Brian Naylor

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk.

In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies, including transportation and homeland security.

With more than 30 years of experience at NPR, Naylor has served as National Desk correspondent, White House correspondent, congressional correspondent, foreign correspondent and newscaster during All Things Considered. He has filled in as host on many NPR programs, including Morning Edition, Weekend Edition and Talk of the Nation.

During his NPR career, Naylor has covered many of the major world events, including political conventions, the Olympics, the White House, Congress and the mid-Atlantic region. Naylor reported from Tokyo in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, from New Orleans following the BP oil spill, and from West Virginia after the deadly explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine.

While covering the U.S. Congress in the mid-1990s, Naylor's reporting contributed to NPR's 1996 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Journalism award for political reporting.

Before coming to NPR in 1982, Naylor worked at NPR Member Station WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, and at a commercial radio station in Maine.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maine.

Four years ago in Denver, Artur Davis took the podium at the Democratic National Convention to speak up for Barack Obama.

"I am honored to second the nomination of the man whose victory tonight takes us closer to becoming what we know America can be," he said.

But now, as President Obama seeks re-election, Davis is on the list of scheduled speakers for the Republican National Convention.

The former Democratic congressman from Alabama, who tried and failed to become the state's first black governor, is now a Republican resident of Virginia.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, has staked out a reputation in Congress as a fiscal conservative. He has spoken out against President Obama's efforts to jump-start the economy with the stimulus law and, after a conversion a few years ago, now opposes earmarks. But when it comes to helping out his district in southern Wisconsin, Ryan's principles have been flexible.

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan stopped off in Ryan's home state of Wisconsin Sunday. Ryan has represented Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District for 14 years. In that time, he's gained national attention for proposing sweeping changes to the way government works while also watching out for his constituents.

U.S. Representative Todd Akin pulled an upset victory on Tuesday in the Missouri GOP primary. His win may have given incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill her best shot at re-election for a highly contested seat. Akin is a six-term House member from the St. Louis suburbs, and known as an ultra-conservative. He came from behind to beat a businessman who spent more than $7 million of his own money and a former state treasurer backed by Sarah Palin.

Job creation in July was better than in the previous months and better than expected. But Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney focused on the still-high unemployment rate in responding to the report today. President Obama said the report was a sign of progress in the economy.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

With his much-publicized foreign trip behind him, Mitt Romney traveled yesterday to the swing state of Colorado. He huddled with Republican governors who he praised on him in Aspen, where he also held a fundraiser. The Republican candidate began his trip at a rally in the Denver suburb of Golden, which is where NPR's Brian Naylor begins his report.

Republicans hope to win control of the U.S. Senate from Democrats in November, and one seat they have high hopes for is in Missouri.

Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill is facing a tough re-election fight. Outside conservative groups have already been running ads against her. On Tuesday, Republicans will select their candidate for the fall.

Meet The Candidates

In Neosho, Mo., on the edge of the Ozarks, summertime in an election year can only mean one thing: the Newton County Republican Party's watermelon fest.

(UPDATED July 26) The ad described in the post below was pulled off of YouTube at the request of the International Olympic Committee, citing copyright violation, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

As he shadowed President Obama's bus tour in Pennsylvania early this month, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty gave a pretty good impression of a man auditioning for a job.

There was Pawlenty as attack dog, one of the traditional roles of a running mate.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney sat for a hastily arranged flurry of TV interviews Friday, strongly denying he had any role in running Bain Capital at a time when, according to reports, the company invested in firms that outsourced jobs overseas.

He also called for an apology from President Obama for statements by his campaign that Romney said were beneath the dignity of the presidency.

Along with the highlights, the trade rumors and news of misbehaving athletes, viewers of ESPN's SportsCenter are about to get a bigger dose of politics.

The sports giant says it will sell commercial time to candidates in local markets now instead of just nationally. Executives are selling it as a good fit for politicians.

This summer's Democratic National Convention has already gotten shorter, shrinking from the traditional four-day extravaganza to three days. Now it appears the attendance for the event is shrinking, too.

At least a dozen Democrats say they won't be able to make it to Charlotte, N.C., when the convention begins Sept. 4. It's no coincidence that all are facing tough election campaigns in places where President Obama's popularity lags.

Voters in southeastern Arizona go to the polls Tuesday in a special election to fill the rest of the congressional term of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Giffords, a Democrat, resigned in January, a year after she was critically wounded in a shooting rampage. Running to fill the remaining six months of her term are her former aide, Ron Barber, and Republican Jesse Kelly, a businessman and Iraq War veteran.

The special election has echoes of the 2010 congressional campaign in the Tucson-based 8th Congressional District.

Republicans need a net pickup of four seats to win control of the U.S. Senate this November. One opportunity they see is in North Dakota, where longtime Democratic incumbent Kent Conrad has decided not to run for a sixth term.

Republican Rep. Rick Berg is expected to win the GOP nomination in next Tuesday's primary. If he does, he'll face Democrat Heidi Heitkamp.

Republican voters in Nebraska on Tuesday defied the expectations of pundits and the intentions of outside groups, nominating a heretofore little-known rancher and state lawmaker to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by incumbent Democrat Ben Nelson.

Deb Fischer, 61, rode a last-minute surge in support to defeat the establishment-favored candidate, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning. In the November general election, she will face a former governor and former senator — Bob Kerrey — who easily won the Democratic nomination.

Republicans hope to wrest control of the U.S. Senate in November from the majority Democrats, who have twice as many seats to defend this year. One state where the GOP has high hopes is Nebraska, where two-term incumbent Ben Nelson, a Democrat, is retiring. Voters from both parties will select their nominees Tuesday, and the Republican winner is likely to face a familiar face: former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey.

As the presidential campaigns refocus on November, they're zeroing in on digital domains. In fact, the Obama campaign has spent six times as much money advertising online as it has on TV so far, though that's certain to change.

And Republicans are fighting back with a new Facebook app called the "Social Victory Center." (You have to be a Facebook user to access the site.)

Newt Gingrich made it official on Wednesday — he's suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

Government regulators take up a rule with wide political implications Friday. The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote on a proposal requiring TV stations to post online information about the campaign ads they air.

Stations are already compelled to keep those records in public files. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski says it's time to make that information available on the Internet. But TV stations are resisting.

To get elected in southwestern Pennsylvania as a Democrat, it helps to be a conservative one. And because of congressional reapportionment, two conservative Democratic incumbents are facing off for a single seat in their party's primary later this month.

Rep. Jason Altmire and Rep. Mark Critz, who are vying for the state's 12th District seat, each oppose abortion rights and favor gun rights. Their race on April 24 may come down to the few issues that do distinguish the two congressmen.

There has been one constant throughout the GOP campaign — Mitt Romney and the superPAC that supports him have vastly outspent his rivals.

With 10 states holding Republican primaries or caucuses on March 6 — Super Tuesday — a lot of money is being spent on TV ads. The superPACs supporting the remaining GOP candidates have doled out some $12 million for ads in those states.

Leading the way is Restore Our Future, the superPAC that backs former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. According to Federal Election Commission numbers, Restore Our Future has spent $6.9 million on the Super Tuesday states.

The statistics are pretty grim — on average 300 people a year die after being hit by cars backing up, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Half of them are children younger than 5.

Newt Gingrich served as speaker of the House of Representatives for four turbulent and productive years.

From 1995 through 1998, Congress forced a government shutdown, overhauled the welfare system, balanced the budget for the first time in decades and impeached a president for the second time in history.

Gingrich was in the middle of those debates, fiery in his rhetoric, yet willing to compromise and work with a Democratic president.

The 104th Congress

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