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 is also a professorial lecturer and Executive in Residence in the School of Public Affairs at American University, where he has also taught in the School of Communication. In 2016, he was honored with the University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching in an Adjunct Appointment. He has also taught at George Mason and Georgetown.

He was previously the political editor for USA Today and for Congressional Quarterly. 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 manager of NPR's Washington desk from 1999 to 2014, the desk's 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.

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After a lifetime of membership in exclusive clubs, President Trump is about to join one against his will.

It is the club of one-term presidents.

There is surely no dishonor in serving a single term in the nation's highest office. Trump will bring to 23 the number of presidents who had the job for just four years or fewer, so the club includes about half of all those who have taken the oath. Five presidents died while in their first term (two by assassination). Several who stepped in for one of these fallen presidents completed the remainder of that term and left.

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So what might any consequences for the president be after this week's assault on the nation's Capitol? NPR senior Washington editor and correspondent Ron Elving joins us. Ron, thank you.

RON ELVING, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Scott.

It took a building to bring down Donald Trump.

Unleashing the angriest of his supporters this week against the U.S. Capitol may have been only the culmination of Trump's 60-month campaign against the Washington establishment.

But it was also its undoing. And his.

When the crowd that Trump whipped up on the Ellipse marched up the National Mall with his blessing and encouragement, they became a mob assaulting and invading the Capitol.

The collapse of President Trump's administration in its final fortnight will surely downgrade his already damaged standing in history. It may also make all previously published books about his one-term presidency seem truncated.

The horror of seeing extreme Trump backers barging past U.S. Capitol Police, driving out the Congress and disrupting completion of the 2020 election will darken what we remember of the Trump years in toto. More than a few manuscripts may come back to authors for additions and revisions.

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Many in Washington, D.C., are worried about civil unrest on Wednesday, as the Proud Boys, a group labeled as extremists by the FBI, and other activists gather to protest just as Congress begins to add its imprimatur to last month's Electoral College vote.

That congressional vote will be the final formality leading to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden two weeks later.

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An unusual vote to kick off this new year in the U.S. Senate yesterday and close down the 116th Congress...

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President Trump is ending his presidency with a flurry of chaos.

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President Trump's refusal to concede and the delayed transition to the administration of President-elect Joe Biden have raised many questions about the transfer of power in our system.

One in particular has long been asked: Why do we wait until the latter part of January to swear in a president we elect in November? Put another way: How is it that the Brits can have a newly elected prime minister meeting with the queen to form a new government within a day or two, but we need 10 or 11 weeks to install a new crew?

This year's election was among the most anticipated and perhaps most consequential in U.S. history.

But it was not an easy election to celebrate. The results rolled in over several days and sometimes seemed confusing. Even now, President Trump has refused to concede. While the outcome is not really in doubt, it is still disputed by the ousted president and his most fervent followers.

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In the spring of 2004, a young state legislator was driving home from a campaign event in rural Illinois when he got a phone call from Washington. A voice asked if he would be interested in giving the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention that summer in Boston.

"That I felt neither giddy nor nervous said something about the sheer improbability of the year I'd just had," that legislator now recalls in his new memoir, A Promised Land.

For weeks, the world wondered whether President Trump would win a second term. Now that election officials and observers have declared his opponent "President-elect Joe Biden," the world wonders whether Trump will concede.

So far, the president has not. Instead, he has said that he won the election "if you count the legal votes" and that he will pursue numerous challenges to the vote-counting process in court. Earlier in the fall, he had said he would agree to a peaceful transfer of power unless the election was "rigged."

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Not since the beginning of time has anyone ever made greater use of superlatives than Donald Trump. He has constantly been "the most" this, "the least" that and always the "best ever."

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What do you do when Election Day is a week away, you're down in the polls and more than 60 million votes have already been cast?

If you're President Trump, you hit the road. And you hit it big time, mounting rally stages and treating big raucous crowds to big servings of red meat.

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So here's politics in 2020 - daily coronavirus infections rise, and two presidential candidates have divergent assessments of the pandemic and its damage.

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The Week In Politics

Oct 10, 2020

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No sooner had it become known that President Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus than controversy arose over the amount and detail and truthfulness of the information about his condition that was coming from the White House.

President Trump has been hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus. Doctors gave an update on his condition Saturday.

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Through the years President Trump has been in office, Americans have grown accustomed to hearing of "norms" ignored and "guardrails" broken. Trump has fulfilled his supporters' desire for an unconventional leader unbound by the sort of unwritten rules other presidents have followed.

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