Amita Kelly | KUOW News and Information

Amita Kelly

Amita Kelly is a digital editor and producer on NPR's Washington Desk, where she executes election, politics, and policy coverage for NPR.org; manages the desk's social media presence; and develops multimedia projects and audience engagement initiatives.

She was previously an editor and producer for NPR's mid-day newsmagazine program Tell Me More, where she covered health, politics, parenting, and, once, how Korea celebrates St. Patrick's Day. Kelly has also worked at Kaiser Health News and NBC News.

Kelly was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellow at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, where she earned her M.A., and earned a B.A. in English from Wellesley College. She is a native of Southern California, where even Santa surfs.

After a full day of long lines at the polls and last-minute campaigning, the results came in early. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who had been leading polls in the state, won the New Hampshire primary. You can catch up with the results and find out what they mean at elections.npr.org and NPRPolitics.org.

Here's how the evening unfolded, in photos:

We all know live election coverage is hard — you have to cram a lot of quickly changing information into not a lot of time, and sometimes you forget to eat dinner. MSNBC's Chris Hayes must have been hungry, because here's what he said after Bernie Sanders was announced a winner:

This week, NPR asked voters around the country how they are feeling about this election, and why so many tell us they are anxious or angry.

President Obama and Vice President Biden "have tried to be fair and even-handed" in the primary process, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday following a meeting with the president at the White House.

Calling the meeting "constructive and productive," Sanders cautiously praised the Obama administration's economic work, saying there is still work to be done. The two also talked talked about foreign and domestic policy and "a little bit of politics," according to Sanders, who spoke to reporters after the meeting.

Several GOP presidential candidates are starting to lay out their closing messages in a new round of campaign ads airing in Iowa and New Hampshire this week. The ads come ahead of the early February primaries in those states.

They strike a dark and fearful tone, with footage and news headlines highlighting the recent terror attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., and Paris.

It all started with a question about food labeling at the Iowa Agriculture Summit earlier this year and Jeb Bush's not-so-humble brag:

"When I go to Publix in Coral Gables after church to go prepare for Sunday Funday in my house ... I'll probably make a really good guacamole and I want to know where that avocado is from and I want to know where the onions are from and the cilantro and all the secret stuff I put in it."

Stressing that his administration has "been at this for a long time," President Obama launched a forceful defense of his strategy against ISIS in a year-end interview with NPR. He makes "no apologies," he said, for wanting to target terror groups "appropriately and in a way that is consistent with American values."

Weighing in at 17 1/2 pounds, 4-month-old giant panda cub Bei Bei made his media debut Wednesday at the Smithsonian National Zoo. Keepers say the cub, born in August, is developmentally on track and ahead of his older sister Bao Bao in some milestones. The cub will make his public debut on Jan. 16.

"He's actually walking a lot sooner than his older sister did," said panda keeper Juan Rodriguez. "He's about 4 or so pounds heavier than his sister was at this same age, so he's definitely a much larger bear and developing a lot faster than his sister did."

Four low-polling presidential candidates — Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, George Pataki and Lindsey Graham — met Tuesday night in Las Vegas knowing they needed to do something big to stand out.

That didn't quite happen. But Graham, a retired Air Force colonel who said he has now been to Iraq 36 times, found new energy in this debate, which focused almost entirely on fighting terrorism and ISIS. Graham said he would try to make friends throughout the world to fight ISIS and that he's "been working for a decade to figure out how to win this war," he said.

This post was updated at 10:00 a.m. ET Friday.

Fourteen Republican candidates are speaking Thursday at a forum hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, D.C. Comments made by front-runner Donald Trump are already garnering criticism on social media.

Trump spoke about Wednesday's shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., saying it "probably was related" to "radical Islamic terrorism." He criticized Obama for not using the term.

It starts with seemingly benign questions: Who are you voting for? Did you see that exposé about candidate X on Facebook? Before long, somebody is storming off to the basement or slamming the mashed potatoes on the table. And playing Adele's new song "Hello" won't make every family instantly get along (a la SNL's Thanksgiving Miracle).

Bernie Sanders laid out his brand of Democratic socialism Thursday, explaining how it informs his views on higher education, poverty, health care, the minimum wage and more.

In response to last week's terrorist attacks in Paris, House Republicans have formed a task force charged with finding a legislative response to calm fears about Syrian refugees coming into the U.S.

Speaking on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan called the attacks "pure evil."

"It's clear that this was an act of war and that the world needs American leadership," he said.

'It's All Politics' is packing up. We have decided to suspend the blog to consolidate NPR's political news and make it easier to find.

But don't worry, we're bringing you with us. You can find the same great news coverage, analysis, fact checking and more from NPR's political team streamlined here: NPR Politics.

We're also adding some new beats and angles to our coverage — more on that to come.

The Republican National Committee says it will suspend a debate partnership with NBC News, citing "inaccurate or downright offensive" questions during Wednesday night's debate on CNBC.

"We simply cannot continue with NBC without full consultation with our campaigns," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus wrote in a letter to NBC Chairman Andrew Lack.

This post was updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Paul Ryan has been elected speaker of the House of Representatives, receiving 236 votes.

Ryan faced the full House vote Thursday after getting approval Wednesday from the House Republican conference. He faced token opposition from fellow conservative Daniel Webster and Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

Speaker John Boehner gave farewell remarks on the House floor Thursday, picking up a box of tissues as he prepared to speak, a nod to his tendency to cry in emotional moments.

Officially announcing his intent to resign as speaker and the representative from Ohio, Boehner said he leaves "with no regrets, no burdens. If anything, I leave the way I started, just a regular guy, humbled by the chance to do a big job."

He spoke for 10 minutes about his life and rise in government, accomplishments in Congress and the role of the body.

The Republican presidential candidates gathered again Wednesday — this time in Boulder, Colo. for their third debate.

NPR's politics team live chatted the debate on Twitter using #nprdebate — you can see the archived chat below, catch up on our live blog here, or tweet us @nprpolitics with additional comments or questions.

This post was updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

House Republicans have voted to elect Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan as the party's nominee to serve as the next speaker of the House.

"This begins a new day in the House of Representatives," Ryan said, speaking briefly to reporters after Wednesday's vote. "Tomorrow, we are turning the page. We are not going to have a House that looked like it looked the last few years. ... Our party has lost its vision and we're going to replace it with a vision."

Hillary Clinton appeared before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Thursday to defend her actions around the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Libya that claimed the lives of four Americans.

We broke down the substance of the hearing and followed it in our live blog. But the hearing also repeatedly brought politics front and center.

Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan has officially entered the House speaker race, saying in a letter to colleagues, "After talking with so many of you, and hearing your words of encouragement, I believe we are ready to move forward as a one, united team." His announcement came after securing the support of three disparate House Republican groups.

This post was updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

The first Democratic debate brought out some passionate and, at times, awkward moments from the five candidates on stage. A highlight of the night was when Bernie Sanders decided he'd had enough of Hillary Clinton's email scandal, exclaiming "the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails."

But Sanders later stumbled on foreign policy, and Clinton struggled to defend her changing positions.

Here's each candidate's best and worst moment from Tuesday night:

Five Democratic candidates for president debated for the first time Tuesday night.

NPR's Jessica Taylor is live blogged the debate here, and NPR's politics chatted on Twitter during the debate using #nprdebate and in the chat box below. The chat is now closed, but you can see it archived below.

Donald Trump found love Thursday night. He's been trying to get the word out that he loves Latinos and "Latinos love Trump," after widespread criticism of his stance on immigration.

At a campaign event Thursday in Las Vegas, Trump pulled onstage an immigrant from Colombia who was holding a copy of the People magazine as he was talking about it.

The woman jumped up onstage screaming with come-on-down-you-just-won-a-car excitement, "Mr. Trump!"

There was chaos on Capitol Hill on Thursday after front-runner Rep. Kevin McCarthy withdrew his name from the House speakership election. The closed-door House Republican meeting that was supposed to emerge with a speaker nominee spilled out into the hallway outside of the House Ways and Means Room in the Longworth Office Building. That's where reporters rushed lawmakers to find out exactly what had happened and where the conference might go from here.

Here's a peek into that hallway, in 60 seconds:

As chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has pushed investigations into the Secret Service following security lapses at the White House, and he aggressively challenged Planned Parenthood. He's now shaking up Capitol Hill even more as a challenger to Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the current House majority leader, in the race for speaker.

President Obama is losing his patience when it comes to the country's gun laws. Speaking Thursday following a deadly shooting in Oregon, he sounded aggravated as he excoriated Congress for not doing more to pass stricter gun legislation.

In an interview with the BBC earlier this summer, he called gun policy "one area where I feel that I've been most frustrated and most stymied."

"It can not be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun," President Obama said Thursday.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

President Obama gave impassioned remarks Thursday calling for stricter gun laws following a deadly shooting in Oregon. He spoke for just over 10 minutes, excoriating Congress for refusing to pass gun reform legislation. He also called on state legislatures, governors to act and on regular Americans to "think about how they can get our government to change these laws" which, he said, "will require a change of politics on this issue."

If all goes as planned, the House will know who its next speaker will be by the end of next week. Elections for the next House leadership will be held on Thursday, Oct. 8 — a date outgoing Speaker John Boehner said he came to after consulting the Republican conference.

Boehner's office released this statement from the speaker:

Republican candidates need to get on board with addressing climate change, and voters will follow. That's the message Republican businessman Jay Faison of North Carolina is pushing — and he's putting his money behind it.

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