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 NPR.org.

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.

Pages

10:01pm

Wed November 30, 2011
Around the Nation

Occupy Protesters Consider Political Future

Occupy Wall Street protestors have been removed by police from public spaces in Los Angeles and Philadelphia this week. Some cities still have active 24-hour protests in place, though earlier this month the original Occupy encampment — on Wall Street — was also shut down.

Now activists in New York and elsewhere are talking about the movement's next phase, including the degree to which Occupy activists get involved in the 2012 election.

Read more

5:51am

Sun November 20, 2011
Politics

GOP Hopefuls Open Up In Bid For Christian Vote

Originally published on Sun November 20, 2011 11:51 am

Republican presidential candidates Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former CEO of Godfather's Pizza Herman Cain talk after a forum sponsored by The Family Leader Saturday. Both men let their emotions show during the roundtable.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Six Republican presidential hopefuls gathered in Des Moines, Iowa, Saturday, and each made a pitch for the state's very important Christian conservative vote.

The event was not a debate, but a roundtable discussion. The candidates sat side-by-side at what was described as a Thanksgiving table, complete with pumpkins and autumn leaves. Not present at the table was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who chose not to attend.

Read more

2:00am

Fri November 11, 2011
Politics

Romney Campaigns In Michigan Against Car Bailout

Michigan is expected to be a battleground in next year's presidential election. The state has a double-digit jobless rate but also has an auto industry that's being revived after getting federal help in 2009. President Obama points to that as a success story. But Republican candidates maintain the bailout was a bad idea. Among them, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney — a Michigan native whose father once ran a car company.

2:00am

Thu November 10, 2011
Politics

Perry Stumbles As GOP Hopefuls Debate Economy

Presidential hopefuls and voters alike sometimes get upset about so-called gotcha questions from reporters that seem designed to embarrass contenders. But Wednesday night's Republican debate outside Detroit demonstrated how some candidates have done a perfectly good job of "getting" themselves.

The debate had some dramatic moments — including one excruciating moment that Texas Gov. Rick Perry would probably like to forget. The comments focused on the economy and jobs, but there were also questions about the sexual harassment allegations against front-runner Herman Cain.

Read more

2:00am

Tue November 8, 2011
Politics

Tea Party Looks To Impact Presidential Election

Republican presidential candidates (from left) Jon Huntsman, Herman Cain, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum prepare to debate during the event sponsored by CNN and the Tea Party Express at the Florida state fairgrounds on Sept. 12 in Tampa.
Win McNamee Getty Images

It was one year ago that the Tea Party movement helped Republicans take control of the U.S. House of Representatives. With the presidential election a year away, the movement finds itself searching for ways to have the same kind of impact this time around.

The Tea Party celebrated on election night last year with candidates like Rand Paul, who captured a Senate seat in Kentucky.

"Tonight there's a Tea Party tidal wave, and we're sending a message to them," Paul said in his victory speech.

Read more

1:41pm

Fri November 4, 2011
Generational Politics: Silents to Millennials

Baby Boomers Remain Skeptical Of The Establishment

The baby boomers were born in the two decades after World War II and known for their anti-establishment liberalism in the 1960s. But their beginnings have not made them a predictable Democratic voting block. In 2008, boomers narrowly backed Barack Obama, but they swung over to Republicans in 2010.

Read more

9:04pm

Wed October 26, 2011
Election 2012

From Romney, Perry, Mixed Campaign Messages

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 6:25 am

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks to a group of supporters during a visit Tuesday to a GOP phone bank in Terrace Park, Ohio.

Al Behrman AP

It's been a week of mixed messaging from two of the campaigns on the presidential trail: that of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and current Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Romney revived accusations that he's a flip-flopper when he waded into a battle over a ballot proposal in Ohio. Perry created his own distraction by revisiting questions about President Obama's place of birth.

Read more

5:37am

Sun October 23, 2011
Election 2012

No 'Perfect Candidate' Yet For Iowa Conservatives

Originally published on Sun October 23, 2011 2:30 pm

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition forum on Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa. Six GOP presidential candidates attended the banquet, seeking an edge in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucus.

Scott Olson Getty Images

Four years ago in the Iowa caucuses, evangelical voters rallied behind former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who won an upset victory and shook up the Republican field in the process.

With the 2012 Iowa caucuses just over 10 weeks away, conservative Christian Republican voters in Iowa are still searching for a presidential candidate. Saturday night they sized up six GOP hopefuls at a banquet in Des Moines, sponsored by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Read more

1:30pm

Thu October 20, 2011
Mitt Romney

In Iowa, Mitt Romney Makes His Presence Known

Mitt Romney, shown here at the Iowa State Fair in August, was back in the state on Thursday — his first visit since summer. At one point during his town hall on Thursday, he was asked why he's spent so little time in the state.

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Mitt Romney's current run for the White House has not included a big presence in the first state that will actually vote: Iowa, which holds its caucuses on Jan. 3.

He failed to meet expectations at the Iowa caucuses in 2008. So for 2012, his campaign has focused instead on New Hampshire as the key to a series of primary victories that, they believe, will result in the former Massachusetts governor winning the GOP nomination.

Read more

5:46am

Sun October 9, 2011
Politics

Values Voters Lukewarm, But Romney Presses On

Originally published on Sun October 16, 2011 8:50 am

6:18am

Sat October 8, 2011
Politics

Values Voters Given Choice: Perry Or Romney's 'Cult'

Originally published on Sat October 8, 2011 10:55 am

Five presidential candidates appeared at the opening day of the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Friday, but the speech getting the most attention was one by a pastor from Dallas who introduced Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Every year in Washington, social conservatives from across the country gather for the summit, an event sponsored by the Family Research Council. In presidential years, the summit is a must-stop for GOP candidates.

Read more

10:01pm

Thu October 6, 2011
Rick Perry

For Rick Perry, A Restless Life On The Farm

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:21 am

Rick Perry's parents still live on Farm Market Road 618.

Don Gonyea NPR

Second in a series

Read more

12:49am

Tue October 4, 2011
Politics

Activists Press Obama To Renew Progressive Stand

Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 7:52 am

Progressive activists played a big role in helping President Obama get elected. But in the years since, the big story of political activism has been the conservative Tea Party movement.

Hoping to reverse that trend, 2,000 people have registered for the annual "Take Back the American Dream Conference" this week in Washington, D.C. That's more than double the number at the 2010 event.

Shamako Noble, 31, of San Jose, Calif., comes every year and says he has learned that work can't stop, even after the election is over.

Read more

3:22pm

Mon September 19, 2011
Presidential Race

Will Tough Talk On Immigration Repel Latino Voters?

Originally published on Mon September 19, 2011 4:56 pm

Republican presidential candidates (from left) Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry cover their hearts during the playing of the national anthem before a Republican presidential debate on Sept. 12.
Chris O'Meara AP

Wherever he goes, GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry proudly waves the flag of conservatism, often introducing himself with, "I simply want to get America working again and make Washington, D.C., as inconsequential in your life as I can."

But the Texas governor, a favorite of conservatives overall, is taking criticism for being too moderate when it comes to immigration. The reason: In 2001, his first full year in office, he signed legislation that grants in-state tuition rates at Texas colleges and universities to some illegal immigrants.

Read more

2:00am

Tue September 13, 2011
Election 2012

7 GOP Presidential Candidates Gang Up Against Perry

Eight Republican presidential candidates gathered Monday night in Tampa, Fla., for a debate sponsored by CNN and the Tea Party Express. The event marked the first time The Tea Party Express has been an official sponsor of a presidential debate. Texas Governor Rick Perry was the center of attention.

2:00am

Mon September 12, 2011
Politics

How Sept. 11 Attacks United, Then Divided Politicians

Originally published on Mon September 12, 2011 7:08 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, host:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. Renee Montagne is on assignment in Afghanistan. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And I'm Steve Inskeep.

If there was ever a day to set aside politics, it might have been yesterday, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

GREENE: At a memorial service in New York yesterday morning, President Obama read aloud from the Bible. Former President Bush joined him to read a letter by Abraham Lincoln.

Read more

1:00pm

Tue August 16, 2011
Politics

Mixed Feelings Abound As Obama Visits Iowa

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 10:38 am

President Obama listens to questions during a Monday town hall meeting in Decorah, Iowa.
Carolyn Kaster AP

As President Obama travels on a three-day, three-state Midwestern bus tour to talk about the economy and jobs, one of the places he has visited is the city of Decorah in northeast Iowa.

The tiny college town — whose economy is doing considerably better than the nation as a whole — is friendly territory for the president. Obama carried the county by a wide margin in 2008.

Among voters now, you'll find plenty of loyalists — but also plenty of frustration.

Read more

6:00am

Sat August 13, 2011
Election 2012

Iowa Straw Poll Offers First Sip Of 2012

Later Saturday in Ames, Iowans will cast their ballots in the state's quadrennial straw poll, considered the first ballot-box test of the 2012 presidential field. NPR national political correspondent Don Gonyea reports on the tradition and this year's politics.

2:00am

Fri August 12, 2011
Politics

GOP Presidential Candidates Spar In Iowa Debate

Republican presidential candidates debated in Ames, Iowa, Thursday night — just two days before Saturday's straw poll. The debate featured two frontrunners: Mitt Romney, who leads in national polls, and Michele Bachmann, who has polled well in Iowa. It also marks the debate debut of former Utah Gov. Jon Hunstman.

2:59am

Thu August 4, 2011
Politics

Debt Deal May Erode Independent Support For Obama

During Washington's heated debate over the debt ceiling, President Obama and others in the administration canceled several campaign fundraisers as work on a compromise dragged on. But Wednesday night, Obama, who turns 50 Thursday, went out raising money at a pair of birthday-themed events in Chicago. The election is a long way off, but the country's long-term financial obligations seem certain to become a prime issue.

Read more

Pages