues to be a political punching bag. We look back at the history of abortion in …

Episode #277: Fetal Attraction

May 16th, 2019


Alabama’s new law that essentially bans all abortions is clearly intended to ignite a challenge of Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court. Could it lead to

Episode #276: Hill-Thomas Redux

May 9th, 2019


With Joe Biden’s candidacy bringing back memories of the Hill-Thomas hearings, former Arizona senator Dennis DeConcini, a Democrat from the 1991 committee recalls that confirmation battle. Marvin Kalb, the former CBS …

Episode #275: Honor. Integrity. Dick Lugar.

May 2nd, 2019


With the Democratic field for 2020 shaping up to be the largest in history, we check in on Iowa to see who is making waves in the Hawkeye State. Plus, we remember the life of Indiana Sen. Dick Lugar by hearing from two …

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

April 25th, 2019


Now that the Mueller report is out, what will the Democrats do next? As debate swirls around the possibility of impeachment, we take a look back at the investigation of President Nixon in 1974, and examine the …

Episode #273: Who Am I to Buttigieg?

April 18th, 2019


President Trump’s feud with Rep. Ilhan Omar is not the first time that Trump has been accused of stoking Islamophobia to stir up his base. We look back at the history of American’s attitudes towards Muslims, and also …

Episode #272: Going the Distance, Keeping His Distance

April 11th, 2019


Will Joe Biden's history of placing his hands on men and women hold him back from securing the Democratic nomination? Plus, journalist Evan Thomas …

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 …

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