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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.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Once again, and sadly not for the last time, a mass shooting has stunned the nation and shocked the rest of the civilized world, spurring a national debate about guns and gun laws.

And once again, and surely not for the last time, that debate features the pre-eminent organization of gun owners, the National Rifle Association, known as the NRA.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week, President Trump steps into the role of consoler in chief in Puerto Rico and Las Vegas. He also moved toward a couple of policy changes he's hinted about previously and plopped a mystery in front of the press one night after dinner.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

President Trump continues to learn things about his job and the rest of us continue to learn things about Donald Trump.

Last week, faced with one natural disaster festering in Texas and another impending in Florida, Trump used a storm relief bill to save Congress from a fiscal disaster of its own making.

Moreover, he did it by shunning his own party's leaders in the House and Senate and cutting a deal instead with the leaders of the opposition.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Both Hurricane Irma and Harvey have also had some impact in Washington, D.C., where a few glints of partisanship have broken out. NPR senior political correspondent and editor Ron Elving joins us. Ron, thanks so much for being with us.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Some years back a hit song filled the summertime airwaves with its chorus of "See You In September."

It was meant to be a lover's promise of joyful reunion at summer's end.

But to use those words in Washington, D.C., right now sounds more like a warning ... or even a threat.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A storm of breaking news overnight. We just don't mean Hurricane Harvey. Presidential pardon, another White House aide departs, a week of fiery rhetoric and explicit threats. NPR's senior Washington editor Ron Elving joins us. Ron, thanks so much for being with us.

If you picked up a print copy of The New York Times on Friday, you may have noticed something unusual about it — something missing. There were no front-page headlines about President Trump, no pictures of him — not even a little "key" to a story on an inside page.

The name Trump did appear in one story, a profile of John W. Nicholson Jr., the Army general commanding U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The president was necessarily mentioned in that story, but the story was not about the president.

Five years ago, before he was a candidate for president, Donald Trump was pretty sure he knew what to do about Afghanistan. It was a losing proposition, "a complete waste" in terms of "blood and treasure."

"Why are we continuing to train these Afghanis who then shoot our soldiers in the back?" he asked on Twitter in 2012. "Afghanistan is a complete waste. Time to come home!"

More recently, candidate Trump was less certain about exactly when the U.S. should exit the struggle that he had railed against continuing.

President Trump is only the latest man in the White House to see his plans, his governing coalition and his popular standing all at risk because of a racially charged issue.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Of course in times of confusion and incomprehension, we turn to NPR's senior Washington editor Ron Elving. Ron, thanks for being with us.

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

If you've heard of Edwin Stanton, it's probably because of what he did after Abraham Lincoln's assassination in 1865. Even as the Civil War president lay dying, Stanton went to work in an adjoining room — issuing orders to protect other leaders, directing generals' movements and informing the nation of Lincoln's death. He also began the search for the assassin and his co-conspirators.

"He did not announce that he was taking charge: he simply was in charge," writes historian Walter Stahr in Stanton: Lincoln's War Secretary.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

You could almost hear the intake of breath from Republicans and all sorts of establishmentarians this week. The reason: their hope that Donald Trump can transition from rabble rousing billionaire to purposeful president with the installation of retired Marine Gen. John Kelly as his chief of staff.

Such a shift has long been known as The Pivot — expected and predicted over and over again since Trump announced his candidacy two years ago.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

At the center of the health care drama last week was Senator John McCain, who unexpectedly voted against the Republican bill at the midnight hour. When he returned to the Senate after his brain surgery, he shared this hope.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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DON GONYEA, HOST:

The week had almost ended when the Twitter item came across. Minutes before quitting time, less than an hour after the markets closed: Gen. John Kelly named White House chief of staff.

The secretary of homeland security was replacing Reince Priebus at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

After about six months and a week, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee had been removed as the No. 1 aide to President Trump.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Senate Republicans are a little like the dog that finally caught the car. Now that they know their health care votes could actually become law, it's hard to know what to do.

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Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

In an emotional return to the Senate floor on Tuesday afternoon, Sen. John McCain admonished the leaders of his party for how they managed the health care bill and called instead for "regular order."

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Exactly six months ago, Donald Trump was sworn in as president.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Congratulations, Mr. President.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Yeah.

President Trump has summoned all Senate Republicans to the White House on Wednesday for a debrief on the state of health care legislation effort in their chamber. Based on the week so far, the meeting may be more like a post mortem.

Now that Donald Trump Jr.'s emails have produced the kind of solid evidence the Russia connection story had been lacking, what had been mostly speculative reporting has instead become the first draft of history.

Expect that history to be much debated. All accounts of political skulduggery with foreign actors tend to be "tangled and murky," as one foreign policy historian has written.

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A MARTINEZ, HOST:

More than a century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt had a habit of inviting journalists to the White House to share some of his thoughts. In one such chat he coined a phrase that has been part of our political language ever since.

President Trump plans a European trip next week for a gathering of representatives of the world's largest economies — including those of allies such as Britain, Japan and Germany, and rivals such as China and Russia.

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