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.

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9:37am

Fri November 15, 2013
It's All Politics

Friday Political Mix: Obama's Health Care Fallout Writ Large

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 12:07 pm

Good morning.

Or, bad morning, if you're President Obama and absorbing the profound political reality of the botched health care law rollout, and your attempt at a fix.

We'll let the headlines tell the story:

Wall Street Journal: "Obama Retreats on Health Care Rules"

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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.

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9:17am

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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4:51pm

Wed October 9, 2013
It's All Politics

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

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.

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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.

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5:38pm

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.

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4:33pm

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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5:38am

Sat September 7, 2013
It's All Politics

Vulnerable Senators Straddle The Syria Fence

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Timothy D. Easley AP

President Obama has mustered limited international support for a military strike on Syria, stirred uncertainty about what he'll do if Congress fails endorse a strike (it may depend on the meaning of "intention") and faces growing Capitol Hill resistance.

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7:15am

Thu September 5, 2013
It's All Politics

Presidential Hopefuls Stake Out Syria Positions

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 8:35 pm

Books by would-be 2016 presidential candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., share a table display at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on March 15. Both Rubio and Paul on Wednesday voted against military action in Syria.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters /Landov

Voting in favor of war or military strikes has proved to have long-lasting political consequences for politicians angling for the highest office in the land.

Just ask former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whose 2002 vote for the Iraq War resolution as a U.S. senator contributed to her failure to secure the Democratic presidential nomination six years later.

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3:21pm

Wed September 4, 2013
It's All Politics

Skeptical Democrat Takes A Stand Against Striking Syria

Originally published on Wed September 4, 2013 5:16 pm

Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., arrives to register for orientation as newly elected members of Congress descend on Capitol Hill on Nov. 13, 2012.
Charles Dharapak AP

A majority of Congress remains undecided, at least publicly, about President Obama's plan to launch a military strike against Syria.

Not Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan. The 69-year-old Democrat is a firm "no" vote.

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8:45am

Sat August 31, 2013
It's All Politics

Newest War Veterans In Congress Troubled By Syria Prospects

Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), who served a tour of duty in Iraq, is not convinced a military strike against Syria is the right thing to do.
Marc Levy AP

President Obama's contemplation of a military strike in Syria over its suspected use of chemical weapons has roused at least 170 members of Congress to question the constitutionality of such action, and others to urge caution informed by the quagmire of recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Few congressional voices, however, may be more resonant than those of the more than 100 military veterans in the House and Senate — particularly the 16 who served in the post-Sept. 11 conflicts in the Middle East, in both combat and non-combat roles.

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6:03am

Thu August 29, 2013
It's All Politics

Maine Governor's Rough And Rude Style Clouds His Future

Gov. Paul LePage speaks to reporters shortly after the Maine House and Senate both voted to override his veto of the state budget on June 26 in Augusta.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

He's called state workers "corrupt." He's joked about blowing up a local newspaper office and used a rape-sans-Vaseline analogy to describe a Democratic legislator's actions.

In his most recent flap, Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage may or may not have accused President Obama of hating white people. Accounts vary.

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5:48pm

Thu August 15, 2013
It's All Politics

Semantic Gymnastics: GOP In Tug Of War Over Delegate Rule

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 7:36 am

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus opens last year's convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 27.
Glen Stubbe MCT/Landov

Remember back when President Bill Clinton argued that his truthfulness about his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky depended on the meaning of the word "is"?

Thought so.

Though the topic may be decidedly less salacious, the Republican Party is embroiled in its own semantics gymnastics this week as its national committee members gather in Boston for their summer meeting.

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3:09pm

Tue August 13, 2013
It's All Politics

Star-Making Turn As Newark Mayor Launches Booker Toward D.C.

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 10:49 pm

U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, N.J., speaks to the media after casting his ballot for the Senate primary on Tuesday.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters/Landov

5:11am

Sat August 10, 2013
It's All Politics

2014 Senate Math Favors Republicans But Primary Battles Loom

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) greets supporters during the 133rd Annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky., Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013.
Stephen Lance Dennee AP

Republican dreams of a U.S. Senate takeover have been shattered in recent elections by a collection of "unelectable" nominees — the term of art used by political pros to refer to not-ready-for-prime-time candidates whose extreme views doomed their chances with mainstream voters.

There was Delaware's Christine "I'm Not A Witch" O'Donnell, and Nevada's Sharron "Some Latinos Look More Asian To Me" Angle in 2010.

Last year's contests starred Indiana's Richard "Rape Pregnancies Are A Gift From God" Mourdock, and Missouri's Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin.

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2:12pm

Mon August 5, 2013
It's All Politics

Texas' Democratic Darling Will Decide On Governor's Race Soon

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 5:24 pm

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis speaks at a Washington, D.C., fundraiser last month.
Nick Wass AP

Official Washington has fled for dog-day vacations few deserved, leaving the nation's capital a bit languid and bereft of news.

Enter, as if on cue, Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis of abortion bill filibuster fame, with a speech Monday at the National Press Club.

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6:05pm

Wed July 31, 2013
It's All Politics

As His Campaign Craters, Weiner Picks Fight Over Flight

Anthony Weiner listens to a question from the media after courting voters outside a Harlem subway station in May.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Back in the day, when Anthony Weiner was still a youthful Democratic representative from Brooklyn, before the dirty texts and the penis photos chased him from Washington, before his scrabbling, sinking campaign for New York City mayor, he strove to emulate his predecessor.

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5:52pm

Tue July 30, 2013
It's All Politics

GOP Puzzles Over Liz Cheney Senate Run

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 6:40 pm

Liz Cheney during a 2010 appearance on the CBS news program Face the Nation.
Chris Usher CBS/Landov

Liz Cheney's decision to move to deep red Wyoming and launch what promises to be an expensive primary challenge against GOP Sen. Mike Enzi continues to baffle.

And it's not just pollsters — whose early surveys show her trailing the popular Enzi badly in a state where an overwhelming majority of voters say they don't view her as a "Wyomingite" — who are scratching their heads.

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3:12pm

Thu July 25, 2013
It's All Politics

Pelosi Says Weiner Should 'Get A Clue'; Popularity Dives In NYC

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 7:48 pm

Huma Abedin (right) glances at her husband, New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, as he speaks at a press conference Tuesday.
Kathy Willens AP

(Updated 6:50 p.m. EDT)

Democrat Anthony Weiner's path to the New York City mayor's office got a lot more complicated Thursday, just two days after he asserted that new revelations of his lewd online conduct would not chase him from the race for his party's nomination.

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5:29pm

Tue July 16, 2013
It's All Politics

Unlikely Allies Shake Up Military Sex Assault Debate

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, at a news conference Tuesday with Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas (right) and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Paul and Cruz have endorsed Gillibrand's bill regarding sexual assault in the military.
Charles Dharapak AP

On most recent days, nothing that wasn't bitterly partisan has seemed possible in the nation's capital.

On Tuesday, the city got its exception.

Republican Tea Party Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas stood with liberal Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, endorsing her bill that would dramatically change how military sexual assault cases are reported and prosecuted.

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5:45pm

Mon July 15, 2013
It's All Politics

'Stand Your Ground' Laws Under Scrutiny Post-Zimmerman Verdict

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 11:47 am

George Zimmerman (right) is congratulated by his defense team Saturday night after being found not guilty of murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
Gary W. Green AP

George Zimmerman's defense team didn't invoke Florida's "stand your ground" defense in winning his acquittal of murder in last year's shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

But the specter of the 2005 law loomed, inescapably, over the proceedings.

It was inevitable that the racially fraught trial would again catapult Florida's law — which extends protections for the use of deadly force far beyond the traditional bounds of one's home — as well as those in 21-plus states with similar self-defense measures into the nation's consciousness.

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6:01pm

Fri July 12, 2013
It's All Politics

'Illusioning Victory From Defeat': A Washington Story

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 6:39 pm

New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer speaks at a news conference on gun legislation earlier this year.
Win McNamee Getty Images

At the end of another demoralizing and unproductive Washington week, it struck us that the messaging of failure is a very delicate business — for members of both flailing parties.

New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer's straight-faced characterization of the House GOP's rejection of his immigration bill as "encouraging" best illustrated the problem.

For nothing was hopeful and nobody was a winner in the nation's capital this week.

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