Liz Halloran

Liz Halloran joined NPR in December 2008 as Washington correspondent for Digital News, taking her print journalism career into the online news world.

Halloran came to NPR from US News & World Report, where she followed politics and the 2008 presidential election. Before the political follies, Halloran covered the Supreme Court during its historic transition — from Chief Justice William Rehnquist's death, to the John Roberts and Samuel Alito confirmation battles. She also tracked the media and wrote special reports on topics ranging from the death penalty and illegal immigration, to abortion rights and the aftermath of the Amish schoolgirl murders.

Before joining the magazine, Halloran was a senior reporter in the Hartford Courant's Washington bureau. She followed Sen. Joe Lieberman on his ground-breaking vice presidential run in 2000, as the first Jewish American on a national ticket, wrote about the media and the environment and covered post-9/11 Washington. Previously, Halloran, a Minnesota native, worked for The Courant in Hartford. There, she was a member of Pulitzer Prize-winning team for spot news in 1999, and was honored by the New England Associated Press for her stories on the Kosovo refugee crisis.

She also worked for the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury, Conn., and as a cub reporter and paper delivery girl for her hometown weekly, the Jackson County Pilot.

Pages

It's All Politics
5:05 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Super Tuesday: Which Candidates Can Win Outside Their 'Comfort Zones'?

Mitt Romney narrowly won in Michigan Tuesday night. For Super Tuesday, he'll set his sights on Ohio, Massachusetts, Vermont and Virginia.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 1:56 pm

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney notched two big wins Tuesday, upping his Republican presidential delegate count and taking modest-plus momentum into the week leading up to Super Tuesday on March 6.

With the Michigan and Arizona primaries in the history books as Romney's fifth and sixth victories, we're looking ahead to Super Tuesday, when presidential contests will be held in 10 states and 413 delegates will be up for grabs.

Read more
It's All Politics
7:57 am
Tue February 28, 2012

As Michigan Heads To Polls, Romney Buoyed By Santorum Stumbles

In a final bit of campaigning before Tuesday's vote, Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, wave to his supporters during a campaign stop in Royal Oak, Mich., on Monday night.
Rebecca Cook Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 28, 2012 9:14 am

Less than a month ago, it seemed inconceivable that Mitt Romney would have to fight for his political life in his home state of Michigan.

But fast-moving economic changes, the candidate's verbal stumbles and event venue blunders, and the ascent of flamethrower social conservative Rick Santorum have left Romney sweating to eke out a win Tuesday in Michigan's Republican presidential primary, where the latest polls show a tight race.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:50 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

At CPAC, Gingrich Takes Aim At 'Republican Establishment'

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Newt Gingrich was the last presidential candidate to speak Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.

And he kept his Romney powder dry, preferring instead to attack establishment Republicans who have not embraced the Gingrich campaign. To put it mildly.

That establishment, Gingrich charged, is "managing the decay" of the party, and sees his campaign as a "mortal threat" to their insider Washington lives.

"We intend to change Washington," said the former House speaker, "not accommodate it."

Read more
It's All Politics
1:37 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

In Plea To The Right, Romney Bills Himself As 'Severely Conservative'

Hoping to inspire the conservative base that hasn't warmed to him, Mitt Romney made his case to the American Conservative Union's annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Friday.
Jim Bourg Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 10, 2012 1:49 pm

They may not be ready to accept GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's invitation to stand with him "shoulder to shoulder," but conservatives at their biggest annual gathering gave him a reception Friday that at times rose to rousing.

Tacitly acknowledging that his past positions on abortion rights and health care mandates have made him suspect with a swath of his party's base, Romney used his speech to describe his "path to conservatism" as a mix of family values, faith and his "life's work" in business.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:09 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

The GOP's 'Meh' Moment On Full Display At Conservative Confab

Enthusiasm for the candidates may have been low, but their portraits were on display at the American Conservative Union's annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Thursday.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 3:20 pm

The Republican presidential candidates won't argue their cases to thousands of conservatives gathered in Washington until Friday when Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are scheduled to speak.

(Ron Paul is skipping the event.)

But if Thursday's opening day of the American Conservative Union's annual star-studded Conservative Political Action Conference — CPAC — is any indication, they all have a lot of persuading to do.

Read more
Law
3:35 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Calif. Decision Puts Marriage Politics In Spotlight

Couple John Lewis (left) and Stuart Gaffney celebrate the gay-marriage ruling outside of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 7 in San Francisco. The pair had married during the brief time in 2008 when same-sex unions were legal in California.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The 9th Circuit Court's 2-1 decision Tuesday to strike down California's ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional could propel the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It also promises to inject marriage politics into an election year during which states from New Jersey to Minnesota to Washington will grapple with the issue of gay citizens' right to legally marry.

Read more
It's All Politics
7:01 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Why Bother With Caucuses?

Caucuses have been plagued by embarrassing problems this election season, but they're an American tradition. Here, a ballot from Nevada precinct 3726 shows a vote for former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.
David Becker Getty Images

Republican voters in Colorado and Minnesota Tuesday will engage in the truly American political invention called the caw-cawaasough.

Make that the "caucus," the oft-maligned system in which party members gather to discuss and declare their preferences for a candidate by scribbling a name on a piece of paper for hand-count by party officials.

Why maligned?

Read more
The Swing State Project
9:37 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Battered By The Bust, Nevada Voters Search For Slivers Of Hope

Las Vegas resident Jillian Batchelor, 29, voted for Obama in 2008 but says now, "I'm voting Republican all the way this time."
Becky Lettenberger NPR

The brutal recession has wracked Nevada, where soaring unemployment and foreclosure numbers tell the story of the state's misery. But its importance as a swing state in the 2012 presidential contest has only been enhanced in the four years since it went for Democrat Barack Obama.

It's All Politics
1:18 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Obama Vs. Gingrich? More Reasons GOP Fears The Matchup

Pundits say former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had a mediocre performance in the Jacksonville, Fla., debate on Thursday.
Scott Audette Reuters /Landov

It's not that the panicked Republican establishment needed more fodder for its attack on GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich as the wrong man to take on President Obama this fall.

They've managed quite nicely themselves over the past few days, piling on the pugnacious former House speaker, circa mid-1990s, in direct proportion to Gingrich's rise in the polls in Florida and nationwide.

Read more
It's All Politics
10:24 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Santorum: No Money, No Organization, No Quit

Left to right: Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney debate Thursday night in Jacksonville, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Rick Santorum may be running an anemic third in Republican presidential primary polls in Florida, but his influence in Tuesday's crucial Sunshine State contest – and perhaps beyond – continues to outpace his survey numbers.

His performance during Thursday's GOP debate in Jacksonville provided perhaps the best view yet of the former Pennsylvania senator's increasing potential to play spoiler (see: Mitt Romney) or savior (see: Mitt Romney), and to take his unlikely quest for the White House deeper into the primary season than anyone every predicted.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Obama, At Crossroads, Takes Different Route Than Clinton Chose In '96

In the final State of the Union address of his term, President Obama called for an economy "where everyone gets a fair shot."
Brendan Smialowski Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 25, 2012 2:24 pm

As the president delivered the final State of the Union address of his term before a looming re-election battle, he looked out at a sea of angry and skeptical Republicans who had fought him on budgets, government shutdowns, and whether or not to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

And what did President Bill Clinton do in 1996?

He delivered his "the era of big government is over" speech, which The Washington Post summed up this way: "Clinton Embraced GOP Themes in Setting Agenda."

Read more
It's All Politics
8:02 am
Mon January 23, 2012

Rollicking Republican Battle On For 'Swing Part Of The Swing State' Of Florida

Patriotic paraphernalia at a "Conservatives United 2012" rally on Saturday in Orlando, Fla.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Mon January 23, 2012 9:32 am

Mitt Romney is reeling. Newt Gingrich is surging. Rick Santorum is hanging on. And Ron Paul continues to zig while others zag.

So goes the rollicking but inconclusive — so far — Republican presidential contest, as it moves from small ball to big time in Florida for a Jan. 31 primary in which some 4 million state Republicans are eligible to vote.

Perspective? More Florida Republicans have already cast early ballots than all New Hampshire votes tallied for the top three finishers in that state's Jan. 10 GOP primary, about 197,000.

Read more
Presidential Race
3:00 am
Fri January 13, 2012

In Search Of An 'Anti-Romney': Guide To The Players

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, is among the evangelicals who will meet to talk about GOP alternatives to Mitt Romney.
Lee Celano Reuters /Landov

More than 150 leaders in the conservative evangelical Christian community are getting together Friday and Saturday at a private ranch west of Houston in a last-ditch effort to derail Mitt Romney's march to the Republican nomination.

The meeting, which will feature state and regional leaders as well as prominent pastors and national-profile evangelical stars, is not intended as a Romney-bashing event, says Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and a big voice among conservative evangelicals.

Read more
It's All Politics
10:43 am
Thu January 5, 2012

Young Conservatives In New Hampshire: A Conversation At The Dartmouth Review

Editors of the conservative Dartmouth Review, from left to right: Sterling Beard, 22, from Abilene, Texas, the Review's editor-in-chief; Benjamin Riley, 20, from New York City; Blake Neff, 21, from Sioux Falls, S.D.
John Winslow Poole, John W. Pool NPR

The theme of the 2012 GOP presidential contest has been dissatisfaction with the candidates, and a rollicking battle for the honor of being the anti-Mitt Romney alternative.

We were curious about what young conservatives have been thinking about the race, which moved to New Hampshire Wednesday after Iowa's decidedly non-decisive caucuses.

So NPR photographer John Poole and I, after a night at former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum's headquarters in Bedford, N.H., decided to head west to Dartmouth College in Hanover.

Read more
It's All Politics
9:46 am
Wed January 4, 2012

After Bruising Loss In Iowa, Bachmann Bows Out

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, joined by husband Marcus (left) and family and friends, announces that she will end her campaign for president in West Des Moines on Wednesday.
Chris Carlson AP

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 10:09 am

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann announced Wednesday that she is suspending her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. The conservative provocateur finished a disappointing sixth in Tuesday's caucuses in Iowa, with just 5 percent of the vote.

"Last night the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice," Bachmann said at a mid-morning news conference in West Des Moines. "So I have decided to stand aside."

Read more
It's All Politics
5:08 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Can Santorum Translate His Iowa Triumph Into N.H. Success?

Susan Carroll of Atkinson, N.H., reacts to news of a Santorum lead at a caucus-watching party at Santorum's New Hampshire campaign headquarters in Bedford. Carroll is the Santorum campaign's Tea Party liaison for the state and describes herself as the owner of a small business that offers "artistic services."
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 8:56 am

Rick Santorum's stunning finish in Iowa's Republican presidential caucuses Tuesday breathed life into his dogged campaign and had his New Hampshire supporters dreaming of a top-three spot for him in next week's Granite State primary.

But the path to a good finish in New Hampshire is not an easy one. Santorum's evangelical bona fides are bound to matter much less than in Iowa. And Mitt Romney, the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts, has consistently held wide leads in preference polls.

Read more
It's All Politics
9:59 am
Tue January 3, 2012

Still Alone In New Hampshire, Huntsman Hopes To Pull A Santorum

Huntsman may refuse to be the 'goat' of the GOP race, but he and his wife, Mary Kaye, did meet one named Izak and his owner, Bill Higgins, on Monday night outside the McConnell Community Center in Dover, N.H.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 3:45 pm

On the last day he'll have New Hampshire to himself, GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, who bypassed the Iowa caucuses, plans to travel from Pembroke to Peterborough in search of enough votes to break into the top three in next week's Granite State primary.

With his presidential opponents scrambling for last-minute support in advance of Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, Huntsman has been methodically wooing New Hampshire voters in nearly 150 events over the past few weeks.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:22 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

'Occupy' Activists Urge Like-Minded to Participate In, Not Disrupt, Iowa Caucuses

Former Democratic state legislator Ed Fallon, a vocal member of the Occupy movement, said activists should take part in the caucuses.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

In a cavernous Des Moines meeting hall just west of the state Capitol, progressive activist and writer John Nichols had a simple message for those involved in Iowa's iteration of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

"Learn to get cool with losing," Nichols told about 50 people who had come to hear advice from longtime activists, including veterans of the civil rights battle.

"Get comfortable that you absolutely will be told you can't succeed," he said, and with the notion of a long-term struggle "that may last beyond your lifetime."

Read more
It's All Politics
5:34 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Iowa Veterans For Paul Explain The Attraction

Ron Paul spoke to a packed house at the Knapp Learning Center during his "Salute to the Military" event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday.
Becky Lettenberger/NPR

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 4:25 am

A claim by Ron Paul's presidential campaign, and confirmed by the fact-check website PolitiFact, asserts that the Texas congressman has received more donations from active military personnel than the other GOP candidates combined.

That's intriguing, given that Paul is the only candidate calling for significant cuts in military (not defense, he says) funding, the closing of overseas bases, and the use of military force "very sparingly."

Read more
It's All Politics
12:02 pm
Thu December 29, 2011

Undecided In Iowa: Potential Caucus-Goers Doing Serious Work Before Tuesday

Katherine Burns (center)
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 4:25 am

As we continued our Iowa travels in the days leading up to next week's presidential caucuses here, NPR photographer Becky Lettenberger and I have been struck by the utter seriousness of the state's Republican voters.

Presidential caucus seasons past have often been marked by fun and some frivolity at campaign events: Funny T-shirts and hats, jokes and punch lines offered up by candidates, a sense of hope and anticipation.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:49 pm
Wed December 28, 2011

Lonely And Cold, Iowa 'Occupiers' Seem Ill-Equipped To Takeover Caucus

An Occupy camp at College Green Park in Iowa City, Iowa. The camp was mostly empty aside from three men.
Becky Lettenberger Becky Lettenberger/NPR

Will the Iowa Republican caucuses next Tuesday be flooded with the state's version of Occupy Wall Street activists?

The rumor has been out there for weeks, and the state's voting laws suggest it could be possible: though only registered Republicans may participate, anyone can register for the party on caucus night and vote.

Read more
It's All Politics
9:00 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Wavering In Iowa: Portraits Of Undecided Voters

Patrick Brehm
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed December 28, 2011 9:09 am

As NPR's Becky Lettenberger and I take to the road in Iowa this week, we are collecting the words and images of Iowa Republicans still uncertain who they will vote for in next Tuesday's state GOP presidential caucuses.

Here's the first look at what we saw and heard Tuesday in two cities that hug the Mississippi River on the state's eastern border, Dubuque and Davenport.

We spoke with voters after a Newt Gingrich appearance in Dubuque during a Rotary Club meeting at a local country club.

Read more
It's All Politics
5:23 am
Fri December 16, 2011

With Iowa Vote Looming, Gingrich Struggles To Stay Atop GOP Field

Republican presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a Republican presidential debate in Sioux City, Iowa, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 6:36 am

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich got front-runner treatment Thursday night in Iowa during the final GOP debate before that state's crucial Jan. 3 caucuses, taking a pounding for his years as a highly-compensated Washington influence peddler.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:00 am
Sat December 10, 2011

Why Iowa Could Be Rick Perry's 'Alamo' Moment

Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks with voter Jane High before speaking at the Scott County Republican party's Ronald Reagan Dinner on Nov. 14 in Bettendorf, Iowa.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat December 10, 2011 4:07 am

In the hours before Saturday's pivotal Republican presidential debate in Iowa, attention has been riveted on the intensifying battle between front-runners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

Waiting in the wings, with hope and a prayer — directed squarely at the state's evangelical voters — is, improbably, Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Read more
It's All Politics
8:34 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Gingrich's Proposals On Child Labor Stir Attacks, But Raise Real Issues

Newt Gingrich's proposal to put poor children to work because, he says, they're not learning the "work habit" in public housing projects has been condemned by critics as worthy of a Dickens novel.

Those who followed the GOP presidential candidate's tumultuous legislative career in Washington say Gingrich's latest foray into child welfare is not an anomaly.

As House Speaker in the mid-1990s, Gingrich proposed banning welfare benefits for children born to unmarried young women and using the funds to build orphanages for youngsters whose parents were failing them.

Read more
It's All Politics
10:10 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Give Immigration Reform A Chance, Say Nation's Most Conservative Voters

When new GOP presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich recently advocated a "humane" approach to addressing illegal immigrants in America, some conservatives questioned whether it would fatally damage the former House Speaker's campaign.

After all, Texas Gov. Rick Perry saw his bid for the GOP nomination falter in part because of his support for a program that allows children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.

Read more
It's All Politics
2:49 pm
Mon December 5, 2011

As His Past Emerges As An Issue, Front-runner Gingrich Spars And Parries

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich speaks to the media at the Union League Club following an earlier meeting with Donald Trump at Trump Tower on Dec. 5 in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 6:02 am

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich had little time to savor his weekend appearance atop the Des Moines Register's influential Iowa caucus poll before front-runner reality set in.

The former House Speaker on Monday sparred with fellow candidate Ron Paul over the relevance of businessman/reality show host/would-be debate moderator Donald Trump's opinion.

He was questioned at a New York City fundraiser about the "baggage" he brings to the race.

Read more
Herman Cain
1:44 pm
Sat December 3, 2011

Campaign Over, Cain Vows To Go With 'Plan B'

With his wife, Gloria, standing behind him, Herman Cain announces that he is suspending his run for the GOP presidential nomination, outside his campaign headquarters in Atlanta on Dec. 3.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:13 am

It wasn't supposed to end this way for Herman Cain.

His improbable run for the GOP presidential nomination should have served to burnish his CEO credentials, sell his books and enhance the fee the Baptist lay minister charges for motivational speeches and appearances.

This fall, the simplicity of Cain's 9-9-9 tax-reform plan propelled him to the top of a volatile field. Soon other candidates were rushing to introduce their own versions of a flat tax.

Read more
It's All Politics
3:41 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

If Herman Cain Quits The GOP Race, Where Will His Supporters Go?

Herman Cain leaves the Big Sky Diner on Nov. 10, 2011 in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 4:11 pm

Herman Cain's decision to reassess the status of his Republican presidential campaign in the wake of allegations he engaged in a long-term extramarital affair raises questions beyond will-he-or-won't-he drop out.

One of the big ones?

Which candidate in the still-crowded GOP field would benefit most if Cain ends his White House quest?

We put that question to Republicans in the early contest states of Iowa, which will hold its caucuses Jan. 3, and New Hampshire, where the nation's first primary will be held Jan. 10. What we heard wasn't all that surprising.

Read more
It's All Politics
4:29 pm
Mon November 28, 2011

Woman Claims 13-Year Affair With Herman Cain; He Denies It

Ginger White near Dunwoody, Ga. on Monday, Nov. 28, 2011.
Greg Bluestein AP

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 8:33 am

An Atlanta woman claimed Monday that she has had long-term affair with Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain and has the records to prove it, an accusation that delivers another blow to the former corporate CEO's campaign.

Cain vehemently denied the allegation during an interview on CNN before the woman's story aired on an Atlanta television station.

He described her as a "friend," but said their relationship was not sexual. "I have nothing to hide," he told CNN.

Read more

Pages