Ron Elving

Ron Elving is Senior Editor and Correspondent on the Washington Desk for NPR News, where he is frequently heard as a news analyst and writes regularly for NPR.org.

He was previously the political editor for USA Today and for Congressional Quarterly. He has been a Distinguished Visiting Professional in Residence at American University, where he is now an adjunct professor. In this role, Elving received American University's 2016 University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching in an Adjunct Appointment. He has also taught at George Mason and Georgetown University.

He has been published by the Brookings Institution and the American Political Science Association. He has contributed chapters on Obama and the media and on the media role in Congress to the academic studies Obama in Office 2011, and Rivals for Power, 2013. Ron's earlier book, Conflict and Compromise: How Congress Makes the Law, was published by Simon & Schuster and is also a Touchstone paperback.

During his tenure as the manager of NPR's Washington coverage, NPR reporters were awarded every major recognition available in radio journalism, including the Dirksen Award for Congressional Reporting and the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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."

Ron 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, he had been state capital bureau chief for The Milwaukee Journal.

He received his bachelor's degree from Stanford University and master's degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of California – Berkeley.

Okay, so what was going on in the Senate Wednesday night is not really a filibuster, in the sense we usually understand that term today. But should that mean we can't have some fun with the word filibuster?

It's one of those words that just gets people's attention. And let's face it, not that many words from congressional procedure do that.

Americans were still waking up to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history Sunday when Donald Trump popped up on Twitter, boasting about his call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. and calling on President Obama to resign.

He tweeted: "Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn't he should immediately resign in disgrace!"

"In his remarks today," Trump said later Sunday in a statement, "President Obama disgracefully refused to even say the words 'Radical Islam.' For that reason alone, he should step down."

"This is the way the world ends," mused the poet T.S. Eliot, "not with a bang but a whimper." It may be said that the world of 2016 presidential nominating contests is ending with a bit of a bang and a whimper.

Six states held primaries or caucuses on the last big Tuesday (only the District of Columbia remains to vote on June 14), and the results closed out the season with an exclamation point and a question mark — for each of the remaining three candidates.

The legendary Route 66 wound its way from middle America to Southern California, a ribbon of aspiration ending on a pier reaching out into the Pacific from the coastal town of Santa Monica.

That pier still exists, a symbol of America's hopeful journey west and a touchstone for politicians such as Bernie Sanders, who brought his grandchildren there on Sunday.

Whatever happens Tuesday in California and the other states still voting, Sanders had a marvelous time on the last weekend when he could sell his dream of being the Democratic nominee for president.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The aging screen siren in Sunset Boulevard flares up in anger when someone tells her she "used to be big."

"I'm still big," she fires back, "it's the pictures that got small."

It's been a bit like that for the California primary (which, this year, will be held June 7). Once the grand dame in the nominating season finale, California hasn't basked in the national nominating spotlight for decades.

One way we know we are (finally) nearing the end of this presidential nominating season is that both major parties have begun talking about big changes to the way they choose their nominees.

Both parties have been stunned by outsider candidates in this cycle. But the shock seems to be moving them in opposite directions. That may be because one party's outsider has actually won the nomination while the other's is falling short.

For some weeks now, as Bernie Sanders has extended his remarkable and improbable run as a presidential candidate, people have been asking: "What does Bernie want?"

That question is a distant echo of "What does Jesse want?" a relic of the 1988 runner-up candidacy of Jesse Jackson, another "outsider" challenger with a dedicated hardcore following. But more about Jackson in a moment.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

If you've ever played three-dimensional chess, you have some notion of what Paul Ryan is dealing with in his political game with Donald Trump.

Except that Ryan's dilemma has more than just three dimensions.

On the first level, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is the highest federal officeholder in the Republican Party. In this role, he is slated to be the chairman of the party's national convention in July. And in both roles, it is presumed he will back the party's nominee for president.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Donald Trump, the man who would not run, could not be taken seriously and could not win, is the apparent nominee of the Republican Party.

The office in question is the presidency of the United States.

How many times must it be over before it's really over?

This time, the endless 2016 presidential primary looks truly over, so long as you're a Republican.

The Republican Party will not name its nominee until July in Cleveland, but the last suspense went out of the contest Tuesday night in Indiana with Donald J. Trump's latest romp over his last serious competitor.

Ted Cruz has taken pictures with his vice presidential pick, their arms raised in the iconic V for victory pose. Bernie Sanders has talked about his platform, and John Kasich held a news conference to review plans for upcoming primaries and the convention in Cleveland.

What's going on here? Don't these guys know they're losing?

Front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are nearing the numbers of delegates each needs for a first-ballot victory at their respective conventions. Indiana's primary this week could make this all but inevitable.

Everyone knew Iowa would matter — and New Hampshire, too. The other February contests got a lot of attention, as did Super Tuesday and the mega-states like New York. And, yes, late in the season, you heard people saying, it might all come down to California.

But when did anyone know to get excited about Indiana?

It comes late in the season, with the great majority of states voting sooner and allocating the great majority of delegates, so no one seemed to give a hoot about the Hoosier State — the one and only primary on May 3.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A powerful wind swept across the 2016 presidential race Tuesday night as the political pendulum came swinging back with a vengeance.

Routed in Wisconsin just two weeks ago, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton stormed back to take the high-stakes primary in their home state of New York in convincing fashion. Each won about three-fifths of the vote and widened their already imposing leads among pledged delegates.

If Bernie Sanders surprises pollsters and confounds expectations in the New York primary on Tuesday, April 19, his backers and staff will trumpet the effect of his ninth debate with rival Hillary Clinton on the night of April 14.

They will say the relentlessly aggressive strategy Sanders pursued in the latest CNN debate, with its steady stream of attacks on Clinton, provided the defining moment in a long campaign for a nomination that remains up for grabs.

For the first time since 1984, the Wisconsin presidential primary has dealt a blow to the aspirations of a national front-runner. And just for good measure, this time the Badger State did it to the national front-runner in both major parties.

As a consequence, we can now expect both the Republican and Democratic nomination battles to continue through the final primaries. And, in the GOP at least, the issue seems certain to remain unresolved until the national convention in Cleveland in July.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The U.S. Constitution says that "We the People" are the source of political authority in America. But just who are "the people"? That's a big and basic political question, and today the Supreme Court gave its answer — in a unanimous decision.

The court ruled that the total population as defined by the Census Bureau should be used when counting people for political purposes. That means all persons residing in a particular state or district are to be counted, not just those who are eligible to vote.

Tomorrow, Wisconsin's primary is poised to do something it has not done in more than 30 years. It is about to deal a blow to a presidential front-runner.

Still more amazing is the fact the state's primary voters are expected to throw some shade on both the Democratic and Republican front-runners, an unimaginable result in the long era since World War II.

In the presidential nominating contests of recent decades, the middle of March has told the tale.

By St. Patrick's Day, we expect to know one, if not both, of the major party nominees. Usually, the rest of the election season is just a mopping-up operation. Of course, it's been hard to find such clarity in 2016, the year that defies nearly every expectation at every turn.

There remains a chance — or at least a hope — that the violent storm blowing in over American politics this primary season will move on without further damage to the country.

More specifically, there is a chance — or at least a hope — that the violence witnessed at recent rallies for Donald Trump will subside. And that those most inclined to physical confrontation might step back from the brink.

But the videos of violent scuffles at the aborted Trump rally in Chicago on Friday continue to play on cable TV, keeping the wound fresh.

This year's campaign is headed toward an epic clash of Republicanism at the Cleveland convention this summer. But it's not the first time the party has been rocked by turbulence ahead of its convention. Again and again since 1912, splits between establishment GOP figures and the party's most ardent conservatives have hobbled the party's performance in November.

Here's a look at the drama that has come before:

Where powerful streams converge, there will be turbulence. That applies to politics as well as to waterways.

Right now, two powerful streams of Republicanism in our time are converging on Cleveland and threatening to define the party's national convention in July.

One of these streams is like a historic river, long settled in its course. The other is more like a flood, surging beyond its banks to render the landscape unrecognizable.

After one more debate among the Republican contenders for president, the postgame conversation was once again dominated by Donald Trump's behavior.

But for once, it was about his good behavior. He did not shout or fulminate, nor did he pout or belittle his opponents or joust with the moderators.

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