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Ron Elving

Ron Elving is the NPR News' Senior Washington Editor directing coverage of the nation's capital and national politics and providing on-air political analysis for many NPR programs.

Elving can regularly be heard on Talk of the Nation providing analysis of the latest in politics. He is also heard on the "It's All Politics" weekly podcast along with NPR's Ken Rudin.

Under Elving's leadership, NPR has been awarded the industry's top honors for political coverage including the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a 2002 duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for excellence in broadcast journalism, the Merriman Smith Award for White House reporting from the White House Correspondents Association and the Barone Award from the Radio and Television Correspondents Association. 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."

Before joining NPR in 1999, Elving served as political editor for USA Today and for Congressional Quarterly. He 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, Elving served as a reporter and state capital bureau chief for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He was a media fellow at Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Over his career, Elving has written articles published by The Washington Post, the Brookings Institution, Columbia Journalism Review, Media Studies Journal, and the American Political Science Association. He was a contributor and editor for eight reference works published by Congressional Quarterly Books from 1990 to 2003. His book, Conflict and Compromise: How Congress Makes the Law, was published by Simon & Schuster in 1995. Recently, Elving contributed the chapter, "Fall of the Favorite: Obama and the Media," to James Thurber's Obama in Office: The First Two Years.

Elving teaches public policy in the school of Public Administration at George Mason University and has also taught at Georgetown University, American University and Marquette University.

With an bachelor's degree from Stanford, Elving went on to earn master's degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of California-Berkeley.

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3:56pm

Wed October 1, 2014
It's All Politics

The White House Could Be Made A Fortress, But Should It Be?

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 6:46 am

Visitors take photos in front of the White House.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

It turns out the Secret Service isn't too good at protecting the White House, and maybe one reason is that we don't want it to be.

Secret Service agents are famously willing to sacrifice their own lives to protect the president and his family. They are also trained to take the lives of others in defense of their protectees.

But are they equally prepared to do either of those things for the White House itself? Should it be policy for the armed agents around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to use deadly force whether the president or his family is present or not?

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2:18pm

Fri September 26, 2014
It's All Politics

Why We Won't See The Likes Of Eric Holder Again

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 6:23 pm

President Obama, accompanied by Attorney General Eric Holder, speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House on Thursday to announce that Holder is resigning. Holder, who served as the public face of the Obama administration's legal fight against terrorism and weighed in on issues of racial fairness, is resigning after six years on the job.
Evan Vucci AP

When President Woodrow Wilson was casting about for an attorney general in 1919, his private secretary Joseph Tumulty wrote that the office "had great power politically ... we should not trust it to anyone who is not heart and soul with us."

Eric Holder's great qualification for the job he has just resigned was that he was with the president he served — heart and soul.

His complicated role in Barack Obama's administration was inextricably bound to race — he was the first African-American U.S. attorney general, appointed by the first African-American president.

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11:43am

Fri September 19, 2014
It's All Politics

War Votes Bring Back Complex Risks For Members Of Congress

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 2:02 pm

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (center left) is a Tea Party favorite, whom observers count as a possible 2016 presidential candidate. He voted against President Obama's plan to fight the Islamic State.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

This week's war vote in the U.S. Senate presented each senator with a personal puzzle of competing political considerations.

In deciding whether to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight against the group called the Islamic State (or ISIS or ISIL), senators had to judge the issue on its merits, of course and as always.

And, of course and as always, they had to reflect on how their votes might affect them politically.

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5:49am

Tue September 16, 2014
Politics

How To Measure Success Against The New Monster In The Middle East?

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 2:06 pm

President Obama addresses the nation from the Cross Hall in the White House on Sept. 10. Obama ordered the United States into a broad military campaign to degrade and ultimately destroy militants in two volatile Middle East nations, authorizing airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, as well as an expansion of strikes in Iraq.
Saul Loeb AP

Over the weekend, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was asked on NBC's Meet the Press what victory would look like in the new struggle against Islamist extremists in Iraq.

"Success looks like an ISIL that no longer threatens our friends in the region, that no longer threatens the United States," McDonough said.

Vague as that is, it may be the best answer available at the moment. And that is a problem.

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10:43pm

Wed September 10, 2014
Politics

As Visible Villain, Islamic State Alters U.S. Political Calculus

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 7:46 am

President Obama addresses the nation from Cross Hall in the White House on Wednesday. Opening a new military front in the Middle East, Obama authorized U.S. airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, along with expanded strikes in Iraq as part of a broad mission to root out violent Islamic State militants.
Saul Loeb AP

After a decade in national politics as a dove, Barack Obama has become a reluctant hawk.

Obama's long transformation reached its endpoint on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. But it came, in the end, because Americans suddenly felt a renewed sense of peril from a terrorist enemy — and a renewed willingness to fight. Both the fear and the resolve were manifest in a flurry of fresh polls showing overwhelming support for new military commitments in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

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