Ron Elving

Ron Elving is Senior Editor and Correspondent on the Washington Desk for NPR News, where he is frequently heard as a news analyst and writes regularly for

He was previously the political editor for USA Today and for Congressional Quarterly. He has been a Distinguished Visiting Professional in Residence at American University, where he is now an adjunct professor. In this role, Elving received American University's 2016 University Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching in an Adjunct Appointment. He has also taught at George Mason and Georgetown University.

He has been published by the Brookings Institution and the American Political Science Association. He has contributed chapters on Obama and the media and on the media role in Congress to the academic studies Obama in Office 2011, and Rivals for Power, 2013. Ron's earlier book, Conflict and Compromise: How Congress Makes the Law, was published by Simon & Schuster and is also a Touchstone paperback.

During his tenure as the manager of NPR's Washington coverage, NPR reporters were awarded every major recognition available in radio journalism, including the Dirksen Award for Congressional Reporting and the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

In 2008, the American Political Science Association awarded NPR the Carey McWilliams Award "in recognition of a major contribution to the understanding of political science."

Ron came to Washington in 1984 as a Congressional Fellow with the American Political Science Association and worked for two years as a staff member in the House and Senate. Previously, he had been state capital bureau chief for The Milwaukee Journal.

He received his bachelor's degree from Stanford University and master's degrees from the University of Chicago and the University of California – Berkeley.

The legendary Route 66 wound its way from middle America to Southern California, a ribbon of aspiration ending on a pier reaching out into the Pacific from the coastal town of Santa Monica.

That pier still exists, a symbol of America's hopeful journey west and a touchstone for politicians such as Bernie Sanders, who brought his grandchildren there on Sunday.

Whatever happens Tuesday in California and the other states still voting, Sanders had a marvelous time on the last weekend when he could sell his dream of being the Democratic nominee for president.

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The aging screen siren in Sunset Boulevard flares up in anger when someone tells her she "used to be big."

"I'm still big," she fires back, "it's the pictures that got small."

It's been a bit like that for the California primary (which, this year, will be held June 7). Once the grand dame in the nominating season finale, California hasn't basked in the national nominating spotlight for decades.

For some weeks now, as Bernie Sanders has extended his remarkable and improbable run as a presidential candidate, people have been asking: "What does Bernie want?"

That question is a distant echo of "What does Jesse want?" a relic of the 1988 runner-up candidacy of Jesse Jackson, another "outsider" challenger with a dedicated hardcore following. But more about Jackson in a moment.

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If you've ever played three-dimensional chess, you have some notion of what Paul Ryan is dealing with in his political game with Donald Trump.

Except that Ryan's dilemma has more than just three dimensions.

On the first level, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is the highest federal officeholder in the Republican Party. In this role, he is slated to be the chairman of the party's national convention in July. And in both roles, it is presumed he will back the party's nominee for president.

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Donald Trump, the man who would not run, could not be taken seriously and could not win, is the apparent nominee of the Republican Party.

The office in question is the presidency of the United States.

How many times must it be over before it's really over?

This time, the endless 2016 presidential primary looks truly over, so long as you're a Republican.

The Republican Party will not name its nominee until July in Cleveland, but the last suspense went out of the contest Tuesday night in Indiana with Donald J. Trump's latest romp over his last serious competitor.

Ted Cruz has taken pictures with his vice presidential pick, their arms raised in the iconic V for victory pose. Bernie Sanders has talked about his platform, and John Kasich held a news conference to review plans for upcoming primaries and the convention in Cleveland.

What's going on here? Don't these guys know they're losing?

Front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are nearing the numbers of delegates each needs for a first-ballot victory at their respective conventions. Indiana's primary this week could make this all but inevitable.