50 episodes

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.

Ken Rudin's Political Junkie Ken Rudin

    • News
    • 4.7 • 616 Ratings

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.

    Old McDaniel Told A Lie

    Old McDaniel Told A Lie

    NPR’s David Folkenflik sorts out the brouhaha NBC News found itself in when it hired Ronna McDaniel as a paid commentator — a hire that lasted all of four days.  An all-staff mutiny followed her new employment, given her role as a Trump enabler in his effort to overturn the 2020 election.  David also weighs the advantages, if any, in hiring partisan voices in news organizations — a practice that goes back decades.

    And we rerun an interview we had with Joe Lieberman back in August of 2017, where the Connecticut senator and 2000 VP candidate talks about his career, Al Gore’s decision to name him to the ticket, how he saw the Bill Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, and his almost appearance as John McCain’s running mate in 2008.  Lieberman died last month at 82.

    PLUS:  Robert F. Kennedy Jr., his running mate, and the different ways Donald Trump has assessed his candidacy.  And the establishment choice for the U.S. Senate pulls out of the New Jersey Democratic primary.

    Music in this episode:

    Jersey Girl by Bruce Springsteen

    Dirty Laundry by Don Henley

    Isn’t Life Strange by The Moody Blues

    • 1 hr 5 min
    A Sense of Yuma After Sinema's Departure

    A Sense of Yuma After Sinema's Departure

    The announcement by Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat-turned-independent, that she would not seek a second term was hardly a surprise.  But it shook up a key Senate race in a body where Republicans are closing in on a majority.  Ron Hansen of the Arizona Republic lays out what’s ahead between likely nominees Ruben Gallego (D) and Kari Lake (R).

    And Jacob Rubashkin, the deputy editor of Inside Elections, sums up the major results from Super Tuesday and looks ahead to next week’s Ohio Republican Senate primary, the winner to take on three-term Democrat Sherrod Brown.

    Plus:  A highly combative Joe Biden and a highly caffeinated Katie Britt highlight the State of the Union.

    Music in this Episode:

    Deja Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

    You Lost by Austin Archer

    Tuesday’s Gone by Lynyrd Skynyrd

     

    • 53 min
    California Girls (And Guys)

    California Girls (And Guys)

    Mark Z. Barabak of the Los Angeles Times sets up Tuesday’s California Senate primary for the seat once held by Dianne Feinstein.  A race long dominated by three Democratic House members — Adam Schiff, Katie Porter and Barbara Lee — the campaign suffered a jolt when a Republican, former Dodgers star Steve Garvey, got in the race.  Now there are accusations that Schiff, the acknowledged frontrunner, is trying to make sure his opponent in November is Garvey, considered the easiest to beat, rather than one of his Democratic House colleagues.

    PLUS:  The age issue and Joe Biden.  And the sanity issue and Donald Trump.  In addition, Mitch McConnell announces he will be leaving the leadership position he’s held longer than any other senator in history.

    Music in this episode:

    I Can’t Explain by the Who

    I Hate Myself for Loving You by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

    California Girls by the Beach Boys

     

    • 39 min
    Swift Paranoia Taylor Made For MAGA

    Swift Paranoia Taylor Made For MAGA

    Yale Prof. Kathryn Lofton explores the whole Taylor Swift rumor mill lunacy and explains the pitfalls celebrities encounter as they decide whether to use their fame for political ends.

    And Spectrum News New York political director Bob Hardt dissects the upcoming race to succeed George Santos in New York’s Third Congressional District.

    PLUS:  The House GOP effort to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas blows up in Speaker Mike Jobnson’s face.  And a federal appeals court unanimously rejects Donald Trump’s argument that he is immune from prosecution for actions he took as president.

    Taylor Swift button designed by SmithDigital.

    Music in this episode:

    409 by the Beach Boys

    The Winner Takes It All by November Ultra

    High Hopes by Frank Sinatra

    Harding, You’re the Man by Al Jolson

    Anti Hero by Taylor Swift

    A Life of Illusion by Joe Walsh

     

    • 46 min
    New Hampshire, Where Trump Came, Saw and Concord?

    New Hampshire, Where Trump Came, Saw and Concord?

    We speak to two veterans of New Hampshire politics, former Republican state chair Fergus Cullen and longtime Democratic state lawmaker Lou D’Allesandro.  Cullen maintains that despite sizable dissatisfaction among Republicans with Donald Trump, Nikki Haley does not look like she is in a position to pose a threat to the former president.  And D’Allesandro acknowledges unhappiness with President Biden’s decision to remove N.H. from its perch as the “first in the nation” primary state.  But it shouldn’t be enough to threaten him in Tuesday’s contest.

    Music heard in this episode:

    Sitting On Top of the World by Cream

    Last Dance by Donna Summer

    Old Man by Neil Young

    • 50 min
    Farewell to 2023, Bracing for 2024

    Farewell to 2023, Bracing for 2024

    Former Partner-in-Crime Ron Elving returns to the Political Junkie for a review of 2023 and what to expect in 2024 when, by most accounts, the presidential contest will be a repeat of four years ago:  Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump.

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
616 Ratings

616 Ratings

Steven D. ,

An absolute treat of a podcast!

Ken truly has an unrivaled knowledge of politics, and it's great he recently decided to continue his podcast. I've been a listener of his since he was at NPR, and he is so much better now in his own show. Ken also has a deep respect for democracy, the great leaders of our country, and the political process, and this respect comes through in every episode, especially when he recounts stories of past politicians. Take a listen to the Political Junkie - you won't regret it!

pasgas ,

Such a great political program and host

As others mentioned, been following him since he worked with Ron E. Glad to see his podcast back since the pause.

Also, he is a great host and gives the audience an honest laugh. He takes political analysis to a better level and always glad to see his show be updated

Thank you Ken Rudim for a great program every week

ctakim ,

Humor, intelligence and insight

Great to see Ken continuing his podcast. I have been a fan since his days with Ron Elving and the NPR politics podcast.

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