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.

Pages

It's All Politics
8:05 am
Thu February 5, 2015

5 Things The Vaccine Debacle Reveals About The 2016 Presidential Field

Sen. Rand Paul tweeted this photo, writing "Ironic: Today I am getting my booster vaccine. Wonder how the liberal media will misreport this?"
Twitter

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 5:19 pm

As the measles outbreak continues to spread, political leaders with an eye on the White House in 2016 spent much of the week jumping into, and then trying to bail themselves out of, the vaccine debate.

Some brushed the issue off as an unnecessary media circus, but it's worth taking a look at its deeper political meaning. Here are five things the vaccine politics kerfuffle of 2015 tells us about the emerging field of presidential candidates for 2016.

1. Vaccination politics are a problem for Republicans — not Democrats.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:26 am
Fri January 30, 2015

4 Reasons Why It's Veto Season At The White House

President Obama has said he will veto the Keystone XL pipeline project, which passed in the Senate on Wednesday. Historically, political scientists say, 90 percent of veto threats are issued behind the scenes, but Obama has issued nine veto threats so far — in public.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 5:37 pm

President Obama is about to get his first veto opportunity of the new Congress. A bill that would approve the Keystone XL pipeline project will be on his desk soon. He has promised to veto it, and that's unusual. In his first six years in office, Obama issued just two vetoes — the fewest of any president going all the way back to James Garfield, and Garfield only served 199 days in office!

Read more
It's All Politics
5:06 am
Tue January 20, 2015

State Of The Union: 5 Things To Watch

President Obama listens as British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks Friday during their joint news conference at the White House.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 5:37 pm

Even in the era of declining television audiences, President Obama's State of the Union address is still the biggest audience he'll have all year. Historically, seventh-year State of the Union speeches have a short shelf life. Every one of the five lame-duck presidents (that is, presidents constitutionally barred from running again — Eisenhower, Reagan, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama) has had opposition congresses, making the prospects for passing major parts of the president's agenda slim to none.

Read more
Politics
2:54 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Obama And Mexican President Talk Cuba, Immigration

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 7:07 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Read more
Politics
3:05 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Treasury Nomination Sparks Fight Among Democrats

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 5:37 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

U.S.
11:02 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Hagel Steps Down After Discord On Syria, Iraq

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down. President Obama made the announcement in an East Room appearance minutes ago.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

Read more
The Two-Way
10:44 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Obama To Unveil Immigration Plan On Thursday

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 1:14 pm

Updated at 1:28 p.m. ET.

President Obama says he will announce the executive actions he's taking to "start fixing our broken immigration system" during a speech to the nation at 8 p.m. ET Thursday.

Read more
Health Care
2:17 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Affordable Care Act Has Many Political And Legal Challenges Ahead

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 4:55 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Read more
Politics
2:23 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Turf Shifts In Culture Wars As Support For Gay Marriage Rises

People hold signs, including some reading "America is ready for marriage," at a same-sex marriage victory celebration on Oct. 6 in Salt Lake City, Utah. America may be ready, but Republicans aren't: Rising popular support for same-sex marriage is posing a problem for the GOP.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 11:47 am

When social norms change, sometimes they change so fast it's hard to keep up.

Only 10 years ago, ballot initiatives opposing gay marriage were helping Republicans win elections. But two weeks ago, when the Supreme Court effectively cleared the way for legal same-sex marriage, the response from Republican leaders was deafening silence.

They were so quiet, some wondered whether the culture wars had finally ended with a Republican defeat.

Gary Bauer, a longtime social conservative activist, thinks that's nonsense.

Read more
Politics
3:25 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Millennials Are Blue Now, But Party Allegiance Could Be Up For Grabs

Millennial focus group: Arturo Chang (from left), Shaza Loutfi, Alexa Graziolli, Stephen Crouch, Jessica Ramser. Not pictured: Ginger Gibson.
Rachel Lushinsky NPR

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 6:28 pm

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

President Obama is holding a town hall meeting Thursday in California with a group he wants to mobilize for the midterm elections: millennial entrepreneurs. Millennials — young people ages 18-34 — are a key part of the Democratic coalition.

Read more

Pages