OwlTail

Cover image of Ken Rudin's Political Junkie

Ken Rudin's Political Junkie

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

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

Popular episodes

All episodes

Read more

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

Episode #379: In The Middle Of Nowhere

Podcast cover
Read more

Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, author of the new book, “The Centrist Solution,” argues that the only way to get things done in this bitterly split Congress is for lawmakers of both parties be willing to eschew the extremes and work across party lines to get things done.

And Bob Kinzel of Vermont Public Radio lists the highlights of the long career of Patrick Leahy, who announced his retirement this week after nearly 48 years in the Senate.  Bob also sizes up the field to replace Leahy in next year’s election, and says that Democrats are all but assured of keeping the seat.

Music heard in this podcast:

In the Waiting Line by Zero 7

Wait by The Beatles

Both Sides Now by Judy Collins

The post Episode #379: In The Middle Of Nowhere appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Nov 19 2021

58mins

Play

Episode #378: A Hero, To The Max

Podcast cover
Read more

Jim Galloway, the retired political columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, remembers Max Cleland, the former Georgia Democratic senator who died this week and who was on the receiving end of one of the most controversial TV attack ads in political history.

And Paul Steinhauser, a political reporter with Fox News, weighs the decision by New Hampshire GOP Gov. Chris Sununu not to challenge Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan next year, a race many thought Sununu could win.

Music on this podcast:

Change Partners by Stephen Stills

Shut Up and Let Me Go by the Ting Tings

My Hero by the Foo Fighters

The post Episode #378: A Hero, To The Max appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Nov 13 2021

36mins

Play

Episode #377: Yes Virginia, This One Matters

Podcast cover
Read more

Bob Holsworth, the managing principal at DecideSmart and a leading analyst on Virginia politics, sets up Tuesday’s gubernatorial race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a former governor, and Republican Glenn Youngkin.  Democrats are hoping to make this a referendum on Donald Trump, and McAuliffe is doing everything he can to tie Youngkin to the former president.  But Republicans say McAuliffe is a relic from the past who is being saddled by President Biden’s problems.

And with the DNC possibly prepared to dump Iowa from its perch as the lead off presidential contest every four years, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid makes the case for Nevada, currently third on the schedule, because its demographics and diversity more closely match that of the U.S.

Music heard in this episode:

Trouble by Lindsey Buckingham

Sink to the Bottom by Fountains of Wayne

Viva Las Vegas by Dead Kennedys

The post Episode #377: Yes Virginia, This One Matters appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Oct 28 2021

36mins

Play

Episode #376: Is There Hope For The GOP? Or Democracy?

Podcast cover
Read more

Longtime Republican consultant Stuart Stevens, author of “It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump,” talks about what he sees as the Trumpification of the GOP and what if anything can be done to save the party.

Anthony Brooks of radio station WBUR sets up next month’s historic Boston mayoral race, where the winner is all but guaranteed to be a woman of color — this, after 200 years of the city electing only white men.

And with Colin Powell’s death this week, we replay an interview from 2017 with his former chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson, who has inside information about the maneuvering behind Powell’s infamous 2003 speech to the UN about Saddam Hussein’s “weapons of mass destruction.”

Music in this podcast

They’re Coming to Take Me Away by Napolean XIV

Lies by The Knickerbockers

I’m Shipping Up to Boston by Dropkick Murphys

The Unknown Soldier by The Doors

The post Episode #376: Is There Hope For The GOP? Or Democracy? appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Oct 22 2021

53mins

Play

Episode #375: Sinema Paradiso

Podcast cover
Read more

Progressive Democrats trying to help enact President Biden’s agenda are constantly butting heads with Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.  They are especially frustrated with Sinema, who began her political career on the left.  But since she came to the Senate in 2019, she’s been an outspoken opponent of big spending bills and found herself at odds with much of her Democratic colleagues.  Dan Nowicki of the Arizona Republic says that Sinema’s approach is popular in the state, a state that long supported another maverick, the late John McCain.

And Jo Mannies, a longtime Missouri political reporter, remembers former Congressman Todd Akin, who died last week.  The anti-abortion Akin is best known for his 2012 campaign gaffe when, while running for the Senate, he suggested that women could not get pregnant if she were the victim of “legitimate rape.”

Songs heard in this episode:

Cinema by Benny Benassi

I’m a Believer by the Monkees

The post Episode #375: Sinema Paradiso appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Oct 10 2021

34mins

Play

Episode #374: Trump Enemies List Loses One

Podcast cover
Read more

The decision by Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio) to retire next year, rather than seek reelection, is a clear victory for Donald Trump and it helps ratify his influence in the Republican Party.  Gonzalez was one of ten House Republicans to vote to impeach the 45th president, and Trump made it clear he would work for his defeat in the 2022 midterm election.  Karen Kasler of Ideastream and WOSU talks about the decision and wonders if other candidates will decide to get in the race.

Miriam Pawel, author of a biography of the Browns of California, analyzes the results of last week’s recall election that kept Gov. Gavin Newsom in office.  She says the lopsided results don’t bode well for the state GOP, and suggests it could have national implications.

Plus, we offer a summary of mayoral primaries in Boston and Cleveland.

Songs heard in this episode:

Jack and Diane by John Mellencamp

Al Gore Was Right by Lucas Ross

If You Leave Me Now by Chicago

Never Let You Go by Third Eye Blind

The post Episode #374: Trump Enemies List Loses One appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Sep 22 2021

46mins

Play

Episode #373: Can You Recall The Governor Of California?

Podcast cover
Read more

John Myers of the Los Angeles Times sets up Tuesday’s recall election aimed at California Gov. Gavin Newsom.  Unlike the recall of 2003, where another Democrat, Gray Davis, was successfully recalled, polls indicate that Newsom is going to survive on Sept. 14th.  But win or lose, Golden State voters are going to go through another gubernatorial contest just 14 months later.

And we replay an interview from August 2020 with former Illinois Sen. Adlai Stevenson III, the son of the Democratic opponent to Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 and ’56.  In the interview, Young Adlai, who died last week at the age of 90, reflected on his father’s decision to open up the vice presidential nomination in 1956 to the delegates.

Songs heard in the podcast

Old Friends by Simon & Garfunkel

California (There Is No End to Love) by U2

Adlai Stevenson by Sufjan Stevens

The post Episode #373: Can You Recall The Governor Of California? appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Sep 12 2021

44mins

Play

Episode #372: Remembering Neal Conan

Podcast cover
Read more

The withdrawal from Afghanistan is not going as well as some hoped.  But did anyone ever think that extracting U.S. troops from a 20-year war was going to be easy?  And let the blame game begin.

This week’s show is mostly a personal essay about my relationship with Neal Conan, the longtime NPR broadcaster who died of cancer earlier this month.  In addition to being a good friend, he is probably more responsible for the success of the Political Junkie program than anyone else, as he included a Political Junkie segment on Talk of the Nation every week for seven years.

Music in this week’s episode

A Mistake by Fiona Apple

I Wanna Grow Up to Be a Politician by The Byrds

The post Episode #372: Remembering Neal Conan appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Aug 28 2021

23mins

Play

Episode #371: No Mo Cuomo

Podcast cover
Read more

Chris Churchill of the Albany Times-Union reports on the stunning (though expected) toppling of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose alleged history of sexual harassment — as outlined in a report by the state attorney general — left him no way out.

Melissa Deckman of Washington College also discusses a theme widely discussed among some Democrats:  Why is it always OUR party (Cuomo, Al Franken) who pays the ultimate sacrifice, and not the Republicans (Trump, Matt Gaetz).  She argues that it’s besides the point, and that having taken down someone as powerful as Andrew Cuomo should be seen as a victory by the #MeToo movement.

And Jacob Rubashkin of Inside Politics reviews the two congressional primaries held last week in Ohio, where the results sent important signals to the two major parties.

Music heard in this podcast

Time for Me to Fly by REO Speedwagon

Creep by Radiohead

Look at Miss Ohio by Gillian Welch

The post Episode #371: No Mo Cuomo appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Aug 12 2021

46mins

Play

Episode #370: Texas Hold ‘Em? First You Gotta Catch ‘Em.

Podcast cover
Read more

Abby Livingston of the Texas Tribune talks about the decision made by Texas House Democrats to flee the state in order to stymie GOP efforts to pass restrictive voting rights bills.

Edwin Edwards, the former four-term governor of Louisiana known for his charm and ethical lapses, died last week.  He appeared on the Political Junkie back in 2014 to reminisce about his 1991 gubernatorial contest with former KKK leader David Duke — a campaign that was national headlines at the time.  We replay that interview this week.  And we also talk to Tyler Bridges, the noted Louisiana political journalist, about what Edwards meant to the state.

Music in this podcast:

Hide and Seek by Mr. Rei

I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man by Bob Seger

The post Episode #370: Texas Hold ‘Em? First You Gotta Catch ‘Em. appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Jul 18 2021

40mins

Play

Episode #369: Mike Gravel And Acts Of Civil Disobedience

Podcast cover
Read more

We are replaying an interview we had six years ago with Mike Gravel, the former Alaska senator who died this week, about his decision to read excerpts of the Pentagon Papers on the Senate floor.

The post Episode #369: Mike Gravel And Acts Of Civil Disobedience appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Jun 30 2021

19mins

Play

Episode #368: Before ‘Enemy Of The People,’ There Was A Horsewhip Committee

Podcast cover
Read more

Christine Chabot of Loyola University weighs the arguments of getting Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire early, before Republicans have a chance of regaining control of the Senate (and the White House). And Donald Ritchie talks about his new book, “The Columnist,” about the controversial and feared journalist, the late Drew Pearson. Plus, Senate ...

Read more

The post Episode #368: Before ‘Enemy Of The People,’ There Was A Horsewhip Committee appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Jun 26 2021

50mins

Play

Episode #367: Heroes And Villains

Podcast cover
Read more

By insisting on "bipartisanship," Joe Manchin (D-WV) is jeopardizing President Biden's agenda in the Senate. And a new book explores John Glenn's orbital mission in 1962 and how it played in the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

The post Episode #367: Heroes And Villains appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Jun 10 2021

51mins

Play

Episode #366: Taylor-Made For The Senate

Podcast cover
Read more

We replay an interview with the late Sen. John Warner (R-VA) from 2018. And we set up this year's gubernatorial contest in the Old Dominion.

The post Episode #366: Taylor-Made For The Senate appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

May 30 2021

46mins

Play

Episode #365: Fighting For A New GOP. And A Different California.

Podcast cover
Read more

Liz Cheney is out. But a former member of Congress won't stop fighting to rid the GOP of the Trump influence. And while the recall against California Gov. Newsom is underway, polls indicate that he is benefitting from his actions on vaccines and the reopening of the state.

The post Episode #365: Fighting For A New GOP. And A Different California. appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

May 21 2021

54mins

Play

Episode #364: Liz Cheney And The Party Of Intolerance

Podcast cover
Read more

Liz Cheney is about to lose her House leadership position because she refuses to go along with Donald Trump's lies and misstatements. Meanwhile, President Biden needs to be cognizant of his barebones majority in the Senate and mindful of the needs of Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat who has become a powerbroker in his own right.

The post Episode #364: Liz Cheney And The Party Of Intolerance appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

May 07 2021

47mins

Play

Episode #363: Walter Mondale Fought The Good Fight

Podcast cover
Read more

A replay of our 2015 interview with Walter Mondale, who died this week at the age of 93.

The post Episode #363: Walter Mondale Fought The Good Fight appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Apr 23 2021

23mins

Play

Episode #362: Remembering Roger Mudd

Podcast cover
Read more

A look at the recall effort in California aimed at Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). Sen. Roy Blunt's (R) unexpected retirement in Missouri is likely to open the door to a fierce battle among Republicans for the seat. And Marvin Kalb remembers the life and legacy of Roger Mudd, the exemplary television political journalist who died this week at the age of 93.

The post Episode #362: Remembering Roger Mudd appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Mar 13 2021

1hr 5mins

Play

Episode #361: Sexual Harassment, As Seen By The Two Parties

Podcast cover
Read more

Two politicians, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) have been hit with allegations of sexual harassment. In addition to the two cases, we ask why the two parties seem to treat sexual harassment differently, at least when it comes to their own party members. And we recap some of the nuttiness at last weekend's CPAC event.

The post Episode #361: Sexual Harassment, As Seen By The Two Parties appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Mar 06 2021

1hr 7mins

Play

Episode #360: Is Biden Neera Defeat?

Podcast cover
Read more

A look at how her history of snarky tweets may jeopardize Neera Tanden's chances of becoming the next head of OMB. And we talk to three journalists covering a trio of Republicans who voted against Donald Trump in the second impeachment case: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, and Richard Burr of North Carolina.

The post Episode #360: Is Biden Neera Defeat? appeared first on Ken Rudin's Political Junkie.

Feb 27 2021

53mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

487 Ratings
Average Ratings
441
17
11
5
13

Excellent podcast and wonderful info

By mat tel - Jan 02 2020
Read more
Fantastic analysis of current politics with deep dives into historical precedents and events.

Ken and Alan

By Wdfg286 - Jul 04 2019
Read more
So love to hear you both on the Political Junkie!