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

12:01am

Thu October 20, 2011
Election 2012

A 'Spirited' Primary Could Be What The GOP Needs

Originally published on Thu October 20, 2011 11:50 am

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (left) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry got into a heated exchange about immigration during Tuesday's GOP presidential debate in Las Vegas.

Ethan Miller Getty Images

Tuesday night's brawl of a debate in Las Vegas erased any doubt that the fight for the Republican presidential nomination would get bitter. Texas Gov. Rick Perry aggressively parried former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who looked rattled for the first time.

If that hand-to-hand combat continues, the Republican primary could just become a long, drawn-out fight. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing for the eventual nominee is unclear.

Read more

3:17pm

Fri October 14, 2011
Herman Cain

Cain Says He's Not Just A Flavor Of The Week

The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza has surprised a lot of people by rising to the top of the pack in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Herman Cain hasn't been traveling to many pancake breakfasts in Iowa or town halls in New Hampshire, but his polished speeches and debate performances have thrilled Republican voters.

Read more

4:29am

Fri October 7, 2011
National Security

Partisan Divide On National Security Shrinks

GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney travels to the Citadel in South Carolina to deliver a speech on national security Friday. The issue has traditionally been a bright line between hawks and doves, Republicans and Democrats. But even on this, the third anniversary of President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize, the politics are no longer clear cut.

4:04pm

Thu September 29, 2011
Rick Perry

Can Rick Perry Regain His Momentum?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference this month in Orlando, Fla. The next day, he finished a disappointing second in the Florida GOP straw poll.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Texas Gov. Rick Perry rocketed to the top of the field after he jumped in the race for the GOP nomination for president last month.

His early rise in the polls was based on what Republican voters thought they knew about him. But the debates gave Republicans a chance to see Perry in action — and the normally aggressive Texas governor has been forced into the uncomfortable position of defense.

Read more

4:00am

Fri September 23, 2011
NPR Story

Romney, Perry Dominate GOP Presidential Debate

Even though there were nine contenders, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry were the highlights of much of Thursday night's GOP presidential debate in Orlando, Fla. The two leading candidates had a chance to attack each others positions on social security, health care and immigration.

12:01am

Thu September 22, 2011
Mitt Romney

Former GOP Front-Runner Romney Seeks Opening

Originally published on Thu September 22, 2011 2:53 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a town hall meeting at the Doubletree Miami Airport hotel as he campaigns in South Florida on Wednesday. Romney is participating in a GOP debate in Orlando on Thursday night.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The Republican presidential candidates debate again Thursday night — this time in Orlando, Fla.

Mitt Romney, who comes to Florida as the former front-runner, is eager to find a way to knock the newest candidate in the race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, off his perch as the new GOP leader.

Read more

4:37pm

Tue September 20, 2011
Barack Obama

With Leadership Questioned, Obama Gets In The Fray

President Obama speaks in the Rose Garden at the White House on Monday. Obama laid out a plan for trillions in deficit cuts but warned Republicans he will veto any bill that makes structural changes to Medicare unless they agree to additional revenues.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

There's been a sea change at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It's almost as if the cerebral, detached president went into a phone booth and came out a fighting Democrat.

In the Rose Garden on Monday, as President Obama laid out his vision for how the congressional supercommittee could find trillions in savings, he was no longer above the fray. He was right in the fray. And he made it clear he has given up on his so far fruitless search for common ground with the Republicans.

Read more

1:49pm

Fri September 16, 2011
Barack Obama

N.Y. Special Election Shows Obama's Trials To Come

A crowd cheers as Republican Bob Turner appears on stage during an election night party on Tuesday in New York. The traditionally Democratic and Jewish district elected Turner, revealing the problems Obama may have with political strongholds in the 2012 election.
Mary Altaffer AP

This week brought another slew of bad political news for President Obama. The Democrats lost two special elections: one in a Republican-leaning district in Nevada, and one in a Democratic stronghold in New York.

There are also new polls showing the president's support weakening among Democratic voters in blue states.

Read more

3:00pm

Wed September 7, 2011
NPR Story

In GOP Debate, Candidates Likely To Focus On Perry

On Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, the leading Republican candidates for president will meet for a debate. It's the first featuring newly minted frontrunner Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

12:01am

Tue August 30, 2011
Hurricane Irene Hits East Coast

In Irene, Politicians Navigate Tides Of Public Opinion

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:28 am

On Saturday, President Obama and FEMA administrator Craig Fugate attended a video teleconference led by FEMA as Irene made its way up the Eastern Seaboard.
Pool Getty Images

The effects of Hurricane Irene are still being felt and their costs being measured — from billion-dollar damages in New Jersey to ongoing flooding in New England.

For local and national leaders, natural disasters can sometimes be political disasters — or opportunities.

The lessons of Hurricane Katrina are seared into the memory of President Obama and every other politician in America. The president made sure that his emergency team was prepared and competent. He showed up at FEMA headquarters over the weekend, and Monday he gave an update from the Rose Garden.

Read more

Pages