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

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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Ever have a great run of great ideas — one after another?

It is hard to overstate the importance of New Hampshire for the presidential hopes of Jeb Bush.

He entered the year as the clear frontrunner. Now, after months of unfocused answers in interviews, unimpressive performances in the three GOP debates, and a general lack of enthusiasm on the campaign trail, he's in the middle of the pack in polls and stunned to be looking up at the likes of Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

One candidate came out of Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate with a lot of questions to answer — Jeb Bush.

Supporters were disappointed by his performance and inability to stand out at a critical time for his campaign. As Bush struggles, his chances may come down to the early primary state of New Hampshire.

Bush had a big moment preplanned in that Colorado debate. It was aimed at Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., for missing so many votes in the Senate while campaigning.

There's nothing new about a big Donald Trump rally in Iowa. But what was different Tuesday was that it was Trump's first Iowa event in more than three months when he wasn't sitting atop the polls in the state.

All of the surveys of Iowa voters in the past week have put Dr. Ben Carson in the top spot. And Trump seemed perplexed by the turn of events — and let his audience know it.

"I love New Hampshire," Trump told the Sioux City, Iowa, crowd. "We've got great numbers, 38 to 12."

As Democrats gain from the nation's growing diversity — attracting solid majorities among Hispanic and African American voters — Republicans are gaining among white, working-class voters, a group that was once a Democratic stronghold.

Nowhere is this clearer than in West Virginia, where the president touched down this week to talk about drug addiction.

Updated at 3:55 pm ET.

The nation's largest public-employee union is backing Hillary Clinton for president. The board of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees voted to endorse the former senator and secretary of State on Friday.

"AFSCME members want a candidate who is committed to fixing our out-of-balance economy and raising incomes for hardworking people, who are still struggling to make ends meet," said AFSCME president Lee Saunders in a statement.

These are critical days for the presidential campaign of Jeb Bush.

The former Florida governor has been traversing Iowa this week, in effect reintroducing himself to voters, with the first-in-the-nation caucuses in that state now less than four months away.

This is not where Bush and his advisers expected to be when he got into the race early this year. Back then he was quickly labeled the front-runner — the man to beat.

No one calls Bush that anymore, with the topsy-turvy, crowded GOP field and its outsiders named Trump, Carson and Fiorina sitting atop the polls.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



So a little history. And for events of today, we have Don Gonyea here live in the studio now. Good morning.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Good morning.

The meeting between Pope Francis and President Obama at the White House continues a tradition going back nearly a century between U.S. presidents and the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

The talks are private, often personal and, always, they take place against the backdrop of the politics of the time. That was the case at the very first such meeting, at the Vatican, as Europe was recovering from World War I.

Woodrow Wilson, the growing Catholic Democrats in the U.S. and the first awkward moment between a president and pope

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose battles with labor unions in his own state made him a hero to Republicans, is now proposing huge restrictions on unions nationally as he seeks to revitalize his presidential campaign.

On Monday, Walker released an eight-page plan to take on unions, titled "My Plan to Give Power to the People, Not the Union Bosses."

He's vowing to:

  • Eliminate the National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB.

Jeb Bush likes to tell audiences that he's his own man. It's a way to put distance between himself and the two members of the Bush family who've already won the White House.

Evangelical voters are courted every presidential election by Republicans, especially in Iowa. But this year, they could have an even larger impact.

That's because a slew of Southern states are holding primaries on the same day in March of next year, just a month after Iowa votes. And one candidate is making a bold early effort to win them over — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

No Republican presidential hopeful this year has more riding on Iowa than Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

After leading in polls in Iowa most of the year, Walker is suddenly slumping. And he might have Donald Trump to blame.

It's not necessarily that the support Walker had earlier in the summer, when he was the clear front-runner in Iowa polls, has gone to the real estate mogul. Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz have seen something of a surge since the first presidential debate.

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Democratic presidential candidates played to a full house in Clear Lake, Iowa, on Friday night — in the same ballroom where in 1959 Buddy Holly played his last-ever show. At the historic Surf Ballroom, with a vintage mirror ball dangling from the ceiling, candidates offered up a version of their own greatest hits.

In her speech, Hillary Clinton took a new approach, going after those who have been attacking her over her email accounts and over her actions during the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

You might have heard of the famous butter cow — a life-sized cow made of butter that headlines every Iowa State Fair. But perhaps you didn't know that in 1952, the fair also featured butter sculptures of that year's presidential candidates Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson.

It's just another example of the symbiotic relationship between politicians and the fair — and it's only gotten deeper over the decades.

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In the summer of 1975, Teamsters President James Riddle Hoffa — Jimmy Hoffa — was already a legendary figure in both U.S. labor history and in American pop culture.

As a teenager in Detroit, he took to union organizing early on in the grocery business. He was smart and tough. With an emphasis on tough. A master strategist, he knew how to pick his targets, organize strikes and boycotts, and he rose through the Teamster ranks earning the deep loyalty of truckers and warehouse workers in a city that was becoming an industrial powerhouse.

This story is part of NPR's series Journey Home. We're going to the places presidential candidates call home and finding out what those places tell us about how they see the world.

This post was updated at 6:13 p.m. ET

When tragedies happen, like the shooting in Charleston, they usually find their way into the realm of politics eventually.

This time is no different, as Democrats and Republicans are finding very different ways of talking about what happened in South Carolina. Democrats see race and gun control as issues at the center of it. Republicans, on the other hand, largely point to mental illness and label what happened a tragic but random act.

Jeb Bush is set to announce his candidacy for president Monday. If he wins, he would be the third Bush to be president in the past 25 years. Jeb Bush has said he's his own man. Well, here are five things you should know about him.

1. Jeb Bush is not his real name

The latest name to make serious noise about a 2016 White House bid is the Republican governor of a state long been considered a key to GOP chances of winning the presidency — Ohio.

Evangelical voters are a major force in Iowa Republican politics. A force that can tip the balance in the state's marquee event: the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses.

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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.

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.