Liz Halloran

Liz Halloran joined NPR in December 2008 as Washington correspondent for Digital News, taking her print journalism career into the online news world.

Halloran came to NPR from US News & World Report, where she followed politics and the 2008 presidential election. Before the political follies, Halloran covered the Supreme Court during its historic transition — from Chief Justice William Rehnquist's death, to the John Roberts and Samuel Alito confirmation battles. She also tracked the media and wrote special reports on topics ranging from the death penalty and illegal immigration, to abortion rights and the aftermath of the Amish schoolgirl murders.

Before joining the magazine, Halloran was a senior reporter in the Hartford Courant's Washington bureau. She followed Sen. Joe Lieberman on his ground-breaking vice presidential run in 2000, as the first Jewish American on a national ticket, wrote about the media and the environment and covered post-9/11 Washington. Previously, Halloran, a Minnesota native, worked for The Courant in Hartford. There, she was a member of Pulitzer Prize-winning team for spot news in 1999, and was honored by the New England Associated Press for her stories on the Kosovo refugee crisis.

She also worked for the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury, Conn., and as a cub reporter and paper delivery girl for her hometown weekly, the Jackson County Pilot.

Pages

9:51am

Thu November 14, 2013
It's All Politics

Obamacare Fallout Hits Senate Democrats, But Not Equally

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 2:18 pm

Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The Republicans have dubbed them the "Obamacare Dozen," the 12 Democratic senators up for re-election in 2014, all of whom voted for the president's health care and insurance overhaul law.

In GOP world, each one of those senators managed to provide the "deciding vote" for the Affordable Care Act.

And each one, in the wake of the law's online rollout debacle, is in a "panic" — the GOP buzzword of the week — over its political implications.

Read more

9:23am

Tue November 12, 2013
It's All Politics

Tuesday Political Mix: Treasury, Tribes, and Christie 2016

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 10:15 am

Good morning.

Before we get to the president's Treasury appointment, continuing Obamacare problems, and a presidential poll du jour, let's turn our thoughts to the people of the typhoon-devastated Philippines.

My colleague, Mark Memmott, provides an update here, which includes a description of the hard-hit city of Tacloban as looking as if a "50-mile tornado" flattened everything.

Read more

5:16am

Sat November 9, 2013
It's All Politics

Don't Read Virginia Result As Pro-Choice: It's Anti-Extreme

Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli gestures during an Oct. 24 debate in Blacksburg, Va.
Steve Helber AP

The outcome in Virginia's governor's race this week seemed to illustrate anew the Democratic Party's grip on the women's vote, and the power of the abortion issue.

Even some Republicans argued that social conservative Ken Cuccinelli's defeat at the hands of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who won women by a 9-point margin, was another sign that the GOP's anti-abortion stance would continue to doom the party at the polls.

Read more

9:09am

Fri November 8, 2013
It's All Politics

Friday Political Mix: Obama, CBS Apologize; Rand Paul Copied

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:01 pm

Good morning.

This was a week that gave Virginia a new governor, New Jersey the same one for another term, and ended with some big apologies.

Let's go to the "I'm sorry" roll first, starting with the biggie.

Obama's Sorry About All That

Read more

5:26pm

Wed November 6, 2013
It's All Politics

Virginia Result Driven by Obamacare? Shutdown? Not So Much

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 5:47 pm

Democrat Terry McAuliffe speaks to supporters Tuesday in Tysons Corner, Va. McAuliffe defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor's race.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

Virginia Tea Party Republican Ken Cuccinelli lost a closer-than-expected contest for governor Tuesday to Democrat Terry McAuliffe, a weak but well-financed and well-connected candidate.

By Wednesday morning, the political world was busy debating the meaning of the outcome in Virginia, where exit polls showed that voters expressed increasing antipathy to the Tea Party, and that it was women — particularly unmarried women — who propelled McAuliffe over the finish line.

Read more

9:40am

Wed November 6, 2013
It's All Politics

Wednesday Political Mix: Post-Vote Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 12:19 pm

Don't you love Election Day morning-afters?

The musings. The what-it-means. The grasping what-ifs.

The exit polls.

The blame.

Read more

4:18pm

Mon November 4, 2013
It's All Politics

What If A Congressman Comes Out And Nobody Cares?

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 5:43 pm

Rep. Mike Michaud talks to an Associated Press reporter Monday in Portland, Maine, about his public announcement that he is gay.
Clarke Canfield AP

The final chapter in the history of bombshells of the closeted gay politician variety may have been written Monday by Rep. Mike Michaud, a Maine Democrat running for governor.

Michaud, 58, announced in a column published in two state newspapers and by The Associated Press that he is a gay man, and followed it with the question: "But why should it matter?"

Judging from immediate reaction in Maine, where Michaud next year will be competing to become the first governor in U.S. history elected as an openly gay man, the answer seemed to be that it probably won't.

Read more

11:01am

Sun November 3, 2013
It's All Politics

Va. Governor's Race: Nationally Significant Or Just Nasty?

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 10:30 am

Virginia gubernatorial candidates Democrat Terry McAuliffe (left) and Republican Ken Cuccinelli.
Steve Helber AP

Virginians go to the polls Tuesday to pick the man they dislike the least to be their new governor: long-time Clinton moneyman Terry McAuliffe or hardline Tea Party conservative Ken Cuccinelli.

Read more

5:22pm

Thu October 31, 2013
It's All Politics

Booker Brings Dash Of Diversity To Still Old, White Senate

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 10:05 am

Vice President Joe Biden swears in Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) as his mother, Carolyn, holds a Bible on Thursday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Cory Booker is a Yale-educated lawyer and erstwhile tweeter who, as mayor of Newark, N.J., displayed a knack for grabbing headlines while building a mixed legacy as the troubled city's leader.

He's also black, and Thursday at noon the 44-year-old Democrat was sworn in as a U.S. senator, making Congress's upper chamber just a tiny bit more diverse in more ways than one.

Booker, who on Oct. 16 was elected as New Jersey's first black senator, will join Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina as the chamber's only black senators.

Read more

3:39pm

Sat October 26, 2013
It's All Politics

PR Experts: Obamacare Message (Not Just The Site) Needs Fix

A woman looks at the HealthCare.gov insurance exchange site on Oct. 1 in Washington, D.C.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

There's little doubt that the Obama administration would like a health care website do-over.

Since its rollout Oct. 1, Obamacare's online insurance exchange sign-up, critical to success of the health care overhaul, has been a well-documented disaster.

The White House, in addition to managing considerable political fallout, also is dealing with a big, fat public relations problem. Just how does the administration go about winning the trust of the American people after the October Obamacare debacle?

Read more

9:26am

Fri October 25, 2013
It's All Politics

Friday Morning Political Mix: Monkeys, Donkeys and the NSA

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 10:48 am

Good morning.

Your erstwhile members of Congress are high-tailing it out of Washington for the weekend (no votes in the House, and the Senate took the day off but promises to return Monday).

But there's plenty to digest.

Fallout from Thursday's House hearing on computer problems marring the health care overhaul rollout. Across-the-pond anger over America's spying on allies. And, yes, donkeys. We'll get to that.

Read more

8:51am

Thu October 24, 2013
It's All Politics

Thursday Morning Political Mix: Healthcare Techs In Hot Seat

Good morning.

This is Washington, so there will be hearings.

Today's centerpiece of congressional inquiry bears the title, "Affordable Care Act Implementation Failures: Didn't Know or Didn't Disclose?" See where this is going?

The morning gathering will be the first in a promised series of GOP-led House Energy and Commerce Committee hearings into the implementation of Obamacare and its well-documented challenges.

Read more

6:03am

Thu October 24, 2013
It's All Politics

Red-State Senators Face Activist Challengers From Within

Timothy D. Easley AP

Re-election trouble is brewing for longtime Republican senators in deep-red states, from South Carolina to Wyoming. And the trouble is from within.

The GOP's restive Tea Party and libertarian wings, energized by their titular leader, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and funded in part by starve-government groups like the Club for Growth, are waging 2014 Senate primary challenges in six states — and counting.

Read more

9:13am

Wed October 23, 2013
It's All Politics

Wednesday Morning Political Mix: Troll, Trial, Tribulation

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 10:53 am

Good morning.

Let's get right to the tribulation.

Fallout from the government shutdown and budget crisis continues to rain down on Republicans.

Fallout from the monumentally flawed online rollout of Obamacare continues to rain down on President Obama and his team.

Obamacare

Read more

9:03am

Tue October 22, 2013
It's All Politics

Tuesday Morning Political Mix: The GOP's Very Bad Poll Day

Good morning.

President Obama just had a very bad, no good, awful day trying to explain what went so terribly wrong with his administration's health care sign-up website, and Republicans had a field day.

Today, it's Republicans who will be having just such a day.

Three major national polls show, unequivocally, that Republicans are taking the brunt of the public's anger after this month's government shut down and default crisis.

Read more

6:38pm

Mon October 21, 2013
It's All Politics

Christie's Gay Marriage Decision Has Primary Consequences

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 7:35 am

Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie debates Democratic challenger Barbara Buono at Montclair University in Montclair, N.J., on Tuesday. Christie's decision not to fight gay marriage in the state takes away an issue Buono had been campaigning hard on.
Mel Evans AP

Republican Chris Christie's decision Monday to drop his administration's legal challenge to same-sex marriage made perfect sense for the governor of New Jersey,

But for the potential 2016 presidential candidate, whose path would presumably start in Iowa — where the Republican Party is dominated by social conservatives — the calculation is a bit more complicated.

Bob Vander Plaats, Iowa's powerful evangelical conservative, put it bluntly Monday.

Read more

8:45am

Mon October 21, 2013
It's All Politics

Monday Morning Political Mix

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 11:55 am

Good morning.

Happy Tech-Surge-To-Fix-Healthcare.gov Day in your nation's capital.

In the wake of a disastrous rollout of his legacy legislation, President Obama will speak in the White House Rose Garden later this morning to declare the problems unacceptable.

And to outline how the White House has dispatched an A-Team to fix glitches that have frustrated many of the 19 million Americans that have gone online to research or sign up for insurance coverage through Healthcare.gov.

Read more

9:03am

Fri October 18, 2013
It's All Politics

Friday Morning Political Mix

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 1:23 pm

Good morning.

As post-shutdown Washington struggles to squeeze itself into its ill-fitting "new normal" suit, this amazing, dispiriting, baffling week finally comes to a close with some same-old, same-old.

Republicans are refocusing on undermining Obamacare (which is doing a pretty good job of that on its own).

Democrats are taking gleeful potshots at Republican opponents who carried the banner for the failed shutdown/debt crisis strategy.

Read more

9:10am

Thu October 17, 2013
It's All Politics

Thursday Morning Political Mix

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 9:48 am

Good morning.

The newspapers hit the front porch this morning with a familiar thud. (Yes, some of us still like the feel of paper in the morning.)

"SHUTDOWN ENDS" shouted The Washington Post.

"REPUBLICANS BACK DOWN, ENDING BUDGET CRISIS" The New York Times intoned.

And online (yes, some of us also like the morning glow of our devices), the post-shutdown/debt crisis postmortems were piling up like so many pages of regulations in the Affordable Care Act.

But first, the details, quickly:

Read more

9:06am

Wed October 16, 2013
It's All Politics

Wednesday Morning Political Mix

Good morning.

Can you say lost day?

Can you say 24 hours closer to joining the pantheon of deadbeat nations?

Can you say turning on the default spigot of poison gas? (Warren Buffet can.)

Read more

10:33am

Tue October 15, 2013
It's All Politics

Tuesday Morning Political Mix

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 11:52 am

Good morning from Washington, D.C., your nation's capital, where we are now into Day 15 of your government's shutdown and counting down to your government's looming default on its debt.

Yes, we all wish we were still in bed with the pillow over our head. (Even, we imagine, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who told The Wall Street Journal that military readiness is being damaged by the budget standoff.)

Dire? There is little argument, except from the most ardent default-is-no-big-deal fringe.

Read more

9:01am

Fri October 11, 2013
It's All Politics

Trickle-Down Stories: How The Shutdown Feels Across America

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 2:25 pm

A sport fishing guide in the Florida Keys protests the closure of Everglades National Park waters for fishing as part of the U.S. government shutdown.
Joe Skipper Reuters/Landov

Most Americans say they aren't directly affected by the shutdown. But some pockets of society, beyond furloughed federal workers and their families, are being severely hit.

We used NPR's social media network to ask about the impact and were deluged by messages from people who are worried and scared, especially veterans and the disabled, and many others who are angry and frustrated.

Read more

3:55pm

Wed October 9, 2013
It's All Politics

Like The GOP, Boehner's Ohio Buddies Split On His Leadership

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:51 pm

House Speaker John Boehner, accompanied by GOP Reps. Kevin McCarthy, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Eric Cantor, spoke to the press Tuesday, as the partial government shutdown entered its second week.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Spirits were high when a posse of John Boehner's friends traveled from Ohio to the nation's capital to celebrate the longtime Republican congressman's elevation to House speaker in January 2011.

Read more

6:33am

Thu September 19, 2013
It's All Politics

Lobster Boy Looms Large In Food Stamp Debate

Jason Greenslate was shown using food stamps to purchase lobster in a Fox News report.
YouTube

Before Fox News turned its cameras on him, Jason Greenslate was an anonymous Southern California beach bum, hanging with his surfer pals, playing in a demonstrably awful band and, in his words, "livin' the ratt life."

He doesn't work and gets $200 a month in food stamp assistance that he sometimes uses to buy lobster.

Read more

4:54pm

Tue September 17, 2013
It's All Politics

Navy Yard Tragedy Elicits Muted Political Response

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 6:17 pm

American flags surrounding the Washington Monument fly at half-staff Tuesday, a day after the deadly shootings at the Washington Navy Yard.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

A gunman shoots up a military facility, kills a dozen people and puts a fair chunk of the nation's capital on lockdown.

The political response to Monday's massacre at the Navy Yard in Washington?

Measured, bordering on muted.

From the words of the president to those on both sides of the gun control debate, caution has been the rule, with even the sharpest partisans tending to hold their tongues in the hours still suffused with tragedy.

Read more

4:51pm

Mon September 16, 2013
It's All Politics

A President Too Practiced In Tragic Words To The Nation

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 6:52 pm

President Obama walks out to deliver remarks on the economy at the White House on Monday. At the beginning of his news conference, Obama commented on the shootings at the Navy Yard.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Go to the White House website and search for "Obama," "shooting" and "statement," and you'll be faced with an unrelentingly grim list.

Newtown. Aurora. Oak Creek. Tucson. Fort Hood. And now, Navy Yard.

Since Obama took office in January 2009, his presidency has been shadowed by at least 19 mass shootings — those in which four or more people were killed.

Five of those shootings, now including the one Monday at the Navy Yard, are among the top 10 most deadly massacres in the United States over the past three-plus decades.

Read more

12:27pm

Mon September 16, 2013
It's All Politics

Democrats Dodge New York Family Feud, Mayoral Runoff Averted

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 3:36 pm

New York mayoral candidate Bill Thompson speaks to his supporters after the polls closed Sept. 10.
Mark Lennihan AP

New York City Democrats breathed a sigh of relief late Monday morning when Bill Thompson conceded the mayoral primary to Bill de Blasio, avoiding what could have been a nasty intraparty battle.

Thompson, 60, made his announcement on the steps of New York's City Hall in lower Manhattan, flanked by de Blasio and New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"I am proud to stand here today and support Bill de Blasio to be the next mayor of the city of New York," said Thompson, a centrist former city comptroller who finished a distant second in last week's nine-candidate primary.

Read more

4:27pm

Sat September 14, 2013
It's All Politics

How 'J-Lho' May Keep Democrats Out Of New York Mayor's Office

Originally published on Sun September 15, 2013 2:25 pm

Joe Lhota, the Republican nominee for mayor of New York City, is former head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Republican Joe Lhota wants to be the next mayor of New York.

His odds are long — Democrats outnumber Republicans 6-to-1 in a city President Obama won in 2012 with 81 percent of the vote.

But Democrats have been out of the mayoral office since 1994, when Republican Rudy Giuliani was elected, followed by Republican-turned-Independent-turned-Big-Gulp-banner Michael Bloomberg.

Read more

6:33am

Fri September 13, 2013
It's All Politics

Feds Seek To Corral Medical Marijuana 'Wild West'

A man pulls out a bag of marijuana to fill a pipe at Hempfest in Seattle on Aug. 16. Thousands packed a waterfront park for the opening of a three-day marijuana festival, an event that is part party, part protest and part victory celebration after the legalization of pot in Washington and Colorado in 2012.
Elaine Thompson AP

When the Obama administration recently announced it wouldn't challenge the decision by Colorado and Washington voters to fully legalize marijuana, criticism rained down.

The administration's position, complained one Colorado congressman, was tantamount to allowing states to opt out of the federal law banning pot possession, cultivation and sale.

Other anti-legalization activists predicted that the administration was waving the white flag in the war on drugs.

The first claim is essentially true: The states will be creating their own regulatory regimes.

Read more

10:19am

Tue September 10, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama's Toughest Audience: His Die-Hard Supporters

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:37 pm

President Obama returns to the White House on Friday after the G-20 summit in Russia.
Evan Vucci AP

Brent Rosenberg was an early and enthusiastic Barack Obama supporter at a place and time when it mattered most: Iowa 2008, in the run-up to the first-in-the-nation presidential-nominating contest.

"I worked hard during the caucuses," said Rosenberg, a Des Moines lawyer and lifelong Democrat. "I led all my friends and relatives to him."

So it's with evident pain that he now speaks about the president, on the eve of Obama's speech on military action against Syria, with disappointment, if not regret.

Read more

Pages