The Axe Files with David Axelrod

By The Institute of Politics & CNN

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Subscribers: 2317
Reviews: 4

 Dec 16, 2019
Thorough, informative, and understandable. Axlerod's approach is fair and probing. This pod is a treat!

 Oct 9, 2019

 Mar 13, 2019

 Dec 6, 2018


David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, and CNN bring you The Axe Files, a series of revealing interviews with key figures in the political world. Go beyond the soundbites and get to know some of the most interesting players in politics.

Episode Date
Ep. 378 — Dr. Sanjay Gupta
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon, professor, and the Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN. He joins David to share his insights into the present crisis, his assessment of the government’s response to COVID-19, and what steps we can take to mitigate the long-term effects of the pandemic. Dr. Gupta and David also discuss his remarkable personal story—including his foray into journalism, how difficult it is to deliver bad news as a doctor, and whether he thinks universal healthcare is compatible with high-quality care.
Apr 02, 2020
Ep. 377 — Gerald Butts
Gerald Butts is the former chief adviser and strategist to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He joins David to talk about the early friendship he forged with Trudeau as college debate partners, what he believes it takes to run a successful national campaign, the state of U.S.-Canadian relations in the age of Trump, and his efforts to combat climate change.
Mar 30, 2020
Ep. 376 — Ron Klain
Ron Klain is the former Chief of Staff to Vice President Joe Biden and served as the Ebola Response Coordinator in 2014 under President Obama. He joins David to talk about the COVID-19 crisis: relevant lessons he learned from managing the Ebola epidemic, his assessment of the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic, and what we can do to mitigate the coronavirus’ long-term impact. He also shares his take on the 2020 campaign and why he believes his longtime boss, Joe Biden – whose campaign he is advising – is uniquely equipped to handle the politics of the moment.
Mar 23, 2020
Ep. 375 — Denis McDonough
Denis McDonough is the former White House Chief of Staff and former Deputy National Security Advisor under President Barack Obama. As the world faces the reality of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, he joins David to discuss what it’s like to be in the White House in times of crisis, the steps the Obama White House took to quell public health emergencies like H1N1 and Ebola, and shares his assessment of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus.
Mar 16, 2020
Ep. 374 — Rep. Abigail Spanberger
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) joins David to discuss her career as a CIA operations officer and federal law enforcement agent, the series of events that drove her to run for public office in 2018, and why she ultimately chose to support the impeachment of President Trump. She also weighs in on what having Sen. Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee would mean for her reelection campaign, what it is like to be a member of Congress in a polarized environment, and more.
Mar 09, 2020
Ep. 373 — Andrew Gillum
Andrew Gillum is the former Mayor of Tallahassee, Florida and the 2018 Florida Democratic gubernatorial nominee. He joins David to talk about the state of the 2020 Democratic primary in the aftermath of Super Tuesday. The first in his family to graduate from high school and college, he shares the inspiring personal journey that led him to become the youngest person ever elected to Tallahassee’s City Commission. He and David also discuss his tenure as mayor, his run for governor, why he’s decided to turn his attention to voter registration efforts, and more.
Mar 05, 2020
Ep. 372 — Paul Krugman
Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize-winning economist and Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times. He joins David to talk about why he decided to pursue a career in economics, the qualities that make a great writer, his assessment of the Trump administration’s economic initiatives, and the way in which economics animates public policy in climate change, health care, and more.  His new book, Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future draws from his New York Times column to tackle misunderstandings on a wide range of topics — including health care, housing bubbles, tax reform, and Social Security.
Mar 02, 2020
Ep. 371 — Adam Frankel
Adam Frankel is a former senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama. He joins David to discuss his new memoir, “The Survivors: A Story of War, Inheritance, and Healing.” The book is a remarkable story of family secrets, intergenerational trauma, and the process of coming to terms with life-changing revelations. He and David also discuss his family’s legacy of public service, their shared experience working for Barack Obama, and more.
Feb 24, 2020
Ep. 370 — Abdul El-Sayed
Abdul El-Sayed is a public health expert, former Health Commissioner of the City of Detroit, progressive activist, and former Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate. He joins David to talk about how his Egyptian-American heritage shaped his appreciation for democratic ideals and institutions, his career in medicine and what he learned as a practitioner, and why he supports Bernie Sanders’ progressive agenda. His forthcoming book, Healing Politics: A Doctor's Note on Treating the Insecurity Epidemic, diagnoses our country’s epidemic of insecurity and the empathy politics we need to treat it.
Feb 20, 2020
Ep. 369 — Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are Pulitzer-Prize winning authors and journalists. They join David for a live edition of The Axe Files to talk about how their families’ immigrant stories inform their own views, how lessons from their coverage of the Tiannamen Square protests may be relevant today, and how the threat of a rising China might push us to reevaluate our own economic system. They also discuss their new book, Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope, which illustrates the present-day working class crisis marked by poverty, addiction, and suicide — and offer policy prescriptions to address institutional failures.
Feb 17, 2020
Ep. 368 — Rep. Adam Schiff
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) is the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and served as lead House manager in the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump. He joins David to share his assessment of the impeachment proceedings and beyond: including why he believes the impeachment trial was worth the political risk; what, if anything, the process accomplished; the significance of Sen. Mitt Romney’s unprecedented vote; what Trump’s acquittal might mean for the future of democratic institutions; and more.
Feb 13, 2020
Ep. 367 — Michele Norris
Michele Norris, former host of NPR’s All Things Considered, joins David to talk about how her family’s firsthand experience with housing discrimination shaped her world view, her struggle as a fledgling television reporter to overcome a speech impediment, her friendship with Michelle Obama, and how The Race Card Project — an initiative she founded in order to foster a wider conversation about race — might inform our politics today.
Feb 10, 2020
Ep. 366 — David Gergen
David Gergen is a former presidential adviser and CNN political commentator. He joins David to talk about how Trump’s State of the Union could shape his reelection chances, the electoral challenges Democrats face, and which Democratic hopeful’s message he likens to Obama’s and Carter’s. He draws on five decades of experience across four administrations — Democratic and Republican alike — to situate Trump’s leadership style in the context of his presidential predecessors and shares what he thinks it could mean for the future of democratic institutions.
Feb 06, 2020
Ep. 365 — Judd Apatow
Judd Apatow is a filmmaker, writer, and comedian. He joins David to talk about how his parents’ divorce helped fuel his interest in comedy, his struggles with anxiety at the height of his career, the psychology behind Trump’s political prowess, how Hollywood culture parallels that of Washington, and much more.
Feb 03, 2020
Ep. 364 — Fusion GPS (Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch)
Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch are the co-founders of Fusion GPS, the private research firm behind the Steele “Trump-Russia” dossier. Simpson and Fritsch join David to discuss their joint roots as Wall Street Journal reporters, how the research skills they developed as journalists translated to careers in private investigative work, how they met Christopher Steele and the formulation of the Steele Dossier, and what they learned about Donald Trump following a private investigation of then-candidate Trump. Their new book, Crime in Progress, takes readers inside the firm’s four-year-long investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia ties—culminating in what became known as the Steele dossier.
Jan 30, 2020
Ep. 363 — John Heilemann
John Heilemann is a journalist, author, television commentator, editor-in-chief of The Recount, and host of Showtime’s The Circus. He joins David fresh from a swing through Iowa to share his assessment of the leading Democratic candidates, what he thinks matters most to voters in Iowa, why he believes Trump is politically underestimated, and whether or not impeachment will impact Trump in 2020.
Jan 27, 2020
Ep. 362 — Heather McGhee
Heather McGhee is the former president of Demos, a non-profit progressive think tank devoted to racial justice. She joins David to talk about her upbringing in the South Side of Chicago, the evolution of race relations in the United States, the weaponization of race in present-day politics, and the future of inequality in America.
Dec 30, 2019
Ep. 361 — Sarah Hurwitz
Sarah Hurwitz, former head speechwriter for First Lady Michelle Obama and senior speechwriter for President Barack Obama, joins David to discuss her early career in politics, the art of speechwriting, and the spiritual journey that culminated in her new book: Here All Along: Finding Meaning, Spirituality, and a Deeper Connection to Life-- in Judaism (After Finally Choosing to Look There).
Dec 23, 2019
Ep. 360 – Richard Stengel
Richard Stengel is the former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and former managing editor of Time. He joins David to talk about his collaboration with Nelson Mandela on Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom; his tenure at the helm of Time, during which he interviewed Vladimir Putin, Benjamin Netanyahu, Mohamed Morsi, and Julian Assange; and his efforts in the Obama administration to combat disinformation. His new book, Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation and What We Can Do About It chronicles the global spread of disinformation and offers prescriptions on how to combat this ever-growing threat to democracy.
Dec 16, 2019
Ep. 359 – Andrew Yang
Entrepreneur and Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang joins David for a live edition of The Axe Files to discuss why he abandoned a career in law to build his own business, how rapid technological growth is shaping our society both socially and economically, the rationale behind his ‘Freedom Dividend,’ how raising an autistic son shapes his perspective in life and on the campaign trail, and much more.
Dec 05, 2019
Ep. 358 – Gary Cohn
Gary Cohn served as the Director of the National Economic Council and chief economic advisor to President Trump. He joins David to talk about how an early dyslexia diagnosis shaped his drive to succeed; his tenure at Goldman Sachs, particularly as an executive during the 2008 financial crisis; why he decided to serve under President Trump despite differences on trade, climate, and immigration; his concerns about the absence of dissenters in the White House; and much more.
Dec 02, 2019
Ep. 357 – Amb. Dennis Ross
Dennis Ross is a diplomat and author with over four decades of experience in Middle East policy. He joins David to talk about his service under six presidential administrations, how the political climate in the Middle East has evolved, and the status of America’s diplomatic efforts under the Trump administration. His new book, Be Strong and of Good Courage: How Israel’s Most Important Leaders Shaped Its Destiny, explores the stories of the founding leaders of Israel—both the challenges they faced and the resolve they showed in the struggle to protect the fledgling democracy.  For the full episode visit
Nov 25, 2019
Ep. 356 – Samantha Power
Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, joins David to talk about the journey from her childhood in Ireland to the halls of the U.N. — and the trials she faced along the way. She shares the experiences that compelled her to become a Balkan War correspondent, how what she saw there inspired her to author a Pulitzer-prize winning book on genocide, and the human rights causes that drew her to then-senator Barack Obama. She also shares her thoughts on the hollowing out of the State Department, Trump’s attempt to politicize service officers and institutions, U.S. credibility and the state of our global alliances, and what an emboldened Putin and Erdogan means for the global order. Her new memoir, The Education of an Idealist, documents this journey—and the lessons she picked up along the way.
Nov 18, 2019
Ep. 355 – Cindy McCain (TV)
Cindy McCain joins David for a special televised edition of the Axe Files on CNN to discuss President Trump and the state of the Republican party, her advocacy on human trafficking issues, the toll living a public life took on her and her family, and her mission to carry on the legacy of her husband, the late Senator John McCain.
Nov 10, 2019
Ep. 354 – Dikembe Mutombo
NBA Hall of Famer and humanitarian Dikembe Mutombo joins David for a conversation about his upbringing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, how an international science competition ultimately steered him to the Georgetown Hoyas’ basketball team, his decorated 18-season career in the NBA, and his worldwide humanitarian initiatives with the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation.
Nov 04, 2019
Ep. 352 – Admiral Michael Mullen
Admiral Mike Mullen, formerly the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, joins David to discuss President Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, the state of our alliances today, his historic testimony in support of repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and his upbringing as the son of a Hollywood publicist.
Oct 22, 2019
Ep. 351 – Harry Reid (TV)
Harry Reid, former U.S. Senator from Nevada and Senate Majority Leader, sits down with David in Las Vegas, NV for a special televised edition of The Axe Files. In this extended version of the conversation, they talk about his tenure as Senate Majority Leader and how the role has changed under Mitch McConnell’s leadership, Reid’s unique relationship with Barack Obama, his take on Donald Trump and the impeachment inquiry, and much more.
Oct 14, 2019
Ep. 350 – Gov. Gina Raimondo
Gina Raimondo, governor of Rhode Island and Chair of the Democratic Governors Association, joins David to talk about how her father’s early job loss moved her to enter public service, what Democrats running in 2020 can learn from the governors who ran successfully in 2018, and how her role as governor has changed in the age of Trump.
Oct 07, 2019
Ep. 349 – Admiral William McRaven
Admiral William McRaven is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL who served as the commander of U.S. Special Operations from 2011 to 2014. He joins David to talk about his foray into military service, his disagreements with Donald Trump, and his most memorable missions — including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. His new book, Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations, is a look back on over three decades of service. For more episodes of The Axe Files, visit
Sep 30, 2019
Ep. 348 — George Will
Conservative commentator and columnist George Will discusses how Trump has dismantled political norms and whether a return to civility is possible. He answers whether the Democrats and Speaker Pelosi should push harder for impeachment or if the political waters are too difficult to navigate.
Sep 23, 2019
Ep. 347 – Eric Holder (TV)
Former Attorney General Eric Holder joins David on the CNN edition of the Axe Files to discuss potential impeachment proceedings, his advice for 2020 candidates, the long-term implications of Trump’s attacks on our institutions, and the arc of his historic career which ultimately led him to become the nation’s first African American Attorney General.
Sep 15, 2019
The Axe Files goes to Iowa
For this month’s episode of the Axe Files on CNN, we took the show on the road and traveled across Iowa during a whirlwind week of campaigning at the state fair and beyond. We spoke with candidates, organizers, and voters, whose first-in-the nation votes will define the Democratic race. In the podcast version of the show, we hear directly from those voters on the issues that matter to them, what they’re thinking about the race and their role in the process.
Aug 25, 2019
Ep. 342 — Will Hurd
Rep. Will Hurd joins David Axelrod from his congressional office Washington, D.C. office for an episode of The Axe Files.
Jul 29, 2019
Ep. 340 — Pete Buttigieg (TV)
Pete Buttigieg, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and mayor of South Bend, Indiana, joins David for a televised edition of The Axe Files on CNN. He makes the case for why his executive experience as mayor prepares him for the presidency, talks racial tensions in South Bend and his plan forward, what he learned from his military service in Afghanistan, why he waited until his thirties to come out as gay, and more.
Jul 14, 2019
Ep. 338 - David Remnick
David Remnick is a journalist, author, and editor of The New Yorker magazine. He joins the show to talk about the New Yorker’s feature on Hunter Biden, covering Russia as a young reporter for the Washington Post, his philosophy as an editor, and the life lessons he’s learned from caring for his child with autism.
Jul 01, 2019
Hacks on Tap – Double-Whammy in Miami: Dem Debate Preview
Hacks on Tap is the latest podcast from David Axelrod, giving listeners weekly insight into the 2020 presidential race. This week the hacks talk Biden and Buttigieg’s tough week with race relations, escalating tensions with Iran, and preview this week’s Democratic debates with guest hack Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. David and Mike also dig into the mail bag, taking listeners’ questions on the electoral college, the relative advantages of the Democratic primary system, and which 2020 Democratic campaign they’d least like to helm.
Jun 25, 2019
Robert Gates (TV)
Former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Robert Gates joins David for the Axe Files on CNN to discuss his long career serving eight presidents, his thoughts on global tensions and America’s standing in the world today, and his experience with 2020 hopeful Joe Biden.
Jun 09, 2019
Bonus: Fiasco, from Leon Neyfakh
In this debut episode of Fiasco: how the largely forgotten race between Al Gore and George W. Bush roiled Florida long before anyone had ever heard of a hanging chad.   For more from "Fiasco", go to
May 30, 2019
Ep. 327 – Janet Napolitano
Janet Napolitano is the former Secretary of Homeland Security and two-term Governor of Arizona. She joins the show to talk about her long career in both law and politics, including her role in Anita Hill trial, how she addressed immigration issues as the governor of a border state, and her service in the Obama administration.
May 16, 2019
Ep. 326 - Sen. Cory Booker (TV)
The New Jersey Senator and Democratic Presidential candidate joins David for The Axe Files on CNN in this extended conversation about his career in politics and the issues driving his run for the presidency.
May 12, 2019
Ep. 325 - Bill Burns
Bill Burns is the former Ambassador to the Russian Federation under President Obama and currently serves as the President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He joins David to talk about his three-decade career as a foreign service officer for the United States, why 9/11 rendered foreign diplomacy more important than ever, what he learned upon meeting Vladimir Putin, and his take on the Trump administration’s approach to foreign policy. His new book, The Back Channel: A Memoir of American Diplomacy and the Case for Its Renewal, gives readers a rare look at American diplomacy in action.
May 09, 2019
Bonus: Deep Background with Noah Feldman
Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent and the former dean of admissions at Yale Law School, gives us a unique perspective on the college admissions scandal.
May 09, 2019
Ep. 324 – Jason Rezaian
Jason Rezaian is an author, CNN contributor, and opinion writer for the Washington Post. In 2014, while working in Iran as the Tehran bureau chief for the Post, he and his wife were detained by the Iranian authorities on espionage charges. He was freed in a prisoner swap after spending nearly two years in a detention center. He joins David to talk about his harrowing experience and how he’s coped in the aftermath, as well as the state of U.S.-Iranian relations today.
May 06, 2019
Ep. 323 - James Carville
James Carville is a Democratic political strategist best known for his work as the lead strategist of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. He joins David to talk about how growing up in segregated Carville, Louisiana motivated him to jump into politics, what he believes set Bill Clinton apart as a presidential contender, and what it will take for any 2020 hopeful to succeed.
May 02, 2019
Ep. 322 - Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston is an actor, producer, director, and screenwriter best known for his roles on Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle, and Seinfeld. He joins David to talk about acting as a catharsis, why inhabiting real-life figures poses a greater challenge than inhabiting fictional ones, the parallels between acting and politics, and much more. He currently stars in the Broadway adaptation of the Oscar-winning 1976 film Network, a prescient story about the perils of tabloid television and media.
Apr 29, 2019
Bonus: Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah and David Kibuuka discuss the fire at Notre Dame and the ethics of philanthropy before being joined by Tiger Woods biographer Jeff Benedict to discuss one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.  For more from "On Second Thought" go to
Apr 26, 2019
Ep. 321 - Valerie Jarrett
Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to President Barack Obama, sits down with David for a live taping of “The Axe Files” at the University of Chicago. Born in Iran to American parents, she discusses how growing up abroad shaped her world view; her family’s journey to Chicago; her foray into law and city politics; and shares anecdotes as one of Obama’s closest political and personal confidantes. Her new memoir, Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward, charts her inspiring journey from the south side of Chicago to the Oval Office.
Apr 23, 2019
The Axe Files
For more of The Axe Files, go to
Apr 22, 2019
Ep. 320 - Rep. Jan Schakowsky
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky is the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 9th district, a position she's held since 1999. She joins David to talk about her start in politics as a grassroots organizer, how early activism evolved into a career in public service, and her take on Congress today: from winning back the House majority to governing in the age of President Trump.
Apr 18, 2019
Ep. 319 - Beto O'Rourke (TV)
Former Texas congressmen Beto O’Rourke joins David on CNN to talk about his vision for the country, growing up as the son of a larger-than-life Texas politician, what the reality of life is like on the US-Mexico border, and more
Apr 14, 2019
Special Announcement from The Axe Files
We’re happy to announce that the Axe Files is joining the Luminary podcast network! Go to and sign up before April 22 to get your first three months for free and only $6.99 a month after that for the first year – which is $1 off the monthly subscription fee. The subscription fee allows us to deliver you episodes and our full archive completely ad-free.  On April 23 you can download the Luminary app for free and listen to the Axe Files there. Then on May 20 our show will only be available on the Luminary app for Premium subscribers. Luminary is a new podcast company that is exclusively devoted to podcasts. We will be joining them as a podcast for Premium subscribers, allowing us to deliver ad-free content to you in perpetuity. With a premium subscription you will have access to all of our future shows, ad-free archives, and dozens of other exclusive shows, including ones with hosts like Guy Raz, Lena Dunham, Trevor Noah, Leon Neyfakh the creator of Slow Burn, Hannibal Buress, Celeste Barber, and podcasts from Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco and Bill Simmons’ The Ringer.  We love doing this show for you guys and there are many more great Axe Files conversations coming your way via Luminary.
Apr 10, 2019
Ep. 318 - Tommy Vietor
Tommy Vietor is the former National Security Council spokesman under President Obama and current host of Pod Save the World on the Crooked Media network. He joins David to talk about his journey on Team Obama—from driving the press van in Iowa to NSC spokesman—and what he learned along the way. Vietor also shares his view on the international crises in Syria, Venezuela, and Israel, assessing the Trump administration’s diplomatic efforts to tackle these issues.
Apr 08, 2019
Ep. 317 - Peter Roskam
Peter Roskam is a former Republican congressman from Illinois. He joins David to talk about how he was caught up in the 2018 Democratic wave, what initially drew him into politics, the pathway to a more bipartisan Congress and much more.
Apr 01, 2019
Ep. 316 - Alex Kotlowitz
Journalist and author Alex Kotlowitz joins David to talk about his award-winning book on kids growing up in the Chicago housing projects, the mental toll writing that book took on him personally, the violence in Chicago today, and what he wants to focus on next.
Mar 25, 2019
Ep. 315 - Jeb Bush (TV)
Former Governor Jeb Bush joins the Axe Files on CNN to talk about the Bush family legacy of public service, Trump’s impact on the 2016 Republican primary, his personal connection to the issue of immigration, and more.
Mar 17, 2019
Ep. 314 - Alyssa Mastromonaco
Alyssa Mastromonaco is an author and served as Barack Obama's deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in the White House. She joins David to talk about her early experience interning for Bernie Sanders, working on Obama's 2008 campaign, transitioning back to life outside of the White House, and much more.
Mar 11, 2019
Ep. 313 - Sen. Elizabeth Warren (TV)
Elizabeth Warren is the Senator from Massachusetts and a Democratic presidential candidate. She joins David for the Axe Files on CNN in this extended conversation about her life, her candidacy, and much more.
Mar 03, 2019
Ep. 312 - Bill Kurtis
Legendary broadcast journalist and news anchor Bill Kurtis joins the show to talk about the history he's witnessed from his many years covering the news, from being threatened by Charles Manson to his investigative work on the effects of Agent Orange on soldiers returning from Vietnam, and everything in between.
Feb 28, 2019
Ep. 311 - Claire McCaskill
Claire McCaskill, former Democratic U.S. Senator from Missouri, joins David to talk about the 2018 midterms race she narrowly lost in a state swept by Donald Trump by nearly 19 points in 2016. She also shares her take on governing and campaigning in a post-Trump political climate, the impending Mueller report, her evaluation of the slew of 2020 candidates, and much more.
Feb 25, 2019
Ep. 310 - Michael Smerconish
Michael Smerconish, is a journalist and host of the eponymous ‘Smerconish’ on CNN, as well as the host of “The Michael Smerconish Program” on SiriusXM’s POTUS channel. He joins David to talk about his early start in talk radio, the impact of the media on political polarization, why he considers his current work at CNN his most authentic yet, and much more.
Feb 21, 2019
Ep. 309 - Lisa Madigan
Lisa Madigan is the former State Attorney General for Illinois. She joins the show to talk about teaching in South Africa during the rise of the anti-apartheid movement, the Jason Van Dyke case in Chicago, her investigation into abuse in the Catholic Church, why she didn't run for governor, and more.
Feb 18, 2019
Ep. 308 - Kirsten Powers
Kirsten Powers is an author, columnist for USA Today, and frequent contributor on CNN. She joins David to discuss her far-flung upbringing in Alaska, the personal struggles which she discussed openly in her columns, working for AOL during the dawn of the internet age, her experience as a liberal-leaning commentator for Fox News, and much more.
Feb 14, 2019
Ep. 307 - Nate Silver
Nate Silver, statistician and founder of FiveThirtyEight, joins David to talk about how his early love of sports fused with a passion for statistical modeling, the bridge from sports modeling to predicting political races, the 2008 projections that catapulted him to national fame, and his take on the 2020 field—including why an analysis of five key groups within the Democratic party suggests Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke may have the best chance of securing the nomination, why early polls so often miss the mark, and why Howard Schultz’s potential impact on the race may not be as helpful to Trump as some pundits claim.
Feb 11, 2019
Ep. 306 - Rep. Hakeem Jeffries
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) is the head of the House Democratic Caucus. He joins the show to discuss his reaction to the State of the Union address, how Democrats plan to respond, what he's looking for in a Democratic candidate in 2020, and much more.
Feb 07, 2019
Ep. 305 - Josh Shapiro
Josh Shapiro, Attorney General of Pennsylvania, joins David to discuss the Pennsylvania grand jury report revealing child sex abuse by Catholic priests and the elaborate cover-up scheme—one of the broadest inquiries into church sex abuse in U.S. history. Shapiro also shares his own journey in public service and the law, the importance of knocking on doors and listening to constituents, the ongoing investigation into Big Pharma’s role in the opioid crisis, his take on U.S. Attorney General nominee William Barr, and why he believes a Democrat will take Pennsylvania in 2020.
Feb 04, 2019
Ep. 304 - John Delaney
Former Congressman and Democratic Presidential candidate John Delaney joins the show to talk about his journey from a blue collar family to the founder of two publicly traded companies, his candidacy, and the issues facing the country.
Jan 31, 2019
Ep. 303 - David Leonhardt
David Leonhardt, author and op-ed columnist for The New York Times, joins David to discuss the state of the American economy, Democratic hopes in 2020, the prospect of impeachment, and much more.
Jan 28, 2019
Ep. 302 - Stanley McChrystal
Stanley McChrystal is a retired four-star general in the U.S. Army who led America’s Joint Special Operations Command and NATO forces in the War in Afghanistan. He joins David to share his view of Trump’s military policy both abroad and domestic, the famous resignation letter he handed President Obama in the wake of a bombshell Rolling Stone story, his take on former colleague Michael Flynn, and much more. His new book, Leaders: Myth and Reality profiles famous leaders from a range of fields to explore how leadership works in practice and challenge the myths that underlie our understanding of it.
Jan 24, 2019
Ep. 301 - John Kerry (TV)
Former Secretary of State John Kerry joins David for a televised version of the Axe Files to discuss the state of American foreign policy under Donald Trump, whether he’s considering a run for the White House in 2020, what he learned from a life of public service, his decorated service in Vietnam, and why he remains hopeful for the future.
Jan 20, 2019
Ep. 300 - Sherrilyn Ifill
Sherrilyn Ifill is the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She joins David to talk about how growing up in the heat of the civil rights movement inspired her to practice law, the impact of the present reversing of Obama-era policies designed to protect marginalized groups, contemporary race relations in America, her take on Attorney General nominee Bill Barr’s confirmation hearing, and much more.
Jan 17, 2019
Ep. 299 - Miguel Cervantes
Miguel Cervantes, star of the blockbuster Hamilton play in Chicago, sits down with David to talk about the years he spent auditioning prior to landing the leading role, the cultural phenomenon the play has become, and his daughter’s unexpected diagnosis with epilepsy – the news of which coincided with his landing the titular role.
Jan 14, 2019
Ep. 298 - Ivo Daalder
Ivo Daalder is the President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the former U.S. ambassador to NATO. He joins David to talk about the decline of American influence abroad and current vacuum in global leadership, the cost of abdicating international cooperation, how growing up outside of the U.S. impacted his appreciation for the United States, and his assessment of contemporary U.S. foreign policy in diplomatic hotspots including China, Russia, North Korea, Syria, and more. His new book, The Empty Throne: America’s Abdication of Global Leadership, explores the erosion of American diplomacy and its impact on the postwar world order.
Jan 10, 2019
Ep. 297 - Gov. J.B. Pritzker
J.B. Pritzker, governor-elect of Illinois, joins David to discuss the unique challenges facing the state and his priorities moving forward, what surprised him upon meeting Donald Trump during the December governors meeting, and – despite his family’s storied wealth – the poignant series of events that struck the Pritzker clan when J.B. was young.
Jan 07, 2019
Ep. 296 - Rep. Eric Swalwell
Congressman Eric Swalwell represents California's 15th district and serves on the House Intelligence Committee. He joins the show to discuss the House investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election, what the incoming Democratic majority in the House means for President Trump, and his ambitions for the 2020 race for president.
Dec 20, 2018
Ep. 295 - Howard Wolfson
Howard Wolfson is the former Deputy Mayor of New York City, counselor to former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, co-chief strategist and communications director on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, and currently leads the Education division of Bloomberg Philanthropies. He joins David to talk about his mother’s battle with chronic depression, his decision to abandon journalism and pursue political strategy, the New York City media market and Donald Trump’s instinctive mastery of it, his experience working for Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton, and Michael Bloomberg – and the possibility of a 2020 presidential bid from Bloomberg.
Dec 17, 2018
Ep. 294 - Al Hunt
Political journalist Al Hunt, formerly of the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, joins David to discuss his time covering Watergate, similarities and differences between Trump and Nixon in light of potential impeachment, and his own future in journalism.
Dec 13, 2018
Ep. 293 - Rahm Emanuel (TV)
Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago, joins David for a televised edition of the Axe Files to discuss how Democrats should take on the Trump administration, the biggest challenges of leading the Windy City, the Emanuel family dynamics that impelled him to the highest levels of U.S. government, and more.
Dec 09, 2018
Ep. 292 - Bryan Stevenson
Bryan Stevenson is a lawyer, activist, author, and founder/executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization that provides legal aid to prisoners lacking effective representation. He joins David to talk about his experience growing up in a segregated county in southern Delaware, the national narrative of racial difference prevailing even after the Civil War, its implications on present-day politics, and his personal mission to provide legal aid to those disenfranchised by the U.S. criminal justice system. His best-selling book, "Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption," chronicles the true stories of inmates on death row that Stevenson represented.
Dec 06, 2018
Ep. 291 - Jeff Zucker
Jeff Zucker, president of CNN, sits down with David to talk about how a rejection from Harvard Law School paved the way for his meteoric rise as a media executive; his break up with NBC; the health scares that nearly claimed his life; and his unique perspective on Donald Trump–whose reality TV career he helped launch. Zucker shares his philosophy of the modern news model, and CNN’s role within it, in the age of Trump – and much more.
Dec 03, 2018
Ep. 290 - Amanda Carpenter
Amanda Carpenter is a conservative commentator, author, and former senior communications advisor and speechwriter to Senator Ted Cruz. She sits down with David to discuss the challenges of being raised by a single mother, the sports injury that fatefully led her to journalism, Trump’s rebranding of the Republican Party, her take on Beto O’Rourke’s unlikely campaign against Sen. Cruz, and more. Her book, Gaslighting America: Why We Love It When Trump Lies to Us, draws on her experience as a top aide to Sen. Cruz to deconstruct Trump’s manipulative “fake narrative” strategies and prescribes ways in which to withstand it.
Nov 29, 2018
Ep. 289 - Chris Dodd
Chris Dodd is the former and longest-serving U.S. Senator from Connecticut. He joins David to talk about the influence of his late father, Sen. Thomas Dodd; the formative friendships he forged and lessons learned throughout his nearly four decades of serving in Congress; his motivation behind co-authoring the Dodd Frank Act, a massive piece of financial reform legislation; and why he believes there is reason to be optimistic about the future of American politics.
Nov 26, 2018
Ep. 288 - Barack Obama (Live)
Former President of the United States Barack Obama sits down with David in Hyde Park for a special live taping of the Axe Files. Their conversation touches on the Obamas' life in the Hyde Park community, the sacrifices his family made for his political career, his biggest regret from his time in the presidency, the politics of race in America, increasing political polarization, and much more.
Nov 20, 2018
Ep. 287 - Sonia Sotomayor
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor joins David on the Axe Files on CNN to discuss the shifting dynamics on the bench after Brett Kavanaugh’s bitter confirmation battle, her personal ties to Puerto Rico and whether the response to Hurricane Maria was adequate, and her journey from the Bronx to the highest court in the land.
Nov 18, 2018
Ep. 286 - Mark Salter
Mark Salter is a longtime advisor and speechwriter to Senator John McCain. He joins David to talk about the early literary influences that shaped both his and his late boss’s political philosophies, the selection of Sarah Palin as McCain’s vice presidential pick and its broader political impact, the life and legacy of John McCain, and why Salter believes Trumpism will lead to the extinction of the Republican Party as we know it.
Nov 15, 2018
Ep. 285 - Gloria Borger
Gloria Borger is a political pundit, journalist, and columnist who currently commentates as a chief political analyst for CNN. She sits down with David the day after Tuesday’s midterm elections to share her take on the outcome and why she believes we are experiencing a realignment in American politics. The conversation also spans Borger’s foray into journalism and the formative experiences she’s faced throughout her life and career: from entering Colgate University as part of the first class of female students, to the challenges she’s faced as a woman in political media.
Nov 12, 2018
Ep. 284 - Jen Psaki
Jen Psaki is the former White House Communications Director and White House Deputy Press Secretary under President Obama. She joins David after the midterms to discuss the implications of the results and their impact on the political landscape as well as Psaki’s personal political journey: from knocking on doors for Governor Vilsack in Iowa to helming the Obama communications shop in the White House.
Nov 08, 2018
Ep. 283 - Arnold Schwarzenegger
Bodybuilder, actor, and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger joins David for the Axe Files on CNN to talk about his rise from a humble Austrian village to an American cultural icon and his views on contemporary politics, the #MeToo movement, and more.
Nov 04, 2018
Ep. 282 - Steve Brill
Author and journalist Steve Brill joins David to talk about his new project NewsGuard, which uses journalism to fight fake news, as well as his long career in business and journalism.
Nov 01, 2018
Ep. 281 - Steve Schmidt
Steve Schmidt is former Republican campaign strategist, who notably ran the 2008 John McCain campaign for the presidency. Since the election of Donald Trump he has left the Republican Party to become independent and appears as a commentator on MSNBC. He joins David to discuss the fateful nomination of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate, the connection between her and Donald Trump, as well as his storied career in politics.
Oct 29, 2018
Ep. 280 - Jonah Goldberg
Jonah Goldberg is an author and columnist for the National Review. He joins David to discuss his roots in journalism, how a family tragedy shaped his view on the War on Drugs, and his criticisms of Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
Oct 25, 2018
Ep. 279 - Jeff Weaver
Jeff Weaver was the campaign manager for Senator Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign. He joins the show to discuss Sanders' unique appeal to voters, what it was like to run against Hillary Clinton, the landscape of 2020, and more.
Oct 22, 2018
Ep. 278 - Mary Katharine Ham
Mary Katharine Ham is a journalist and conservative commentator on CNN. She joins David to discuss fake news, Nikki Haley, the cultural issues dividing the country, and the Republican Party's Faustian bargain with Donald Trump.
Oct 18, 2018
Ep. 277 - Khizr Khan
Khizr Khan is a Gold Star father best known for his iconic speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention honoring his late son, Humayan Khan, a U.S. Army captain killed in the Iraq War. He joins David to discuss what led him from poverty in Pakistan to the pursuit of law in the United States, the experiences that informed his belief in American exceptionalism, his son’s military service and the day he died, and the impact Donald Trump’s rhetoric towards Muslims and immigrants has both domestically and globally.
Oct 15, 2018
Ep. 276 - Ana Navarro
Ana Navarro, GOP strategist and political commentator for CNN, joins David to talk about how her Nicaraguan upbringing shapes her view of U.S. immigration policy, the impact of the evolving landscape of the Republican Party and what she dubs the “Trumpification” of the GOP, and how the increasingly tribal nature of our politics is shaping institutions from Congress to the courts.
Oct 11, 2018
Ep. 275 - Steven Pearlstein
Steven Pearlstein is a Pulitzer Prize-winning business and economics columnist for The Washington Post. He joins David to chat about his beginnings in business writing, how to interpret the country’s record levels of deficit and present state of the economy, and the potential impact Brett Kavanaugh will have on the Supreme Court. They also discuss Pearlstein’s new book – Can American Capitalism Survive? – which explores how American capitalism has lost its moral legitimacy.
Oct 08, 2018
Ep. 274 - Chuck Todd
Chuck Todd is a longtime political journalist and current host of NBC's Meet the Press. He joins David to talk about his father’s struggle with alcoholism and the impact of his premature death; the celebrification of politics and the 21st-century media strategy he thinks works; and what he believes to be both Donald Trump’s greatest strength and greatest weakness.
Oct 04, 2018
Ep. 273 - Gov. Steve Bullock
Montana Governor Steve Bullock joins the show to discuss the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, how Democrats can win back voters in rural states, his work on the opiod epidemic, money in politics, and more.
Oct 01, 2018
Ep. 272 - Roberta Jacobson
Roberta Jacobson is an American diplomat who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico until May of 2018. She joins David to discuss the diplomatic tension between the U.S. and Mexico, the Trump administration's relationship with the United Nations, her work normalizing relations with Cuba under the Obama administration, and more.
Sep 27, 2018
Ep. 271 - Peter Sagal
Peter Sagal is the author of The Incomplete Book of Running and host of NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. He joins David to discuss a variety of topics including getting passed on by the Harvard Lampoon, appearing on Jeopardy as struggling writer in Los Angeles, his early work as a playwright, and crossing the finish line just minutes before the attack on the Boston Marathon.
Sep 24, 2018
Ep. 270 - Bob Shrum
Bob Shrum is a longtime Democratic campaign strategist and speechwriter. He joins David to discuss his new Institute for the Political Future, volunteering for Citizens for Kennedy as a college student, how to marry a candidate with a message, and much more.
Sep 20, 2018
Ep. 269 - Deval Patrick (TV)
Deval Patrick, former Governor of Massachusetts and civil rights lawyer, author, and businessman, sits down for a special televised edition of The Axe Files on CNN. He talks with David about his upbringing in the South Side of Chicago, the significance of the 2018 and 2020 elections, his take on the Trump administration, and whether or not he plans to run for president in 2020.
Sep 16, 2018
Ep. 268 - Susan Glasser
Susan Glasser is a preeminent political journalist with nearly three decades of reporting experience spanning foreign policy, domestic politics, and war correspondence. She joins David to talk about her experience as co-chief of the Washington Post’s Moscow bureau under the auspices of the early Putin regime; what she gleaned from conducting the first interview Vladimir Putin granted to American correspondents in 2001, and how authoritarian qualities endemic to Putin’s Russia undergird aspects of American politics today.
Sep 13, 2018
Ep. 267 - Jon Lovett
Pod Save America co-host and former speechwriter for President Barack Obama Jon Lovett joins the show to talk about the art of speechwriting, his experience working with Hillary Clinton prior to joining the Obama White House, and what the future holds for Crooked Media.
Sep 10, 2018
Ep. 266 - Austan Goolsbee
Former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee joins David to discuss the major economic policy decisions under Bush and Obama, the ongoing trade negotiations with Mexico, how the government can effectively intervene in a changing economy, and his strategy for beating Ted Cruz in a debate.
Sep 03, 2018
Ep. 265 - Rep. Mike Quigley
Mike Quigley is the U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 5th congressional district, serving on the House Intelligence and Appropriations Committees. He joins David to talk about the importance of local politics, the challenges of working in a highly polarized congressional environment, and what Russian interference portends for this administration.
Aug 27, 2018
Ep. 264 - Dean Baquet & Marty Baron
Dean Baquet and Marty Baron, the Executive Editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post respectively, join David for the Axe Files on CNN to discuss the challenges of covering the Trump presidency, the unprecedented attacks on the free press, the power of journalism to change history, and the trajectory of their storied careers from reporters to editors.
Aug 19, 2018
Ep. 263 - Ace Smith
Averell “Ace” Smith is a political opposition researcher whose career has spanned campaigns for Kamala Harris, Jerry Brown, and the Clintons. He sits down with David to talk about the ways in which political research is an essential craft to get right on campaigns; the unheeded letter he wrote to Hillary Clinton prior to the 2016 campaign, and about his new book on Satchel Paige, The Pitcher and the Dictator.
Aug 13, 2018
Ep. 262 - Judy Woodruff
Judy Woodruff is a longtime broadcast journalist and current anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour. Judy sits down with David to talk about the regional blind spots afflicting network news, the relationship between Trump and Fox News, and witnessing the assassination attempt on Ronald Regan.
Aug 06, 2018
Ep. 261 - Anne Burke
Part two of our Special Olympics series. Anne Burke, founder of the Special Olympics and a Supreme Court Justice in Illinois for the First Judicial District, joins David to talk about how coming to terms with her own disability undergirded her decision to help those with special needs, why Eunice Kennedy’s use of the word “unacceptable” defined Anne’s fight for the cause, and how adopting several foster children from abject circumstances shaped her world view.
Aug 02, 2018
Ep. 260 - Tim Shriver
Part one of this week’s two episode series honoring the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics. Timothy Shriver is the Chairman of the Special Olympics and son of legendary public servants Eunice Kennedy and Sargent Shriver. He sits down with David to talk about growing up in a family nestled in the public eye, the little-known impact of the “forgotten” Kennedy sibling, Rosemary, and why Tim has devoted his life’s work to leveling the playing field for people with special needs.
Jul 30, 2018
Ep. 259 - Mitch Landrieu (TV)
Former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu rejoins the show in this extended version of a conversation from the Axe Files on CNN.
Jul 22, 2018
Ep. 258 - Dan Pfeiffer
Dan Pfeiffer is a former Senior Advisor to Barack Obama, co-host on the Pod Save America podcast, and author of the book Yes We (Still) Can: Politics in the Age of Obama, Twitter, and Trump. He joins David to discuss his time in the Obama White House, the balance between civility and protest, the Supreme Court battle, and more.
Jul 16, 2018
Ep. 257 - John King Jr.
John King Jr., U.S. Secretary of Education under President Obama, sits down with David to talk about losing his parents at a young age, the impact of the Trump administration's affirmative action rollback, and how getting booted out of his high school ultimately motivated his decision to devote his life to improving educational outcomes for students.
Jul 09, 2018
Ep. 256 - Nneka Jones Tapia
Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia is a clinical psychologist who in 2015 became the Executive Director of the Cook County Jail, the largest jail in America. She was the first mental health professional to run a jail in the US. The Cook County Sheriff calls the jail the largest mental health institution in the country. Nneka joins David to discuss her own experience growing up with an incarcerated father, her time at the Cook County Jail, and her new role with Chicago Beyond, where she will focus on how to better support children with incarcerated parents.
Jul 02, 2018
Ep. 255 - Mike Barnicle
MSNBC contributor and former columnist Mike Barnicle.
Jun 28, 2018
Ep. 254 - Sen. Marco Rubio
Senator Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, joins David for the Axe Files on CNN to discuss the ongoing battle at the border, the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy, the Mueller investigation, and Republicans’ relationship with the President.
Jun 24, 2018
Ep. 253 - John Farrell
John Farrell, award-winning presidential historian and journalist, joins David to chat about why local newspapers now struggle for survival, his work on the Boston Globe’s famous ‘Spotlight’ team, and why he thinks our current political climate is a product of the Nixon era.
Jun 21, 2018
Ep. 252 - Rachel Maddow
Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, joins David to talk about growing up as a liberal activist in a conservative town, her unique philosophy on newscasting in the Trump era, and lessons she’s learned from her lifelong battle with cyclical depression.
Jun 18, 2018
Ep. 251 - Ray Mabus
Ray Mabus, former U.S. Secretary of the Navy and Governor of Mississippi, joins David to talk about his upbringing in the heart of the South during the Civil Rights movement, what Mississippi‘s shifting political landscape portends for 2018 and 2020, and the reality of U.S. military preparedness in the face of global conflict.
Jun 14, 2018
Ep. 250 - Tom Donilon
Tom Donilon, former National Security Adviser to Barack Obama, chats with David Axelrod about his experience running President Jimmy Carter’s delegate operation during Ted Kennedy’s 1980 convention challenge as a 23-year-old, why he believes the U.S. pulling out the Iran Nuclear Deal was the worst diplomatic move since the Iraq War, and why a strategy that focuses on bilateral deals poses a structural problem for U.S. foreign policy interests – particularly when it comes to China.
Jun 11, 2018
Ep. 249 - Ronan Farrow
Ronan Farrow is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New Yorker, former State Department official under President Barack Obama, and author of the new best-selling book War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence. He joins David to discuss his experiences growing up in a famous family with 13 siblings, his formative years working in the State Department under the wing of legendary diplomat Richard Holbrooke, and his near-thwarted efforts to publish the blockbuster account of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers—credited with spawning the international #MeToo movement.
Jun 07, 2018
Ep. 248 - Savannah Guthrie
Savannah Guthrie is a journalist, attorney, and co-anchor of the NBC News morning show Today. She recently sat down with David to talk about the impact of losing her father at a young age, how her Christian faith undergirded her journey from high-school slacker to Georgetown law standout, and her take on former Today co-host Matt Lauer’s firing following a slew of sexual assault allegations.
Jun 04, 2018
Ep. 247 - James Clapper
James Clapper is the former Director of National Intelligence and the author of a new book, Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence. His long career in military intelligence spans some of the most significant national security challenges in U.S. history, including Russian interference in the 2016 election. James Clapper joins David for discussion on his life of service, the impact of Russia on the outcome of the election, what can come of a summit with North Korea, and much more.
May 31, 2018
Ep. 246 - Sally Yates
Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, in an extended conversation with David Axelrod from the Axe Files TV show on CNN, talks about her formative experiences in the law as well as her tenure as acting Attorney General and the legal travails of the Trump administration.
May 27, 2018
Ep. 245 - Michael McFaul
Michael McFaul is the former U.S. ambassador to Russia and author of the book "From Cold War to Hot Peace," which chronicles U.S.-Russia relations during the Obama administration. He joins David Axelrod to talk about his path from Montana to Moscow, his early involvement in Democratic movements, Putin's Russia, and much more.
May 24, 2018
Ep. 244 - Steve Israel
Former congressman and novelist Steve Israel joins the show to discuss his new book on the gun lobby, the future of gun reform, the Democratic Party's chances of retaking the House, and more.
May 21, 2018
Ep. 243 - Jose Andres
Renowned chef and humanitarian Jose Andres joins David to talk about his love of cooking, the political situation in Catalonia, his disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico, and much more.
May 17, 2018
Ep. 242 - Tom Price
Former HHS Secretary Tom Price on his path to politics and healthcare in America.
May 14, 2018
Ep. 241 - Jeffrey Toobin
Staff writer for the New Yorker Jeffrey Toobin joins David to talk about working as a prosector in the Oliver North trial, covering the O.J. trial as a journalist, the Mueller investigation, and more.
May 10, 2018
Ep. 240 - Vladimir Kara-Murza
Journalist and Russian Pro-Democracy activist Vladimir Kara-Murza discusses Putin’s Russia, the Magnitsky Act, hope for a democratic Russia, and more..
May 07, 2018
Ep. 239 - Kelly Ayotte
Former Senator from New Hampshire Kelly Ayotte discusses her decision not to endorse Donald Trump, her early career as a prosecutor, counseling Neil Gorsuch during his confirmation process, and more.
May 03, 2018
Ep. 238 - Michael Avenatti
Michael Avenatti, the high-profile attorney representing Stormy Daniels, joins David to chat about how the loss of his father’s job when he was a teenager fueled his own ambitions, his passion for racecar driving, the slew of hard-hitting legal cases he’s been involved in, and what he thinks the outcome of the Stormy Daniels case will be.
Apr 30, 2018
Ep. 237 - Tom Perriello
Former Congressman Tom Perriello joins David for a conversation on the direction of the Democratic Party, big ideas for 2021 and beyond, lessons he learned in Sierra Leone, and more.
Apr 26, 2018
Ep. 236 - Mark Murray
Senior Political Editor at NBC News Mark Murray joins David to discuss the nationalization of politics, Paul Ryan's departure from Congress, what's in store for Republicans during the 2018 midterm elections, and more.
Apr 23, 2018
Ep. 235 - Gov. John Hickenlooper
Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado joins David to discuss the hardships of governing under a Republican administration, the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, his bipartisan blueprint to fix health care, and much more.
Apr 19, 2018
Ep. 234 - Zalmay Khalilzad
Former U.N. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad joins David to discuss his childhood in Afghanistan, what went wrong after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the future of conflict in the Middle East, and more.
Apr 16, 2018
Ep. 233 - Ed Miliband
Labour MP and former party leader Ed Miliband joins David to discuss the political climate in Britain, his ongoing battle with Rupert Murdoch, lessons from his 2015 defeat, and more.
Apr 12, 2018
Ep. 232 - Stephanie Schriock
President of Emily's List Stephanie Schriock joins David to discuss how growing up in a mining community influenced her politics, her groundbreaking work on the Howard Dean campaign in 2004, and the wave of women running for office in 2018.
Apr 09, 2018
Ep. 231 - Major Garrett
Major Garrett, Chief White House Correspondent with CBS News, chats with David about the most important story he ever covered, his time at Fox News, the sources of friction in Trump's White House, and more.
Apr 05, 2018
Ep. 230 - Charles Barkley
NBA Hall of Famer and TV analyst Charles Barkley joins David to talk about his journey from the segregated South to the NBA, why Trump-era politics “disgust” him, and whether NCAA athletes should get paid.
Apr 01, 2018
Ep. 229 - Andrea Mitchell
Andrea Mitchell, anchor and Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent for NBC News, joins David for a conversation about upheaval in Trump's State Department and the new dynamics that will govern Trump's foreign policy moving forward, looking ahead to a potential face-to-face meeting with Kim Jong-Un.
Mar 29, 2018
Ep. 228 - Michael Phelps
Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps joins David to talk about what it took to become the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, his battles with depression, and more.
Mar 26, 2018
Ep. 227 - Chris Cuomo
CNN television host Chris Cuomo joins David for a wide-ranging conversation on his decision to go into journalism, how his family name held him back, his father's legacy, and more.
Mar 22, 2018
Ep. 226 - Peter Wehner
Pete Wehner, author and former speechwriter for George W. Bush, joins David to discuss Trump's relationship with the Evangelical movement and the weaponization of faith in politics.
Mar 19, 2018
Ep. 225 - Ana Marie Cox
Ana Marie Cox, host of the podcast "With Friends Like These," joins David at South By Southwest to discuss her career in journalism from Wonkette to MTV and how an attempted suicide seven years ago in Texas changed her life and led her to turn to faith.
Mar 15, 2018
Ep. 224 - Jon Favreau (Live)
Pod Save America host Jon Favreau joins David for a live show in Austin to discuss his time as a speechwriter for Barack Obama, looking ahead to 2020, the future of progressive politics, and more.
Mar 12, 2018
Ep. 223 - Jay Roach
Film director and producer Jay Roach joins David to talk about his transition from directing comedies to political films, #TimesUp in Hollywood, converting to Judaism, and more.
Mar 08, 2018
Ep. 222 - Sen. Jeff Flake
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake joins David for the Axe Files on CNN to discuss what drove him out of the Senate, how his Mormonism informs his views on the Muslim ban, whether he thinks Trump will face a primary challenge, and more.
Mar 04, 2018
Ep. 221 - Jay Carney
Former White House spokesman Jay Carney joins David to talk about covering an attempted coup in Russia, how the job of press secretary has changed under Trump, his current role at Amazon, and much more.
Mar 01, 2018
Ep. 220 - Michael Gerson
Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson joins the show to talk about his battle with cancer, a wake-up call for the GOP, his work on PEPFAR, and much more.
Feb 26, 2018
Ep. 219 - Mayor Marty Walsh
Boston mayor Marty Walsh joins the show to talk about his past struggles with addiction, labor unions in the 21st century, his commitment to DACA recipients, gun control, and more.
Feb 22, 2018
Ep. 218 - Lawrence O'Donnell
Lawrence O'Donnell, journalist and host of MSNBC's The Last Word, joins David to discuss his rough encounter with the Boston Police Department, the car accident that changed his life, his work on The West Wing, his new book, and much more.
Feb 19, 2018
Ep. 217 - Jake Tapper
Journalist and CNN anchor Jake Tapper joins the show to talk about cartooning at Dartmouth, his date with Monica Lewinsky that helped launch his journalism career, moderating the second Republican primary debate, his new novel, and more.
Feb 15, 2018
Ep. 216 - Anthony Scaramucci
Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci joins David to talk about is upbringing on Long Island, how the economy has impacted communities like his home town, what went wrong during his tenure in the White House, the Rob Porter scandal, and more.
Feb 12, 2018
Ep. 215 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joins David at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics' fifth anniversary celebration for a conversation on growing up as the son of a prime minister, the tragic death of his younger brother, his mother's mental illness, youth engagement in politics, and issues facing both U.S. and Canada.
Feb 08, 2018
Ep. 214 - Whoopi Goldberg
Award-winning actress, activist, and talk show host Whoopi Goldberg joins David for the Axe Files on CNN to talk about her personal history with President Trump, her thoughts on the #MeToo movement, her film career, and the Hollywood friendships that changed her life.
Feb 04, 2018
Ep. 213 - Sen. Mark Warner
Virginia Senator Mark Warner reacts to the State of the Union address, discusses the latest developments in the Russia investigation, and shares his thoughts on the economic challenges that will define our future.
Feb 02, 2018
Ep. 212 - McKay Coppins
McKay Coppins, author and staff writer for The Atlantic, joins David to talk about his bizarre journey with candidate Donald Trump, Mitt Romney's Mormonism, his recent profile of Mike Pence, and more.
Jan 29, 2018
Ep. 211 - David Gregory
Journalist and CNN political analyst David Gregory joins the show to discuss his interview with Joe Biden, covering the Bush administration, his career after Meet the Press, the OJ trial, and more.
Jan 25, 2018
Ep. 210 - Ross Douthat
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat joins David to discuss his faith, why Trump loves the New York Times, Trump's brand of racism, and much more.
Jan 22, 2018
Ep. 209 - Norm Ornstein
Author and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute Norm Ornstein joins David to discuss the impact of mental illness in his life, the prospect of political reform post-Trump, the loss of Congressional norms, and more.
Jan 18, 2018
Ep. 208 - Condoleezza Rice
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joins the Axe Files on CNN to discuss her tenure in the Bush administration, foreign policy under the Trump administration, her advice for Oprah, and much more.
Jan 14, 2018
Ep. 207 - John Bouman
John Bouman, president of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, joins David to discuss fighting poverty through the court system, the prospect of welfare reform under President Trump, the Affordable Care Act, and more.
Jan 11, 2018
Ep. 206 - Rep. Cheri Bustos
Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos joins David to talk about representing a district that voted for Trump, how Democrats can reach out to rural white voters, why pushing for impeachment is a mistake, the state of Democratic leadership, and much more.
Jan 08, 2018
Ep. 205 - Jake Sullivan
Jake Sullivan, senior policy advisor to Hillary Clinton's 2016 election campaign, chats with David about his role in negotiating the Iran nuclear agreement, the Steele dossier, deconstructing the Clinton campaign, and more.
Jan 04, 2018
Ep. 204 - Adam Nagourney
Los Angeles Bureau Chief for the New York Times Adam Nagourney joins David to talk about his lifelong love of politics, journalism in New York City, Trump's relationship with the New York Times, and more.
Jan 01, 2018
Ep. 203 - Card. Blase Cupich
Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, joins David to talk about his journey to the highest levels of the Catholic church, visiting Puerto Rico in aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the impact of the recent tax bill, gun violence in Chicago, and more.
Dec 21, 2017
Ep. 202 - Laura Haim
Laura Haim, journalist and former communications strategist for Emmanuel Macron, joins David to talk about the state of democracy in Europe, covering conflicts around the globe, what she saw in Donald Trump before the Republican primary, and more.
Dec 18, 2017
Ep. 201 - Rick Santorum
Former Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum joins David to talk about his years in both the House and Senate, his path to his Catholic faith, his views on President Trump, and the consequences of Roy Moore's defeat in Alabama.
Dec 14, 2017
Ep. 200 - Ed Gillespie
Former Chair of the RNC Ed Gillespie joins the Axe Files to talk about his failed bid for Governor of Virginia, the controversial ads he ran during that race, the candidacy of Roy Moore and the state of the Republican party.
Dec 11, 2017
Ep. 199 - Eric Garcetti
Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti joins David to talk about the potential impact of the tax bill on his city, the way forward for the Democratic party, his own political future, and much more.
Dec 07, 2017
Ep. 198 - Preet Bharara
Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara joins David to discuss the latest in the Russia investigation, Michael Flynn's decision to plead guilty to lying to the FBI, controversial appointments the federal judiciary by the Trump administration, his career as a prosecutor in New York, and more.
Dec 04, 2017
Ep. 197 - Tom Hanks
Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks joins David to talk about how his career began, films as a part of historical record, the sexual harassment scandals in Hollywood, his views on the Trump presidency, and more.
Dec 03, 2017
Ep. 196 - Pete Souza
Former Chief White House Photographer Pete Souza chats with David about serving under two presidents, his first encounter with Barack Obama, working as a photojournalist during the war in Afghanistan, and more.
Nov 30, 2017
Ep. 195 - David Sanger
Chief Washington Correspondent of The New York Times David Sanger joins the show to talk about how we arrived at the crisis point with North Korea, the new frontier of cyber warfare, and the state of journalism, and more.
Nov 27, 2017
Ep. 194 - Steve Kerr
Head coach of the Golden State Warriors Steve Kerr rejoins David for the Axe Files on CNN to talk about his life, his struggles with chronic pain, and his political activism following the election of Donald Trump.
Nov 26, 2017
Ep. 193 - Kathleen Sebelius
Former HHS Secretary and two term Governor of Kansas Kathleen Sebelius discusses her family's legacy in politics, sexual harassment in America, and the future of Obamacare under the Trump administration.
Nov 22, 2017
Ep. 192 - Donna Brazile
Democratic strategist Donna Brazile sit down with David to discuss her early work with Rev. Jesse Jackson, moving up through the ranks of the Democratic Party, systemic issues in the DNC, the accusations in her new book, and more.
Nov 20, 2017
Ep. 191 - Tony Blair
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair joins David in London to talk about the implications of Brexit, the Trump/Brexit connection, his dealings since stepping away from British politics, and more.
Nov 16, 2017
Ep. 190 - Christiane Amanpour
CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour joins David in London to discuss growing up in Iran during the revolution, her experience covering the first Gulf War, her relationship with John F. Kennedy Jr., the refugee crisis, and much more.
Nov 13, 2017
Ep. 189 - Fred Hochberg
Former Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg chats with David about the evolution of gay and transgender rights issues, his replacement at EXIM, trade issues in the United States, and more.
Nov 09, 2017
Ep. 188 - Susan E. Rice
Ambassador Susan E. Rice joins David to talk about lessons learned from Rwanda to Syria, the threat from North Korea, the need for American leadership in the world, the Tuskegee Airmen, and much more.
Nov 06, 2017
Ep. 187 - Gov. Terry McAuliffe
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe joins David to talk about the races in Virginia, his winning formula in a Southern state, what Democrats need to focus on in 2018, the Mueller investigation, and more.
Nov 02, 2017
Ep. 186 - Bakari Sellers
Former South Carolina State Representative Bakari Sellers joins the show to talk about his family's involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, the Orangeburg Massacre, politics in the South, voting rights, and more.
Oct 30, 2017
Ep. 185 - Karen Tumulty
Washington Post political correspondent Karen Tumulty joins David to talk about growing up in military family, Trump's controversial call with a military widow, the many changes in the field of journalism, and more.
Oct 26, 2017
Ep. 184 - David Miliband
David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, joins the show to talk about the refugee crisis, the forces shaping European politics, his work at the IRC, and more.
Oct 23, 2017
Ep. 183 - Ta-Nehisi Coates
Author and writer for The Atlantic Magazine Ta-Nehisi Coates sits down with David to talk about his upbringing in Baltimore, his early forays into journalism, race and politics in America, his reflections on the Obama presidency, and much more.
Oct 19, 2017
Ep. 182 - Sen. Michael Bennet
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet chats with David about securing the future of our democracy, making tough choices as a a school superintendent in Denver, his work on the DREAM Act, and more.
Oct 16, 2017
Ep. 181 - Rep. Nancy Pelosi
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi joins the Axe Files once again to talk about her negotiations with President Trump on the Dreamers, the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, her hopes for women in public service, and more.
Oct 14, 2017
Ep. 180 - David Rubenstein
Financier and philanthropist David Rubenstein joins David to talk about his modest beginnings in Baltimore, working in the White House for Jimmy Carter, the importance of civic education, and more. CNNPoliticsAPP
Oct 12, 2017
Ep. 179 - David Litt
Former Obama speechwriter David Litt discusses his early days as a field organizer for Obama in 2008, his botched interview with the CIA, and other lessons learned during his ongoing career in politics as told in his new book, "Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years."
Oct 09, 2017
Ep. 178 - Jason Kander
Jason Kander, Missouri politician and veteran of the war in Afghanistan, joins David to discuss gun control in the wake of the massacre in Las Vegas, charting a path forward in the Middle East, fighting voter suppression, and more.
Oct 05, 2017
Ep. 177 - Jeff Roe
Republican campaign strategist Jeff Roe sits down with David to talk about working his way up in politics, the defeat of Luther Strange in Alabama, the urgency in the White House to notch a policy win, and how Trump impacts Republican candidates in 2018.
Oct 02, 2017
Ep. 176 - Jim Baker
James A. Baker III, Chief of Staff to Ronald Reagan, joins David to talk about decision-making in the aftermath of an assassination attempt on Reagan, the ongoing anthem protests in the NFL, imposing discipline in a Trump White House, the coarsening of our politics, and more.
Sep 30, 2017
Ep. 175 - Bill Bradley
Former Senator and Hall of Fame basketball player Bill Bradley talks with David about fighting for a player's union in the NBA, the prospect of tax reform, creating compromise in the Senate, and more.
Sep 28, 2017
Ep. 174 - Gayle King
CBS This Morning host Gayle King sits down with David to discuss her formative years in Turkey, the divisions in America today, her friendship with Oprah, raising two kids as a working mom, and more.
Sep 25, 2017
Special Episode - David Axelrod
The tables have turned as David joins hosts Katie Couric and Brian Goldsmith on the Katie Couric podcast to talk about his career in politics and journalism, what the election of Donald Trump means for the country, how he feels about the attempted undoing of Obama's legacy, and much more.
Sep 21, 2017
Ep. 173 - Rep. Seth Moulton
Congressman Seth Moulton sits down with David to talk about his military service, President Trump's shortcomings as commander-in-chief, the situation in North Korea, helping more veterans get elected to public office, and more.
Sep 18, 2017
Ep. 172 - Sen. Joe Donnelly
Senator Joe Donnelly joins David to talk about the challenge of making tough votes in Congress, why he thinks the Dream Act will get to the Senate floor, the opioid crisis, the future of the Democratic party, and more.
Sep 14, 2017
Ep. 171 - Gov. Jay Inslee
Washington Governor Jay Inslee sits down with David to talk about the DACA decision, the importance of electing more Democratic governors, the future of the green economy, climate change, and more.
Sep 11, 2017
Ep. 170 - Sen. Patty Murray
Washington Senator Patty Murray joins David to discuss President Trump's brinkmanship in North Korea, the importance of female leadership in Congress, and her path from a mom in tennis shoes to the most powerful woman in the Senate.
Sep 07, 2017
Ep. 169 - Don Rose
Don Rose, legendary Chicago political consultant and former press secretary to Martin Luther King Jr., joins David to talk about his role in the civil rights movement from a very early age, how he helped organize the 1968 Democratic Convention protests in Chicago, what the recent attacks in Charlottesville mean for the future of our country, and more.
Sep 04, 2017
Ep. 168 - Penny Pritzker
Former U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker joins David to talk about her family's humble beginnings, what Trump's proposed immigration policies could mean for the country, the future of our economy, and more.
Aug 28, 2017
Ep. 167 - Rahm Emanuel
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel reacts to Trump's controversial statements on Charlottesville, discusses the city's lawsuit over the Trump administration's immigration policies, shares his advice for the Democratic Party ahead of the 2018 midterms, and more.
Aug 17, 2017
Ep. 166 - Rep. Luis Gutierrez
Congressman Luis Gutierrez discusses his formative years in Puerto Rico, his political education in Chicago alongside Harold Washington, and his hopes and fears for immigration policy under the Trump administration.
Aug 14, 2017
Ep. 165 - Gary Hart
Former Senator Gary Hart joins David to talk about his rural roots in Kansas, his torpedoed presidential campaign, the implications Russia investigation for the Trump presidency, and how it feels to be portrayed by Hugh Jackman in an upcoming movie.
Aug 07, 2017
Ep. 164 - Rep. Adam Kinzinger
Congressman Adam Kinzinger joins David to discuss his early forays into politics as a college student, Trump's strained relationship with Congress, the evolving threat in North Korea, and more.
Jul 31, 2017
Ep. 163 - Mitch Landrieu
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu talks about his family's deep political roots in the South, rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, his decision to remove Confederate monuments from his city, and why Democrats can't write off another Trump victory.
Jul 24, 2017
Ep. 162 - Rep. John Lewis
Congressman John Lewis joins David in Atlanta to talk about his experiences during the Civil Rights Movement, how far America has come on the issue of race, his views on President Donald Trump, and his emotional reaction to an audio exhibit at the Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Jul 15, 2017
Ep. 161 - George Stephanopoulos
Chief Anchor for ABC News George Stephanopoulos chats with David about his previous career in politics, the Trump administration's tense relationship with the press, and what the appointment of a Special Counsel portends for the White House.
Jul 10, 2017
Ep. 160 - Sen. Cory Booker
Sen. Cory Booker joins David to talk about his humbling experiences in Newark, racism in America, his mindset ahead of the 2020 presidential election, and more.
Jul 03, 2017
Ep. 159 - Dana Bash
CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash sits down with David to discuss the Senate health care bill, her experience covering the 9/11 attacks from Capitol Hill, and the roots of political gridlock in Washington.
Jun 26, 2017
Ep. 158 - Bill Daley
Bill Daley, former White House chief of staff to President Obama and Secretary of Commerce under President Clinton, chats with David about his father's and his brother's tenures as mayors of Chicago, the consequences of NAFTA, the build-up to the Osama bin Laden raid in 2011, and how chaos in the Trump administration is a reflection of the President.
Jun 22, 2017
Ep. 157 - Steven Greenhouse
Former labor correspondent for The New York Times Steven Greenhouse joins David to discuss the gig economy, the decline of unions, and his message for journalists in the Trump era.
Jun 19, 2017
Ep. 156 - Bob Dold
Former Rep. Bob Dold talks with David about being a Republican in a blue district, running a business during the recession, and the problems a Trump administration poses for moderate Republicans.
Jun 15, 2017
Ep. 155 - Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren joins David to talk about the myriad challenges facing the middle class in the 21st century, her ongoing battles in the Senate, and her new book "This Fight is Our Fight."
Jun 12, 2017
Ep. 154 - Geoffrey Stone
Geoffrey Stone, University of Chicago law professor and author, speaks with David Axelrod about his impressions of his former law school student, James Comey; the likelihood that Roe v. Wade will be overturned in President Trump's term and the consequences that would have for the country; and what surprised him when he served on a panel appointed by President Obama to make recommendations on oversight matters within the National Security Agency.
Jun 08, 2017
Ep. 153 - Sen. Tom Cotton
Sen. Tom Cotton, Republican from Arkansas, talks with David Axelrod about why he decided to join the Army and what he learned during his deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan; his assessment of the evolving relationship between the U.S. and its European allies; and his views, as a member of the Intelligence Committee, on the ongoing investigation into possible ties between Russian officials and members of the Trump campaign.
Jun 05, 2017
Ep. 152 - Alfredo Corchado
Alfredo Corchado, author and journalist at the Dallas Morning News, talks with David Axelrod about the two chance encounters that inspired him to pursue a career in journalism, the dangers he and others have experienced while reporting on the Mexican drug cartels, and how corruption and crime in Mexico may propel a populist presidential candidate to victory in next year's election.
Jun 01, 2017
Ep. 151 - Brian Deese
Brian Deese, former senior advisor to President Obama, talks with David Axelrod about the instrumental role Deese played in the 2009 auto bailout, the consequences associated with rolling back financial regulatory reforms, and why he believes the Obama administration's climate change policy should be preserved.
May 29, 2017
Ep. 150 - Grover Norquist
Grover Norquist, political advocate and president of Americans for Tax Reform, talks with David Axelrod about how he envisioned his anti-tax pledge as a young boy, his hopes for tax reform under the Trump administration, and what it was like to win the annual "D.C.'s Funniest Celebrity" comedy competition.
May 25, 2017
Ep. 149 - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand talks with David about how her faith helps her forge relationships in Congress, how the Democratic Party can rebuild after the 2016 election, and what she thinks about the latest developments in the investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
May 22, 2017
Ep. 148 - Tony Blinken
Former Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken discusses spending his formative years overseas, how his experiences during the Kosovo War impacts his understanding of the Syrian conflict, and the diplomatic challenges faced by the Trump administration in the wake of the Russian leaks.
May 18, 2017
Ep. 147 - Gov. Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown, the governor of California, talks with David Axelrod about the lessons he's learned from a remarkable career in American politics, his advice for an embattled President Trump, what the Democratic Party can do to improve its standing in the aftermath of the 2016 election, and why California will continue to be a progressive stronghold in the era of Trump.
May 14, 2017
Ep. 146 - Chelsea Handler
Chelsea Handler, comedian and creator of the Netflix show "Chelsea," sits down with David Axelrod to discuss the work she's doing on behalf of Syrian refugees, why the election of Donald Trump compelled her to become more politically active, and how a speech at a DUI class led her to pursue a career in comedy.
May 11, 2017
Ep. 145 - Jennifer Granholm
Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan, talks with David Axelrod about her searing experiences while governing through an economic crisis, why she thinks the Democratic Party needs to develop a comprehensive jobs plan, and how she prepared to play Sarah Palin during a debate session with Joe Biden.
May 08, 2017
Ep. 144 - Gov. John Kasich
John Kasich, the governor of Ohio and former presidential candidate, talks with David Axelrod about his working-class upbringing in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania; his assessment of the opening months of the Trump administration; and what his political future might hold in 2020.
May 04, 2017
Ep. 143 - Rep. Ro Khanna
Rep. Ro Khanna, congressman from California, talks with David Axelrod about the need for the Democratic Party to develop an effective economic message that resonates in every part of the country, why he supported Bernie Sanders in last year's Democratic primary, and why he believes President Trump's actions so far have benefitted Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.
May 01, 2017
Ep. 142 - Shailagh Murray
Shailagh Murray, former senior advisor to President Obama, talks with David Axelrod about the decades she spent as a journalist before transitioning into government service, the changing nature of the President's bully pulpit in the 21st century media environment, and why she believes Mitch McConnell's electoral successes haven't produced tangible benefits for the country.
Apr 27, 2017
Ep. 141 - Dan Shapiro
Dan Shapiro, the former ambassador to Israel during the Obama administration, talks with David Axelrod about the prospects for Middle East peace, his assessment of the State Department's performance in the opening months of the Trump administration, and why he believes the Iranian nuclear deal was in the best interest of the United States.
Apr 24, 2017
Ep. 140 - Rep. Adam Schiff
Adam Schiff, congressman from California and leading Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, talks with David Axelrod about his committee's investigation into possible connections between the Russians who interfered in the U.S. presidential election and associates of Donald Trump; America's options to de-escalate or resolve tensions with North Korea; and why he believes we should reform some of the U.S. intelligence community's surveillance methods.
Apr 20, 2017
Ep. 139 - Lisa Monaco
Lisa Monaco, the former homeland security adviser to President Obama, talks with David Axelrod about what she thinks are the greatest threats facing America today, why the Trump administration's travel ban hurts our counterterrorism efforts, and why she believes Russia's incursion into our election has opened a new phase in cyberwarfare.
Apr 17, 2017
Ep. 138 - Jason Benetti
Jason Benetti, play-by-play man for the Chicago White Sox, joins David to discuss how he overcame the effects of cerebral palsy to become a television broadcaster, his hopes and fears for people with disabilities, and the art of the call.
Apr 13, 2017
Ep. 137 - Jim Sciutto
Jim Sciutto, CNN's chief national security correspondent, talks with David Axelrod about the impact his Jesuit education had on his worldview, the complex nature of the U.S.-China relationship, the key question that world leaders and diplomats are asking about the Trump administration, and the pressures he's feeling as a reporter in the Trump era.
Apr 10, 2017
Ep. 136 - Ben Smith
Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, talks with David Axelrod about BuzzFeed's approach to journalism and how he responds to the organization's critics, why Donald Trump has reenergized the news media, why BuzzFeed decided to publish the Trump dossier without verifying its claims, and how the Clinton campaign in 2016 overcompensated for its mistakes in 2008.
Apr 06, 2017
Ep. 135 - Sen. John McCain
Senator John McCain talks with David Axelrod about the threat Russia poses to Western democracies, why he is more worried now about America than he has ever been before, what he misses most about his early days in the House and Senate, and why Donald Trump is no Ronald Reagan.
Apr 02, 2017
Ep. 134 - Joe Maddon
Joe Maddon, manager of the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, joins David before Opening Day to talk about his working class upbringing in Pennsylvania, his path towards an unconventional leadership style, the Cubs' prospects for a repeat, and more.
Mar 30, 2017
Ep. 133 - Julián Castro
Julián Castro, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, talks with David Axelrod about why Housing and Urban Development programs are important to rural and urban communities and should be preserved; Donald Trump's strained relationship with the Latino community; the lessons Democrats can learn from 2016; and whether he plans to run for office again.
Mar 27, 2017
Ep. 132 - Wendy Sherman
Wendy Sherman, the former lead negotiator on the Iran nuclear deal, talks with David Axelrod about how her experience in social work prepared her for a career in politics and international diplomacy; the inner-workings of the Iran nuclear deal; and what the world must do to stabilize the belligerent regime in North Korea.
Mar 23, 2017
Ep. 131 - Jackie Calmes
Jackie Calmes, the veteran newspaper reporter, talks with David Axelrod about the pressures journalists face covering President Trump, her concerns for the future of the news business, her experiences covering three presidencies and the Gingrich Revolution in Congress, and her favorite article she wrote during her nearly 40-year career in newspapers.
Mar 20, 2017
Ep. 130 - Michael Froman
Michael Froman, the former U.S. Trade Representative, talks with David Axelrod about why technology and not free trade poses the biggest threat to middle class jobs and wages in America; what the U.S. stands to lose by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement; and why American workers will be harmed by Donald Trump’s global trade policies.
Mar 16, 2017
Ep. 129 - Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, talks with David Axelrod about Donald Trump’s appeal in communities like South Bend; how urban economies can thrive amid the challenges posed by globalization; why he ran for chairman of the Democratic National Committee and his advice to the winner, Tom Perez; and why it’s “self-defeating” in the Trump era for Democrats to target other Democrats.
Mar 13, 2017
Ep. 128 - Sen. Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris, the newly-elected senator from California, talks with David Axelrod about the prospects for criminal justice reform legislation in Congress, why she believes President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee must be approved with 60 votes, her argument for why Democrats should stop their infighting and unify against the Trump agenda, and how she’s adjusting to life in the Senate.
Mar 09, 2017
Ep. 127 - Kasim Reed
Kasim Reed, the mayor of Atlanta, talks with David Axelrod about why President Trump often criticizes big cities like Atlanta, why Democrats must work through their internal differences and unite as a party, and why he believes President Trump plans to arrange a $1 trillion infrastructure investment in a way that maximizes his chances for re-election.
Mar 06, 2017
Ep. 126 - Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Albright, the former Secretary of State, speaks with David Axelrod about her experiences as a young political refugee in the 1940s and how that shapes her view of President Trump’s travel ban; the effect the Trump presidency is having on the global order; why it’s important for the U.S. to stay engaged in the world; and her view on Steve Bannon’s role within the White House.
Mar 02, 2017
Ep. 125 - Jeffrey Goldberg
Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief of The Atlantic magazine, talks with David Axelrod about the prospects for Middle East peace during the Trump administration, the demands of leading a news organization in the Trump era, and what Trump’s foreign policy intentions could mean for global stability.
Feb 27, 2017
Ep. 124 - Bill Kristol
Bill Kristol, the neoconservative commentator and founder of The Weekly Standard, talks with David Axelrod about his experiences as Dan Quayle’s chief of staff, the unnerving first month of the Trump administration, and why he believes nation-building and support of liberal democracies is in America’s best interest.
Feb 23, 2017
Ep. 123 - Corey Lewandowski
Corey Lewandowski, the campaign manager to Donald Trump throughout the Republican primary, talks with David Axelrod about the career he led prior to becoming a figure in national politics, his response to reports alleging that Trump campaign officials were in constant communication during the presidential campaign with suspected Russian officials, and how the Trump White House can reset and move past its turbulent first month.
Feb 20, 2017
Ep. 122 - Mike Leavitt
Mike Leavitt, former governor of Utah, talks with David Axelrod about the Republican path forward on the Affordable Care Act, the health care lessons he learned serving as President Bush’s Health and Human Services Secretary, his views as a former EPA administrator on effective ways in which to address climate change, and much more.
Feb 16, 2017
Ep. 121 - Nancy-Ann DeParle
Nancy-Ann DeParle, one of the lead authors of the Affordable Care Act, talks with David Axelrod about Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare, the consequences for people and for the health insurance market if the law is repealed without an adequate legislative replacement, and her argument for why the Affordable Care Act is working.
Feb 13, 2017
Ep. 120 - J.D. Vance
J.D. Vance, author of the bestselling book Hillbilly Elegy, talks with David Axelrod about what it was that attracted working class voters to President Trump, why he’s so concerned by the clustering of homogenous communities in America, and what he thinks could be done to help address the social and economic difficulties in rural and urban areas of the country.
Feb 09, 2017
Ep. 119 - Matt Bai
Matt Bai, the national political columnist for Yahoo! News, talks with David Axelrod about the intersection between politics, media, and celebrity; the media’s role in Donald Trump’s political rise; and how news organizations can effectively cover President Trump and the new administration.
Feb 06, 2017
Ep. 118 - Carl Bernstein
Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein talks with David Axelrod about his memories as a young copy boy at The Washington Star, the details of the landmark reporting he did that exposed the Watergate cover-up and led to President Nixon’s resignation, how he grappled with the forces of celebrity after he became a cultural figure, and what he thinks investigative reporters should be looking at with regard to President Trump.
Feb 02, 2017
Ep. 117 - Natalie Jaresko
Natalie Jaresko, Ukraine's former Finance Minister, chats with David Axelrod about her Ukrainian-American upbringing in Chicago, how Russia’s violation of international norms could portend global upheaval, and the potential costs of a Trump administration's isolationist policy both in the United States and globally.
Jan 30, 2017
Ep. 116 - Cody Keenan
Cody Keenan, former chief speechwriter to President Obama, talks with David Axelrod about his evolution from intern in the speechwriting department of the 2008 Obama presidential campaign to becoming the President’s chief speechwriter; how President Obama collaborates on the speechwriting process; and what it was like to serve in the White House for eight years.
Jan 26, 2017
Ep. 115 - Cecile Richards
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, talks with David Axelrod about growing up in deep-red Texas as the daughter of prominent Democratic activists, the gains made in women’s health over the past eight years, and in what ways that progress may be lost if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
Jan 23, 2017
Ep. 114 - Thomas Friedman
Thomas Friedman, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, talks with David Axelrod about the prospects for the Middle East peace process in the Trump era, the rapid changes transforming society which he chronicles in his latest book, and why he disagrees with President Obama's decision to not pursue more direct American intervention in the Syrian civil war.
Jan 19, 2017
Ep. 113 - Theo Epstein
Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations for the World Series champion Chicago Cubs, chats with David about growing up in Massachusetts, becoming general manager of the Boston Red Sox at only 28 years old, how his use of advanced analytics helped steer the Red Sox and Cubs to curse-breaking championships, and more.
Jan 16, 2017
Ep. 112 - Chris Wallace
Chris Wallace, the longtime journalist and host of Fox News Sunday, talks with David Axelrod about why Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign was the best he ever covered; why he thinks the Obama administration could have done better at outreach to Republicans; and how he views some of the potential changes that may be coming for the White House Press Corps.
Jan 12, 2017
Ep. 111 - John Brennan
John Brennan, the outgoing CIA Director, talks with David Axelrod about the consequences that could arise from devaluing the intelligence community, the Russian hack into the Democratic National Committee’s computers, the many geopolitical challenges in the Middle East, and much more.
Jan 09, 2017
Ep. 110 - Sean Spicer
Sean Spicer, incoming White House Press Secretary and Communications Director for Donald Trump, talks with David Axelrod about what he hopes to achieve in his new job, Trump’s skepticism toward the intelligence community’s assessment of the Russian hacking issue, why Trump will govern with a mandate, and what to expect from the first 100 days of a Trump administration.
Jan 05, 2017
Ep. 109 - Mark Shriver
Mark Shriver, the author and children’s rights advocate, talks with David Axelrod about the enduring legacies his parents left on the nation and on the wider world, why losing a Congressional race became a great personal development for him, what compelled him to write a book about Pope Francis, and why the policy priorities of the Trump administration could be detrimental to at-risk communities.
Jan 02, 2017
Ep. 108 - President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama sits down with David Axelrod to discuss their shared history together, how President Obama managed to stay grounded during turbulent moments of his childhood and adolescence, why the Obama presidency struggled to overcome the partisan politics in Washington, and what’s in store for the President when he leaves office on January 20th.
Dec 26, 2016
Ep. 107 - Eli Attie
Eli Attie, writer for The West Wing and former political speechwriter, talks with David Axelrod about how he went from being a speechwriter to writing television scripts for one of the most notable shows on American politics, his recollection of being in the room on election night when Al Gore rescinded his concession to George W. Bush, and how the fictionalized version of the political speechwriter is often at odds with reality.
Dec 22, 2016
Ep. 106 - Tammy Duckworth
Tammy Duckworth, the U.S. Senator-elect from Illinois, talks with David Axelrod about her childhood in Southeast Asia, the harrowing day in Iraq when the helicopter she was co-piloting came under attack, her concerns with Donald Trump’s reliance on the military to fill Cabinet posts, and what she hopes to accomplish in the U.S. Senate.
Dec 19, 2016
Ep. 105 - Denis McDonough
Denis McDonough, the White House Chief of Staff, talks with David Axelrod about how growing up in a house with ten brothers and sisters was good preparation for life, why he thinks it would prove difficult for the next administration to undo aspects of President Obama’s domestic policies, and the greatest disappointments from his White House tenure.
Dec 15, 2016
Ep. 104 - Alex Castellanos
Alex Castellanos, longtime Republican consultant, talks with David Axelrod about his childhood experiences in Cuba, the importance of storytelling and authenticity in politics, why he thinks Donald Trump could be an effective president, and what he believes will be the biggest challenge Trump faces in Washington.
Dec 12, 2016
Ep. 103 - Sen. Harry Reid
Harry Reid, the Senate Minority Leader, sits down with David to talk about the changes he’s seen in Washington during his 34 years there, what he views as the greatest professional joy of his life, and how Democrats should approach a Donald Trump presidency.
Dec 08, 2016
Ep. 102 - Davis Guggenheim
Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim chats with David about the growing negativity of political media, working with Al Gore on An Inconvenient Truth, and the shared pathology between D.C. and Hollywood.
Dec 05, 2016
Ep. 101 - Alex Wagner
Alex Wagner, the journalist and political commentator, talks with David Axelrod about her early exposure to politics as the daughter of a Democratic field organizer, what lessons the news media and voters should draw from Donald Trump’s election, and her concerns about transparency and press access in a Trump administration..
Dec 01, 2016
Ep. 100 - Doris Kearns Goodwin
Doris Kearns Goodwin, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, talks with David Axelrod about her love of baseball, the power of storytelling in politics, why being tested by adversity is an important experience for our leaders, and much more.
Nov 28, 2016
Ep. 99 - Steve Kerr
Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors, sits down with David to discuss his upbringing in the Middle East, his father’s assassination in Beirut, his reaction to President-elect Trump’s victory, his future in coaching, and much more.
Nov 23, 2016
Ep. 98 - Larry Summers
Larry Summers, U.S. economist and former Treasury Secretary, talks with David Axelrod about growing up in a family of renowned economists, shares his view of what did and did not cause the financial crisis in 2008, and forecasts the economic implications of Donald Trump’s policy proposals.
Nov 21, 2016
Ep. 97 - Douglas Alexander
Douglas Alexander, former British Labour politician and U.K. Cabinet Minister, chats with David Axelrod about how the closure of a car plant ignited his interest in politics, Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election, and more.
Nov 17, 2016
Ep. 96 - Michael Morell
Michael Morell, the former acting director of the CIA, reflects on George W. Bush and Barack Obama after serving both presidents for years; shares his harrowing experience of being with President Bush on 9/11, and the subsequent decisions that he believes contributed to the invasion of Iraq; and what he sees as the most rapidly growing threat to America’s national security.
Nov 14, 2016
Ep. 95 - Van Jones
Van Jones, political activist and CNN commentator, talks with David about Tuesday’s election results and the cultural chasm that exists in America, his childhood in rural Tennessee and the important relationship he had with his father, and why he won’t be running for public office any time soon.
Nov 10, 2016
Ep. 94 - John Weaver
John Weaver, veteran Republican strategist, talks to David about how he sees the election unfolding and what the result will mean for governing in Washington, what he thinks John Kasich will do next, and how a career in politics takes a personal toll on individuals and their families.
Nov 07, 2016
Ep. 93 - DeRay Mckesson
DeRay Mckesson, one of the most prominent leaders in the Black Lives Matter movement, talks to David about his decision to endorse Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, his organization’s work to end police violence, the importance of public education, and his turbulent childhood in inner-city Baltimore.
Nov 03, 2016
Ep. 92 - Carl Hulse
Carl Hulse, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times, reflects on how Congress has changed during his years covering the institution, discusses what Paul Ryan’s political future may hold, and provides some insight into how Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination might play out after the presidential election.
Oct 31, 2016
Ep. 91 - Sec. John Kerry
Secretary of State John Kerry talks to David about his service in Vietnam, why he chose to concede quickly after losing the 2004 presidential election, and his time in the U.S. Senate and how the institution has changed in recent decades.
Oct 27, 2016
Ep. 90 - Tim Kaine
Tim Kaine, the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee and senator from Virginia, talks to David about his experience doing missionary work in Honduras with the Jesuits and the liberation theology he was exposed to there, why Congress should pass a new military authorization to fight ISIS, and why it’s better to choose optimism over pessimism.
Oct 24, 2016
Ep. 89 - John Heilemann
John Heilemann, co-managing editor of Bloomberg Politics and best-selling author of Game Change, talks with David about Trump’s electoral end game, his own short but momentous stint as a political aide, and why his personality traits were ultimately better suited to journalism.
Oct 20, 2016
Ep. 88 - Ron Brownstein
Ron Brownstein, columnist at The Atlantic and longtime political journalist, talks to David about working for Ralph Nader in the 1970s, the intersection between Hollywood and Washington, and the demographic realities that will likely determine the presidential election.
Oct 17, 2016
Ep. 87 - Maureen Dowd
Maureen Dowd, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, talks with David about growing up in Washington, D.C., how newsrooms have changed since she became a journalist in the 1970s, and how she views the presidents and would-be presidents she’s covered over her career.
Oct 13, 2016
Ep. 86 - Gary Johnson
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate for president, talks with David about his foreign policy vision, the Johnson administration’s approach to illegal drugs, and his infamous Aleppo moment.
Oct 10, 2016
Ep. 85 - Fareed Zakaria
Fareed Zakaria talks to David about some of the most intractable problems around the globe—including how America should respond to the social and political upheaval in the Middle East, and to escalating tensions with Russia.
Oct 06, 2016
Ep. 84 - Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton," talks to David about what he learned from meeting Stephen Sondheim in high school, what would surprise the Founders about our politics today, his advocacy for Puerto Rico as Congress debated how to address the island's debt crisis, and why he can't allow his creative output to be held captive to his own successes.
Oct 03, 2016
Ep. 83 - Tom Brokaw
Tom Brokaw, the legendary NBC News journalist, talks to David about his humble roots in South Dakota, covering the last days of the Nixon White House, the experience of being a news anchor during national tragedies like the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion and the 9/11 attacks, and the best news source he ever had.
Sep 29, 2016
Ep. 82 - Barney Frank
Barney Frank, longtime former congressman from Massachusetts, talks with David about his involvement in the civil rights movement, the challenges he faced as a gay man in public life in the 1970s, his work on the landmark Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, and what Congress needs to do to start functioning again.
Sep 26, 2016
Ep. 81 - Michael Steele (Live)
Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, talks with David about the three years he spent in a Catholic seminary, his first job in politics working for Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, and the challenges he faced as leader of the Republican Party.
Sep 22, 2016
Ep. 80 - Karl Rove
Karl Rove, former White House senior adviser and deputy chief of staff, and the mastermind behind President George W. Bush’s two presidential campaigns, sits down with David to discuss his early passion for politics, his assessment of the Bush years, and Donald Trump’s difficult road to winning the White House.
Sep 19, 2016
Ep. 79 - EJ Dionne
EJ Dionne, long-time op-ed columnist for The Washington Post and author of “Why the Right Went Wrong", chats with David about his start in journalism, the Catholic Church under Pope Francis, what Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton need to do to win the election, and more.
Sep 15, 2016
Ep. 78 - Peter Hart
Peter Hart, a veteran U.S. pollster who has helped produce the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll for the last three decades, speaks to David about the odds of Donald Trump winning in November, what he thinks Hillary Clinton should do to defeat him, the history and future of polling, and more.
Sep 12, 2016
Ep. 77 - Caroline Kennedy
Caroline Kennedy, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, sits down with David to discuss her memories of the White House, her mother’s strength in the wake of her father’s death, her wide-ranging career from the New York City Dept. of Education to her current role in Asia, and more.
Sep 08, 2016
Ep. 76 - Graham Moore
Academy Award-winning screenwriter of 'The Imitation Game' Graham Moore sits down with David to discuss what motivated him to speak publicly about his struggles with mental illness, why he likes writing historical fiction, his love of science, his new novel, and more.
Sep 06, 2016
Ep. 75 - Fr. Michael Pfleger
Father Michael Pfleger, senior pastor at Saint Sabina Church and social activist on Chicago's South Side, sits down with David to discuss violence and police accountability in Chicago and across the nation, the influence that Martin Luther King Jr. had on him as a young boy, his thoughts on Hillary Clinton, and more.
Aug 29, 2016
Ep. 74 - Robert Gibbs
Robert Gibbs, former White House press secretary for President Obama, sits down with David to discuss his childhood in Alabama, his experience working for Sen. Fritz Hollings, Obama's 2008 campaign, life in the White House briefing room, and more.
Aug 22, 2016
Ep. 73 - Sec. Tom Vilsack
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack joins David to talk about his humble beginnings in Iowa, his relationship with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party's struggles in rural America, and more.
Aug 15, 2016
Ep. 72 - Deval Patrick
Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick joins David to discuss his upbringing in Chicago, his experience studying in Darfur, police-community relations, and more.
Aug 08, 2016
Ep. 71 - John Dickerson
John Dickerson, host of “Face the Nation,” sits down with David at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to talk about the genesis of the Trump campaign, the death of real news, his new book, and more.
Aug 01, 2016
Ep. 70 - Paul Simon
Legendary musician Paul Simon sits down with David at the DNC in Philadelphia to chat about the 1970 breakup of Simon & Garfunkel, this fall's presidential election, and why he’s not retiring just yet.
Jul 28, 2016
Ep. 69 - SE Cupp
SE Cupp, CNN commentator and conservative columnist, talks to David about why she won’t vote for Donald Trump in November, her time as a professional ballet dancer when she was a teenager, her battle with depression and an eating disorder, her views on the conservative movement in the U.S, and more.
Jul 25, 2016
Ep. 68 - Mark McKinnon
Mark McKinnon, a veteran GOP strategist who was chief media advisor for President George W. Bush’s campaigns in 2000 and 2004, sits down with David at the Republican national convention in Cleveland to discuss his switch from the Democratic to the Republican Party, his media career and political reform projects, and more.
Jul 21, 2016
Ep. 67 - Hugh Hewitt
Hugh Hewitt, columnist and radio host of "The Hugh Hewitt Show," talks to David about his time as a young researcher to President Richard Nixon, how he went from describing Trump as a “stage-IV cancer” to supporting his candidacy, his thoughts on Hillary Clinton and Judge Merrick Garland, and more.
Jul 18, 2016
Ep. 66 - Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Jeffrey DeLaurentis, chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba, sits down with David to discuss his career at the State Department, his three posts in Cuba, the Obama administration’s push to normalize relations between the two countries, and much more.
Jul 14, 2016
Ep. 65 - Newton Minow
Newton Minow, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, sits down with David to discuss the clandestine role he and his agency played during the Cuban missile crisis, his personal reminiscences of Lyndon Johnson, Adlai Stevenson and others, the legacy of President Obama, and more.
Jul 11, 2016
Ep. 64 - Maggie Haberman
Maggie Haberman, presidential campaign correspondent at The New York Times, chats with David about her family’s journalism background, her time on the City Hall beat, what it was like covering 9/11, the 2016 race, and more.
Jul 07, 2016
Ep. 63 - Paul Begala
Paul Begala, adviser to the pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC Priorities USA, talks to David about his loss to Hank the Hallucination at the University of Texas, his years working for President Bill Clinton, his thoughts on the 2016 race, and more.
Jul 04, 2016
Ep. 62 - Sen. Susan Collins
Sen. Susan Collins, Republican from Maine, chats with David about her two decades on Capitol Hill, her relationship with Hillary Clinton, why she is not yet ready to endorse Donald Trump, and more.
Jun 30, 2016
Ep. 61 - Isaac Lee
Isaac Lee, chief news and digital officer of Univision News and CEO of Fusion, chats with David about his grandfather fighting the Nazis and later moving to Colombia, the death threats Lee received as editor in chief of one of Colombia's leading investigative magazines, how millennials consume news today, and his concerns about Donald Trump.
Jun 27, 2016
Ep. 60 - Sen. Al Franken
Minnesota Senator Al Franken talks with David about his journey from comedian to politician, his work on mental health issues, Congressional dysfunction, the Orlando shooting, and more.
Jun 23, 2016
Ep. 59 - Bill Walton
Bill Walton, one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history and former basketball announcer for ABC, ESPN, and NBC, chats with David about the importance of leadership, what he learned playing for John Wooden at UCLA, how his back troubles nearly drove him to suicide, and his new book “Back from the Dead.”
Jun 20, 2016
Ep. 58 - Beth Myers
Beth Myers, who served as senior adviser to Mitt Romney on his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns, sits down with David to discuss her wide-ranging career from working with Karl Rove in Texas to Romney in Massachusetts, the state of the Republican Party in 2016, and how a recent stroke changed her life.
Jun 13, 2016
Ep. 57 - Tim Phillips
Tim Philips, president of Americans for Prosperity, chats with David about growing up in South Carolina, his admiration of Ronald Reagan, and leading the conservative advocacy movement.
Jun 09, 2016
Ep. 56 - Tom Harkin
Tom Harkin, retired Democratic senator from Iowa, sits down with David to discuss his four decades in Congress, his work on the Americans with Disabilities Act, his take on the 2016 presidential race, and much more.
Jun 06, 2016
Ep. 55 - Jeff Greenfield
Jeff Greenfield, an award-winning journalist who writes for the Daily Beast and Politico, chats with David about what it was like working for Robert F. Kennedy before his assassination in 1968, his views of the current presidential race, and much more.
Jun 03, 2016
Ep. 54 - Eric Holder
Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sits down with David at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics to discuss his childhood in New York City, his tenure at the Justice Department, his views on Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, and much more.
May 30, 2016
Ep. 53 - Ilana Dayan
Leading Israeli news anchor Ilana Dayan chats with David about her career as a reporter in Israel, her thoughts on Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu, U.S.-Israeli relations, and the prospects for a two-state solution.
May 26, 2016
Ep. 52 - Katie Couric
Katie Couric, global anchor for Yahoo News, sits down with David in her New York apartment to discuss her wide-ranging journalism career from 9/11 to “The Today Show” to her 2008 interview with Sarah Palin, her views on the current media landscape, and the 1998 death of her husband Jay after a nine-month battle with colon cancer.
May 23, 2016
Ep. 51 - Samantha Power
Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, chats with David in New York about growing up in Ireland, how she went from a sports reporter at Yale to writing a Pulitzer Prize-winning book on U.S. foreign policy, and her take on the Obama administration's approach to conflicts in Libya, Syria, and elsewhere.
May 19, 2016
Ep. 50 - Michael Nutter
Michael Nutter, former mayor of Philadelphia, speaks with David about going from nightclub disc jockey to City Council representative to mayor of the country’s fifth-largest city, his views on how to improve community policing, and his take on a possible Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton general election.
May 16, 2016
Ep. 49 - Jon Stewart (Live)
Jon Stewart, comedian, author, and former host and executive producer of "The Daily Show," chats with David in Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago to talk about Donald Trump and the 2016 election, lessons from lobbying in Washington, what he's working on today, and more.
May 10, 2016
Ep. 48 - Anderson Cooper
Journalist and host of CNN’s “AC360” Anderson Cooper talks with David about his new book, becoming a self-appointed embed in Burma and Somalia, Donald Trump’s relationship with the media, and more.
May 09, 2016
Ep. 47 - Frank Bruni
Frank Bruni, author and columnist for the New York Times, chats with David about his long and diverse career in journalism from New York to Detroit to Rome, Donald Trump's odds of winning the general election, gay marriage, and more.
May 05, 2016
Ep. 46 - Patrick Kennedy
Patrick Kennedy, former Democratic congressman from Rhode Island and son of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, chats with David about growing up in the Kennedy family, his battle with mental illness and addiction, his new book “The Common Struggle” and more.
May 02, 2016
Ep. 45 - Arthur Brooks
Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute and author of “The Conservative Heart,” chats with David about his time living in Europe, the U.S. Immigration debate, how to combat the current political polarization, and more.
Apr 28, 2016
Ep. 44 - Mike Murphy
Republican strategist Mike Murphy sits down with David at the Institute of Politics to discuss his time at Georgetown as a member of the College Republicans, his time on the McCain campaign’s Straight Talk Express in 2000, his assessment of Jeb Bush’s failed bid for the Republican nomination, and more.
Apr 25, 2016
Ep. 43 - David Plouffe
David Plouffe, former campaign manager for President Obama and currently a top adviser at Uber, chats with David Axelrod about his start in politics working for Sen. Tom Harkin in Iowa, Obama’s election in 2008, the use of data in campaigns, and his assessment of the 2016 race for the White House.
Apr 21, 2016
Ep. 42 - Ben Rhodes
Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s deputy national security advisor for strategic communications and speechwriting, speaks with David about his road to the White House, the role of Saudi Arabia in 9/11, working with Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, what went wrong in Libya, his optimism about lifting the Cuban embargo, and his defense of the President’s approach to foreign policy.
Apr 18, 2016
Ep. 41 - Ron Fournier
National Journal Political Columnist Ron Fournier sits down with David to talk about his new book, "Love That Boy," and the lessons he learned raising an autistic son, as well as his time covering the Clinton White House, his assessment of Hillary, and the clamor for change in Washington.
Apr 14, 2016
Ep. 40 - Abner Mikva
Abner Mikva, a 60-plus year veteran of politics and public service, including stints in the Illinois statehouse, Congress, and the Federal Court of Appeals, joins David to examine his journey through political history, how Congress has changed, the ongoing Supreme Court nomination debate, and more.
Apr 11, 2016
Ep. 39 - Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Democratic Senator from Minnesota Amy Klobuchar joins David to talk about her unconventional path to public service, her father's struggles with alcoholism, the battle over the Supreme Court nomination, and her work to end the trade embargo on Cuba.
Apr 07, 2016
Ep. 38 - Jamie Kalven
Jamie Kalven, the award–winning journalist who broke the Laquan McDonald story in Chicago, speaks with David about the sexual assault on his wife, the city’s rampant gun violence, and what can be done to improve his hometown’s problems.
Apr 04, 2016
Ep. 37 - Dan Balz
Dan Balz, political reporter at The Washington Post, sits down with David to discuss his start in journalism at the University of Illinois, his career covering politics, and his thoughts on the 2016 presidential race, including why he thinks the eventual winner will have a difficult time governing.
Mar 27, 2016
Ep. 36 - Ron Klain
The refusal of Senate Republicans to consider President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland until after the 2016 election is an "unprecedented" move, says former Obama Administration official Ron Klain. Klain also touches on his work overseeing the Obama Administration's economic stimulus bill and coordinating its response to the Ebola outbreak, as well as his assessment of the ongoing Democratic primary.
Mar 20, 2016
Ep. 35 - Mark Leibovich
Mark Leibovich, the chief national correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and author of "This Town," chats with David about his start in journalism, his nearly two decades living in Washington, D.C., and his thoughts on Donald Trump's successes and what a Trump vs. Hillary Clinton campaign would look like.
Mar 14, 2016
Ep. 34 - Trent Lott
Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott chats with David about his upbringing in Mississippi, his cheerleading days at Ole Miss, his concerns with the historic gridlock seen today in Congress, and his opinions on the ongoing Supreme Court confirmation debate and the GOP presidential primary.
Mar 07, 2016
Ep. 33 - Lindsey Graham
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spends his Super Tuesday talking with David on Capitol Hill about why he opposes GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, why he thinks the Republican Party is falling apart, and how his parents' owning a bar in a small South Carolina town helped prepare him for a career in politics.
Mar 03, 2016
Ep. 32 - Erick Erickson
Conservative commentator Erick Erickson sits down with David to discuss his childhood abroad, his opposition to GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, and his stance on the ongoing debate over whether Republicans should confirm a Supreme Court nominee before the end of President Obama's second term.
Feb 29, 2016
Ep. 31 - Gov. Jon Huntsman
Former Republican presidential nominee Jon Huntsman chats with David about his time as governor of Utah, ambassador of China, and 2012 GOP hopeful, as well as his views on the 2016 race, including why he is intrigued by Donald Trump and what impressed him about Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.
Feb 22, 2016
Ep. 30 - Joe Trippi
Joe Trippi, Democratic campaign strategist, media consultant, and FOX News contributor, chats with David about his work on the tech-savvy Howard Dean campaign of 2004, his assessment of the 2016 Democratic and Republican primaries, and more.
Feb 15, 2016
Ep. 29 - Joel Benenson
Joel Benenson, senior strategist for Hillary Clinton, chats with David in Manchester, New Hampshire, about his journey from working for a beer distributor in New York to being a top campaign strategist, Clinton's chances in the Feb. 9 primary, the art of polling, and more.
Feb 08, 2016
Ep. 28 - Jonathan Martin
New York Times chief political correspondent Jonathan Martin sits down with David in Manchester, New Hampshire, to discuss his journalism career and the upcoming Granite State primary, including Donald Trump's vulnerability, Bernie Sanders' appeal, and more.
Feb 04, 2016
Ep. 27 - Juliet Macur
Juliet Macur, a Sports of the Times columnist at The New York Times, chats with David about her father's amazing journey from a Nazi concentration camp to New Jersey, her widely acclaimed book on Lance Armstrong's rise and fall, and hot-button issues such as the NFL's concussion crisis, the recent accusations of match-fixing in tennis, and the FIFA corruption scandal.
Jan 28, 2016
Ep. 26 - Jennifer Jacobs
Jennifer Jacobs, the chief political reporter for The Des Moines Register, speaks with David about the uniqueness of the Iowa caucus process, how candidates on both sides of the aisle are faring heading into Monday's voting, and who might be rethinking their candidacies once the votes are tallied.
Jan 28, 2016
Ep. 25 - Patti Solis Doyle
Patti Solis Doyle, the first Hispanic woman to lead a presidential campaign, chats with David about her family's immigration to the U.S. from Mexico, the 17 years she spent working for Hillary Clinton both in the White House and on the campaign trail, and why she thinks Clinton is a better candidate this time around and will ultimately win the Democratic nomination.
Jan 24, 2016
Ep. 24 - Sen. Dick Durbin
Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, speaks with David about his start in politics, his toughest votes in Congress, his support for Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, and the legacy that President Obama will leave behind.
Jan 18, 2016
Ep. 23 - Stuart Stevens
Republican political strategist, media consultant, and writer Stuart Stevens, currently a Visiting Fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, chats with David about his upbringing in Mississippi, his work for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, and his opposition to Donald Trump.
Jan 14, 2016
Ep. 22 - Arne Duncan
Arne Duncan, who stepped down as U.S. Secretary of Education at the start of this year, chats with David about his childhood in Hyde Park, his tenure as a member of the president's cabinet, and the gun violence and education problems facing the city of Chicago.
Jan 11, 2016
Ep. 21 - Mary Kay Henry
Mary Kay Henry, international president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), sits down with David to discuss her leadership of the 2.1 million member union, her concerns about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, the future of labor unions in this country, and more.
Jan 07, 2016
Ep. 20 - Aneesh Chopra
Aneesh Chopra, former U.S. Chief Technology Officer, chats with David about his work for the Obama Administration, his run for lieutenant governor of Virginia, the importance of innovation, and more.
Jan 04, 2016
Ep. 19 - Sec. Thomas Perez
U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez talks with David about his work with the Obama administration, the Department's efforts to help disabled workers, and more.
Dec 28, 2015
Ep. 18 - Husain Haqqani
Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani ambassador to the United States, talks with David about the U.S. foreign policy struggles in Pakistan, his imprisonment at the hands of the Pakistani army, his views on dealing with ISIS, and his take on the 2016 race for the White House.
Dec 21, 2015
Ep. 17 - Joakim Noah
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah sits down with David to discuss Chicago's gun violence problems, race relations in America, and his Noah's Arc Foundation, helping children through arts and sports.
Dec 14, 2015
Ep. 16 - Sen. Claire McCaskill
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, chats with David about her time on Capitol Hill, the Laquan McDonald case in Chicago, and her thoughts on the 2016 presidential candidates.
Dec 10, 2015
Ep. 15 - Reihan Salam
Reihan Salam, executive editor of National Review, chats with David about the future of the Republican Party, the debate over immigration reform, and more.
Dec 07, 2015
Ep. 14 - Sheriff Tom Dart
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, who oversees the nation's largest single site jail, speaks with David about his path to public service, Chicago's reaction to the Laquan McDonald shooting, the current state of our criminal justice system, and more.
Dec 03, 2015
Ep. 13 - Spike Lee
Spike Lee, one of the leading African-American filmmakers of all time, speaks with David about his new movie on Chicago gun violence CHI-RAQ, race relations in the U.S., and his love of the New York Knicks. Warning: This episode contains some explicit language.
Nov 30, 2015
Ep. 12 - David Maraniss
David Maraniss, an associate editor at The Washington Post and author of six best-selling books, sits down with David Axelrod to discuss his acclaimed new book Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story, his coverage of then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton that won a 2008 Pulitzer Prize, and how he views the state of political journalism today.
Nov 23, 2015
Ep. 11 - Jon Favreau
Jon Favreau, former Director of Speechwriting for President Obama, speaks with David about his nerve-racking first meeting with his future boss, what it was like writing speeches in the White House, and the state of political speech-making today.
Nov 16, 2015
Ep. 10 - Mark Holden
Mark Holden, senior vice president and general counsel at Koch Industries, chats with David about working with the Koch brothers and their push for criminal justice reform.
Nov 09, 2015
Ep. 9 - Jorge Ramos
Jorge Ramos, anchor for Univision and Fusion, talks to David Axelrod about his incident with Donald Trump in Iowa last summer, his assessment of the GOP's chances of winning the Latino vote, and his frustration with President Obama not pushing harder for comprehensive immigration reform during his first year in office.
Nov 02, 2015
Ep. 8 - Eliot Spitzer
Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer discusses his work as the Sheriff of Wall Street, his 2008 resignation, and his opinion of 2016 presidential contenders such as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Oct 29, 2015
Ep. 7 - Jessica Yellin
Jessica Yellin, former chief White House correspondent for CNN and current Fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, talks to David about her career in journalism, how covering political news has changed, and her upcoming new book.
Oct 26, 2015
Ep. 6 - Rep. Nancy Pelosi
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi chats with David about her childhood in Baltimore, her tenure as Speaker of the House, and President Obama's legacy.
Oct 19, 2015
Ep. 5 - Mitt Romney
2012 Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney sits down with David Axelrod in San Diego to chat about his childhood in Michigan, his assessment of the 2016 race for the White House, and much more.
Oct 16, 2015
Ep. 4 - Alastair Campbell
Alastair Campbell, former spokesman for Tony Blair and author of the new book Winners and How They Succeed, talks with David about his career as a journalist, his alcoholism and nervous breakdown, his work with the Labour party, and his assessment of British politics and the U.S. presidential race.
Oct 12, 2015
Ep. 3 - Capt. Mark Kelly
Mark Kelly speaks with David about his reaction to the campus shooting in Roseburg, Ore., the assassination attempt in Tucson, Ariz., that his wife, ex-congresswoman Gabby Giffords, survived in 2011, and where he thinks the debate over gun control is heading in the future.
Oct 08, 2015
Ep. 2 - Matthew Dowd
Matthew Dowd, former chief strategist for George W. Bush's 2004 presidential campaign and current ABC News political analyst and visiting Fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, discusses his time in the White House, the possible rise of an independent political party, and the recent visit to the U.S. of Pope Francis.
Oct 05, 2015
Ep. 1 - Sen. Bernie Sanders
Sen. Sanders tells David about his childhood in Brooklyn, his presidential campaign, and his stance on selfies.
Sep 28, 2015