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 five presidential elections — in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008. 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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3:46pm

Tue August 26, 2014
National Security

Obama Considers Widening Strikes Against Islamic State Militants

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 6:12 pm

During a speech at the American Legion's National Convention on Tuesday, President Obama again called the extremist group the Islamic State a "cancer."
Charles Dharapak AP

President Obama is considering widening military strikes against the extremist group that beheaded American journalist James Foley. The U.S. has been bombing the Islamic State's positions in Iraq, and may decide to extend those strikes to Syria.

Three years after the killing of Osama bin Laden, and a year after President Obama tried to turn the page on the open-ended war on terror, the U.S. is facing a threat from a group even more extreme than al-Qaida.

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10:02am

Wed July 30, 2014
It's All Politics

'Hard Choices' Tour Put Spotlight On Clinton's Strengths, Weaknesses

Originally published on Sat August 2, 2014 1:26 pm

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to a crowd during a book signing for her new book, Hard Choices. Clinton's book tour has brought her before admiring audiences, but also highlighted her difficulty talking about her wealth and her presidential vision.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Hillary Clinton's book tour is over. Although it wasn't a campaign rollout, it did offer a peek at the strengths and weaknesses of a possible Clinton candidacy.

One thing was clear: The former first lady, senator, presidential candidate and secretary of state may be readier to be president than to run for president.

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2:47pm

Fri July 25, 2014
Politics

As Political Disenchantment Soars, Lines At The Polls Grow Shorter

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 5:40 pm

An official assists a voter at a polling station inside Fort Garrison Elementary School in Pikesville, Md., on primary day, June 24. As in many states this primary election season, turnout was low in Maryland.
Patrick Semansky AP

Several new surveys show voter interest is low, anti-incumbent sentiment is high, and voters from both parties are questioning whether their elected leaders should return to Congress next year.

In short, the electorate is disengaged and disgusted with politics.

Voter turnout in the 2010 primaries was only about 18 percent, and now it's even lower. Less than 15 percent of eligible citizens cast ballots in the 25 states that have held statewide primaries this year, according to a new report from the Center for the Study of the American Electorate.

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3:02am

Fri June 13, 2014
Politics

The Challenges Behind Accurate Opinion Polls

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 7:27 am

This week's stunning defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor came after his internal polls showed him winning — instead he lost by double digits.

3:25am

Wed June 11, 2014
Politics

Shocking Upset: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor Loses Primary

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 7:47 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. This morning, Washington is trying to make sense of one of the most stunning upsets in congressional history. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, a man many expected to be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, was defeated in his Republican primary by Tea Party activist David Brat. Cantor conceded this last night.

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