Don Gonyea

Although Don Gonyea is a NPR National Political Correspondent based in Washington, D.C., he spends much of his time traveling throughout the United States covering campaigns, elections, and the political climate throughout the country. His reports can be heard on all NPR programs and at NPR.org.

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Gonyea chronicled the controversial election and the ensuing legal recount battles in the courts. At the same time George W. Bush moved into the White House in 2001, Gonyea started as NPR's White House Correspondent. He was at the White House on the morning of September 11, 2001, providing live reports following the evacuation of the building.

As White House correspondent, Gonyea covered the Bush administration's prosecution of wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq and during the 2004 campaign he traveled with President Bush and Democratic nominee John Kerry. In November 2006, Gonyea co-anchored NPR's coverage of historic elections when Democrats captured control of both houses of the US Congress. In 2008, Gonyea was the lead reporter covering the entire Obama presidential campaign for NPR, from the Iowa caucuses to victory night in Chicago. He was also there when candidate Obama visited the Middle East and Europe. He continued covering the White House and President Barack Obama until spring 2010, when he moved into his current position.

Gonyea has filed stories from around the globe, including Moscow, Beijing, London, Islamabad, Doha, Budapest, Seoul, San Salvador, and Hanoi. He attended President Bush's first ever meeting with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Slovenia in 2001, and subsequent, at times testy meetings between the two leaders in St. Petersburg, Shanghai and Bratislava. He also covered Mr.Obama's first trip overseas as president.

In 1986, Gonyea got his start at NPR reporting from Detroit on labor unions and the automobile industry. He spent countless hours on picket lines and in union halls covering strikes, including numerous lengthy work stoppages at GM in the late 1990s. Gonyea also reported on the development of alternative fuel and hybrid-powered automobiles, Dr. Jack Kevorkian's assisted-suicide crusade, and the 1999 closing of Detroit's classic Tiger Stadium — the ballpark of his youth.

Over the years Gonyea has contributed to PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, the BBC, CBC, AP Radio, and the Columbia Journalism Review. He periodically teaches college journalism courses.

Gonyea has won numerous national and state awards for his reporting. He was part of the team that earned NPR a 2000 George Foster Peabody Award for the All Things Considered series "Lost & Found Sound."

A native of Monroe, Michigan, Gonyea is an honors graduate of Michigan State University.

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Politics
8:32 am
Sun May 17, 2015

GOP Presidential Race Revs Its Motors At Iowa Dinner

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 7:14 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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It's All Politics
12:14 am
Sun May 10, 2015

Political Postcard: Still Love For Bill Clinton In A Place Called Hope

Former President Bill Clinton campaigns before the 2014 elections for former Sen. Mark Pryor, center, and Mike Ross, right, the Democratic candidate for governor.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 10, 2015 5:37 pm

Mike Huckabee kicked off his second run for the White House this week in Arkansas, a state where he has deep roots that he shares with another famous politician — Bill Clinton.

Huckabee and Clinton were both governors of the Southern state for more than a decade, and they also both hail from the same hometown — Hope.

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It's All Politics
5:03 am
Wed May 6, 2015

Huckabee Hopes Evangelical Voters Are Tying Yellow Ribbons For Him

When Mike Huckabee was governor of Arkansas, he tied a yellow ribbon around a bust of President Clinton at the Governor's Mansion. He said he would remove the ribbon when the federal government allows ARKids First to continue enrolling Medicaid-eligible applicants into the program.
Chris Johnson AP

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 8:37 am

When Mike Huckabee ran for president eight years ago, he was a new face on the national scene, a fresh upstart former governor of Arkansas and a one-time Baptist preacher, who quickly became a favorite among evangelical voters.

He had an ease on the campaign trail, an openness with the media, and a quirkiness that made him seem like a breath of fresh air.

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Sports
4:23 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Days After Riots, Baltimore Orioles Played With No Fans Present

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 7:05 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
6:24 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Union Head Presses Candidates, Clinton On Trade

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: "Candidates can't hedge their bets any longer, and expect workers to rush to the polls in excitement."
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 3:43 pm

Don't expect labor support to get fired up for candidates who hedge their bets. That was the message from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka for 2016 presidential candidates. Translation: Hillary Clinton.

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It's All Politics
5:19 am
Fri April 24, 2015

As Governors Eye The White House, Home Takes A Back Seat

Gov. Scott Walker arrives at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit in New Hampshire. Walker has long been a polarizing figure due to his epic battles with public employee unions, but a new poll this week shows a new and sizable drop in his approval rating.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 12:27 pm

The list of official and likely candidates for president in 2016 includes some prominent Republicans who are currently governors. Three of them — Scott Walker, Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal — all tout executive experience as qualification for the White House. They also share something else — slumping poll numbers back home.

They've been working to make themselves familiar and friendly faces to the party faithful in early voting states, including at a big event hosted last week by the New Hampshire GOP.

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It's All Politics
3:02 am
Mon March 16, 2015

Spring Training Has Begun — For Baseball, And For Candidates

At this stage in the election cycle, just like in baseball's spring training, fans love to see a new phenom catch fire. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, sporting a Milwaukee Brewers jersey in 2013, seems to be the rookie to watch in the 2016 presidential race so far.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 12:21 pm

Baseball fans endure the long winter in part because they know, come March, the game will again come alive. They can't wait for their radio, TV, computer screen or smartphone to come alive with scenes from warm climates featuring men in crisp uniforms pitching and catching.

Major League Baseball's spring training is underway, but at this stage, wins and losses aren't really important. It's all about fundamentals: getting ready for the regular season and hopefully the playoffs.

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Politics
1:32 pm
Fri March 6, 2015

Obama Returns To Selma For 50th Anniversary Of Historic March

Barack Obama as a presidential candidate in Selma, Ala., in 2007 re-creating a voting rights march that was violently repressed by state troopers in 1965.
Roberto Schmidt AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 7:43 pm

It's the kind of moment rich with history — a moment to reflect on a searing date in the civil rights struggle, and to do so with the nation's first African-American president taking center stage at the memorial ceremonies. It's a time and place to reflect on where we have been and where we have come as a nation. But also to ponder the future for Barack Obama and whether the discussion of race and inequality will become major themes of his post-presidency, which begins in less than two years.

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Politics
8:04 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Conservatives Heckle Jeb Bush On Education, Immigration

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 10:40 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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It's All Politics
12:38 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

What We're Watching At The Conservative Political Action Conference

Ben Carson talks with media after his CPAC speech.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:48 pm

This week's Conservative Political Action Conference has drawn a huge crowd of activists and politicos, per usual — but it's also a prime spot for 2016 presidential hopefuls. The GOP's potential candidates — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Gov. Scott Walker, Gov. Bobby Jindal — are rolling on and off the main stage, hoping to fire up the conservative audience. And how well they do with this crowd — an important part of their base — may say a lot about 2016. Here are five things I'll be watching for at CPAC:

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Politics
4:22 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

Latest Must-Go Presidential Campaign Stop: London

Britain's Finance Minister George Osborne greets New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie outside 11 Downing Street in London. Christie had a bumpy trip after he said parents should "have some measure of choice" when it comes to vaccinating their children.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 7:35 pm

The road to the White House begins with voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and in a handful of other states that hold primaries and caucuses early that winnow the field of candidates.

But those aren't the only stops on a would-be president's itinerary these days. There are also, increasingly, early trips outside the U.S. — to a city that's become a major draw for potential candidates: London.

Londoners welcome a chance for a sneak peek at possible presidents who are eager to be seen on the world stage.

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Television
4:35 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Jon Stewart Changed How Young People View The News, Politics

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 6:27 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Politics
4:37 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Jeb Bush Continues To Test Campaign Waters In Detroit

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the Detroit Economic Club Wednesday.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 2:45 pm

For his first major speech since confirming that he's exploring a presidential run, Jeb Bush chose an interesting location: Detroit.

Speaking to the city's Economic Club, an establishment institution in the Motor City for more than eight decades, he praised the city's emergence from bankruptcy.

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Politics
4:42 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Gov. Scott Walker Eyes 2016, But Can He Get Past Labor's Loathing?

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker spoke about taking on public employee unions, and the protests that followed, at a recent candidates forum in Iowa. He said what people may not know is that protesters — as many as 1,000 of them — showed up outside his home while his family was there. He says he also received death threats.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 6:30 pm

There is not a lot of love between the U.S. labor movement and those on the long list of potential 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls. But there is one name among the GOP prospects that labor truly despises — and fears. He is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who weakened unions in his own state and appears ready to make his battles with labor a centerpiece of a bid for the White House.

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It's All Politics
4:23 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Iowa Freedom Summit Looks Something Like 2016 Is Underway

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, seen here at the inauguration of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, will attend the Iowa Freedom Summit.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 9:00 am

Take a nearly century-old theater in downtown Des Moines. Fill it to capacity — that's 1,200 audience members and another 200 credentialed media — bring in a lineup that includes almost 10 would-be, might-be, could-be Republican presidential hopefuls, and it's looking like the 2016 campaign is officially underway.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa, a conservative from the northwest corner of the state, is hosting the Iowa Freedom Summit Saturday along with Citizens United.

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Politics
4:09 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Obama Can Expect An Unfriendly Audience — But There's A History Here

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Politics
8:12 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Levin, Harkin, Coburn Among Senators Bidding Adieu

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 2:21 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Politics
4:54 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Representatives Laud A Departing Dean, 59-Year Veteran John Dingell

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:23 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

It's All Politics
5:16 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Congress Says Goodbye To Its Last World War II Vets

Rep. John Dingell (from left), D-Mich., Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., Rep. Ralph Regula, R- Ohio, Rep. Ralph Hall, D-Texas, Rep. Cass Ballenger, R-N.C., and Rep. Amo Houghton, R-N.Y., stand at a House ceremony honoring World War II veterans in 2004.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 6:47 pm

The World War II era is about to officially draw to a close in the United States Congress. This comes after seven full decades during which there was always a veteran of that war in the legislative body.

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Politics
4:30 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Is The Election Over Yet?

The Republican candidate for Arizona's 2nd Congressional District, Martha McSally, speaks at a news conference on Nov. 5, the morning after the election. McSally's race against Democrat Ron Barber is so close it triggered a recount.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 10:31 am

The election is over, right? Republicans gained control of the U.S. Senate and padded their majority in the House.

So the big drama of the campaign may have subsided, but there is still a handful of congressional contests up in the air.

There are runoff elections scheduled. A couple of races that are still too close to call. And at least one official recount coming.

U.S. Senate Races

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Politics
4:42 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Congress' Newest Members Come To Washington

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
4:33 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Getting Out The Vote A More Challenging Task In The Midterms

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 6:23 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Politics
6:45 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

The Devastating History Of Midterm Elections

U.S. President Ronald Reagan quiets a cheering crowd at a Republican rally in November 1986.
Douglas C. Pizac AP

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 7:23 pm

History tells us that midterm elections are bad — sometimes very bad — for the party that controls the White House. President Obama and the Democrats are pushing for voter turnout in the final days before next Tuesday's midterm election. But they are also bracing for what could be a rough night of ballot counting.

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Politics
5:06 am
Tue September 30, 2014

In Michigan, A Low-Key Campaign For A High-Stakes Senate Seat

Terri Lynn Land walks in the Labor Day Parade in Romeo, Mich., on Sept. 1. Land has made some public appearances like this one but overall is running a low-key race in the state.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 2:33 pm

Republicans see a chance for a takeover of the Senate this November, and they are hoping the path to victory leads through Michigan. That's where six-term Democratic Sen. Carl Levin is retiring.

Even though Democrats dominate the state in the presidential elections, the GOP does much better in midterms when voter turnout is lower.

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It's All Politics
3:51 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Will Bridge Scandal Jam Gov. Christie's Road Show?

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie greets supporters at a campaign event for Scott Brown (center left) in Salem, N.H.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 6:49 pm

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was in New Hampshire on Wednesday, technically on 2014 election business. But he was also there to make an impression for 2016. It seems every time you turn around in the early primary states, you bump into another potential — let's say likely — candidate for president. Count Christie in the pack.

All of this as he's been dealing with fallout from the "Bridgegate" scandal involving massive traffic jams created by politically motivated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey.

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It's All Politics
8:08 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Hillary Clinton Keeps Iowa Crowd Guessing About Her Presidential Plans

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton and U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin work the grill during Harkin's annual fundraising steak fry in Indianola, Iowa, on Sunday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 5:10 pm

Hillary Clinton, who has a huge lead in many early presidential polls, returned to Iowa on Sunday. The woman who says she has not yet decided on a 2016 presidential run appeared along with former President Bill Clinton in a state she has not visited since she lost the 2008 Iowa caucuses to Barack Obama.

Her speech at the annual steak fry hosted by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, a must-attend event for state Democratic activists, revealed little about her intentions — but also did nothing to dampen the widespread belief that she will indeed run.

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Politics
5:17 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

A Promise Fulfilled Upends Kansas Governor's Race

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback (left) listens while his Democratic challenger Paul Davis answers a question during their first debate at the Kansas State Fair.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 9:00 am

Kansas has become such a reliably red state in presidential elections that when other election years roll around, the results still seem a foregone conclusion. But the governor's mansion has switched parties often in the past 60 years, and Democrats may take it back this November.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is running for re-election, and for months now, polls have shown him consistently running well behind his Democratic challenger.

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Politics
5:14 am
Mon August 18, 2014

An Unprecedented Transfer Of Power Marked Ford's Presidency

President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford, with Jack and Susan Ford at their Alexandra, Va. home on August 12, 1974. The Ford family lived there for ten days until the executive mansion was ready.
David Hume Kennerly Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 8:11 am

Forty years ago, America was getting to know a new president: Gerald Ford. He took office after scandal forced the resignation of Richard Nixon, famously declaring: "My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over."

Taking on the presidency meant a transfer of power unlike any the country had ever seen. Ford often said he had never aspired to the White House. But there he was, in the summer of 1974.

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History
4:09 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Forget Tea Pot Dome: Harding's Love Letters Make For A New Steamy Scandal

A letter from Warren G. Harding to his lover, Carrie Fulton Phillips, dated Jan. 24, 1916.
Don Gonyea NPR

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 7:50 pm

President Warren G. Harding presided over Prohibition, died before completing his first term, and is consistently ranked by historians and the public as one of the worst U.S. presidents.

But suddenly he's getting a lot of attention, thanks to a cache of steamy love letters he wrote to a mistress over 15 years. Sealed for a half-century, today the Library of Congress made the entire collection available to the public.

James Hutson, chief archivist of the manuscript division at the library, pulled a box of the letters from the collection this morning.

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Politics
5:25 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Meet The New Stars Of Campaign Ads: Mom And Dad

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., talks with her father, former New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu, on Feb. 1. The two appear together in recent television ads for her re-election campaign.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 7:14 pm

It's the summer of a campaign year and once again the airwaves, the Internet, and likely your own Facebook and other social media feeds are full of political ads.

In the primaries, we've already seen ads featuring cartoon turtles, gator wrestling, lots of dogs, horses and, of course, guns — propped against pickup trucks or resting over shoulders.

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