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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Hillary Clinton delivered a remarkable speech Thursday, one that was billed as a foreign-policy address, but was principally about laying out the case for why Republican Donald Trump is disqualified to be commander in chief.

Here are three questions answered:

1. What did she do with this speech?

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are turning their attention to the general election and to one of the most important decisions they will make — choosing a vice president.

Picking a vice president is the first "presidential level" decision any candidate makes. Although vice presidential candidates have rarely, perhaps never, determined the outcome of an election, the choice tells voters a lot about the candidate.

The two most important criteria are always the same:

1. Pick someone who would ready to be president, if necessary, and

Hillary Clinton isn't over the finish line yet, but as she continues to battle Bernie Sanders she's also turning her attention to a general election matchup with Donald Trump.

A lot of Democrats say that in order to beat Trump, she needs to be developing a clearer message on the economy.

That's not Donald Trump's problem.

Not only does he have a simple, clear message — he often says so himself.

Five delegate-rich states on the East Coast will vote Tuesday: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Call it the "Acela Primary" for the train that runs through those states.

There's a lot at stake. Here are four things we're watching:

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Donald Trump is the GOP delegate leader and has the clearest path to the presidential nomination of any remaining candidate. But does he have an electoral path to 270 in November?

There's a basic math problem for any Republican nominee.

In every one of the past six presidential elections, Democrats have won states that add up to about 240 electoral votes — pretty close to the majority needed to win.

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The remaining four Republican candidates debate once again tonight, this time in Miami. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich will be on the stage together for the last time before next Tuesday's big primary night, when voters in Ohio and Florida — Rubio and Kasich's home states — go to the polls. Tuesday is a make or break night for the two of them and tonight's debate is the last chance they have to change the dynamic in a race that has not been going their way.

Here are four things to watch — one for each candidate.

Tonight the two Democratic candidates — Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders — meet in Miami for a debate.

Before Tuesday night, the debate was looking like an unimportant afterthought to a race that could have been all wrapped up. But not anymore, after Sanders' stunningly unexpected win in Michigan last night.

Here are three things to watch:

The GOP may be in the midst of an identity crisis, but the Democratic Party is also facing a political crisis that could be made a lot worse if it doesn't win the White House in November.

Here's why:

Part of President Obama's legacy is the health of his party. He's had many successes in office — health care reform, climate change regulations, Wall Street reform — but his legacy will also include one huge failure: a diminished Democratic Party.

In any ordinary year, Donald Trump's big win in South Carolina on Saturday night would all but anoint him the Republican presidential nominee. That's especially true after his big win in New Hampshire, where he won with support across various age and income groups in the party.

Another big caucus day and primary night on Saturday, when Democrats go to their caucus sites in Nevada, and Republicans go to the polls in South Carolina. Here are five things we'll learn from the results:

1. Is insulting the Bush family — and getting into a fight with the pope — a good idea or not?

Antonin Scalia's body wasn't cold before his seat on the U.S. Supreme Court became tangled up in partisan politics. Here are five ways Scalia's death is complicating the 2016 election.

New Hampshire voters go to the polls Tuesday, and they will resolve a lot of questions. Here are four things the first-in-the-nation primary will tell us:

1. How much damage did the last debate do to Marco Rubio?

Rubio came into New Hampshire with a head of steam. He quickly moved into second place in the polls, and there was even some hope he could overtake Donald Trump in the Granite State. But then, the needle got stuck on his talking points in the ABC debate on Saturday, earning him the worst reviews of his — until now — charmed presidential run.

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When seven of the nine remaining Republican candidates meet Saturday for their final debate before the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, several of them will be facing their last chance to stay in the race.

Here are three things to watch for at 8 p.m. ET when Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump appear on stage at the ABC News debate in Manchester, N.H.

Which Donald Trump will show up?

Finally, after more than 10 months of campaigning from more than a dozen presidential candidates, voters get to weigh in. Iowa Republicans and Democrats will caucus Monday night, and the results could at long last provide some clarity to the Republican and Democratic nominating contests — or not.

Here are five things we're watching:

This week, NPR and some member stations will be taking the temperature of the electorate in communities around the country. You can follow those stations, via Twitter, here.

The mood of the voters is one of the most important political factors in an election year. This year voters are anxious, frightened and angry.

Candidates in both parties are trying to show they get it.

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At a Manchester, N.H., watch party following Saturday's Democratic primary debate, Hillary Clinton stood side by side with the man she called her "not so secret weapon" — her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Voters are about to see much more of him, she said.

Editor's Note: Some readers might find some of the language below offensive.

This post was updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

Donald Trump has made his most outrageous statement yet in a string of beyond-the-pale utterances.

Sometimes being in the White House briefing has a "down the rabbit hole" quality to it.

Today I inadvertently started Comb-overgate with an innocent question.

When spokesman Josh Earnest comes in to the briefing room, he often brings prepared remarks on questions he has anticipated.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

At every turn, this year's presidential campaign has proved conventional wisdom wrong. The aftermath of the Paris attacks might be another example.

As soon as the attacks were over, a chorus of (establishment) Republican voices predicted that the new focus on national security and terrorism would change the dynamic of the Republican race. This was the tipping point, they declared, that would finally usher out the outsiders leading the polls — Donald Trump and Ben Carson — in favor of more serious, experienced candidates.

It's now within a year of Election Day 2016. The Republican race for the nomination is still completely unsettled, the Democratic race a little less. But hardly anything has worked out according to conventional wisdom.

With that caveat, here are five big things that (we think!) will help determine the outcome of next year's election.

1. Voter mood