ken-rudin-210x250Ken Rudin is one of America’s foremost experts in politics and campaign history.  He focuses on all aspects of politics, from presidential elections — with the primaries, national conventions, debates and general election — to the races for the House, Senate and state governors. He has analyzed every congressional race in the nation since 1984.

For most of the past 20 years, Ken was the eyes and ears of National Public Radio’s political coverage in his position as NPR political editor and resident “Political Junkie.”  That was interrupted only by a three-year stint (1994-97) as managing editor of the Hotline, a daily political newsletter.

Beginning his NPR career in 1991, he worked with correspondents and reporters both at the network and member-station level.  From 2006-2013, Ken was regularly heard on Talk of the Nation in the weekly (and very popular) “Political Junkie” segment.  He also helped create the “It’s All Politics” podcast, which also ran for seven years.  In his “Political Junkie” weekly column — which first appeared on before coming to  — Ken previewed the politics of the week and explored campaign history, strategy, trivia and lore, along with his well-known ScuttleButton contest.

Ken was a key player on the NPR team that won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Silver Baton award for excellence in broadcast journalism in 2002 for coverage of campaign finance, and again in 2012, working with member stations WITF and WHYY in Pennsylvania for their coverage on the fiscal and environmental impact of the state’s natural gas drilling (fracking).

From 1983 through 1991, Ken worked at ABC News, serving first as deputy political director and later as the off-air Capitol Hill reporter covering the House.  He also wrote the “Political Graffiti” column for The Hill, a newspaper covering Capitol Hill.

A political junkie for many decades, Rudin has one of the most extensive collections of campaign buttons in the country, a collection that now surpasses 70,000 items. Rudin is a graduate of Pace University in New York.


  1. Veronica Murray-Hooffstetter October 26, 2013 at 3:45 am


    I am overjoyed you are back, not only on the air, but are bringing back your column, trivia question, and the ScuttleButton puzzle.

    This is so wonderful that you have your own website. Congratulations!

    My question: Will there be a Facebook “like” button @ this website, that would take you a potential FB site? It is a great way to be reminded of the upcoming events, etc. I saw a FB icon up in the right corner of this webpage, but it doesn’t take you to a page? Perhaps you & your staff are still working on it. In other words, will you have a FB page?

    Someone has set up a fan page on FB also named, “” – but I’d rather see a professional page to “like.” This non-professional page makes you give up your private information, and I, personally am not comfortable with signing up @ this new “fan page.”

    Thank you so much for entertaining my question.
    I wish you all the best in this new venture. Whenever I can, I try to get the word out.
    Looking forward to your kind reply.

    Best, Best Wishes,


  2. Bob Simon November 10, 2013 at 4:29 am

    I used to schedule my Wednesday mornings around your junkie broadcasts for six years. I would record some of them to play for friends….especially when the puns were more outrageous than those I use that cause my own friends to cringe. They were especially useful during the campaigns. Occasionally got the right trivia answer, but never in time to be wearing the shirt.

    Missed you while you were gone, but am happy to see you back.

    Where and when?

    Thanks, and best of luck,


  3. Joan Churchill January 3, 2014 at 12:06 am

    I continue to be perplexed why your show was taken off of NPR – I am guessing politics (how ironic!). It was my favorite podcast by far…..I live in rural Maine and can’t get NPR on a radio outside of the car, and as a runner and gardener I listen to LOTS of podcasts. Glad you are back on but I do hope they run longer in the future – I have a large garden to weed! Best of luck to you, Ken!

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