Mara Liasson

Mara Liasson is the national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines All Things Considered and Morning Edition. Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC — focusing on the White House and Congress — and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.

Each election year, Liasson provides key coverage of the candidates and issues in both presidential and congressional races. During her tenure she has covered six presidential elections — in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. Prior to her current assignment, Liasson was NPR's White House correspondent for all eight years of the Clinton administration. She has won the White House Correspondents Association's Merriman Smith Award for daily news coverage in 1994, 1995, and again in 1997. From 1989-1992 Liasson was NPR's congressional correspondent.

Liasson joined NPR in 1985 as a general assignment reporter and newscaster. From September 1988 to June 1989 she took a leave of absence from NPR to attend Columbia University in New York as a recipient of a Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism.

Prior to joining NPR, Liasson was a freelance radio and television reporter in San Francisco. She was also managing editor and anchor of California Edition, a California Public Radio nightly news program, and a print journalist for The Vineyard Gazette in Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

Liasson is a graduate of Brown University where she earned a bachelor's degree in American history.

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4:35am

Thu September 6, 2012
Election 2012

Bill Clinton Captivates Delegates, Nominates Obama

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 9:17 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Renee Montagne is back at NPR West. Renee, welcome back.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Thank you very much. After a nice vacation, and so glad to be here, because big news: President Obama speaks to the Democratic Convention tonight. Just as with Mitt Romney last week, the president will have a huge audience to make his case.

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4:25am

Wed September 5, 2012
Election 2012

First Lady Stays Above The Fray In Convention Speech

First Lady Michelle Obama was one of the stars on the first night of the Democratic National Convention. She delivered a ringing, impassioned plea for the re-election of her husband, President Barack Obama.

4:08am

Fri August 31, 2012
Election 2012

Mitt Romney Makes His Case For Change

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 11:48 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. During his acceptance speech last night at the Republican convention, Mitt Romney told a story about his father. He said his father gave his mother a rose every day, and left it by the bed. She found out he had died on the day the rose did not appear.

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5:03am

Thu August 30, 2012
Election 2012

Ryan Tells GOP Delegates U.S. Needs A Turnaround

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 3:53 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

But now to Tampa, where this evening Mitt Romney will formally accept his party's nomination for president.

Last night, though, the stage belonged to vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. In a campaign, it often falls to the running mate to be the attack dog and Ryan sounded up for the job. It was also a chance for the rising GOP star to defend his own ideas.

Here's NPR's national correspondent Mara Liasson.

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3:46am

Mon August 27, 2012
Election 2012

Watching Isaac, GOP Delays Opening Convention In Tampa

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 4:18 am

Republicans have decided to delay the official start of their presidential nominating convention until Tuesday. Tropical Storm Isaac is causing weather-related issues around Tampa, Florida. As the convention is about to begin, polls show GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is tied with President Obama.

3:38am

Thu August 16, 2012
NPR Story

Ryan Pick Forces Medicare Discussion

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 3:53 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

When Mitt Romney put Paul Ryan on the ticket, it had the potential to reset the presidential race - that is, offer a choice between two radically different visions of government, in a campaign seemingly stuck in tit-for-tat attacks over the economy. So far, though, the campaigns have a somewhat different fight on their hands. NPR's Mara Liasson reports.

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5:08pm

Tue July 24, 2012
It's All Politics

Are Candidates Missing The Big Picture?

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 5:31 pm

President Obama speaks at the Fox Theater in Oakland, Calif., on Monday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

If the stakes could not be bigger, why are the presidential candidates running such insubstantial campaigns?

On any given day, it seems like the debate is about whether President Obama thinks entrepreneurs built their own businesses or what year Mitt Romney gave up control of Bain Capital — instead of big solutions to fundamental problems like economic growth, energy or immigration.

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3:43am

Tue July 10, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Outraises Obama By $35 Million In June

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 1:02 pm

The latest fundraising numbers are in for the two presidential campaigns, and the amounts are eye-popping. President Obama and the Democratic Party raised $71 million, which is an enormous haul. But it was dwarfed by Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee, which together raised $106 million in the month of June.

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2:00am

Mon July 9, 2012
Politics

Campaigns Play The Numbers To Tip Election Favor

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 4:28 am

There are two big factors that will determine the outcome of the presidential election: the economy and demographics.

The economy is weak and doesn't look likely to improve by much, but the makeup of the electorate on the other hand is highly dynamic. It continues a trend underway for years: a rapid rise in the number of people who are not Anglos in both the population and at the polls.

That percentage actually doubled between 1992 and 2008, says Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University.

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4:26am

Fri June 29, 2012
Politics

Health Care Ruling To Fuel Presidential Campaigns

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 3:16 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

The Supreme Court surprised almost everyone yesterday when it upheld the heart of President Obama's health care law: a requirement that everyone either have insurance or pay a fine or tax. It's a big victory for president. It also gives his challenger, Mitt Romney, some important opportunities.

Here's NPR's national political correspondent, Mara Liasson.

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3:17am

Thu June 21, 2012
Election 2012

Romney, Obama Fine-Tune Pitches To Latino Voters

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 8:13 am

Voter walk outside of a polling place at the First Baptist Church of Windermere, in Orlando, Fla., during the state's primary on Jan. 31.
Matt Rourke AP

President Obama and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney are taking their stump speeches to a prominent group of elected Latino officials this week.

Romney will address the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, or NALEO, Thursday. Obama takes his turn Friday.

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6:41pm

Tue June 12, 2012
Election 2012

As GOP Cashes In, Democrats Search For Billionaires

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:02 pm

President Obama at a Democratic Party election fundraiser in Chicago on June 1.
Jason Reed Reuters/Landov

The big story of this year's election campaign is big money. Since the Supreme Court, through its Citizens United ruling, has made it easier for corporations, unions and rich individuals to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money, Republicans have seized the advantage.

Right now, an analysis by NPR finds that Republican allied groups are outspending their Democratic counterparts by 8 to 1.

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4:55pm

Tue June 12, 2012
Politics

Where Are The Democratic Billionaires?

Democrats knew that they would be disadvantaged under the new campaign finance rules created by the Supreme Court. But the disparity between the amount of money Republicans can raise in unlimited anonymous donations and what the Democrats have been able to raise is huge.

4:13am

Mon June 4, 2012
Election 2012

Bill Clinton Campaigns As Obama's No. 1 Surrogate

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 10:10 am

Bill Clinton speaks with President Obama in the White House Briefing Room after a private meeting in the Oval Office in 2010. The former president has become Obama's highest-profile advocate this campaign season.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton and President Obama used to have a famously rocky relationship. But the days when Clinton tried to help his wife, now secretary of state, defeat Obama in the 2008 primaries are ancient history.

Former Clinton strategist Carter Eskew says the ex-president is almost always an asset for Obama.

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2:36am

Thu May 31, 2012
Election 2012

The Fine Political Art Of Jobs Forecasting

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 7:17 am

A sign outside a McDonald's restaurant in Chesterland, Ohio, advertises job openings earlier this month.
Amy Sancetta AP

Friday is jobs day, when the federal government releases its monthly unemployment report. It's also just about five months before the presidential election.

When the two presidential contenders talk about unemployment, they're trying to balance their rhetoric between optimism, pessimism and reality.

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