Ken Rudin's Political Junkie is the essential show for anyone who is curious and passionate about politics ... which includes most of us. Each week, veteran political analyst Ken Rudin explores policy debates, campaign strategies and the newsmakers making it happen in Washington and in state capitols across the country. Politicians, journalists and experts of all stripes join Ken to share smart analysis and rich historical context behind the issues shaping our national dialogue today.
Whether you're a seasoned political junkie or a casual observer of politics, you’ll enjoy hearing informed conversation about national and regional campaigns, deep dives into noteworthy moments in political history, and intriguing tidbits of political trivia. Political Junkie is the show that aims to make politics accessible, engaging, and -- dare we say it -- fun.
You Never Forget Your First Runoff
Both political parties are focusing on the two Senate runoffs in Georgia on January 5th. Wyche Fowler, a Georgia Democrat elected to the Senate in 1986, nearly won re-election in 1992 but because he fell a tad below the required 50 percent, he was forced into a runoff three weeks later … and he lost. Fowler is on the Political Junkie this week with memories of that time, and offers differences and similarities to what is happening today.
Music in this week’s episode:
Particle Man by They Might Be Giants
The Times They Are A-Changin’ by Bob Dylan
Georgia On Everyone's Mind
Jim Galloway, the longtime political columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, sets up the two Georgia Senate runoff elections scheduled for Jan. 5th. Because neither of the two Republican senators — David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler (appointed to the seat and running in a special election) — managed to break the 50 percent threshold, they and their respective Democratic challengers, Jon Ossoff and Rafael Warnock, will square off with control of the Senate at stake. The Democrats must win BOTH seats on 1/5 for them to take control; it would put the Senate at 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris holding the tie-breaking vote. If the GOP wins one of the races, Mitch McConnell will continue as the Senate majority leader, and make life miserable for Joe Biden.
Biden Wins (Don't Tell Trump); GOP Wins Too
Joe Biden is the president-elect and would be on his way to a smooth transition, except for one thing: Donald Trump is not about to concede. But underneath Biden’s victory is the fact that not only did the GOP keep its Senate losses to a minimum, it picked up seats in the House — both contrary to predictions. Carl Hulse of the New York Times explains the split-result of the 2020 elections.
And with Kamala Harris the vice president-elect, California Gov. Gavin Newsom will have the unenviable task of naming a successor to her Senate seat. And as John Myers of the Los Angeles Times points out, there is no shortage of senator wannabes in the Golden State. No matter who Newsom picks, there are bound to be sore feelings.
This Is Us
It’s the final pre-election podcast, with Amber Phillips of the Washington Post handicapping the key Senate races that will either result in Mitch McConnell continuing to lead the majority or Chuck Schumer taking over and putting the Democrats in control for the first time since 2014. And Mike Murphy, the Republican media strategist, talks about Trump, Trumpism and the future of the GOP, whether or not the president wins on Tuesday.
Music heard in this podcast
It’s Over by Roy Orbison
Runnin’ Down a Dream by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Heroes and Villains by The Beach Boys
One Will Be Muted On Nov. 3rd
Joe Biden’s difficulty in articulating a clear policy on court reform — e.g., packing the court — has brought the former vice president some criticism. It has also brought comparisons to 1937, when FDR tried to pack the court — and failed. Historian Jeff Shesol, author of a book exploring Roosevelt’s gambit, finds similarities between the two Democrats.
And S.V. Date, the HuffPost correspondent who asked President Trump at a news briefing why he lies so much, talks about the roadblocks for White House reporters to get information, and the truth, from the president.
Plus, some highlights, as they were, from the final Trump-Biden debate.
Photo credit Associated Press.
Music used in this podcast:
Here Comes Your Man by The Pixies
Dear Supreme Court by C-Murder
Lies by The Knickerbockers
Charges Of Hypocrisy And Betrayal In The Carolinas
Of the 23 Republican Senate seats up this year, the one held by North Carolina’s Thom Tillis was always going to be hotly contested. But few thought that Lindsey Graham’s seat in South Carolina would become a barn-burner, which it has. Jamie Lovegrove of the Post and Courier of Charleston reports on how Democrat Jamie Harrison, armed with record-breaking money totals, has a chance of becoming the first to oust a GOP senator in South Carolina history. And Jeff Tiberii of radio station WUNC wonders whether late adultery charges leveled against Democrat Cal Cunningham will jeopardize what had looked like a good shot at knocking off Tillis.