Presidential

By The Washington Post

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Description

The Washington Post's Presidential podcast explores how each former American president reached office, made decisions, handled crises and redefined the role of commander-in-chief. It was released leading up to up to Election Day 2016, starting with George Washington in week one and ending on week 44 with the president-elect. Hosted by Lillian Cunningham, the series features Pulitzer Prize-winning biographers like David McCullough and Washington Post journalists like Bob Woodward. New episodes are released on Sundays.

Episode Date
Constitutional Episode 01: Framed
395
In the premier episode of “Constitutional,” we go back in time to that hot Philadelphia summer in 1787 when a group of revolutionary Americans drafted the U.S. Constitution. Subscribe to the "Constitutional" podcast for the full episode!
Jul 24, 2017
The preamble
216
In order to form a more perfect podcast, we created this overview of what you can expect from "Constitutional" when it launches July 24. Make sure to subscribe to "Constitutional" if you want to receive full episodes when the new series debuts.
Jul 17, 2017
Introducing 'Constitutional'
298
If you loved ‘Presidential,' check out our new podcast launching July 24. Listen to a preview and subscribe now by going to washingtonpost.com/constitutional or searching on Apple Podcasts.
Jun 29, 2017
Donald Trump: Division and union
3276
In this final episode of the podcast, Library of Congress historians Michelle Krowl and Julie Miller return--along with Washington Post journalist Dan Balz--to reflect on the changing nature of the American presidency.
Nov 09, 2016
Barack Obama: The pursuit of identity
3409
Political strategist David Axelrod and biographer David Maraniss discuss Barack Obama's search for identity -- and how that quest has paralleled America's own complex reckoning with race.
Oct 30, 2016
George W. Bush: Changing course
2864
Peter Baker, author of "Days of Fire" and a journalist with the New York Times, joins historian Mark Updegrove to examine how George W. Bush's presidency marked the beginning of a new era in American history.
Oct 23, 2016
Bill Clinton: The good and the bad
2977
David Maraniss, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on Bill Clinton, explores how Clinton's core character traits had both a bright and a dark side. And Post reporter Jim Tankersley examines how his policy legacy has had a similar duality.
Oct 16, 2016
George H. W. Bush: Restraint
3188
Historians Jon Meacham and Jeffrey Engel discuss President Bush's unique form of presidential leadership--a vintage combination of public service, conservatism and emotional restraint--and examine why his legacy has grown more positive over time.
Oct 09, 2016
Ronald Reagan: Myths and truths
2680
Lou Cannon, biographer and senior White House correspondent for The Washington Post during President Reagan's administration, helps us separate the fact from fiction about who Ronald Reagan really was.
Oct 02, 2016
Jimmy Carter: Keeping the faith
3525
Longtime Carter political adviser Pat Caddell, theologian and biographer Randall Balmer, and Washington Post reporter Robert Costa examine how Jimmy Carter's faith has shaped his leadership in and out of the White House.
Sep 25, 2016
Gerald Ford: It's personal
3415
The president's son Steven Ford joins White House photographer David Hume Kennerly and Berkeley professor Daniel Sargent to talk about how Gerald Ford's experience working across the aisle in Congress affected his leadership style as president.
Sep 18, 2016
Richard Nixon: Looking inward
2621
Bob Woodward, one of the Washington Post investigative reporters who helped uncover the Watergate scandal, examines what was at the heart of Richard Nixon's presidential downfall. The Washington Post's current executive editor, Marty Baron, joins as well.
Sep 11, 2016
Lyndon B. Johnson: Power
2467
The LBJ Presidential Library's director, Mark Updegrove, helps us examine how Johnson worked his will--at times darkly--to get some of the most transformative legislation of the 20th century through Congress.
Sep 04, 2016
John F. Kennedy: We are all mortal
2956
Robert Dallek, Michael Beschloss and Fredrik Logevall--three major Kennedy historians and biographers--join us on this week's episode to talk about JFK and death. But not his assassination...
Aug 28, 2016
Dwight D. Eisenhower: Covert action
3176
Stephen Kinzer, author of "The Brothers," and historian Will Hitchcock explore President Eisenhower's predilection for covert action--both in foreign affairs and in his own leadership style.
Aug 21, 2016
Harry S. Truman: Trying to make the right call
2274
Biographer David McCullough looks at some of the most difficult decisions President Truman made during his time in the White House, and Washington Post polling manager Scott Clement examines the biggest polling failure in presidential history.
Aug 15, 2016
Franklin D. Roosevelt: Through Eleanor's eyes
3251
Allida Black, editor of the Eleanor Roosevelt papers, along with FDR Library Director Paul Sparrow and White House speechwriter Sarada Peri, examine Franklin Roosevelt's leadership through the lens of the first lady's own contributions to his presidency.
Aug 08, 2016
Herbert Hoover: Dealing with disaster
2425
Herbert Hoover entered the White House with an array of high-profile experiences leading disaster relief. So why was his handling of the Great Depression considered a failure? Biographer Charles Rappleye guest stars.
Jul 31, 2016
Calvin Coolidge: A tale of two Coolidges
2823
Former politician Michael Dukakis, biographer Amity Shlaes and political scientist Robert Gilbert join Washington Post economics reporter Steven Pearlstein to offer a version of Calvin Coolidge's legacy that doesn't follow the standard story.
Jul 25, 2016
Warren G. Harding: Love and scandal
2628
Steamy love letters. Jazz. Scandal. Psychics. Newspapers. The Hope Diamond. Historian Nicole Hemmer helps guide us through the wild life and presidency of Warren G. Harding.
Jul 18, 2016
Woodrow Wilson: A complicated legacy
2785
Racism, diplomacy, women's suffrage...historian John Milton Cooper and Woodrow Wilson House executive director Robert Enholm lead us through Wilson's complicated personal and presidential legacy.
Jul 11, 2016
William Howard Taft: This chief, not that chief
2350
Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of 'The Bully Pulpit,' along with historian Michelle Krowl and Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes discuss why President Taft made a better chief justice than commander-in-chief.
Jul 03, 2016
Theodore Roosevelt: Exuberance
2620
Biographer David McCullough and historian Michelle Krowl take us inside the wild, unstoppable dynamism of Teddy Roosevelt, whose energy and activism redefined the role of American president.
Jun 26, 2016
William McKinley: The modern campaign
2457
Republican political strategist Karl Rove dissects what was so transformative about William McKinley's 1896 presidential campaign. And Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig discusses how his assassination modernized the Secret Service.
Jun 20, 2016
Benjamin Harrison: The president as conservationist
2302
Benjamin Harrison was the first U.S. president to use his position to try to save a species, the fur seal. He also set aside more than 13 million acres of forest reserves. This episode looks at the roots of conservation as a presidential responsibility.
Jun 12, 2016
Grover Cleveland: Tell the truth
2301
Known for his forthrightness, Cleveland came clean when news broke that he had fathered an illegitimate child; yet he later covered up a cancer surgery at sea. Guests Matthew Algeo, Michelle Krowl and Roman Mars explore candor and the presidency.
Jun 05, 2016
Chester A. Arthur: Redemption
2376
How does one of the greatest beneficiaries of the spoils system end up being the president who passes civil service reform? Post reporter David Fahrenthold and Stateline editor Scott Greenberger tell the amazing story of Arthur's personal transformation.
May 29, 2016
James A. Garfield: Shot down
2450
Only 100 days into office, President Garfield was shot down in a train station by a disturbed office seeker. 'Destiny of the Republic' author Candice Millard, along with Michelle Krowl of the Library of Congress, examine the life cut short.
May 23, 2016
Rutherford B. Hayes: The most contested election
2513
How does a vicious, close and disputed election spill over into a presidency? We examine the razor-thin election results for Rutherford B. Hayes, and the equally fine line he then had to tread as president during the end of Reconstruction.
May 15, 2016
Ulysses S. Grant: Lover, fighter, writer
2512
Ulysses S. Grant's memoirs are considered the best ever written by a president. In this episode, Washington Post nonfiction book critic Carlos Lozada and biographer David Maraniss discuss what they found funny, touching and illuminating about the work.
May 08, 2016
Andrew Johnson: Stitching up a torn country
2132
What kind of president can repair America's deepest divisions? Michelle Krowl of the Library of Congress walks us through Andrew Johnson's time in office right after the Civil War and sheds light on why he struggled to bring the country together.
May 02, 2016
Abraham Lincoln: His hand and his pen
3236
Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of 'Team of Rivals,' and Michelle Krowl of the Library of Congress guide us through Lincoln's love for language--and how his gift for writing and oratory became one of his greatest presidential leadership tools.
Apr 24, 2016
James Buchanan: The bachelor and the bloodshed
2262
America is on the eve of civil war, and James Buchanan is alone in the White House as our first and only bachelor president. Historians Jean Baker and Jim Loewen, and The Washington Post's Jim Tankersley, explore the lack of personal and political union.
Apr 18, 2016
Franklin Pierce: Rolling off the tracks
1799
Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer James McPherson and historian Edna Greene Medford discuss Franklin Pierce's role in the country's progression toward civil war, as well as the personal tragedy that unfolded right before he took office.
Apr 10, 2016
Millard Fillmore: Teaching the obscure presidents
2265
Should we teach the presidency of Millard Fillmore? What do we lose if we don't? Historians Jean Baker and James McPherson, along with Washington Post education reporter T. Rees Shapiro, tackle these questions in our 13th episode.
Apr 03, 2016
Zachary Taylor: War heroes and conspiracy theory
1762
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank joins historians Catherine Clinton and Joseph Uscinski to talk about military hero Zachary Taylor and the assassination theories that swirled around his death in the White House.
Mar 27, 2016
James K. Polk: Getting it done
2100
They Might Be Giants singer John Linnell and historian Amy Greenberg are guests on this episode. Through hard work and strategic lying, the 11th president managed to accomplish everything on his agenda. But is being effective the same as being great?
Mar 20, 2016
John Tyler: Ghosts and the vice presidency
1934
When Vice President Tyler took over the White House, he set a precedent that would forever shape the office. This episode features experts Barbara Bair and Joel Goldstein, as well as descendants who talk about the ghost who haunts the Tyler home.
Mar 13, 2016
William Henry Harrison: Great song, horrible death
1745
Washington Post humor columnist Alexandra Petri, along with Barbara Bair and Dr. Philip Mackowiak, deconstruct Harrison's transformative presidential campaign and debunk the myth of what killed him after only 32 days in office.
Mar 06, 2016
Martin Van Buren: The story of our two-party system
2255
Martin Van Buren did much to create the political party establishments we have today. Experts Barbara Bair and Mark Cheathem, along with Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza, examine his mark on modern politics.
Feb 29, 2016
Andrew Jackson: The violence, the fight
2696
Barbara Bair, Steve Inskeep and Jon Meacham examine the tragedy of Andrew Jackson's personal life, the brutality of his battles and his policies against Native Americans, and the conflict that makes up a dynamic democracy.
Feb 21, 2016
John Quincy Adams: The trait that broke a presidency
2645
We're about to witness how the inability to compromise can tank any hope of being an effective president.
Feb 14, 2016
James Monroe: The Forrest Gump of presidents
2364
In the latest episode of Presidential, we look at our fifth president's knack for being present at famous moments in history.
Feb 07, 2016
James Madison: Burning down the house
2247
Though he's our first wartime president, James Madison is usually better remembered for his work on the Constitution rather than his time as commander-in-chief while the White House went up in flames. But maybe that's the wrong way to look at it.
Jan 31, 2016
Thomas Jefferson: On food and freedom
2519
Jon Meacham and Annette Gordon-Reed are among the experts who take us through the best and worst of our third president's complex and controversial legacy.
Jan 25, 2016
John Adams: The case of the missing monument
1927
In the second episode of Presidential, biographer David McCullough as well as noted art and architecture experts explore why there's no monument to John Adams in Washington, DC -- and how that omission shapes our sense of his legacy.
Jan 18, 2016
George Washington: The man, the myth, the legend
2909
Who exactly was our first president? Bob Woodward, Joel Achenbach and Julie Miller kick off our first episode of Presidential.
Jan 10, 2016
Introduction: Welcome to Presidential
192
Preview the Washington Post podcast, with clips from upcoming episodes and an overview of the series by host Lillian Cunningham.
Jan 05, 2016