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 NPR.org.

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 U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in a 6-2 vote that domestic abusers convicted of misdemeanors can be barred from owning weapons.

The majority opinion, written by Justice Elena Kagan, concludes that misdemeanor assault convictions for domestic violence are sufficient to invoke a federal ban on firearms possession.

Okay, so what was going on in the Senate Wednesday night is not really a filibuster, in the sense we usually understand that term today. But should that mean we can't have some fun with the word filibuster?

It's one of those words that just gets people's attention. And let's face it, not that many words from congressional procedure do that.

"This is the way the world ends," mused the poet T.S. Eliot, "not with a bang but a whimper." It may be said that the world of 2016 presidential nominating contests is ending with a bit of a bang and a whimper.

Six states held primaries or caucuses on the last big Tuesday (only the District of Columbia remains to vote on June 14), and the results closed out the season with an exclamation point and a question mark — for each of the remaining three candidates.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

"This is the way the world ends," mused the poet T.S. Eliot, "not with a bang but a whimper." It may be said that the world of 2016 presidential nominating contests is ending with a bit of a bang and a whimper.

Six states held primaries or caucuses on the last big Tuesday (only the District of Columbia remains to vote on June 14), and the results closed out the season with an exclamation point and a question mark — for each of the remaining three candidates.

On the most obvious plane, it was Hillary Clinton's night. She became the first woman to be the presumptive presidential nominee of a major U.S. political party.

"We've reached a milestone," said Clinton, recalling how her mother was born on the day in 1919 when Congress approved the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It was ratified by the states the following year, granting women the right to vote.

"Tonight's victory," said Clinton, "belongs to generations of women."

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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

David Goldman/AP

One way we know we are (finally) nearing the end of this presidential nominating season is that both major parties have begun talking about big changes to the way they choose their nominees.

Both parties have been stunned by outsider candidates in this cycle. But the shock seems to be moving them in opposite directions. That may be because one party's outsider has actually won the nomination while the other's is falling short.

Some in the GOP are distressed at Donald Trump's taking over, and they want to restore more party control. The changes they contemplate might alter the sequence of voting events or limit independents' participation in the primaries.

The feelings are quite the reverse these days among Democrats. Although Hillary Clinton, the establishment favorite, seems assured of the nomination, she and other party leaders have been stung by runner-up Bernie Sanders' frequent and vociferous accusations of a "rigged system."

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.

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.

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.

John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images and Matt Rourke/AP

Everyone knew Iowa would matter — and New Hampshire, too. The other February contests got a lot of attention, as did Super Tuesday and the mega-states like New York. And, yes, late in the season, you heard people saying, it might all come down to California.

But when did anyone know to get excited about Indiana?

It comes late in the season, with the great majority of states voting sooner and allocating the great majority of delegates, so no one seemed to give a hoot about the Hoosier State — the one and only primary on May 3.

But it has come down to this. The months of campaigning and the millions of dollars and TV hours have brought the contest to the doorstep of the Midwest. With its mix of farmland and once-mighty industrial base, Indiana looks like the last stand for die-hards in both the stop-Trump forces of the Republican Party and the populist revolt on the left of the Democratic Party.

That is because the last two weeks of events in April have combined to put front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton so far ahead in their respective parties that only the most extraordinary events could prevent their nominations.

Everyone knew Iowa would matter — and New Hampshire, too. The other February contests got a lot of attention, as did Super Tuesday and the mega-states like New York. And, yes, late in the season, you heard people saying, it might all come down to California.

But when did anyone know to get excited about Indiana?

It comes late in the season, with the great majority of states voting sooner and allocating the great majority of delegates, so no one seemed to give a hoot about the Hoosier State — the one and only primary on May 3.

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