NPR: Ari Shapiro

Ari Shapiro is an NPR international correspondent based in London. An award-winning journalist, his reporting covers a wide range of topics and can be heard on all of NPR's national news programs, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Prior to his current post, Shapiro reported from the NPR Washington Desk as White House Correspondent during President Barack Obama's first and second terms, as Justice Correspondent during the George W. Bush administration and as a regular guest host on NPR's newsmagazines. He is also a frequent analyst on CNN, PBS, NBC and other television news outlets.

Shapiro's reporting has consistently won national accolades. The Columbia Journalism Review recognized him with a laurel for his investigation into disability benefits for injured American veterans. The American Bar Association awarded him the Silver Gavel for exposing the failures of Louisiana's detention system after Hurricane Katrina. He was the first recipient of the American Judges' Association American gavel Award, recognizing a body of work on U.S. courts and the American justice system. And at age 25, Shapiro won the Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize for an investigation of methamphetamine use and HIV transmission.

An occasional singer, Shapiro makes guest appearances with the "little orchestra" Pink Martini, whose recent albums feature several of his contributions. Since his debut at the Hollywood Bowl in 2009, Shapiro has performed live at many of the world's most storied venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York, L'Olympia in Paris, and Mount Lycabettus in Athens.

Shapiro graduated from Yale University magna cum laude and began his journalism career in the office of NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg.

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5:20am

Sat June 22, 2013
It's All Politics

Presents From The President: What Obama Gives His Friends

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 9:59 pm

President Obama meets with speechwriter Jon Favreau in the Oval Office in 2009.
Pete Souza White House via Getty Images

Between his trip to Europe last week and his travels to Africa next week, President Obama is doing a lot of gift exchanges with foreign leaders.

In the past, he has gotten mixed reviews. Four years ago, he was panned for giving the queen of England an iPod. Other presents have gone over better. But the president does not personally select these gifts — a staffer does.

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5:25am

Sat June 8, 2013
News

NSA Scandal Looms Over Obama's Talks With China's Xi

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 5:39 am

President Obama walks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a retreat on Friday in Rancho Mirage, Calif., where the two leaders are meeting for talks.
Evan Vucci AP

President Obama always intended to talk about spying this weekend. But not like this.

He's getting to know China's new leader at a sprawling estate in the Southern California desert this weekend, but domestic controversies have followed him there.

The president veered off his talking points Friday to spend more than 10 minutes defending a pair of massive surveillance operations that the media recently disclosed.

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6:19pm

Thu June 6, 2013
Politics

Sunnylands: Where Movie Stars And Presidents Play (And Work)

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 5:38 pm

President Bill Clinton with Walter and Leonore Annenberg at the entrance of the historic estate on Feb. 14, 1995.
White House The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands

President Obama arrives in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Friday to spend two days with China's new president, Xi Jinping, at a 200-acre estate called Sunnylands.

The house at Sunnylands is built of lava stone. The private golf course includes a pink pagoda. And if the presidents feel like fishing in one of the property's 11 lakes, they will hardly be the first world leaders to dip a line in the water.

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5:23am

Sat June 1, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama's Economic View: A Glass Half-Full And Half-Empty

Originally published on Sat June 1, 2013 6:39 am

President Obama speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday. He said the economy is seeing progress but added that too many people are still struggling.
Win McNamee Getty Images

It has been a good week for economic news. Here's a quick rundown of the positive signs: Home prices showed their best gains in seven years. Consumer confidence hit a five-year high. The stock market set a new record. All just this week.

"We're seeing progress," President Obama said in the White House Rose Garden on Friday morning, "and the economy is starting to pick up steam. The gears are starting to turn again, and we're getting some traction."

You could tell from the tone of his voice that he was leading up to a "but."

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3:51am

Tue May 28, 2013
Politics

Obama's Next Big Campaign: Selling Health Care To The Public

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 7:58 am

President Obama speaks about the Affordable Care Act at the White House on May 10.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

President Obama often tells audiences that he has waged his last campaign. But that's not exactly true.

The White House is gearing up for a massive campaign this summer that will cover all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. And the president's legacy may hinge on whether it succeeds or fails.

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4:38am

Thu May 23, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama Group's Climate Push Puts President Under Scrutiny

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 12:54 pm

President Obama speaks at Ellicott Dredges in Baltimore on May 17. The trip followed a visit by the company's president to Capitol Hill to testify in support of the Keystone XL pipeline. The White House says Obama's speech had nothing to do with Keystone, but environmental groups have been frustrated with his stance on the issue.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Organizing for Action — a group that formed out of President Obama's re-election campaign — has posted five tweets in the past week about climate change using the @BarackObama Twitter account.

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3:07am

Mon May 20, 2013
It's All Politics

Is There Really A Second-Term Curse?

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 11:15 am

Richard Nixon says goodbye to members of his staff outside the White House as he boards a helicopter after resigning the presidency on Aug. 9, 1974.
AP

The phrase "second term curse" is so familiar that it's become a cliche of American politics. Whether it's President Richard Nixon's resignation or President Bill Clinton's impeachment, presidents tend to have a tough time during the back half of an eight-year presidency.

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5:13am

Sat May 18, 2013
Politics

What A Week: White House Rattled By Controversy

Originally published on Sat May 18, 2013 7:23 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. There are three simultaneous controversies rattling the Obama administration this week: the IRS, the phone records of the AP reporters, and Benghazi. NPR's White House correspondent Ari Shapiro joins us. Ari, thanks for being with us.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: My pleasure, Scott.

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5:29pm

Fri May 17, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama U: What Graduation Speeches Say About The President

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 6:52 pm

President Obama's commencement speeches seem to be his real State of the Union addresses. On May 5, he told Ohio State students that they were graduating into a "healing" economy.
Carolyn Kaster AP

This weekend, President Obama will give a speech that very likely won't be about the controversies of the moment.

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3:03am

Fri May 17, 2013
Politics

AP Case Adds To Obama Team's Tough Record On Leaks

Originally published on Fri May 17, 2013 9:34 am

President Obama speaks during a news conference in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday. He told reporters: "Leaks related to national security can put people at risk."
Mark Wilson Getty Images

President Obama had a reputation when he took office as a liberal former constitutional lawyer who had condemned Bush-era national security policies.

But he has proven to be even tougher than President George W. Bush on prosecuting national security leaks. The seizure of Associated Press phone records is just the latest example.

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4:36pm

Fri April 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Democrats Invoke Boston, West To Defend Government's Role

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 5:23 pm

Last week, FBI investigators and a Watertown, Mass., police officer investigate the scene near the boat where bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding. Democrats have argued that the way the government responded to the Boston attacks makes a case for not cutting too deeply.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

President Obama has spoken at two memorial services in just over a week — one for victims of the Boston Marathon attack and one for those who died in the chemical plant explosions in West, Texas. In both speeches, he focused on victims and survivors.

But other Democrats are using these events to talk about another subject: the role of government.

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4:37pm

Wed April 24, 2013
It's All Politics

How Obama's Response To Terrorism Has Shifted

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 4:57 pm

President Obama makes a statement in the White House briefing room just a few hours after the bombings at the Boston Marathon on April 15.
Win McNamee Getty Images

President Obama's time in office has not been defined by terrorism as President George W. Bush's was. Yet incidents like the one in Boston have been a regular, painful through line of his presidency.

When a new administration walks into the White House, nobody provides a handbook on how to respond to a terrorist attack. So the Obama administration has been on a steady learning curve.

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7:06pm

Thu April 18, 2013
Explosions At Boston Marathon

Obama Offers Message Of Resilience After Boston Attacks

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:26 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We stand with you. That was President Obama's promise to Boston today. He delivered a message of strength and resilience at an inter-faith service in Boston's towering Cathedral of the Holy Cross. NPR's Ari Shapiro was there.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: One of the first to speak at today's service was Boston Mayor Tom Menino. Still recovering from leg surgery, he struggled out of his wheelchair to stand and speak, a living symbol of this city's refusal to give up in the face of pain.

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5:56am

Thu April 18, 2013
Politics

Obama's Pressure Fails To Get Gun Measure Passed

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 12:22 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, President Obama had promised to put the full weight of his office behind getting Congress to pass new gun control legislation. That weight was apparently not enough. When the legislation failed yesterday, Obama went into the White House Rose Garden and made a blistering speech, calling it a shameful day for Washington.

NPR's Ari Shapiro was there.

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6:38pm

Wed April 17, 2013
Politics

Obama Criticizes Congress After Background Check Bill Fails

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 8:37 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From Boston now to the White House, where President Obama reacted angrily tonight to the failure of an effort in the Senate to expand background checks for gun purchases. The amendment, proposed by Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Pat Toomey, got only 54 votes - six short of the necessary 60. President Obama spoke in the White House Rose Garden. He called this a pretty shameful day for Washington.

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5:44pm

Fri April 12, 2013
It's All Politics

'We Have To Do More': Michelle Obama's Next Four Years

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:07 pm

First lady Michelle Obama greets students at Harper High School in Chicago on Wednesday. Twenty-nine current or former Harper students have been shot in the past year, eight of them fatally.
Nancy Stone AP

This week marked a new step in Michelle Obama's evolution as first lady. In her hometown of Chicago, she delivered one of the most emotional speeches of her career — about kids dying from gun violence.

"I'm not talking about something that's happening in a war zone halfway around the world," she said. "I am talking about what's happening in the city that we call home."

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4:59pm

Tue April 9, 2013
It's All Politics

Will The Future GOP Be More Libertarian?

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:34 pm

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., shown speaking at a meeting of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on March 19, is promoting libertarian ideas as a way the Republican Party can be more inclusive.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Republicans don't often make high-profile speeches at Howard University, one of the country's most prominent historically black schools. But on Wednesday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will talk to Howard students about how his party can be more inclusive.

Paul believes one answer is libertarianism — and party leaders are starting to think he might be on to something.

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3:21am

Mon April 8, 2013
It's All Politics

Why Politicians Want Children To Be Seen And Heard

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:36 pm

President Obama signs a series of executive orders on gun control Jan. 16 surrounded by children who wrote letters to the White House about gun violence. They are, from left, Hinna Zeejah, Taejah Goode, Julia Stokes and Grant Fritz.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

President Obama will visit Connecticut on Monday to keep pushing for new federal gun laws. The poster children for this campaign are just that — children.

The president has invited kids to the White House to watch him sign new executive orders on guns. And the images of the kids who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School are a constant reminder of the toll gun violence can take.

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6:11am

Sat March 30, 2013
Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court

Gay Marriage And The Evolving Language Of Love

Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 2:01 am

English-language experts say how gay couples refer to themselves, and how others refer to same-sex couples, continues to evolve.
Mario Tama Getty Images

In 1982, advice columnist Dear Abby published a letter from someone who'd just moved from a conservative Midwestern town to bohemian Portland, Ore.

Suddenly the advice seeker was interacting with gay couples and wanted to know: Should a letter be addressed to "Mr. John Doe and Friend?'"

Is it proper to say, "This is so-and-so and his lover"?

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5:32pm

Fri March 22, 2013
It's All Politics

Republicans Launch Mission To Turn Up Their Digital Game

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 7:17 pm

Tweets from GOP supporters scroll along the side of a large-screen display at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 28, 2012.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The Republican and Democratic parties have been in a digital arms race for years. And this week, Republicans frankly admitted that they are losing.

Now, the GOP has ambitious plans to improve its game.

Monday's report from the Republican National Committee puts it bluntly: "Republicans must catch up on how we utilize technology in our campaigns. The Obama team is several years ahead of everyone else in its technological advantage."

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3:04am

Thu March 21, 2013
U.S.

As Gay Marriage Heads To Court, A Look Back At The Bumpy Ride

Originally published on Thu March 21, 2013 4:28 pm

David Wilson (left) and Rob Compton embrace after being married by a Unitarian minister at the Arlington Street Church in Boston on May 17, 2004. They were one of the first couples in Massachusetts to be legally wed.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Gays and lesbians have adopted the phrase "it gets better" as a kind of slogan to assure young people that life won't always be so tough.

Looking back, life has gotten dramatically better for LGBT people in the United States in a very short period of time. The modern gay rights movement began less than 50 years ago. Today, supporters of same-sex marriage outnumber opponents.

Now, the Supreme Court is about to hear two big cases that could shift the landscape for gay rights again.

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4:38pm

Mon March 11, 2013
It's All Politics

Obama Team Stops Saying 'Global War On Terror' But Doesn't Stop Waging It

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 5:36 pm

Standing in front of the Constitution, President Obama delivers an address on national security and terrorism in 2009 at the National Archives in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush often made a provocative claim: He argued that the U.S. was fighting a war without a typical battlefield. In effect, he said, this war is everywhere.

"Our enemies make no distinction based on borders," he said in a 2007 speech in Michigan. "They view the world as a giant battlefield and will strike wherever they can."

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6:05am

Sat March 2, 2013
NPR Story

Let The Cuts Begin: Sequestration Deadline Passes

Originally published on Sat March 2, 2013 11:04 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

Sequestration is official. President Obama signed an executive order on spending late last night as required by law. He sent the order to Congress and that triggered budget cuts known as sequestration. Earlier in the day, the president met with congressional leaders and when they left without a deal, he took questions at the White House.

NPR's Ari Shapiro was there.

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3:27am

Tue February 26, 2013
It's All Politics

Loaded Words: How Language Shapes The Gun Debate

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 9:44 am

The country has been debating gun regulations for months. Later this week, a Senate committee will start work on various proposals, including a background check on every gun sale and a ban on assault weapons.

But this debate over guns goes beyond disagreements about policy. Advocates on both sides quite literally disagree on the terms of the discussion — as in, the words they use to describe it.

Ask "gun control advocates" to describe what this debate is about, and they'll say "control" really isn't the word they prefer.

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4:47pm

Wed February 20, 2013
It's All Politics

Republicans Make 'Benghazi' A Frequent Refrain

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 6:02 pm

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., confer at the start of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last week on the appointments of military leaders. McCain and Graham have been among the Republicans pushing the Obama administration for answers about the Benghazi attack.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

The White House hopes the Senate will confirm Chuck Hagel next week as defense secretary.

Republicans delayed the vote for the same reason they scuttled Susan Rice's bid to be secretary of state: Benghazi.

The attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last September killed four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya. And Benghazi has since become a rallying cry for Republicans.

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12:33pm

Tue February 19, 2013
Politics

Obama Again Calls For Balanced Plan For Cuts

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Earlier this hour, President Obama spoke in the White House about the impacts of deep spending cuts that are scheduled to take effect a week from Friday. A group of first responders in uniforms stood behind him. The president said if Congress does not stop these cuts, these men and women in uniform will not be available to help communities respond to, and recover from disasters.

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3:18am

Thu January 31, 2013
It's All Politics

Cabinet Picks Show A Shift In How U.S. Wages War

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 8:34 am

President Obama shakes hands with his nominee to head the Defense Department, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, at the White House on Jan. 7. John Brennan, Obama's choice for director of the CIA, looks on.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Chuck Hagel, who spent more than a decade in the Senate asking witnesses questions at hearings, will be the one answering them Thursday as his confirmation hearing to be secretary of defense begins.

His hearing follows that of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who was confirmed this week to be secretary of state.

Kerry and Hagel have a prominent biographical detail in common: service in Vietnam.

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5:21pm

Mon January 14, 2013
U.S.

Obama Warns Of Dangerous Consequences If Debt Limit Isn't Raised

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

We begin this hour with the end of President Obama's first term. He's got less than a week before next Monday's inauguration. This morning, he capped things off with an hour-long news conference in the White House East Room. As NPR's Ari Shapiro reports, most of the focus was on a rash of recent financial crises that Washington itself has created.

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5:28am

Sat January 5, 2013
It's All Politics

Often Written Off, Biden Has Long List Of Deals To His Name

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 9:59 am

Vice President Joe Biden leads the first meeting of the working group to explore solutions following the Newtown shooting with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and other law enforcement leaders on Dec. 20.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

When President Obama finally announced a fiscal cliff agreement late Tuesday night, he thanked several people who had worked to get a deal.

The first one he mentioned by name was the man standing next to him at the podium: "my extraordinary vice president, Joe Biden."

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5:21am

Sat December 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama: 'The American People Are Watching What We Do Here'

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:38 pm

"I'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time," the president said after meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Friday.
Evan Vucci AP

We have reached the last weekend of the year, and Washington still has not reached a deal to avert the big tax hikes and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff.

President Obama met with top congressional leaders at the White House on Friday afternoon: John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi from the House, and Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell from the Senate.

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