Playbook Deep Dive

Playbook Deep Dive

By POLITICO

Welcome to Playbook Deep Dive, the stories behind the power. From Congress and the White House to bar stools and back rooms, POLITICO Playbook’s Ryan Lizza brings you interviews with the most compelling and important figures who explain what’s really going on in Washington.

Episodes

Nancy Mace’s main character energy

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) has a way of being in the middle of things, whether it’s standing up to Trump after Jan. 6 when many in her party kept quiet, helping overthrow House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, or warning Republicans about how they were wrong when it comes to the politics of abortion.  But some of that drama is catching up with Mace back home in South Carolina, which on Saturday will be the center of the political world as voters head to the polls in the state’s presidential primary. Mace is now back in Trump’s corner and facing a primary which features not one but two candidates at least partly motivated by revenge: a candidate backed by McCarthy and Mace’s own former chief of staff. On this episode of Deep Dive, host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza talks to Rep. Mace about her on-again, off-again history with Trump; the revenge plots playing out in her primary; her prediction about Trump’s margin of victory on Saturday; and the backstory to that time she wore a giant scarlet “A” on the House floor. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Nancy Mace is the representative for South Carolina's 1st district.  Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
23/02/24·46m 24s

Jim Himes on satellites, space nukes and Section 702

Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, joins host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza to discuss everything you might want to know about Russian space weapons, Section 702 reforms, and the behind-the-scenes action at the Intelligence Committee during a week of extraordinary volatility.  Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Jim Himes is the representative for Connecticut's 4th district.  Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
16/02/24·45m 43s

Chris Murphy's untold border bill backstory

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) was the Democratic lead on the much anticipated bipartisan border legislation that was supposed to sail through the Senate and unlock funding for the war in Ukraine. But everything went sideways this week when Republicans, at Donald Trump’s insistence, abruptly turned against the bill. On this episode of Deep Dive, Sen. Murphy tells host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza what really happened behind the scenes in the negotiations that assembled the bill and how things unraveled so fast. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Sen. Chris Murphy is the junior senator from Connecticut. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
09/02/24·36m 56s

How the border is splitting Biden’s closest allies

Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) discusses the unique role she plays as one of President Joe Biden’s campaign co-chairs who is also opposed to some of the key policies he is pursuing on immigration and in the Middle East.   On this episode, she tells Deep Dive host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza: - Her views on Biden’s border policies and the senate bill  - Her own ideas of what a winning immigration policy looks like  - Her concerns about Biden’s policies in the Middle East — and what she fears is the potential political fallout for his re-election - What might be on the agenda at the next secret meeting of Biden’s campaign co-chairs - Whether she’d rather Biden run against Nikki Haley or Donald Trump Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Veronica Escobar is the representative for Texas's 16th district.  Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
02/02/24·59m 31s

Meet the pollster who is getting under the Democrats’ skin

Mark Penn is best known for two things: his devotion to centrist politics and his former role as the top pollster and strategist for Bill and Hillary Clinton. Lately, he’s added a third: a barrage of polls that show a large majority of Americans are crying out for an alternative to Trump and Biden.  On this episode of Deep Dive, he talks with host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza about his relationship (or lack thereof) with No Labels – a group promoting a third-party candidacy – the recent GOP primary results, his controversial polls, and why he thinks that Nikki Haley may still have a big role to play in this year’s election. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Mark Penn is the CEO of Stagwell and former Clinton strategist. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
26/01/24·42m 4s

Is this the end of the New Hampshire primary as we know it?

Joe McQuaid, the longtime publisher of The New Hampshire Union Leader – the 161-year old conservative paper that has operated like a Republican party boss for many decades – joins Deep Dive to tell host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza everything you need to know about Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, including whether or not Nikki Haley can win, if she’ll get the Union Leader’s endorsement, and whether New Hampshire’s primacy in American politics has come to an end. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Joe McQuaid is the former publisher of The New Hampshire Union Leader. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
19/01/24·1h

Joe Biden called David Axelrod a ‘prick.’ It won’t shut him up.

David Axelrod, the former top Obama strategist, has been offering some tough medicine to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. In November, he suggested Biden think long and hard about running for reelection. He has been withering about Biden’s skills as a candidate and communicator. He is deeply concerned about the president’s age. And unlike other Democrats in the anti-bedwetting set, Axe has been clear that the party should be freaked out by the polls.   On this episode of Deep Dive, he joins host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza to discuss his critiques of the Biden operation, the parallels with 2012 when he led strategy for the Obama reelection, and what it’s like to be a critic of your own party when most partisans these days are expected to mouth the party line. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. David Axelrod is a Democratic political strategist and a CNN senior political commentator. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
12/01/24·42m 43s

How Trump and Biden could blow it in 2024

As the Iowa caucuses near, Playbook’s Ryan Lizza and POLITICO Politics Bureau Chief Jonathan Martin go deep on what we know – and what we’ll soon find out – about Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, and Ron DeSantis’ campaigns. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Jonathan Martin is politics bureau chief for POLITICO. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
05/01/24·53m 17s

The most unlikely ingredient to a successful career in Washington

Arthur Brooks ran the American Enterprise Institute for more than a decade. Now, he’s a fulltime happiness scientist. Here’s his guide to making it in Washington without sacrificing your humanity. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Arthur Brooks is the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Nonprofit and Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and the author of "Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier". Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
21/12/23·1h 7m

How Hunter Biden, Jack Smith, and Trump’s legal troubles are setting the stage for 2024

A week of new developments in impeachment, Donald Trump’s D.C. case, and Hunter Biden’s congressional inquiry showcased how the collision of law and politics will determine much of Republicans’ and Democrats’ political fortunes in 2024. POLITICO legal editor James Romoser and national correspondent Betsy Woodruff Swan join to discuss the implications. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. James Romoser is the legal editor for POLITICO. Betsy Woodruff Swan is a national correspondent for POLITICO. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
15/12/23·1h 6m

Why James Lankford expects a border breakthrough

The GOP’s lead negotiator on the embattled Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and border security supplemental believes that a compromise will happen. But do his Democratic colleagues in the Senate and his fellow Republicans in the House agree? Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. James Lankford is the senior U.S. senator from Oklahoma. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
08/12/23·33m 9s

Steve Scalise reveals what’s really happened since McCarthy’s fall

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise illuminates what happened behind closed doors after Kevin McCarthy’s ousting as well as what to expect next on impeachment; why he will vote against expelling George Santos; and how Speaker Mike Johnson is trying to use immigration to tame hardliners when it comes to the spending showdown with Joe Biden. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Steve Scalise is the House Majority Leader.  Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
01/12/23·32m 25s

Why the era of the ‘Emerging Democratic Majority’ is collapsing

John Judis and Ruy Teixeira, co-authors of “The Emerging Democratic Majority,” are back with a new book that argues that the Democrats are imperiled by a “shadow party” that is forcing them into “radical” positions on cultural issues and diverting them away from their core economic issues.  Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. John Judis  is editor at large at Talking Points Memo and co-author of "Where Have All the Democrats Gone?" Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and co-author of "Where Have All the Democrats Gone?" Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
17/11/23·1h 3m

Why US politics has become must-see TV abroad

Australian TV hosts Chas Licciardello and John Barron explain how American politics has influenced culture and government in their homeland; and which single feature of Australian politics could fix many of America’s biggest problems. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Chas Licciardello is a comedian and co-host of Planet America. John Barron is a journalist, broadcaster and co-host of Planet America. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
10/11/23·56m 51s

Why Democrats keep stubbing their toes on the working class vote

On this week’s episode of Deep Dive, Pulitzer Prize winner David Leonhardt joins host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza to talk about his new book and what it says about how Democrats can save their relationship with working class voters. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. David Leonhardt is a senior writer for the New York Times and the author of "Ours Was the Shining Future: The Story of the American Dream." Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
03/11/23·48m 8s

The GOP’s new strategy to win on abortion

Since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision in June 2022, the GOP has repeatedly paid a price electorally for its stance on abortion. The chaos has been dispiriting to the anti-abortion activists who helped engineer the Dobbs decision in the first place. And now they think they have a new political strategy to get Republicans out of their defensive crouch and to start winning again on this issue.  The woman leading this effort is Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, one of the most important institutions in the GOP firmament. She’s known as the woman who killed Roe. Dannenfelser and her colleagues are plotting, financing, and staffing the Republican Party’s counter attack on abortion. Playbook co-author and Deep Dive host Ryan Lizza sat down with her at SBA’s Virginia headquarters this week, partly because she had some news she wanted to share about how and where anti-abortion activists are making their first big move. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Marjorie Dannenfelser is the president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
27/10/23·52m 21s

How GOP moderates have Jim Jordan pinned

Host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza joins Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) to learn how he and other GOP moderates, institutionalists, and Biden-district Republicans have organized against Jim Jordan’s campaign to be speaker of the House… and what the endgame is for Republicans to escape this mess. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Mike Lawler is the representative for New York's 17th district. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
20/10/23·36m 44s

Biden deputy national security adviser lifts the fog of war in Israel

Jon Finer, President Joe Biden’s principal deputy national security adviser, opens up to Playbook co-author and Deep Dive host Ryan Lizza about how the administration is approaching some of the thorniest problems related to the war in Israel, including: striking the right balance between supporting Israel and expressing concerns about an extreme response; Biden’s warnings to Iran; and whether America should now consider itself at war with Hamas. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Jon Finer is the White House deputy national security adviser. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
13/10/23·31m 41s

How to fight a president, please a billionaire, and save a newspaper

Marty Baron ran The Washington Post’s newsroom for nine years. In that time, Marty clashed with then-president Donald Trump. He pacified rebellions from his younger and increasingly more ideological staff. And he partnered with Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos to take on arguably the biggest disrupter of all: technology.  He’s written about all of this — and a lot more — in his new book, "Collision of Power: Trump, Bezos, and The Washington Post." Today, Marty is joining Playbook co-author and Deep Dive host Ryan Lizza to spill the tea on what actually happened between Bezos and Trump; what the media should be doing to earn your trust; and whether billionaires like Jeff Bezos are secretly pulling the strings behind closed doors. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Marty Baron is the retired executive editor of The Washington Post.  Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
06/10/23·42m 18s

How the UAW strike swallowed Biden, Trump, and the 2024 campaign

The center of presidential politics this week was the swing state of Michigan. Trump won the longtime Democratic stronghold in 2016, and Biden won it back in 2020. It will be pivotal again in 2024. And that’s why both candidates flew to metro Detroit on consecutive days this week to insert themselves into the United Auto Workers’ strike against the so-called “Detroit Three” — General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis, the company that owns Chrysler. On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza joins Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), the House’s key player when it comes to the UAW strike, for a conversation about the strike’s political consequences, why she thinks that Democrats may be in danger of losing Michigan in 2024, and why the strike’s biggest sticking point is something you might not even have heard about. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Debbie Dingell is the representative for Michigan's 6th district.  Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
29/09/23·40m 44s

Katherine Clark names the Democrats’ price to save Kevin McCarthy

After losing a series of votes this week to avoid a government shutdown, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has effectively lost his majority. On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza asks the number two Democratic leader in the House, Minority Whip Katherine Clark, what price McCarthy will have to pay for Democrats to lend their votes to passing a CR and fending-off a potential challenge to his speakership. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Katherine Clark is the House Minority Whip and the representative for Massachusetts's 5th district. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
22/09/23·31m 58s

Who’s really in charge? McCarthy, moderates, or the Freedom Caucus?

It would be easy to look at the House of Representatives and assume that the members of the Freedom Caucus — and not Speaker Kevin McCarthy — are the ones who are actually in charge. But is that actually true?  On this week’s episode of Playbook Deep Dive, host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza talks with one of the top House moderates, Ohio Congressman Dave Joyce. Joyce is the Chairman of the Republican Governance Group, the pre-eminent faction for GOP centrists; and he’s also a senior appropriator, which means he’s one of the people who has to figure out how to avoid the possible government shutdown lurking at the end of the month. Ryan caught-up with Joyce in his Washington office to learn how the Republicans you don’t see quoted on Breitbart are approaching the tumultuous issues gripping the lower chamber.  They talked at length about the rationale behind McCarthy’s new impeachment gambit; if and how the Speaker can claw together the votes to avoid a government shutdown; the odds that McCarthy will face a vote to remove him as Speaker; and what it’s really like in private between Joyce and members of the Freedom Caucus he battles in public. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. David Joyce is the representative for Ohio's 14th district. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
15/09/23·30m 55s

Revelations about Biden’s White House from the first inside account

What makes President Joe Biden? We’re all pretty familiar with Vice President Biden and Senator Biden. But in his latest iteration as commander-in-chief, it hasn’t been as easy to see inside his mind.  Cracking into Biden’s brain and inside the White House has been a challenge for the media. He’s surrounded by a tight “clan” of family and advisors who have achieved Biden lifer status — and they don’t often leak. It consists of his sister Valerie, and the five advisers known as the Quint: Steve Ricchetti, Mike Donilon, Anita Dunn, Bruce Reed, and now former chief of staff Ron Klain.  It’s been a notoriously tough circle to penetrate.  But now one person has done it: Franklin Foer, who spent the last few years inside the heads of Biden and his team and has written the definitive account of President Biden’s first two years in office called “The Last Politician: Inside Joe Biden's White House and the Struggle for America's Future.” The book was originally supposed to be about the first one hundred days. But the story was too interesting to stop. Next, he planned to wrap up after the passage of Build Back Better. The book ended up growing into a two-year project that ends tidily with the midterms. But where the book really shines when it grapples with the core of who Biden is —  both psychologically and ideologically. Whether you love Biden or hate him,  Frank’s book just might change your mind about how you understand him. On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza sits down with Frank Foer to dig into the revelations that fill the pages of his new book, like how pivotal Biden’s inner circle is to his decision making; his relationship with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy; the low point of the presidency so far; and what’s in store for Biden as he prepares for another run as the oldest sitting president in history. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Franklin Foer is a staff writer at The Atlantic.  Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
08/09/23·1h 4m

Behind the scenes at the GOP debate with Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier

On Wednesday night, eight Republican presidential candidates gathered in Milwaukee for the first GOP primary debate. There was a lot on the line for each of them. But there was also an enormous amount at stake for the news organization that hosted the debate: Fox News. Consider the cross currents that the two Fox moderators, Martha McCallum and Bret Baier, had to deal with:  First there was Trump, who refused to participate and lashed out at Fox and its talent, including Baier, on social media. Then there was Tucker Carlson, McCallum and Baier’s former star colleague who is in messy litigation with the network, and who nabbed Trump for himself and counter-programmed the evening with an interview that aired simultaneously with the Fox debate.  Then there was Rupert Murdoch hovering in the background. In the days before the debate there were new reports that the man who runs Fox, MacCallum and Baier’s boss, has his own strong feelings about who the GOP nominee should be.  If that isn’t enough, on the eve of the debate, several candidates who didn’t qualify to be on stage threatened to sue.   Add to that the challenges of being the ones asking the uncomfortable questions in that arena on Wednesday. The candidates are primed to pounce on you if it serves their political interests. The boisterous crowd of partisans could turn on you at any moment.  So what was it like behind the scenes at the Fox News debate? How did the hosts prepare, including for a possible last-minute appearance by Trump? What did they think of the highly caffeinated Mike Pence interrupting them at every turn? What was the deal with DeSantis and Christie during that one hand-raising moment? And whose idea was that UFO question, anyway?  On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza asks Martha and Bret those questions and a lot more as they bring us inside what is perhaps the most important event of the GOP primary so far. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Martha MacCallum is the anchor and executive editor of "The Story with Martha MacCallum" on Fox News Channel. Bret Baier is the Fox News Channel's anchor and executive editor of "Special Report with Bret Baier" and chief political anchor of the network. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
25/08/23·45m 13s

How Doug Burgum plans to disrupt the GOP debate & scale his campaign

This coming Wednesday, something big is happening in Milwaukee: the first Republican presidential debate.  On this week’s episode of Playbook Deep Dive, host & Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza talks with North Dakota Governor & GOP presidential candidate Doug Burgum about how he hatched one of the most innovative schemes in memory to qualify for Wednesday's GOP debate; how he’s preparing to compete on the stage with big leaguers like Ron DeSantis and Donald Trump – if Trump shows up; how his background as a conservative in the tech world informs his worldview; and why one photograph of him cleaning a chimney in a tuxedo changed his life. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Doug Burgum is the governor of North Dakota and a GOP presidential candidate. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
18/08/23·36m 22s

How to beat Trump in Iowa – and survive the state fair

This week, almost every Republican running for president is headed to the Iowa State Fair, famous for its fried Twinkies and statues of farm animals made out of butter and —  every four years — extremely embarrassing photos of candidates eating unwieldy treats. The Iowa State Fair also kicks off a new more intense period of the Republican primary season as nationally televised debates begin this month and the five month countdown to the Iowa Caucuses begins.  Iowa’s importance in presidential nomination contests ebbs and flows and this year the state looms as more important than ever.  The conventional wisdom among Republicans is that if Donald Trump’s opponents can’t slow him down in Iowa, then the race may be over.   Joining Playbook co-author and Deep Dive host Ryan Lizza for this episode is the man responsible for administering this critical contest – the chairman of the Iowa Republican Party, Jeff Kaufmann. Kaufmann is also a history professor and in the course of this conversation, he teaches a master class on everything you need to know about the Iowa Republican caucuses and what it will take to win them in 2024. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Jeff Kaufmann is the Chairman of the Iowa GOP. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
11/08/23·54m 59s

What American leaders don't get about the new Europe

In 2023, there are two Europes: the Europe of the museums and the beaches – and the real Europe as lived by its people. And that Europe has changed dramatically in recent decades.  The end of the Cold War collapsed many of the continent's political barriers. European unification brought countries as diverse as Ireland and Bulgaria under one umbrella. And more recently, a boom in migration, especially from the Islamic world, has changed Europe’s demographics and brought a host of opportunities, challenges, and political changes. Today, the war in Ukraine has both created more solidarity among European nations and highlighted their big differences; and it has rattled the foundation of the region’s economy.  On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza talks with Ben Judah, author of “This Is Europe: The Way We Live Now,” about why this history means that you probably need to update your assumptions about Europe; and why it is that many American policymakers simply don’t understand the realities that leaders like Emmanuel Macron, Rishi Sunak, and Giorgia Meloni have to live with.  Some of the reasons why will be familiar to Americans: immigration, crime, and the rise of right-wing populism. But according to Ben’s new book, their implications for Europe are quite different from those here in the United States. And they open a whole tin of worms for the broader notion of the Western alliance. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Ben Judah is a journalist, academic and the author of "This is Europe: The Way We Live Now" Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
04/08/23·31m 54s

What Republicans, Democrats, and the Pentagon don’t want to hear about the NDAA

This week, the action in the Senate was all about the annual defense authorization – the NDAA. Usually, the argument about what goes into this enormous bill that governs everything the military can and can’t do is a word soup cooked-up by defense nerds.  You may recall things like SDI, the GWOT, and closing GITMO. All controversial in their own day, and all eventually resolved through the historically bipartisan NDAA process.  But this time around, many in Washington are beginning to wonder if a new set of acronyms is fatally imperiling our armed forces. Issues like DEI, CRT, and abortion may be sinking a bill that has never failed to pass in more than 60 years. It’s setting up a dramatic clash between the House and Senate. On one side, a partisan bill loaded with controversial amendments. On the other, a bipartisan one without all the baggage. Meanwhile in the background, a separate drama is still playing out: that of Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R-Ala.) beef with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin over abortion policy.  The combination of these two events has been more than enough to make lawmakers, lobbyists, and service members alike begin to wonder: Is this the year that the NDAA fails? Will this last sacred piece of bipartisanship in Congress succumb to the divisive forces that have sunk many before?  Joining the show to discuss the prognosis for this year’s NDAA and the perils of this stand off is a man who knows what it’s like to write one of these bills. Because he has. Many times before. Arnold Punaro is a former staff director at the Senate Armed Services Committee and a retired two-star general. And if you’re a senator involved in national security issues, he’s probably also the guy you call for advice.  Playbook co-author and Deep Dive host Ryan Lizza spoke with him about what the big challenge facing the military is — spoiler, it's not abortion policy; how – or if – Congress has perverted its oversight role of the Pentagon; what, if any, of the right’s objections to military “wokeness” are grounded in facts; and if an NDAA will pass this year at all. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Arnold Punaro is CEO of The Punaro Group and a retired Marine Reserve Major General. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
28/07/23·44m 38s

Behind the scenes at DHS with Alejandro Mayorkas

When Alejandro Mayorkas was tapped to run DHS – the now 20-year-old behemoth with 260,000 employees created in the aftermath of 9/11 – Mayorkas said that he was determined to be the Secretary of Homeland Security, NOT the Secretary of Immigration. How’s that going? Yesterday, Playbook co-author and Deep Dive host Ryan Lizza sat down with him on the sidelines of the Aspen Security Forum to find out. Mayorkas’s department is charged with preventing foreign and domestic terrorist attacks. It monitors threats from weapons of mass destruction, protects infrastructure and ensures we’re safe from cyber attacks.  What many of DHS’s agencies do have in common is that you often don’t hear much about them unless something really bad has happened. So even if Mayorkas didn’t also oversee immigration, the most fraught of political issues, being DHS secretary – responsible for defending the nation against terrorism, computer hackers, nuclear weapons, and natural disasters – can often be a thankless job.  And despite his best attempts, it is Mayorkas’s management of Border Patrol, ICE, and Immigration Services that has dominated his tenure and made him the GOP’s main target of attack in the Biden Cabinet.  On this episode of Deep Dive, Ryan and Sec. Mayorkas discuss how the terrorism threat has changed over the last two decades, the challenges of confronting domestic extremism, why the end of Title 42 didn’t lead to the border surge many predicted, the future of TSA, the fentanyl crisis, the prospects of impeachment, and how going through the meat grinder of D.C. politics has changed him. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Alejandro Mayorkas is the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
21/07/23·37m 10s

Lost & broken in Congress

“Early one morning in April of 2016 I woke up and seriously contemplated the possibility that I would never be able to generate the strength, focus, and courage to get out of bed. The combination of crippling anxiety, chronic pain, muscle atrophy, and the fascinating mix of pharmaceuticals coursing through my body had, I feared, finally broken me.” Those are the words of Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the ranking Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, on the first page of his new book, Lost and Broken. In his book Smith recounts his deeply personal story of suffering through —  and eventually overcoming — debilitating mental and physical illness. On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, Smith joins Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza to discuss his difficult journey and some surprising lessons it taught him about the emotional and sometimes dark overtones that are animating American politics. Additionally, Rep. Smith shares some secrets about what’s happening on the Hill right now: whether he thinks this is the year when Congress fails to pass a defense bill, the continuing fallout in the House from the debt limit deal, and whether Kevin McCarthy can rustle-up enough Republican votes to avoid a government shutdown this fall. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Adam Smith is the representative for Washington's 9th district. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
14/07/23·46m 14s

The British ambassador spills the tea on Biden, Sunak, & Ukraine

This weekend, President Joe Biden is headed to Europe. His first stop: the U.K. Biden is scheduled to meet with both His Royal Highness King Charles, an old acquaintance and fellow head of state; and the Right Honorable Rishi Sunak, Britain’s prime minister and a fellow head of government – who just visited Biden in Washington this past month.  On the agenda for these meetings: climate change, the war in Ukraine, and the “Atlantic Declaration” – that’s the diplomatic term for Biden and Sunak’s push to renew the U.K. and America’s partnership across a host of economic and security issues facing the West.  Joining to talk about these issues as well as Britain and America’s special relationship is Karen Pierce, the British Ambassador to the United States. Pierce is one of the U.K.’s most experienced diplomats, having held an array of senior positions including ambassadorships to the U.N., the WTO, and Afghanistan; as well as directing British policy throughout South Asia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan during some key years of the War on Terror.  On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, Pierce tells host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza what Sunak hopes to get out of Biden’s trip to London; how Britain and America’s relationship has changed throughout her many years of service; how the war in Ukraine is driving the two countries closer – and occasionally further apart; who Brits admire the most in our nation’s history; and what her secrets are for dealing with cagey diplomats on the other side of the bargaining table. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Karen Pierce is the British Ambassador to the U.S. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
07/07/23·36m 2s

Rahm “the un-diplomat” Emanuel reports from Japan

In American politics, there is a small group of leaders who are – to borrow a term from Hollywood – hit makers. Everything they touch seems to turn to gold.  There is perhaps no better example of this in Democratic politics than Rahm Emanuel. For those who need a refresher, Rahm is a former Bill Clinton advisor, turned Illinois Congressman, turned DCCC chair, turned Barack Obama chief of staff, turned mayor of Chicago… and currently, he is Joe Biden’s ambassador to Japan. In his new posting, Rahm has been at the forefront of new multi-lateral agreements between the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines; he is agitating for allies to stop what he calls “Chinese economic coercion;” and he has been a key player in a controversial effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Japan.  This week, Rahm joined Playbook co-author and Deep Dive host Ryan Lizza to talk about his role organizing our allies around Putin and China; how hardnose politics is actually great for diplomacy; and why – even when you’re dealing with the president of the United States – it’s still much better to beg for forgiveness, than to ask for permission. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Rahm Emanuel is the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
30/06/23·43m 46s

How evangelicals are setting the stage for Trump's return

The big debate in Washington this week is about realism versus idealism. It played out first in foreign policy, when Joe Biden hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a state dinner. Biden has made big claims about how democratic ideals are at the heart of American foreign policy; but he spent two days lavishing time and attention on Modi, who is persecuting Muslims and cracking down on public dissent from reporters and political opponents.  Biden needs India to be an ally against China and that priority outweighed the instinct to shun Modi for his creeping authoritarianism.  We talk about this debate all the time when it comes to American foreign policy. But sometimes that same debate becomes central to American domestic politics as well.  And across town, just as Modi was wrapping up his joint address to Congress, evangelical conservatives from across the country were gathering at the Washington Hilton to hear from their own flawed partner: Donald Trump. Well actually not just Trump — Mike Pence, Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, Chris Christie, and every major Republican candidate is scheduled to speak at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference. But, naturally, Trump is what religious conservatives are talking about. After all, he is the dominant frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination. And he is the group’s keynote speaker at their gala dinner on Saturday night. And he is also the politician about whom two things can be said: One, his personal and public life makes a mockery of the Christian ideals of evangelical voters. And, two, he is the person who has delivered more policy victories for these same voters than any other president.  The questions that evangelicals are debating in Washington this week are whether that deal with Trump was worth it… and whether they should renew the contract. This week’s guest has a lot of thoughts about this. He is the founder and chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, Ralph Reed. Reed was recruited in 1989 by Pat Robertson, the late televangelist, to help run a new organization: the Christian Coalition.  It grew to be a powerful political group that cemented social conservatives as a core constituency of the Republican Party and made issues such as opposition to abortion rights non-negotiable policies in the GOP.  As you will hear in this episode, Ralph Reed is a political junkie. He left the Christian Coalition in 1997 and soon became one of the key strategists for George W. Bush.  And then in Obama’s first term, Reed struck up an unlikely friendship with a guy named Donald Trump. He did for Trump what he does for every presidential candidate who comes calling for his advice: he explained how to win over evangelical voters, who make up about 60 percent of the Republican presidential primary electorate. In his view it worked out pretty well: Evangelicals overwhelmingly backed the thrice-married New York Playboy who famously botched bible verses on the stump. And Trump kept his word when it came to their most important issue: appointing Supreme Court judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade. So what will evangelicals do in the 2024 Republican presidential primary? That is the question that Playbook co-author and Deep Dive host Ryan Lizza spoke with Reed about in a backroom at the Washington Hilton as his conference attendees filed in. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Ralph Reed is the chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
23/06/23·48m 55s

Why federal prosecutors may have handed Trump a huge gift

Timothy Parlatore spent over a year working for Donald Trump on a number of legal challenges, including the Department of Justice’s probe into Trump’s role in Jan. 6 and the investigation of all those documents stashed at Mar-a-Lago. Parlatore was inside the secret grand jury room in Washington. He oversaw the search for documents in Bedminster. He coordinated the former president’s response to Jack Smith’s subpoena for the national security files that eventually landed Trump in so much trouble. And then, in May, after a long-running internal fight with one of Trump’s top aides, Parlatore quit.   Since then, you may have seen him on cable TV talking about why he left the Trump team and offering his insights about the case. But he hasn’t sat down for an in-depth interview like the one you’re about to hear.  Parlatore came by Politico’s offices in Arlington and spent the afternoon talking to Playbook co-author and Deep Dive host Ryan Lizza about why he became a criminal defense attorney in the first place, the moral dilemmas he’s faced representing people who he knew were guilty.  And, most important, what it was like being on the inside of Trump’s legal team as Jack Smith and his prosecutors closed in. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Timothy Parlatore is the founder and Managing Partner of Parlatore Law Group Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.
16/06/23·1h 12m

How gamblers, party animals, and true believers are hitting it big in Washington

Ben Terris is a feature writer at The Washington Post, where he’s carved out a unique role: reporting on what he calls, “the weirdo beat.” While Ben’s colleagues focus on what’s happening on the main stage in politics, he keeps an eye on the freak show that’s happening just out of sight.  This week, Ben published his much-anticipated book “The Big Break: The Gamblers, Party Animals, and True Believers Trying to Win in Washington While America Loses Its Mind.”  “The Big Break” has a novel argument: that if you want to understand how American politics works in the post-Donald Trump era – then you really, really have to understand Ben’s field of expertise: weirdos. On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, Playbook co-author and Deep Dive host Ryan Lizza joins Ben to discuss the rise and fall of the influential oddballs chronicled in “The Big Break,” and what their stories say about the future of politics. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Ben Terris is a feature reporter covering national politics for The Washington Post. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
09/06/23·51m 7s

Inside the debt ceiling vote with GOP Whip Tom Emmer

In this episode of Deep Dive, Playbook co-author Rachael Bade joins House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and Chief Deputy Whip Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) just hours before final passage of the debt ceiling bill they shepherded through the House. This is the behind the scenes story from inside the Republican whip's office of how Kevin McCarthy's leadership team convinced House Republicans to raise the debt ceiling for two years and embrace his agreement with Joe Biden, which many on the right decried as a betrayal of the base. It's a story of how Emmer and Reschenthaler pulled together a divided and fractious conference, dodging a ballooning effort to oust McCarthy from the gavel, and ultimately putting the ball back in the Democrats' court. Rachael Bade is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Tom Emmer is the House  Majority Whip and the representative for Minnesota's 6th district. Guy Reschenthaler is the House Republican Chief Deputy Whip and the representative for Pennsylvania's 14th district. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
01/06/23·38m 58s

How Ron DeSantis went from GOP prom queen to MAGA wallflower

This week, the rumors became reality as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott announced their long-awaited presidential campaigns. The contrast between the two events foreshadowed all of the big questions for next year’s Republican primaries. Tim Scott, who is a favorite among his senate colleagues —  but who is mostly unknown outside of his home state and the Washington, D.C., fundraising circuit — preached optimism and unity while sharing the stage with his mother. Ron DeSantis, on the other hand, did something a little different. He announced his campaign on Twitter Spaces with Elon Musk. But for many, the event’s glitchy start was more memorable than DeSantis’s stern message to fellow Republicans. It was the perfect setup for the choice Republicans will have to make in Iowa, New Hampshire, and beyond: Do they want a president who follows in Ronald Reagan’s footsteps – one who is optimistic and driven by ideas – who shakes hands and kisses babies? Or do they want someone like Trump: a leader who uses the Internet to press the attack on the cultural issues that have divided the country.    Now, Scott and DeSantis join a crowded GOP field that includes former governors Nikki Haley and Asa Hutchinson; entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy; and of course, the dominant frontrunner, Donald Trump. This week on Playbook Deep Dive, Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza talks about Scott, DeSantis, and all things 2024 with Jonathan Martin, POLITICO’s Politics Bureau Chief; and co-author of the best-seller, This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future.  Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Jonathan Martin is politics bureau chief for POLITICO. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
26/05/23·51m 15s

AOC’s advice to Joe Biden on the debt limit showdown

In the last year, a lot has changed in Washington for progressives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). In 2021 and 2022, with Democrats controlling the House, she and her allies could block any piece of legislation if they held together. Their big fights were with moderate Democrats over how many trillions of dollars to spend on President Joe Biden’s agenda.  And they had easy access to the White House with Ron Klain as Biden’s chief of staff. Now they are in the minority and far from the negotiating room where Joe Biden is trying to make a budget deal with Kevin McCarthy to get him to raise the debt ceiling. Their main fight is trying to stop the president from caving to McCarthy on what they view as draconian budget cuts and policies that would weaken the social safety net. And over at the White House, it’s not really clear who they should call anymore.  AOC is keenly aware of these changed circumstances. She’s been carefully watching the debt limit debate play out and she has a clear view of what it’s all about: power, not policy.  In this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez tells host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza how House progressives can flex their muscles right now; and how she’s learned to use her unique influence to affect legislation, even when she’s not at the table. Finally, she has some advice – and a warning – for Joe Biden as we approach the endgame of the debt limit. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the representative for New York's 14th district.  Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
19/05/23·35m 17s

Moderate Dem says Title 42 was Biden’s border blunder

This week, after years of criticism from immigration rights activists and many progressive Democrats, President Joe Biden has ended the use of Title 42. That’s the public health law that Donald Trump first used during the pandemic to expel millions of asylum seekers arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. Biden’s decision has drawn predictable outrage from Republicans. But perhaps more worrisome to the president is the growing list of critics from within the Democratic Party who are concerned that Biden’s border policies could trigger a humanitarian crisis and perhaps an electoral backlash.  Rep. Henry Cuellar is one of those Democrats. And he’s this week’s guest on Playbook Deep Dive. Cuellar knows the issue of immigration better than most of his fellow Democrats. He was born to immigrant farm workers in Laredo, Texas, went to college and law school, and eventually jumped into Texas politics, and then the U.S. Congress, where he’s served since 2005 representing Texas’s 28th Congressional District, which stretches from San Antonio to Laredo and includes 200 miles of the southern border. The left does not like him. He received a lot of attention in the last two election cycles when he was targeted by national progressives and barely survived two primary challenges. One reason for those challenges: immigration, where Cuellar is well-known for being to the right of many of his Democratic colleagues. On the other hand, he voted against the border security bill that House Republicans put on the floor this week. Cuellar is a lonely centrist on an issue that has become much more polarized over the last decade.  And, as he tells Playbook co-author and Deep Dive host Ryan Lizza, he thinks Joe Biden should join him in the middle and stop taking advice from the left, as the president prepares for the coming aftershocks of his Title 42 decision. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Henry Cuellar is the representative for Texas's 28th district.  Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
12/05/23·34m 1s

Why Asa Hutchinson isn’t scared of Trump, Biden, or impossible odds

If you talk to Democratic strategists about the 2024 presidential election, there is a certain type of Republican nominee who they fear: Someone who knows how to speak in the language of inclusion; who can discuss abortion and guns without alienating suburban voters; who stands up to the GOP on some of the most fraught issues of the culture wars; who can argue that he or she has almost as much government experience as Joe Biden himself, but is still younger; who handled the pandemic in their state in a way that avoided some of the most unpopular decisions of both Democrats and Republicans; and who spends a lot of their time explaining to Republicans why they should leave Donald Trump in the past.  Asa Hutchinson — who sounds an awful lot like that imaginary candidate that Democrats fear —  is here on Playbook Deep Dive this week to tell us why you shouldn’t count him out. Hutchinson got his start in politics as a U.S. attorney during the Reagan Revolution, when his home state of Arkansas was still run by Democrats. He served two terms as governor and shortly after stepping down this year, he announced he’s running for president. If there’s one thing that makes him stand out so far, it’s that he’s willing to say things about Trump that other Republicans aren’t. Hutchinson recently wrote that the former President “has led us astray,” “undermined the fabric of our democracy,” and is emblematic of bad leaders who are, “focused only on themselves or on settling scores with political opponents.” In this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, host Ryan Lizza speaks with the former Arkansas governor after his first official trip to Iowa. He opens up about why he’s running, how he thinks he can take down Trump, and why his record – which is among the most conservative in America – is full of surprises. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Asa Hutchinson is the former governor of Arkansas and a GOP presidential candidate. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
05/05/23·45m 29s

Bonus: Live from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

This past week, luminaries from politics, media, and Hollywood came together for the annual White House Correspondents' dinner in Washington. Playbook co-author and Deep Dive host Ryan Lizza joined forces with Major Garrett, CBS News’s Washington correspondent and host of the popular podcast, The Takeout, at the POLITICO-CBS News reception to bring you this very special live show.  The show features guests such as Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.); Asa Hutchinson, the GOP presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor; comedian Roy Wood, Jr., who provided the entertainment at the dinner; and many other big names in the world of politics and media.  This originally aired live on SiriusXM, but it’s just so good that we had to put it out here for all of you to enjoy.  Follow The Takeout with Major Garrett wherever you get your podcasts. You can also listen ad-free on the Amazon Music or Wondery app. Visit the The Takeout’s page here:  https://link.chtbl.com/CBSNewsTheTakeout
02/05/23·39m 6s

Why this week’s media meltdown was years in the making – and what comes next

This week in Washington – more so than anytime in Joe Biden’s presidency – the news has been all about… the news. To start, it’s the weekend of the White House Correspondents Association Dinner. But outside of the brunches and parties, a different type of media intrigue has been dominating politics.  BuzzFeed News, the colossus of yesteryear’s viral reporting and the entity that published the infamous Steele Dossier about Donald Trump, announced that it was shutting down for good. On Monday, Fox News fired Tucker Carlson, their top-rated host. Within an hour, Don Lemon announced he was parting ways with CNN, where he had worked for 17 years.  On Thursday, Vice News, another struggling pioneer of 21st century digital news, became the latest media company to lay off some of its best known reporters.  These are all isolated events with circumstances specific to each newsroom. But in an excellent new book called Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral,  Ben Smith argues that we are indeed at the end of an era in media, but that the next one might be something to look forward to.  That’s a forceful prediction coming from Ben, who was a longtime reporter at POLITICO, the top editor at BuzzFeed News, a New York Times media columnist, and now is the editor-in-chief of Semafor. He’s also this week’s Playbook Deep Dive guest. Ben’s book and this interview with Deep Dive Host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza do their best to answer the questions we all have about why our political culture is so fragmented, and whether there is any hope that we can return to a place where Americans agree on simple things — like facts. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Ben Smith is the editor-in-chief of Semafor. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
28/04/23·50m 14s

White House Plumbers

On May 1, the hotly-anticipated HBO series White House Plumbers will premiere. The 5-episode series takes viewers along on a darkly funny ride with the fumbling ex-spooks and misguided “patriots.” E. Howard Hunt, played by Woody Harrelson and G. Gordon Liddy, played by Justin Theroux. The duo — along with some helpers — use any means necessary to secure the 1972 re-election of Richard Nixon, including breaking into the Democratic National Committee's headquarters at the Watergate Office Building.  Of course instead of saving Nixon, Liddy and Hunt end up destroying his presidency. The show is a warped version of a buddy comedy that explores one of the most relevant issues in politics: what happens when true believers lose their integrity and moral compass in pursuit of their cause. David Mandel, the director of White House Plumbers, is a man who knows more about the intersection of Hollywood and Washington than just about anyone. Mandel has had a storied career as a comedy writer and producer. He’s a veteran of Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. He went on to lead production of Veep —  one of the funniest and most accurate shows ever made about Washington — for its final three seasons. On this week’s episode of Playbook Deep Dive, Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza talks with Mandel about lessons he’s learned translating Washington for Hollywood, first with Veep and now with White House Plumbers —  and how a certain president elected in between these two shows changed everything about what makes politics funny. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. David Mandel is the director of White House Plumbers.  Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
21/04/23·1h 31m

DeSantis & the Florida speaker are just getting started. Here’s what’s next.

This week, Florida’s statehouse cleared the way for Gov. Ron DeSantis to sign a six-week abortion ban. The man who shepherded the bill, House Speaker Paul Renner, joins Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza for this episode of Playbook Deep Dive.  You might not know Renner’s name – but you definitely know his work:  - A bill to ban surgeries and prescription treatments for transgender minors, which has passed the state Senate and Renner will soon push through the House - One of the most comprehensive new school voucher laws in the country - Legislation removing books with sexual content from Florida public schools - A major tort reform bill, big tax cuts - And if he gets around to it this session: a bill aimed at over-turning the 1964 New York Times v. Sullivan decision, the most important First Amendment ruling of the last century All of this is aimed at Renner’s other project: helping Gov. Ron DeSantis build a record of accomplishments in Florida on which he can base his presidential campaign.  While Republicans have created a legislative assembly line that is spitting out laws to change seemingly every aspect of life in Florida, a big question suddenly hangs over their project:  Are they building a record of accomplishments that can launch the DeSantis rocket to the White House? Or are they weighing down the governor with so much right-wing baggage that he crashes upon liftoff? Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Paul Renner is the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
14/04/23·42m 10s

How Vivek Ramaswamy thinks he’s got Trump & DeSantis beat

The 2024 Republican presidential primary is off to a bit of a slow start. Donald Trump and former governors Nikki Haley and Asa Hutchinson have entered the race, but other likely candidates, such as Ron DeSantis and Mike Pence, are still sitting on the sidelines. Almost every Republican senator who flirted with the idea seems likely to pass, with the notable exception of Tim Scott, who’s been making stops in Iowa and New Hampshire. Into this vacuum has come Vivek Ramaswamy, who stated his intentions in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. He declared that he was running to forge “an inspiring national identity that dilutes the woke agenda to irrelevance.” In a subsequent interview with POLITICO’s Daniel Lippman, Vivek added that, “The GOP has a historic opportunity to answer the question of what it means to be an American.”  You probably don’t know much about Vivek Ramaswamy – he’s a young entrepreneur from Ohio who’s never run for anything. But there are a few reasons to keep an eye on him:  1. He says he’s willing to spend millions of dollars of an estimated half-billion dollar fortune on the race  2. He’s a regular presence on the Fox News Channel, which is the top information source for Republican primary voters 3. And he seems to be putting together a serious campaign made up of political pros Vivek swears he has a plan to break out of the single digits and take down Donald Trump. On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza joins Vivek at the restaurant Art & Soul to learn whether he is completely delusional —  or whether he just might be onto something. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Vivek Ramaswamy is a biotech entrepreneur and Republican presidential contender.  Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
07/04/23·35m 57s

Donald Trump’s indictment: Our reporters dig into the repercussions for 2024

Playbook Deep Dive host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza gathers three of the best journalists in the POLITICO’s newsroom to break down the immediate questions of what Trump's indictment means. Joining him is Jonathan Martin, POLITICO’s Politics Bureau Chief; Meridith McGraw, who covers Trump for POLITICO; and Erica Orden, who is new to POLITICO and is one of the best legal reporters out there. All three have been breaking news on this story – and they’re on deadline. These are their thoughts about what has led to this moment and what will occur because of it. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Erica Orden is a legal reporter for POLITICO. Meridith McGraw is a national political correspondent for POLITICO. Jonathan Martin is politics bureau chief for POLITICO. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
31/03/23·21m 31s

Porn stars, felons, and spin doctors: Who will jurors believe in Trump’s case?

Lanny Davis long ago established himself as the go-to operative in Washington when you’re in the middle of a PR crisis.  He was famously the public face defending Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal in 1998. But today, 25 years later, he’s on the other side of a presidential sex scandal representing Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer and self-described “fixer,” who went to jail for a number of offenses, including his role in paying Stormy Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her not telling the media her account of an alleged affair with Donald Trump.  Cohen is now a central witness in the Manhattan DA’s case against Trump, one that could send the former president to jail. It’s a case that has died and been resurrected so many times that prosecutors have nicknamed it the “zombie” case. And a major obstacle that prosecutors face is whether or not jurors will believe that Cohen, who lied for Trump for over a decade, is telling the truth.  On this episode of Deep Dive, host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza catches up with Davis at his office in Washington, D.C., to hear the story of how the Trump “zombie” case came back from the dead and why he insists jurors should believe his client. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Lanny Davis is the lawyer and spokesperson for former Trump fixer Michael Cohen. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
24/03/23·43m 49s

What Iran and China stand to gain from an Iraq AUMF repeal

On Thursday, the Senate began to re-evaluate one of the most controversial episodes in American history: the Iraq war.  After a generation of use and abuse, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is calling a vote to repeal the Iraq AUMF, or authorization for the use of military force, which has been a key underpinning for America’s so-called “forever wars” in the Middle East. But Stephen Hadley, the man who was the architect of many of the national security policies that the Iraq AUMF enabled, has something to say before Congress votes. Hadley was President George W. Bush’s national security advisor from 2005 to 2009 and was Dick Cheney’s guy at the negotiating table with Russia during the George H.W. Bush administration. Now, he has just published a book called Hand-Off: The Foreign Policy George W. Bush Passed to Barack Obama that chronicles 20 years of war and politics in America.  On this week’s episode of Playbook Deep Dive, Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza speaks with the former Bush adviser about what we stand to lose if Congress is sloppy about repealing the Iraq war AUMF, what Bush got right and wrong on China, how Joe Biden’s foreign policy echoes Bush’s Freedom Agenda, and how President Biden can learn from Bush’s successes and failures dealing with Vladimir Putin. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Stephen Hadley is the former National Security Advisor for President George W. Bush. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
17/03/23·32m 43s

AI is advancing faster than Congress. Here’s why that’s a bug

Last November, when the artificial intelligence platform ChatGPT launched, an old science fiction question suddenly became very real: How long until the machines are smarter than the humans?  It marked the beginning of a new era in technology – one that has enormous implications for the economy and the nation’s politics. On the Hill, members of Congress suddenly needed answers about the coming disruption. The expert they turned to for those was a video game developer from Southern California, Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-Calif.). Obernolte is, according to his peers, the guy you need to know on AI. He has a masters in the field and owns a very successful video game company. On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, he tells Playbook’s Ryan Lizza the truth about this powerful new technology and what it means to Washington, D.C.; from AI’s regulatory forecast to what – if anything – Congress can do to soften a potential white collar job apocalypse that its widespread adoption might bring. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Rep. Jay Obernolte is the congressman for California's 23rd district. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
10/03/23·28m 53s

Finnish Ambassador: Here’s the right way to poke the Russian bear

The war in Ukraine is just over one year old. There is widespread talk of a major spring offensive from both sides. War in Europe, once unthinkable, is now the new normal. But for one nation on Russia’s northern border, this feels like deja vu. Like Ukraine, Finland knows what it’s like to share a long border with Russia. The Finns have had Vladimir Putin as a neighbor, and they’ve been performing the same delicate dance of decoupling under his very watchful eye. Before his posting to Washington, Mikko Hautala was Finland’s ambassador to Russia, where he met Vladimir Putin more times than he can count. Hautala occupied his post in Moscow during the critical years following Putin’s first invasion of Ukraine.  Since the war began, he’s become well known as the person to talk to to understand Putin, Russia and the conflict in Ukraine.  On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, host Ryan Lizza talks with Hautala about what Americans don’t understand about the Russian leader, the implications of the growing alliance between China and Russia, Finland’s accession to NATO, and why he believes the West needs to massively ramp up its industrial capability if it wants Ukraine to survive. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Mikko Hautala is Finland's ambassador to the U.S. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a senior editor for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
03/03/23·35m 28s

How to investigate the president, his predecessor & keep your job

Until last month, Anthony Coley was Director of Public Affairs at the Justice Department and a Senior Adviser to Attorney General Merrick Garland.  Coley was in the middle of some of the most extraordinary episodes at DOJ over the last two years:  The appointment of two special counsels investigating one current and one former president. Responding to the drama around the investigation of the president’s son.  Taking incoming from right-wing pundits saying Garland was protecting President Biden and left-wing pundits saying the attorney general was protecting former president Trump.  And occasionally grappling with perhaps the most difficult dilemma that any government official faces: what do you do when you disagree with the boss? In his first interview since leaving Merrick Garland’s side, Coley joins Playbook Deep Dive host Ryan Lizza from his home on Capitol Hill to discuss how the Justice Department separates law from politics, why two special counsels might just take the pressure off Garland, and much, much more. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Anthony Coley is the former director of public affairs at the Department of Justice Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a senior editor for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
24/02/23·44m 21s

What experts get wrong about Nikki Haley’s run

Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, and President Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, is running for president. But not everyone on the right is impressed. In a brutal Valentine’s Day editorial, The Wall Street Journal said that there is “no clear rationale for her candidacy.” Over at The New York Times, the paper assembled 10 pundits to assess Haley’s candidacy, and the majority opinion was that she shouldn’t be taken very seriously.  On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, Rob Godfrey, a senior aide and spokesman for Haley when she was governor, and a longtime ally to her successor, Henry McMaster, shares why the critics may be wrong. Godfrey discusses Haley’s career of defying expectations, her record as governor, South Carolina’s uniquely influential role in American politics, and invites host Ryan Lizza to come visit. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Rob Godfrey is the former senior aide to Nikki Haley.  Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a senior editor for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
17/02/23·47m 21s

Have China hawks flown the coop?

In Washington, there is now a bipartisan consensus around being tough on China. This was happening even before the Chinese sent a spy balloon drifting across the United States. Last month, by a vote of 365-65, the House created a new “Select Committee on Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party.” And with China hawks now dominating the thinking of both parties when it comes to Sino-U.S. relations, Deep Dive host Ryan Lizza decided to check in with Max Baucus, who is one of the leading voices warning that the hawks have things dangerously wrong.  Baucus was the U.S. ambassador to China from 2014 to 2017. Before that he was, depending on the year, the chairman or ranking member of the very powerful Senate Finance Committee. And in this fascinating interview, he’s surprisingly critical of Republicans and Democrats alike for muddling the U.S. relationship with China in order to score political points at home. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Max Baucus is the former U.S. Ambassador to China.  Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a senior editor for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
10/02/23·37m 35s

Why Kevin McCarthy thinks he’s already won

A small group of longtime Kevin McCarthy aides who decamped downtown to lobby are suddenly some of the most influential and sought-after people in Washington. They remain intensely loyal to the new speaker and serve as crucial sources of insight into his thinking and strategy. Ben Howard, now at the Duberstein Group, was McCarthy’s floor director. He was with him through all of the fraught moments of the John Boehner era, including in 2015 when Boehner retired and McCarthy lost out on securing his job. Howard saw up close how driven McCarthy was to get a second shot at becoming speaker. “I used to sit in the office with Kevin,” Howard told Ryan Lizza, host of Playbook Deep Dive. “We would dream about this day. We would dream about it.”  But Howard has a bone to pick. He doesn’t like the way that everyone is talking about his old boss. The conventional wisdom about the new speaker is that he gave up everything to secure the job and that he’s one misstep away from losing it if he angers his restive Freedom Caucus colleagues. According to Howard, that bit of Washington C.W. is wrong. For this week’s episode of the Playbook Deep Dive podcast, Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza talked to Howard in his Penn Quarter office to understand the view from McCarthy world. They had a wide-ranging conversation about the state of the House GOP, the impact of the rules changes McCarthy agreed to in order to win the gavel, the debt limit faceoff, and McCarthy’s relationship with President Biden. Oh, and also about that time Howard was chewed out by GOP members for ruining the most famous episode of Game of Thrones. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Ben Howard is a Partner for the Duberstein Group. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a senior editor for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
03/02/23·1h 4m

Behind the RNC's anti-Trump revolt

After losing both chambers of Congress during Trump’s presidency and after waging a disappointing campaign to recapture them in 2022, the Republican Party is having a lot of intra-party feuds. This week, the post-election search for new leadership moved to the Republican National Committee. Right now, there’s no agreed-upon leader of the party, so like the recent battles in the Senate and the House, the RNC election has turned into a fight to define the GOP’s future. And once again, Donald Trump is at the center of the debate. Playbook co-author Rachael Bade flew to Orange County, California, to watch the fireworks at the RNC’s winter meeting, where the three-time incumbent chair Ronna McDaniel faced a challenge from conservative lawyer Harmeet Dhillon. To understand what this fight is all about, Rachael had breakfast with Bill Palatucci, a longtime party member who is also a close ally of Chris Christie’s and a loud critic of Donald Trump. In this week’s episode, Palatucci explains how the Dhillon-McDaniel contest isn’t just about the RNC chairmanship – it's about who will lead the Republican Party into 2024 — and beyond — and why the GOP could languish for a very long time depending on the outcome. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Bill Palatucci is an RNC national committee man for New Jersey. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a senior editor for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
27/01/23·36m 54s

The people of New Hampshire vs. Joe Biden

What do you do when you are one of the guardians of your state’s most precious political and cultural institution — the very thing that defines New Hampshire — and the president you love and the party you’ve served your whole life, tells you to destroy it? To find out, we spoke to Ray Buckley. Buckley has served as the chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party since 2007 and he was involved in every New Hampshire presidential primary campaign since he was an organizer for Jimmy Carter. A big part of his job is protecting the status of the New Hampshire primary, which by state law is required to be the first in the nation. Any Democrat who wants to be president makes a point of becoming Ray Buckley’s friend. When Buckley got a call in December from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, the worst part was that it was Joe Biden who had screwed him. Biden had decided to end New Hampshire’s decades-long reign by hosting the first presidential primary — at least for the Democrats. In its place: South Carolina, the state that resurrected Biden’s candidacy in 2020. On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza speaks to Buckley about New Hampshire’s fight to preserve their first-in-the-nation primary. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Ray Buckley is the chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Alex Keeney is a senior producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a senior editor for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the executive producer for POLITICO audio.
20/01/23·52m 9s

The strategist who didn't believe in the red wave

In off-the-record conversations and private emails, AFL-CIO political director Michael Podhorzer argued that the pundits focusing exclusively on the fundamentals of the race — Biden’s approval rating and the dismal economic indicators — were missing the bigger picture. Yes, presidents usually lose an average of some two dozen House seats in similar circumstances, but that wasn’t the whole story. While many analysts argued that inflation would be more important than the diffuse issue of democracy, Podhorzer said that was myopic. He was much more right than wrong. Podhorzer has now left the AFL-CIO after 25 years and is able to speak freely. On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, host Ryan Lizza sits down with him in his kitchen for his first wide-ranging interview. They talk about what everyone got wrong about 2022, his critiques of the media’s coverage of the right, his ongoing battles with the so-called popularists in the Democratic Party, and why Podhorzer already thinks the presidential election of 2024 is headed for a dangerous endgame.
13/01/23·1h 2m

The unauthorized history of the House Freedom Caucus

In late 2014, Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) was traveling back to Louisiana with his wife when he had an idea: a plan to empower arch-conservatives to push back against their Leadership, led by then-Speaker of the House John Boehner. Soon after, he and eight Republican colleagues founded the House Freedom Caucus – the same group that is determined to deny Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) the speaker’s gavel. If you want to understand the roots of this week’s far-right rebellion, then you have to understand the roots of the House Freedom Caucus. And while not every member of the HFC opposes McCarthy – and not every opponent is a member of the HFC – most of them are. On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, former Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), a Freedom Caucus Founder, unspools something that we could all use right now to understand the current crisis and what it portends for the future of Republican politics: an unauthorized history of the House Freedom Caucus.
06/01/23·53m 31s

The anti-McCarthy faction teases a shadow speaker

Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) and his allies are trying to end Kevin McCarthy’s reign as leader of the House Republicans. Good is one of five Republicans in the far-right Freedom Caucus vowing to block McCarthy’s path to the 218 votes needed to become Speaker of the House. The two have a history. In 2020, Good was running for Congress to represent Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. Incidentally, also home to the race between James Madison and James Monroe to be the district’s first representative in Congress. Madison won. While Good was running for Congress, Kevin McCarthy tried to consolidate power in the Republican House conference on his way to becoming Speaker. During his campaign, Good knocked out one of McCarthy’s loyal member’s at the GOP nominating convention. At a private meeting recently, Good and McCarthy had a heated exchange about events at the time. On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, Playbook co-author Rachael Bade went to the Hill to meet Good at his office and dig for details on the history of his relationship with McCarthy and whom Good and his allies intended to support for Speaker instead.
23/12/22·37m 43s

Will the fusion breakthrough ignite a Congressional chain reaction?

Department of Energy announced a breakthrough in the decades-long quest to recreate on Earth the process that powers the Sun: nuclear fusion. To simplify slightly, scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California recently fired a bunch of lasers at a piece of hydrogen. The lasers used 2.05 megajoules of energy to hit the hydrogen. The resulting reaction produced 3 megajoules of energy. For the first time in the history of fusion research, scientists achieved ignition — more energy was produced by the reaction than was used to create it. Here in Washington, and the world of politics, no elected official was as excited about these results as Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.). Beyer is the former lieutenant governor of Virginia and was an ambassador in the Obama administration. A few years ago, Beyer became consumed with the promise of fusion. How it could become a cheap and plentiful alternative to fossil fuels. How it could solve the climate crisis. In this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, host Ryan Lizza joins Congressman Beyer to explore the policy and politics of this big scientific breakthrough. Is it the turning point we’ve been promised for decades, or will it once again lead to the same dashed expectations that has long-characterized the history of fusion research?
16/12/22·23m 40s

Gov. Chris Sununu surveys the field

Gov. Chris Sununu was recently re-elected to his fourth term in office. The Republican governor has been positioning himself for the 2024 presidential primaries for a while now.  Before Election Day, there were a lot of reasons to be skeptical about his chances. He’s a New England moderate in the party of MAGA. He endorsed DONALD TRUMP twice, but he’s also been a stinging critic. And he’s pro-choice, which might be seen as a non-starter in a GOP primary. Trump’s recent decline has emboldened his potential competitors. The underwhelming results for Republicans in the 2022 midterms have led to an outbreak of interest on the right in electability.  Now Sununu is trying to define himself against not just Trump, but many of the right’s obsessions that he sees as political losers. On this week’s episode of Playbook Deep Dive, host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza went to the statehouse in Concord, NH, where Sununu was keen to discuss 2024 presidential primary politics in a way that he hasn’t recently.
09/12/22·1h 12m

True or false: Colorado is a swing state

Michael Bennet is the senior Democratic senator from Colorado, a famously purple state. In the weeks leading up to the 2022 midterms, Colorado seemed to be a place where Republicans might flip a few seats. But as it turned out, not only was there no red wave in Colorado, there was something of a blue wave instead. On this episode of Playbook Deep Dive, host Ryan Lizza visits Sen. Michael Bennet on the Hill to dissect the 2022 midterms and pick his brain on 2024 presidential campaigns and what might be in store for the lame-duck session.
02/12/22·34m 34s

Sen. Markey vs. Musk’s Twitter: The freed bird might get its wings clipped

There are some members of Congress who have famously struggled to understand the online world. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) prides himself on not only understanding the internet, but also for passing some of the key legislation that he likes to say helped lay the foundation for the digital revolution. More recently, Markey has been leading fights to enhance online privacy and regulate social media. So when Elon Musk took over Twitter recently, Markey was paying close attention to see what kinds of changes the richest man in the world might bring to the platform.  The two men have a little history: they previously tussled over safety issues with self-driving technology in Musk’s Tesla electric vehicles. The Muskification of Twitter was equally concerning to the senator. But it was when Musk unveiled a plan to sell blue check marks — the Twitter verification symbol that prevents users from masquerading as other people and corporations — that Markey started to get really worried. What followed turned Markey into Musk’s chief tormentor in Washington.  In this week’s Playbook Deep Dive, host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza went up to Sen. Markey’s office on Capitol Hill to find out what it’s like to be in a Twitter war with the self described chief twit, and what might come next in this escalating confrontation.   Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Senator Ed Markey is a Democratic senator from Massachusetts. Afra Abdullah is associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
18/11/22·31m 30s

How to flip a GOP stronghold: be a normal politician

Why were Democrats seemingly able to by and large defy history and avoid a catastrophic result in the midterms? Across the country, Democrats successfully defended seats that Republicans had confidently expected to pick up, while also adding wins in gubernatorial races in five swing states that flipped from Trump to Biden in 2020. There are many explanations: backlash to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, exhaustion with Donald Trump and some of the candidates that he backed, and a big turnout for Democrats among Gen Z and millennials. The coalition of voters that turned out to oppose Donald Trump in 2018 and 2020 remained largely intact in 2022. There were also a lot of races that turned on local issues where none of these common explanations seem to tell the full story. We’re all going to be unpacking the results for a while. So, we wanted to hear why these Democrats think they were able to defy history. On this week’s episode of Playbook Deep Dive, Ohioan and POLITICO Playbook co-author Rachael Bade talked to Greg Landsman, a Democrat who on Tuesday, ousted 13-term incumbent Republican Rep. Steve Chabot in Ohio’s 1st District. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Greg Landsman is the representative-elect for Ohio's 1st Congressional district. Afra Abdullah is associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
11/11/22·31m 11s

Democrats' 'optimistic apostle' offers hope for the midterms

Simon Rosenberg is the head of the progressive think tank NDN, and he has a message for jittery Democrats on the eve of the midterms: cheer up! This week on the Playbook Deep Dive podcast we sit down with the Democratic Party’s apostle of optimism. “I'm not sitting here and telling you we're going to win,” Simon told us over lunch this week. “What I'm telling you is that the narrative about this election, about there being a red wave— there isn't one. There never has been.” If you spend a lot of time on political Twitter, you have no doubt encountered Simon’s tweets and threads over the last few weeks. He’s built a large and loyal following of Democrats looking for silver linings amid the clouds of negative media coverage about their party’s prospects in the midterms. — Hispanics abandoning his party? Simon says that NDN’s polling doesn’t show it. — Polling averages tilting to the GOP in the last few weeks? Simon says they’ve been polluted by a barrage of Republican polls dumped strategically to depress Democrats and excite Republicans. (This claim has been met with a lot of skepticism, because surely Democratic campaigns would be leaking their own internals, but we digress…) — And that red wave? Simon says that if you look at the Kansas abortion referendum, the five House special elections earlier this year, and especially the early voting data, that the anti-Trump coalition that powered Democrats to victory in 2018 and 2020 is holding strong in 2022. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Simon Rosenberg is president of NDN.  Afra Abdullah is associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
04/11/22·55m 31s

The quarter-billion dollar PAC driving a red wave

Dan Conston is the president of the Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with Rep. Kevin McCarthy with the singular mission of making the California Republican Speaker of the House. Most forecasts suggest that Conston and CLF are on the verge of success. In a candid hour-plus interview, Conston took Playbook behind the scenes of CLF’s operation. We talked about the issues and demographics of this election, emerging GOP opportunities in the final days of the campaign and the inside strategies that one of the best-funded super PACs in American politics uses to take down its Democratic opponents. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Dan Conston is the president of the Congressional Leadership Fund. Afra Abdullah is associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
28/10/22·58m 55s

Weaponized (un)truths: Has the GOP ‘lost its mind’?

Robert Draper's "Weapons of Mass Delusion: When the Republican Party Lost Its Mind" focuses exclusively on the GOP during the crucial 18-month period after January 6 and vastly adds to our understanding of the Trump era. Far-right representatives Paul Gosar, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Matt Gaetz are part of a new breed of Republican party fighting with their GOP elders. The subtitle of Draper's book — emphasizing when, not how — Trump-inspired elected officials helped the former president solidify his grip over the Republican party is as important as understanding what has happened to the party. In this week's Playbook Deep Dive, Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza unwinds Draper's chronicle of what has happened to the Republican party, and America, through his character-driven account of the people and events shaping the extremes of American politics today. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Robert Draper is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine.   Afra Abdullah is associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
21/10/22·47m 52s

How we predict elections

Scott Bland is POLITICO’s national politics editor and leading all of POLITICO’s 2022 midterm coverage. To do it, he has a team of about 15 reporters around the country following campaigns.   Despite the cooling temperatures, this is when people like Bland start to sweat.  His job is to ensure readers and listeners aren’t surprised on election night — that POLITICO has considered and reported on all possible outcomes, including the outliers — those black swan scenarios with seemingly low probabilities. Not just the most likely ones, according to conventional wisdom. The specter of 2016 still haunts newsrooms.  Bland and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza dissect how 2016 midterm misses can be applied lessons for reporters covering the 2022 elections. Bland also weighs in on pressing questions like; what are the chances of Democrats winning the House while the Republicans take the Senate? Could all of those allegedly flawed Trump-backed candidates sweep their races? And could Biden be the first President since 2002 to avoid a party defeat in the first-midterm election? Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Scott Bland is the national politics editor for POLITICO. Afra Abdullah is associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
14/10/22·32m 50s

Dream job disappointment: Testifying against Trump

Sarah Matthews has a political resume similar to a lot of conservatives her age. At Kent State, she joined the College Republicans and made her first pilgrimage to the annual CPAC conference in Washington. Sarah interned on Capitol Hill for John Boehner and Sen. Rob Portman, both of Ohio. And then she got a job doing comms for Republicans on the Hill. But a few years later, in June 2020, she was working for Donald Trump. Like a lot of her colleagues, she was well aware of Trump’s flaws, but she agreed with his policies. When her mentor, Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany invited Sarah to be her deputy, Sarah didn’t think twice. It was a chaotic seven months, marked by the Lafayette Square protest incident, Covid, the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Then came Jan. 6.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You probably remember Matthews from her primetime testimony to the Jan. 6 committee in July. She testified about her experience in the White House during the insurrection and how Donald Trump’s actions that day so disgusted her that she resigned that night. The January 6 committee is back next week, on October 13th, for its first hearing since the one at which Matthews appeared.  Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza sat down with Sarah Matthews, former deputy White House press secretary, to hear the full story of what it was like for a young Republican to publicly break with the president, upend her career, and experience the full wrath of Trump and his supporters by cooperating with the January 6 committee. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Sarah Matthews is a former White House deputy press secretary for the Trump administration Afra Abdullah is associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
07/10/22·53m 56s

Giorgia Meloni's Hard Right Playbook

Last Sunday, Italians voted for the most right-wing government since Benito Mussolini. The controversial politician leading the winning coalition, Giorgia Meloni, will become Italy's first female prime minister. Meloni has become a darling of sorts for many Republicans in America, who invited her to speak at this year's CPAC conference. The "Brothers of Italy," co-founded by Meloni in 2012, was a fringe party with neo-fascist roots. It rebranded itself in recent years as a socially conservative, ultra-nationalist party that's also a European voice in the growing trans-national culture wars. From a rooftop bar near central Rome, Ryan Lizza and POLITICO Europe's Rome correspondent, Hannah Roberts, dig into Meloni's history, rise, and how she's likely to lead Italy's government with EU, NATO, and Russian relationships center stage. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Hannah Roberts is POLITICO Europe's Rome correspondent. Afra Abdullah is associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
30/09/22·29m 48s

The untold story of Trump's botched impeachments

It’s hard to imagine a political event that was covered more intensively in real time than Trump’s two impeachments. But only now, 18 months after the Senate acquitted Trump a second time, we are learning crucial new details about what happened behind the scenes of those proceedings. And only now are we starting to reckon with what those two failed impeachments have wrought for Congress, the presidency, and the Constitution — and who was responsible. That reckoning comes courtesy of Playbook’s own Rachael Bade and Washington Post national security reporter Karoun Demirjian, who on Oct. 18 will publish “Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress's Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump.” It’s an unsparing look at the characters, the calculations and, frequently, the cowardice that shaped Congress’s dealings with Trump — and how the results have likely changed impeachment forever. On this week’s Playbook Deep Dive, Rachael and Karoun talk extensively about their book and its provocative argument with Playbook editor Mike DeBonis. It’s a reunion for the trio, who covered Capitol Hill together at the Washington Post and watched closely as Congress struggled to hold Trump to account. They discuss why “Unchecked” is an unapologetically “both sides” book, how congressional leaders’ public rhetoric rarely matched private reality, and just how many impeachment articles President Joe Biden might be facing if Republicans take the House. Mike DeBonis is Playbook's editor for POLITICO. Rachael Bade is Playbook's co-author for POLITICO.  Karoun Demirjian is a national security reporter at The Washington Post. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio.  Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
23/09/22·1h 5m

The Bitter End to democracy? Hindsight is 20/20.

UCLA political scientists Lynn Vavreck and Chris Tausanovitch and Vanderbilt’s John Sides argue that political party identity has become increasingly “calcified” in surprising new ways. Their latest book,“The Bitter End,” describes both the long-term trends and short-term shocks that shaped the 2020 presidential election and continue reverberating today.  What’s driving the increasing distance between the parties and the growing homogeneity within the parties?  Playbook Co-Author Ryan Lizza met Vavreck on UCLA’s campus to learn why so-called “identity-inflected issues” are the great new dimension of political conflict and present a dangerous direction in America.
16/09/22·1h 2m

Kara Swisher knows when to fold ‘em

Kara Swisher has hosted the annual Code Conference for the last twenty years. Recently she announced that this was her final year organizing and running the event, which concluded on Thursday in Los Angeles. At the final big panel on Wednesday evening, Swisher ended things where she started: with a conversation about Steve Jobs. She gathered the famous Apple designer Jony Ive and the widow of Steve Jobs — Laurene Powell Jobs — and the CEO of Apple — Tim Cook — who flew to Los Angeles for Swisher hours after unveiling the new iPhone 14 at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino. The event ended much more poignant than one would expect at a conference about technology and politics. Afterward, Playbook Co-Author Ryan Lizza met Swisher in a suite on the 8th floor of the Beverly Hilton at what was Code's last secret poker party. They talked about the end of her running the Code Conference, her long and winding career … and why she loves saying no. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Afra Abdullah is associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
09/09/22·48m 35s

When Senator Leahy laughed with Raul Castro

On Tuesday, Leahy, who is retiring this year after representing Vermont in the Senate since 1975, released “The Road Taken,” an engrossing memoir that covers his long career, from his politically fraught vote against the Vietnam War to his account of rallying his fellow senators back into the chamber on Jan. 6 after they fled the mob that stormed the Capitol. In between, you meet dozens of politicians, Supreme Court Justices, presidents, world leaders, musicians, and Hollywood celebrities.   Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is the president pro tempore of the United States Senate. Afra Abdullah is associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio.  Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
26/08/22·36m 4s

Ron Klain says ‘season of substance’ could save Dems

The White House suddenly has a lot to brag about. And the president’s aides, led by chief of staff Ron Klain, are reaching deep into the 20th century to make the case that Joe Biden is a transformational president with “historic achievements.” We ventured over to the White House and sat down with Klain in the Roosevelt Room to review the last 18 months of the Biden presidency and talk about what’s next. At the start of the summer, this conversation would have been vastly different. Now, gas prices have dropped, the last CPI report hints that inflation may finally be trending down after hitting a peak. Election forecasters are writing pieces at least entertaining the idea that Democrats might not suffer the long-predicted midterm wipeout. And there’s that burst of legislative victories that were squeezed out of Congress in July and August that had Biden, a lover of alliteration, calling this period “a season of substance.” Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Ron Klain is the White House Chief of Staff. Afra Abdullah is associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
19/08/22·25m 4s

Byrd nerds: Why the byzantine process of budget reconciliation exists and how it actually works

This week the Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 using the process known as budget reconciliation. The upside? No filibuster is allowed. You only need a majority to approve a reconciliation bill. And the downside? There are strict rules about what can be included.  On the last episode of Playbook Deep Dive, Eric Ueland and Greg D’Angelo, two GOP budget nerds, previewed the final challenges that the Inflation Reduction Act would face to pass the Senate. They even nailed one of the parliamentarian’s rulings: she nixed a portion of the bill that would have applied inflation caps to the private pharmaceutical market. For their most significant policies, neither party has sixty votes. Reconciliation is how presidents get big things through Congress now. And it’s likely to be that way for the foreseeable future. To understand how major policy changes can happen these days, you need to know how this byzantine process works. In this week’s episode, Eric and Greg step back and explain the long history of reconciliation and how it has come to dominate lawmaking in ways never anticipated when the process was created in the 1970s. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Eric Ueland is a commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Greg D'Angelo is a partner at the Nickles Group. Afra Abdullah is associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
12/08/22·51m 43s

Biden’s big bill: Two GOP strategists on how to kill it

The biggest remaining obstacle for the Democrats is now Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, who will continue to host Democratic and Republican aides behind closed doors today (no press allowed) to scrub the reconciliation bill for potential violations of the Byrd Rule. MacDonough broke the hearts of progressives on several occasions last year, including when she nixed the minimum wage from the Covid relief bill, which was passed using reconciliation, and rejected three different versions of immigration reform from the Democratic reconciliation bill that was eventually scrapped in December. Republican budget nerds reviewing the latest reconciliation bill still believe they can knock out certain provisions. On Thursday, for the latest episode of the Playbook Deep Dive podcast, we sat down with two of the party’s leading experts on the process: Eric Ueland, who spent 25 years in the Senate, including as staff director of the Budget Committee, and Greg D’Angelo, who spent nearly a decade on the committee. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Eric Ueland is a commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Greg D'Angelo is a partner at the Nickles Group. Afra Abdullah is associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
05/08/22·42m 42s

Legalizing the trip: One ‘shroom advocate’s playbook

Here’s something about Washington, D.C. that even a lot of people who live here don’t know: Psychedelic mushrooms are basically legal. In 2020 voters approved a ballot initiative that made growing, purchasing, and distributing mushrooms the lowest law enforcement priority for D.C. police. Cities and states are way ahead of the federal government. There are movements in more than two dozen states to either study, decriminalize, or outright legalize mushrooms and other psychedelics. It’s happening in blue states like California, New York and Vermont, as well as in red states like Utah, Kansas, and Florida. Cities such as Ann Arbor, Oakland, Seattle, and Denver, have, like D.C., all decriminalized mushrooms. The epicenter of this movement, as was the case with cannabis legalization, is Colorado. In November, voters will decide whether to approve the Natural Medicine Health Act of 2022, which would create state-regulated “healing centers” where anyone over 21 could receive psilocybin-assisted therapy. In this week’s episode, Ryan traveled to Littlejohn, Colorado and sat down with Veronica Lightning Horse Perez, the co-leader of the Colorado mushroom campaign. They talked about how psychedelics helped treat her mental health issues, what it’s like to undergo psychedelic therapy with mushrooms and ayahuasca, and her journey to becoming the unlikely political activist at the forefront of mushroom legalization.   Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Veronica Lightning Horse Perez is co-organizer of Natural Health Colorado. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
29/07/22·34m 38s

He was right about inflation. Biden wasn’t. Larry Summers on what’s coming next

Ryan caught up with the former treasury secretary — and thorn in the side of Biden White House economists — Larry Summers on the sidelines of the Aspen Security Forum for a wide-ranging interview about last 18 months of economic debates, why so many policymakers got the inflation debate wrong, what Summers thinks about Joe Manchin blowing up Build Back Better over inflation concerns, what Biden — and Pelosi — are getting wrong in their approach to China, and why we are almost certainly headed into a painful recession. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Larry Summers is the former U.S. treasury secretary. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
22/07/22·40m 28s

LA wants to recall its most progressive prosecutor. Inside the DA’s hostile office

THE PLAYBOOK INTERVIEW: GEORGE GASCÓN — Gascón was elected district attorney of Los Angeles County in November 2020 with 54% of the vote.  “I won handsomely,” he reminisced Wednesday during a 90-minute conversation at the Hall of Justice in downtown L.A. “I got over 2 million votes.” It was a big victory for criminal justice reformers: the leading progressive prosecutor in the country taking over the movement’s top target, the largest county in the country and one that has long been hostile to change.  California makes it relatively easy to recall an elected official. It’s been part of the state constitution since 1911.  There was talk of recalling Gascón as soon as he was sworn in. And those calls were coming from inside the Hall of Justice, where many of his deputy district attorneys revolted against the changes.  “The week that I got sworn in, they started talking about recalling me,” Gascón said. “And they had to be told you have to wait at least 90 days.”  Voters will know by August 17 whether a recall of Gascón will be on the November ballot. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. George Gascón is the District Attorney of Los Angeles County. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a senior editor for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
15/07/22·42m 42s

Why haven’t there been more Cassidy Hutchinsons?

The question of why so few Republicans have stepped forward to testify about what they heard and saw in the Trump White House, is very much at the heart of much of the House Jan. 6 committee’s work — and of Tim Miller’s new book, “Why We Did It,” which, by chance, was released the same day as Hutchinson’s explosive testimony. Miller’s arc is, by now, somewhat familiar: At the dawn of the Trump era, he was an in-demand Republican strategist and a top aide to Jeb Bush. He watched in horror as Trumpism swallowed the Republican establishment and his fellow GOP strategists jumped on the MAGA bandwagon. He resisted, left the party, and devoted himself to Never Trumpism. In his new book, Miller sets out to understand the mindset of those Republicans who remained — friends and former colleagues who weren’t all that different from him, but who enthusiastically worked to elect Trump and later joined his administration.  In one chapter, he traces the journey of Alyssa Farah Griffin. In 2016, she was a 20-something conservative and top Capitol Hill aide who couldn’t bring herself to vote for Trump. By 2020, she was director of strategic comms in the Trump White House — before resigning that December. On the outside, Griffin joined Miller in the ranks of the Never Trumpers, and began helping others do the same. Most recently, it was Griffin who helped guide Hutchinson, her good friend, through the fraught process of breaking away from the Trump world, a journey that culminated in Hutchinson’s devastating account of Trump’s actions on Jan. 6.  On Thursday, Ryan met with Miller and Griffin at the Georgetown Club for lunch — and to talk about Miller’s new book, their respective journeys navigating Trumpism and what Hutchinson’s testimony could mean for the future of Trump’s grip on the Republican Party. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Tim Miller is a political strategist and writer-at-large for The Bulwark. Alyssa Farah Griffin is a political commentator and former Trump White House aide. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a producer for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
01/07/22·1h 30m

New Jan. 6 witness: Trump had mystery call with Putin

If documentary filmmaker Alex Holder’s memory is accurate, Donald Trump was on the phone with Vladimir Putin just minutes after the news broke that the Russian president had dismissed Trump’s Hunter Biden allegations. Holder began filming former President Donald Trump in September 2020 during his campaign for reelection. In the runup to the election and continuing after they left office, Holder had extensive access to film and interview Trump, his inner circle and former Vice President Mike Pence.    The House select committee investigating Jan. 6 recently sent a subpoena to Holder for raw footage related to interviews and discussions Holder recorded, as well as raw footage from Jan. 6 when Holder and his cameraman were there filming as the mob attacked the Capitol. On Thursday, shortly after Holder finished talking to Jan. 6 investigators, Ryan Lizza met Holder at his hotel. On this week’s Playbook Deep Dive, Holder talks about what it’s like behind the scenes filming Trumpworld, the significance of his project and potential impact of the footage subpoenaed by the Jan. 6 Committee. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Alex Holder is a documentary filmmaker.  Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a producer for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
24/06/22·30m 35s

Director’s cut: What else did Judge Luttig have to say about Jan. 6 in his interview

J. Michael Luttig is the former federal appeals court judge who advised Vice President Mike Pence that the VP had no authority to reject electors on Jan. 6. Back in February, Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza spent four hours interviewing Luttig for a Deep Dive episode that ended up being mostly about his extraordinary role advising Mike Pence on Jan. 6. Given the interest in Luttig this week, we went back through what was left on the cutting room floor to create a new show that goes deep on who Luttig is and where he comes from, which will help you understand why this lifelong right-winger is saying what he’s saying now about the threat to democracy.
17/06/22·38m 3s

He defied Trump and still survived a GOP primary

This week in the GOP primary for South Dakota’s at-large district, Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) defeated a challenger from his right who claimed he wasn’t aligned closely enough with former President Donald Trump, even though Johnson agrees with Trump on many policies. Johnson’s vote for a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attacks and his support for Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) to remain in House Leadership was cited as proof he is not an ally of the former president. Johnson also faced more than $500,000 in spending against him from Drain the DC Swamp PAC. He tells Ryan Lizza that South Dakotans like Trump – but they also like Dusty Johnson. Find out how he overcame the challenges faced from defying Trump and how he survived to win the Republican nomination on this week’s episode of Playbook Deep Dive. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Rep. Dusty Johnson is the congressman at-large for South Dakota. Afra Abdullah is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a producer for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
10/06/22·44m 43s

Will the GOP control Congress for the next decade?

There’s at least a few people in the Democratic establishment who have hope for the midterms. They’re the redistricting experts, people like Kelly Burton. She’s a long-time political operative and the president of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, an organization that she leads along with other top party names like former attorney general Eric Holder. The NDRC is leading the Democrats’ charge against Republican gerrymandering during the 2022 redistricting cycle. So why are Burton and her counterparts so sanguine? Because for the first time since 2018, they are confident that redistricting and numerous legal battles are making the field more hospitable for midterm victories. The NDRC is bringing lawsuits to state courts to fight what it says are illegal attempts at gerrymandering districts. Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Alabama — the list goes on. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Burton tells Playbook Deep Dive host Ryan Lizza what it’s taken to draw an equitable voting map for 2022 and what she’s hoping to see in November.  Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Kelly Burton is the president of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a producer for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
03/06/22·26m 26s

Will ‘extremism’ fracture the GOP? Cheney vs. Trump in Wyoming

Trump-backed candidates have lost recently in Georgia, Nebraska, North Carolina and Idaho. The biggest caveat about how the lessons of other states might apply in Wyoming is that in states where the Trump candidate lost, the non-Trump candidate was not anti-Trump. Rep. Liz Cheney’s political identity — at least, her identity on the national stage — is now defined by her criticism of the former president. The anti-Cheney effort in Wyoming has been led by Frank Eathorne, the Wyoming GOP chair and Trump’s most important ally in the state. Last weekend, Victoria Eavis of the Casper Star-Tribune and Rone Tempest of WyoFile, published a bombshell 6,500-word profile of Eathorne. On this week’s episode of Playbook Deep Dive, co-author Ryan Lizza is in the Casper Star-Tribune’s newsroom, where Eavis explains how the story came together. Plus, former chairman of the Natrona County Republican party Dr. Joseph McGinley explains what it’s like to be pushed out of his own party. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Victoria Eavis is the state politics reporter for the Casper Star-Tribune. Dr. Joseph McGinley is a physician and former chairman of the Natrona County GOP. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a producer for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
27/05/22·34m 32s

The GOP rancher trying to save Idaho from the far right

Jennifer Ellis is the face of the movement that handed Donald Trump his biggest defeat of the year. She leads Take Back Idaho, a political action committee founded last year to beat back the growing tide of extremist candidates in Idaho. Ellis’s main target on Tuesday was Janice McGeachin, the state’s far-right lieutenant  governor, whom Trump backed in her gubernatorial primary challenge to incumbent Gov. Brad Little. Trump’s candidate lost by almost 21 points. For this week’s episode of Playbook Deep Dive, we sat down with Jennifer Ellis at her cattle ranch in eastern Idaho to understand how the state’s GOP establishment delivered this stinging rebuke to Trumpism. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Jennifer Ellis is a cattle rancher and co-founder of Take Back Idaho. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a producer for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
20/05/22·29m 53s

'He absolutely betrayed me': Steve Schmidt tells all about John McCain

This week on “Playbook Deep Dive,” we sat down over Zoom with Steve Schmidt, the architect of the late Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential run, to hear what amounts to an untold chapter of that exhaustively chronicled campaign. It’s a story about regret and disillusionment that we are confident you will want to hear.  Schmidt has long maintained that the roots of Trumpism, which he has spent the last seven years fighting, can be found in the movement that first gathered around Palin in 2008. But Schmidt has always been more circumspect about McCain, his one time hero and the man who actually picked Palin.  Recently, though, he took to Substack to unfurl a surprising new chapter about the legendary senator and his failed 2008 campaign.
13/05/22·49m 2s

Lifting the curtain on SCOTUS with a POLITICO reporter who broke the Roe story

This week on Playbook Deep Dive, POLITICO’s Peter Canellos talks with our own Josh Gerstein, who broke this week’s massive news that the Supreme Court’s conservative majority has drafted an opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade. Peter and Josh nerd out on everything from the history of the court, to potential implications of the draft opinion — both for the country and the judiciary itself. Peter Canellos is POLITICO's managing editor for enterprise. Josh Gerstein is POLITICO's senior legal affairs reporter. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a producer for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
06/05/22·1h 5m

Haddad dishes on more than brunch

The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is back for the first time since 2019. Journalists, A-list celebrities and Washington’s power players will pack the cavernous ballroom at the Washington Hilton. That means brunch is back too. On this week’s episode, Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza gets a tour from Tammy Haddad at the site of her annual garden brunch, one of the most sought after invites of the weekend. Plus, insights from comedian and WHCD alum Elayne Boosler and Ed Solomon of Anthony's Tuxedos in Georgetown. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Tammy Haddad is CEO & President of Haddad Media.  Elayne Boosler is a comedian and the performer at the 1993 WHCD. Ed Solomon is the owner of Wedding Creations & Anthony's Tuxedos of Georgetown. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is a producer for POLITICO audio. Adam Allington is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
29/04/22·39m 52s

‘You only win if you fight:' Will Gallego unseat Sinema?

This week Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza is in Arizona to dig into a few big plotlines ahead of this year’s elections. Trump narrowly lost the state in 2020, Senator Mark Kelly – the Democratic incumbent – is one of the most vulnerable senators up for reelection this year and strategists are already looking at the 2024 Senate election to see who will run against Kyrsten Sinema. On this week’s Playbook Deep Dive Episode, Ryan joins Rep. Ruben Gallego for a long dinner and a few drinks. They discuss Gallego’s fraught history with Sinema, a potential campaign against her in 2024, the political environment in Arizona ahead of midterms and his deployment in the Iraq war. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Rep. Ruben Gallego is the congressman for Arizona's 7th district. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
22/04/22·28m 7s

Biden’s pollster on how to ‘not get our a---- kicked’ in midterms

In the coming weeks and months, the Playbook team will be out covering the key districts and states that will decide the outcome of the midterm elections. This week, co-author Ryan Lizza was in Las Vegas to interview John Anzalone, who is best known as President Joe Biden’s pollster, but who is also a top adviser to Gov. Steve Sisolak, who is up for reelection this year. In Nevada, two of the Democrats’ biggest political challenges collide: Democrats’ Hispanic voter problem is their working-class voter problem. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. John Anzalone is the founder of Impact Research. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
15/04/22·36m 20s

Ro Khanna had some BBB advice for the president. Biden called it ‘homicide.’

Congressman Ro Khanna is one of the most influential progressives inside the house democratic caucus. He represents California’s 17th district – a large chunk of Silicon Valley. It’s wealthy, influential and home to companies like Apple, Intel, and Cisco Systems. Today, Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza asks Representative Khanna what went wrong trying to pass Biden’s Build Back Better plan and what he thinks progressives’ influence on Biden has been. Khanna also suggests how Democrats can improve their prospects going into the midterms. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Rep. Ro Khanna is the congressman for California's 17th district. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
08/04/22·33m 18s

Think you understand suburban voters? Doug Sosnik has a 14-page memo betting otherwise.

Doug Sosnik is a man whose deep dive political memos are considered essential reading in Washington. He's best known as a former senior adviser to then-President Bill Clinton. His latest memo dissects the new center of political power in America and argues that the most important battlegrounds are fought in the suburbs. Today, Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza has dinner with Sosnik to find out why he thinks a lot of conventional wisdom about the politics of American suburbs is wrong.  Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Doug Sosnik is a political strategist and former Clinton administration adviser. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
01/04/22·27m 14s

'It's war and the enemy gets a vote’: The man advising Blinken

When you look at the major diplomatic events of the last thirty years, Derek Chollet has experienced them all. He’s worked with legends like James Baker, Strobe Talbott and Richard Holbrooke and served in some of the highest echelons of the White House, the Pentagon and the U.S. Department of State. From Bosnia to Syria — and now Russia — Chollet has helped to shape America’s approaches to its policy abroad. Today, Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza sits down with Chollet, who’s currently the Counselor of the Department of State, to dig into Foggy Bottom’s approach to helping Ukraine and handling Putin. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Derek Chollet is the Counselor of the U.S. Department of State. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
25/03/22·44m 32s

Why a centrist Democrat is ditching Congress

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.) pioneered the playbook that helped Democrats flip the House in 2018. Less than four years later, she announced her retirement. Her experience has raised alarms about the Democratic Party going forward. Today, Playbook co-author Rachael Bade sits down with Rep. Murphy to talk about how the Democratic House leadership’s insistence on absolute party unity is fracturing the Dems and putting their congressional majority at risk. Rachael Bade is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Rep. Stephanie Murphy is the congresswoman for Florida's 7th District. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
18/03/22·35m 13s

The man fighting for Ukraine in DC

Even as President Joe Biden has emphasized that the U.S. and NATO do not want to engage with Russia militarily, Congress has pushed the administration to take a hard stance against Russia through unprecedented financial and economic sanctions. In recent years, behind the scenes, lobbyists representing Ukrainian interests pushed for sanctions on the other combustible issue, gas.     Tonight, Playbook author Ryan Lizza has dinner in downtown DC with lobbyist Daniel Vajdich, on his strategy, before the war, to help deter Russian aggression and protect Ukraine, and his thoughts on the potential fallout from being burned by lobbyists. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Daniel Vajdich is the president of Yorktown Solutions. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Brook Hayes is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is executive producer for POLITICO audio.
11/03/22·36m 11s

An insider’s look into Putin’s long game

More than a week into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has escalated his military offensive. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has rallied international support for a major resistance. And major Western powers have isolated Russia by imposing devastating economic sanctions that leave Putin without an obvious off-ramp. There is no end in sight to the war on the ground. But there’s another war being fought in parallel through news interviews, social media posts and open source data: the information war. And it’s happening well beyond Ukraine’s borders. Today, Playbook author Ryan Lizza talks with CNN senior international correspondent Matthew Chance, who’s on the ground in Ukraine, and former White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon about the relationship between warzone dispatches and Washington policy.  Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Matthew Chance is a senior international correspondent for CNN. Tom Donilon is a former National Security Advisor in the Obama Administration. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio.
04/03/22·45m 10s

Putin’s new war, inside and out

It’s an event that Russians, Ukrainians and the rest of the world have been thinking about, but one that many people didn’t think would actually happen: Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Tense warnings and attempts at diplomacy have been discarded, with airstrikes and resistance arriving instead. Today, Playbook author Ryan Lizza talks with two journalists — Nataliya Gumenyuk and Uliana Pavlova — about the events unfolding in Kyiv and along the Russian border right outside of the Donbas region. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Natalia Gumenyuk is a reporter in Kiev. Uliana Pavlova is a freelance journalist in Moscow. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio.
25/02/22·22m 50s

The never-before-told backstory of Pence's Jan. 6 argument

For most of his life, J. Michael Luttig has operated behind the scenes at the top of the conservative legal world. He started his career as a young aide at the U.S. Supreme Court, worked as an attorney in the Reagan White House, clerked for Judge Antonin Scalia before he was a legal icon, helped guide the appointment of two other Supreme Court justices, and was appointed to a federal judgeship by President George H.W. Bush. During Luttig’s time on the bench, one of his clerks was a young attorney named John Eastman. In recent months, Eastman’s name has become inextricably tied to the legal advice he offered to then-President Donald Trump in December 2020 and January 2021: In a now-infamous legal memo, Eastman argued that then-Vice President Mike Pence had the ability to discard certified electoral votes from contested states — a notion that has been roundly debunked, but which Trump’s closest allies clung to (and which helped to inspire some of his supporters to storm the Capitol in rage). That story is, by now, well known. But there’s another part of the story — one that hasn’t been told until now. Today, in his first in-depth interview on the topic, Luttig shares the story of those days before the insurrection, when he was unknowingly enlisted to help Pence reject Trump’s efforts on Jan. 6.  For “Playbook Deep Dive,” Ryan Lizza talks with Luttig about his advice to Pence then, what needs to be done to rewrite the Electoral Count Act now, and why he’s choosing this moment to make his legal commentary loud, clear and very public — in panel discussions and op-eds in publications like The New York Times Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. J. Michael Luttig is a former judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio.
18/02/22·31m 10s

The Gen X activists upending Democratic politics

For months, the parental backlash against school closings has dominated headlines and driven speculation about a brewing electoral wave for Republicans. But what if the parents are part of the deep-blue core of one of the most heavily Democratic cities in the country? That's exactly what's happening in San Francisco, as the political collision between a liberal school board and a group of angry, just-as-liberal parents is earning national attention for what it tells us about the shifting and complicated politics of pandemic parenthood. Today, Playbook author Ryan Lizza sits down with Siva Raj and Autumn Looijen, co-founders of the Recall SF School Board campaign, about their journey from concerned parents to political activists. Plus, Jeremy B. White, the editor of Politico's California Playbook newsletter, joins to explain the political significance of the recall election. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Siva Raj and Autumn Looijen are the co-founders of Recall SF School Board. Jeremy B. White is the  editor of the California Playbook newsletter. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio.
11/02/22·44m 24s

Why Stephanie Cutter says Dems need a new SCOTUS strategy

Now that Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring, the Biden Administration is racing to select the perfect nominee to be his replacement. According to one Democratic strategist, the rules for confirming a Supreme Court justice have changed and Democrats need a new strategy. The confirmation of a justice is no joke — at best, it’s a wild and bumpy ride filled with intense vetting, “murderboards” and senatorial grillings. Each SCOTUS nominee is appointed a guide by the White House. Today, Playbook author Ryan Lizza joins Stephanie Cutter, co-founder of Precision Strategies and one-time ”sherpa” for Justice Sonia Sotomayor, to explain what it’s like behind the scenes of a SCOTUS confirmation process. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Stephanie Cutter is the co-founder of Precision Strategies. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio.
04/02/22·34m 7s

A former NATO ambassador gets inside Putin’s head

More than 100,000 Russian troops are mobilized along the Ukrainian border. What is Vladimir Putin’s ultimate goal? Today, Playbook author Ryan Lizza talks to former US Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker — who led Trump’s Ukraine negotiations — about how President Biden is responding to the Ukraine threat, and how he would counter Putin’s strategy. Plus, journalist Uliana Pavlova joins us from Moscow to describe the sentiment on the ground. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Kurt Volker is the former U.S. Ambassador to NATO and special envoy to Ukraine. Uliana Pavlova is a freelance journalist in Moscow. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio.
28/01/22·34m 14s

Cedric Richmond on Biden's turnaround plan

President Joe Biden’s first year in office has been tumultuous, marked by domestic and international challenges that have overshadowed the administration’s wins. Playbook author Eugene Daniels talks with Cedric Richmond, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, about Biden’s plans for a rebound and checks in with White House correspondent Laura Barrón-López to assess the new strategy. Eugene Daniels is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Cedric Richmond is the Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Laura Barrón-López is a White House correspondent for POLITICO. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio.
21/01/22·23m 45s

What Joe Manchin told Steve Clemons at dinner

Steve Clemons is a DC institution — an operator who connects some of the biggest power players in the Capitol. He also happens to be the confidant of the most powerful senator in Washington, Democrat Joe Manchin. Playbook author Ryan Lizza joins Clemons for breakfast at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown to dish on what's motivating Manchin behind the scenes, and what he might do next. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Steve Clemons is Editor At Large of The Hill Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio.
14/01/22·1h 2m

Jamie Raskin's plan to hold Trump accountable

One year later, the ripples of the Jan. 6th riot continue to reverberate throughout American politics. For Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), who led the second impeachment of Donald Trump, bringing the people responsible for the attack to account has become his driving priority. Today, Playbook author Rachael Bade talks to Rep. Raskin and congressional reporter Olivia Beavers about the continued fallout from the Capitol siege. Rachael Bade  is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Olivia Beavers is a congressional reporter for POLITICO. Rep. Jamie Raskin is Maryland's 8th District in Congress. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio.
07/01/22·32m 38s

Joe Biden's inflation whisperer

Unemployment is dropping and the economy, by many measures, is humming. But spiraling inflation is creating a serious drag on the economic recovery and hurting President Joe Biden's approval ratings. This week Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza chats with Jared Bernstein, a member of Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers, and POLITICO’s Kate Davidson about Build Back Better and the administration’s response to rising costs throughout the economy. Jared Bernstein is a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Kate Davidson is the author of POLITICO's Morning Money. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
17/12/21·22m 37s

Has Twitter warped politics?

Can Twitter carry a politician to victory in an election? Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels and deputy editor Zack Stanton talk to Republican digital strategist Eric Wilson, former Andrew Yang presidential campaign manager Zach Graumann, and Aaron Smith, director of the Pew Research Center’s Datalab, about the role of social media in political campaigns and the limitations of the platforms. Eugene Daniels is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Zack Stanton is Playbook's deputy editor. Zach Graumann was the campaign manager for Andrew Yang presidential run. Eric Wilson is a Republican digital strategist. Aaron Smith is the director of the Pew Research Center's Data Lab. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio.
10/12/21·32m 22s

Houses on the Hill aren't for living. They're for lobbying

From their lofty offices along K street, Washington lobbyists have spent decades trying to pull the levers of power. But changing times sometimes call for changing scenery, and these OG influencers are trading luxurious office space near the White House for quaint, intimate townhouses right across the street from Congress. Today, Playbook co-host Tara Palmeri with lobbyists Brian Bell and Scott Eckart and POLITICO’s Hailey Fuchs on why lobbyists are flooding Capitol Hill townhouses, and whether proximity equals power. Tara Palmeri is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Brian Bell is a lobbyist for the Allied Pilots Association. Scott Eckart is a co-founder of Emergent Strategies. Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
03/12/21·24m 54s

Kiss your swing districts goodbye

Gerrymandering: Depending on where you stand, it’s either the cause of, or solution to, many of America’s political problems. Here’s what that fight looks like — from the outside looking in, and from the inside looking out. Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza dives into the subject with GOP strategist (and former gerrymanderer) Jeff Timmer, Common Cause North Carolina executive director Bob Phillips and Politico’s Ally Mutnick. Jeff Timmer  is a senior advisor for the Lincoln Project. Bob Phillips is the executive director of Common Cause North Carolina. Ally Mutnick covers House campaigns and redistricting for POLITICO. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
19/11/21·34m 14s

CNN's Manu Raju vs. Jeff Flake: Cat and mouse

It’s one of the most demanding jobs in Washington journalism: tracking down a lawmaker who’s in the news but doesn’t necessarily want to talk. For the Congress press corps, scoring that story-making quote might mean standing on a marble staircase for hours — if the senator or representative decides to talk at all. Playbook co-author Rachael Bade takes us inside the Capitol Hill media “scrum” — as reporters like CNN’s Manu Raju reveal their tricks of the trade… and former Senator Jeff Flake discloses all the times he pretended to talk on his phone while walking past reporters. Rachael Bade  is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Jeff Flake is former Republican Senator from Arizona  and current Ambassador-designate to Turkey. Manu Raju is CNN's chief congressional correspondent. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. Special thanks to Nicholas Wu, Kyle Cheney, Oriana Pawlyk, Nolan McCaskill, Juliegrace Brufke, Paul Kane who were also featured reporters in this episode.
12/11/21·22m 17s

The strategists who made the “Youngkin Republican”

For the first time in 12 years, a Republican won the governorship in Virginia. And it wasn’t just any victory — to claim the seat, Glenn Youngkin had to beat Terry McAuliffe, former governor and Democratic royalty. Ryan Lizza digs into the narrow win with Youngkin campaign strategists Jeff Roe and Kristin Davison, and the mistakes they think McAuliffe’s campaign made. Plus, senior politics editor Charlie Mahtesian on the significant places Youngkin gained the most votes. Ryan Lizza is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Charlie Mahtesian is senior politics editor for POLITICO. Kristin Davison was a campaign strategist for Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin. Jeff Roe was a campaign strategist for Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
05/11/21·28m 33s

The activists outside Joe Manchin's houseboat

All summer long, activists have pressured Democratic leaders for a reconciliation package that delivers on all of President Biden’s promises. That means Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin faced protesters in their offices, homes… and bathroom stalls. Today, Playbook’s Tara Palmeri explores the new face of activism, and she asks POLITICO’s co-congressional bureau chief Burgess Everett on whether the activism is having its intended effect on Manchin and the latest on the Democrats messy reconciliation fight. Tara Palmeri is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Burgess Everett is POLITICO's co-congressional bureau chief. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Carlos Prieto is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
29/10/21·20m 46s

Meet D.C.'s 'Lobbyist Hunter'

“Somebody’s gotta do it. It might as well be me.” So says Ivan Adler, the “lobbyist hunter” who plucks D.C.’s most idealistic Hill staffers and turns them into K Street top dogs. POLITICO’s Hailey Fuchs and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza pry open the revolving door between the Hill and K Street — one of the most controversial but everlasting features of Washington’s underbelly. Ryan Lizza is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Hailey Fuchs is a reporter at POLITICO covering money & influence in D.C. Ivan Adler is 'The Lobbyist Hunter' and an executive recruiter. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. Read Hailey's full story: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/10/15/lobbyist-hunter-ivan-adler-516069
15/10/21·26m 46s

Push it to the (debt) limit

What actually happens if the nation defaults on its debt? Planes fall out of the sky, the streets run red with blood — OK, not literally. But the reality could be economic catastrophe: "Market chaos, economic chaos, all for absolutely no good reason," explains POLITICO’s Ben White. After a week of debt-ceiling drama in D.C., Ben joins Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels to unpack the partisan fights, doomsday hypotheticals and one of the most absurd twists so far: a trillion-dollar coin. Eugene Daniels is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Ben White is chief economic correspondent for POLITICO. Carlos Mucha is an attorney who popularized the idea of minting a trillion-dollar coin. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
08/10/21·25m 20s

The Biden family's secrets

After seven Senate terms and three runs for president, Joe Biden has mastered his folksy image. But behind "the Delaware way" are secrets in Joe's family tree and son Hunter's foreign deals. National political correspondent Ben Schreckinger tells Playbook's Ryan Lizza about what he uncovered while investigating his book, “The Bidens: Inside The First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power.” Ryan Lizza is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Ben Schreckinger is a national political correspondent for POLITICO and the author of "The Bidens: Inside The First Family’s Fifty-Year Rise to Power." Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. Read an excerpt of Ben's book in Politico Magazine here: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/09/14/how-joe-biden-became-irish-511637 We want to invite you to take our NEW listener survey — it helps us learn more about your interests and improve our content. What do YOU want to hear from Politico’s podcasts? Let us know at https://bit.ly/3zgKB30
01/10/21·30m 53s

Regulating crypto: The $2 trillion Rubik's Cube

Crypto trading! Bitcoin! Dogecoin! Stablecoin! Even if lawmakers don't understand blockchain, Capitol Hill is finally waking up to digital currency — Congress has introduced more than a dozen bills on crypto and blockchain this year alone — as  both sides of the aisle go head to head over the best way to regulate the $2 trillion market. Economics reporter Victoria Guida joins Playbook co-author Tara Palmeri to talk about lobbying around crypto and the time her dog ate her Bitcoin. Tara Palmeri is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Victoria Guida is an economics reporter at POLITICO.  Kristin Smith is Executive Director at Blockchain Association. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. We want to invite you to take our NEW listener survey — it helps us learn more about your interests and improve our content. What do YOU want to hear from Politico’s podcasts? Let us know at https://bit.ly/3zgKB30
24/09/21·27m 3s

Pelosi vs. everybody: Dems’ high-wire health care act

As Democrats' massive reconciliation bill makes its way through the machine, one item is getting all the attention right now: health care. It’s a fight that basically boils down to Nancy Pelosi versus … everyone else — with the legacies of Pelosi, Sanders and Biden at stake. Playbook co-author Rachael Bade and POLITICO's Alice Miranda Ollstein take us to Capitol Hill, where the knives are coming out: leaders fighting behind closed doors about policies they've agreed on for years — or thought they did — and plenty on the line: $3.5 trillion, the future of the Affordable Care Act and dueling visions for the Democratic Party. Rachael Bade is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Alice Miranda Ollstein is a health care reporter at POLITICO.  Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Raghu Manavalan is a senior editor for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. We want to invite you to take our NEW listener survey — it helps us learn more about your interests and improve our content. What do YOU want to hear from Politico’s podcasts? Let us know at https://bit.ly/3zgKB30
17/09/21·31m 46s

Biden’s abortion clash with the Catholic Church

What does it mean to be the nation’s second Catholic president? Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza talks with senior staff writer Ruby Cramer about how Joe Biden balances a very public role with the “private matter” of his faith at a time of deep division over abortion, and among the bishops in his own church. Ryan Lizza is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Ruby Cramer is a senior staff writer at POLITICO magazine. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. Read Ruby’s piece in Politico Magazine here: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/09/05/joe-biden-catholic-church-509396
10/09/21·31m 56s

These Republicans are going...big government?

There's an intra-party fight on the right — and it's not (all) about Trump! For decades, conservatives have called for the government to take a hands-off approach to the economy. But now, a group of self-styled “common good capitalists” — like Sen. Marco Rubio — want to change that. And, they’re gaining power. It’s a divide not only over what policy approach is best, but what the most effective political strategy is for the GOP in the 21st century. Playbook co-author Tara Palmeri talks with an influential voice in this new economic counterculture — Oren Cass, head of American Compass and Mitt Romney's former campaign advisor, as well as Eliana Johnson, POLITICO Magazine contributor and editor-in-chief of the Washington Free Beacon, about this policy divide and where the 2024 GOP hopefuls land on this spectrum. Tara Palmeri is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Eliana Johnson is a contributing editor for POLITICO Magazine and editor-in-chief of the Washington Free Beacon. Oren Cass is Mitt Romney's former campaign advisor and executive director of American Compass. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
03/09/21·24m 50s

How Kamala Harris is embracing — and changing — the system

Kamala Harris entered law school as the daughter of activists and came out as a prosecutor — an evolution that shaped the politician she is today. Now, as the vice president grapples with some of the thorniest issues in politics and builds relationships with a wide array of Democratic allies — which she could leverage in both the administration and a future presidential campaign — even some of her closest allies admit she needs help fending off incoming fire. POLITICO Magazine’s Jesús A. Rodríguez and Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels dig into the Veep’s law school past, her performance eight months in and how wearing the mantle of “first” comes layered with racism and misogyny. Eugene Daniels is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Jesús A. Rodríguez is a contributing editor for POLITICO Magazine. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. Read more from Jesús: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/08/18/kamala-harris-law-school-politics-503924
27/08/21·31m 34s

The first true foreign policy test of Biden's presidency

The Taliban's return to power marks the first real foreign policy crisis of the Biden administration — and a rare moment of bipartisan criticism of Joe Biden. But will the bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan scramble American politics, or merely deepen long-building fissures across the political spectrum? On the right, attempts to save America's Afghan allies have resurfaced fierce divides over immigration and diversity. On the left, the pullout is reigniting a debate over the US's "forever wars." Playbook co-authors Rachael Bade and Ryan Lizza on Biden's political pitfalls. Rachael Bade is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Ryan Lizza is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Andy Glass is a contributing editor for POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
20/08/21·23m 18s

Vote-a-rama drama and the national debt

Nobody on Capitol Hill got much sleep this week. The Senate passed its infrastructure bill, stayed up all night in a vote-a-rama and provided foreshadowing for the set of fights yet to come. As Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza put it this week: “Threat of a government shutdown? Possibility of America defaulting on its loans? Dust off that Blackberry, fire off a manual RT, and put on some LMFAO. It’s feeling very 2011.” Ryan and POLITICO’s Jennifer Scholtes break down what’s ahead for Congress. Ryan Lizza is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Jennifer Scholtes is budget and appropriations reporter at POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. Read more from Jennifer: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/08/09/democrats-unveil-budget-to-launch-35t-plan-without-republican-help-502822
13/08/21·33m 35s

The Democratic ‘civil war’ in Ohio

The Democratic establishment dealt a crushing blow to the progressive movement this week in Ohio, where tensions, bad blood and intraparty allegiances were on full display. What can we learn from a special congressional primary that quickly became a national spectacle? And what does it say about the direction of one of the most powerful political forces in Washington: the Congressional Black Caucus? POLITICO's Ally Mutnick performs an autopsy with Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza. Ryan Lizza is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Ally Mutnick is campaigns reporter at POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. Read more on the Ohio special election from Ally: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/08/03/shontel-brown-beats-nina-turner-in-key-ohio-primary-502365
06/08/21·32m 59s

Strange but true: Bernie's pragmatic turn

Bernie Sanders is behaving a lot like a pragmatist (just don’t say it to his face). As the Senate Budget chair and a member of Sen. Chuck Schumer’s leadership team, the 79-year-old progressive is one of the most powerful people in Washington and finally has the opportunity he’s been waiting for his whole career: to pass a reconciliation bill with sweeping social reforms. If successful, the $3.5 trillion bill would be the biggest ever passed by Congress. The trick: Can he get it past the members of his own party? Rachael Bade is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Laura Barrón-López is a White House correspondent for POLITICO. Faiz Shakir is an advisor to Senator Bernie Sanders. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. Read more:  Strange but true: Bernie takes a 'very pragmatic' turn
30/07/21·27m 13s

Inside Biden’s slow-walk on Cuba

Cuba’s sweeping protests — and sweeping crackdown — are historic. But the situation is a political hot potato for Biden, whose sanction orders came nearly two weeks after the unrest began. His go-it-slow approach has emboldened Republicans, while Florida Democrats fear the president could blow an opportunity to reorient U.S.-Cuba policy and improve the party’s political chances in a former swing state. POLITICO’s Sabrina Rodríguez and Marc Caputo unpack the political minefield with Playbook's Tara Palmeri. Tara Palmeri is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Sabrina Rodríguez is an immigration correspondent for POLITICO. Marc Caputo is a national political reporter for POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
23/07/21·27m 19s

Biden’s student debt promise comes due

$1.6 trillion — that's how much student loan debt there is in the United States. Progressives want to cancel student loan debt. Republicans say that's wildly unfair. And President Joe Biden is....waiting. Playbook co-author Tara Palmeri and education reporter Michael Stratford discuss the fight on Capitol Hill over student loans and whether Biden could tackle the problem through executive action. Tara Palmeri is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Michael Stratford is an education reporter for POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
16/07/21·27m 56s

How the 'burbs turned blue

Michigan’s Oakland County, once a Republican stronghold, is turning blue. Playbook's Eugene Daniels and Zack Stanton (also a Michigan native — he's from the "knuckle"), talk about whether shedding these suburbs is a warning light for Trumpism. Plus: Former Michigan GOP leader Jeff Timmer on what he thinks losing this stronghold says about the strength of a Republican electoral map. Eugene Daniels is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Zack Stanton is Playbook deputy editor for POLITICO. Jeff Timmer is a longtime GOP strategist who was executive director of the Michigan state party from 2005-2009. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
09/07/21·31m 32s

Weed is popular. So what's the holdup in Congress?

Eight — that’s how many states have passed some form of cannabis legalization since November. And even though marijuana is gainingpopularity in conservative states, that's not breaking through with GOP senators on Capitol Hill. Cannabis reporter Natalie Fertig and Playbook co-author Tara Palmeri discuss the growing cannabis dissonance between Republican senators and voters in their home states, and why Chuck Schumer shouldn’t be optimistic about passing federal legislation. Tara Palmeri is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Natalie Fertig is cannabis policy reporter for POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. Special thanks to producer Olivia Reingold.
02/07/21·31m 7s

‘It’s a clusterf*ck’: The college kid who cracked the election industry

Matthew Caulfield was a college senior when he was given a seemingly simple assignment that took him more than five years and 3,000 emails to start to answer: How much did a voting machine cost? And how big, precisely, was the U.S. elections industry? Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels and reporter Ben Wofford dive into the mysterious world of voting technology companies and the voting rights debate happening right now in Congress. Eugene Daniels is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Ben Wofford is a contributor at WIRED. Matthew Caulfield is incoming Assistant Professor of Management at West Chester University. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
25/06/21·30m 4s

The drama-filled race for 'America's mayor'

It’s one of the top jobs in politics, period: mayor of the Big Apple. In a heavily left-leaning town, Tuesday’s crowded Democratic primary will essentially decide who will become the 110th mayor of New York City — an election that will determine who has the ear of powerful figures on Capitol Hill. POLITICO New York’s Sally Goldenberg and Playbook co-author Tara Palmeri unpack the race while producer Olivia Reingold pounds the pavement to find out what New Yorkers really think. Tara Palmeri is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Sally Goldenberg is City Hall bureau chief at POLITICO New York. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. Special thanks to producer Olivia Reingold.
18/06/21·34m 51s

The Capitol rioter next door

Imagine learning that someone you've known for 18 years is alleged to have been responsible for some of the worst violence on Jan. 6. How do you square that? Playbook co-author Rachael Bade and journalist Melanie Warner dive into the story of Jeffrey Sabol, one man whose alleged activity on Jan. 6 left many in his life confused and grappling for answers — about how a highly educated, middle-aged man with so much to lose could participate in what FBI Director Christopher Wray called “domestic terrorism." What does his story tell us about the Capitol insurrectionists, and how everyday Americans became the new face of extremism? Rachael Bade is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Melanie Warner is a freelance journalist based in Boulder, Co. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. Special thanks to Margy Slattery.
11/06/21·30m 27s

McConnell, Oklahoma and the education culture war

A century ago, a violent white mob razed the heart of Tulsa's thriving Black community. Now, Oklahoma — and Republicans on Capitol Hill — are swept up in a national culture war over how schools teach kids about racism and sexism. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has inserted himself into that battle. POLITICO's education editor Delece Smith-Barrow and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza delve into the tug-of-war, its implications for 2022, and how McConnell is turning what was once the subject of an occasional Fox News segment into a core piece of the Republican platform. Ryan Lizza is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Delece Smith-Barrow is education editor at POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. Special thanks to Juan Perez Jr.
04/06/21·32m 56s

Why UFOs are crashing into Congress

Talking about UFOs was once kryptonite for your political career. Now, senators are openly talking about UFOs, and the Pentagon is set to deliver a long-awaited report in June detailing what it knows — and what it doesn’t. So why the sudden change? POLITICO’s Bryan Bender and Playbook co-author Rachael Bade dissect why lawmakers including former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are concerned about national security and forcing UFOs into the political spotlight. Rachael Bade is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Bryan Bender is a senior national correspondent for POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. Special thanks to Mary Newman.
28/05/21·20m 46s

Is Hill oversight dead? Inside the Jan. 6 commission fight

This week's vote on a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection exposed some serious rifts on the Hill — rifts that could get even wider as the bill heads to the Senate. POLITICO's Marianne LeVine and Playbook co-author Rachael Bade dig into the dynamics playing out among congressional leadership, from Mitch McConnell's 2022 calculations to Kevin McCarthy's quest to become speaker. Rachael Bade is a Playbook co-author for POLITICO. Marianne LeVine is a congressional reporter for POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
21/05/21·30m 45s

A GOP civil war? Don’t bet on it

If you’ve paid any attention to the news lately, you’ve probably heard this line: There’s a “civil war” raging within the GOP. Republican leadership is duking it out in the open after losing the White House, the House and the Senate; just this week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy ousted his No. 3, Rep. Liz Cheney. On this Playbook Deep Dive, political analyst Jeff Greenfield digs into a contrarian argument with Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza: There is no civil war. This is a purge of anyone who isn't sticking to the party line — and it might actually strengthen the GOP. Ryan Lizza is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Jeff Greenfield is a five-time Emmy-winning network television analyst and author. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. SHOW NOTES - A GOP Civil War? Don’t Bet On It, by Jeff Greenfield
14/05/21·31m 3s

The Black correspondents at the White House

White House reporters have access to the highest seat in the country — and they’re a small group. An even smaller group? Reporters of color. On today’s episode of Playbook Deep Dive, Eugene Daniels gets honest with fellow Black White House correspondents April Ryan (TheGrio) and Ayesha Rascoe (NPR) about everything from microaggressions to death threats. “Covering the White House from Bill Clinton to now, race touches everything,” says Ryan. “Everything.” Plus, a look at the first Black female White House reporter Alice Dunnigan and her faceoffs with Eisenhower — who refused to take her questions for two years. Eugene Daniels is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Carol McCabe Booker is a former journalist and attorney who edited Alice Dunnigan's autobiography "Alone atop the Hill." April Ryan is White House Correspondent at TheGrio. Ayesha Rascoe is White House Correspondent for NPR and part of the NPR Politics Podcast. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
07/05/21·34m 15s

Money, MTG and the D.C. power machine

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has made a name — and recently, fundraised over $3 million — on becoming a political celebrity by oiling gears in the "outrage machine," promoting extremist beliefs and false conspiracy theories and bypassing establishment media and establishment Washington. In Congress, she may not have committee assignments, but she's got an increasingly valuable email list and a growing war chest. What her rise reveals about the power (or lack thereof) of the party’s traditional gatekeepers and the increasing nationalization of local races, featuring Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill), Playbook's Ryan Lizza, and POLITICO's Melanie Zanona, Michael Kruse, and Charlie Mahtesian. Ryan Lizza is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Rep. Adam Kinzinger is a Republican congressman from Illinois. Melanie Zanona is congressional reporter at POLITICO. Michael Kruse is a senior staff writer at POLITICO magazine.  Charlie Mahtesian is senior politics editor at POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
30/04/21·30m 5s

The senators at the center of the 50-50 split

“If we miss this opportunity, God help us.” Joe Manchin and Lisa Murkowski. Two moderate senators smack in the middle — and on either side — of a split 50-50 Senate. On our first episode of Playbook Deep Dive, the two friends open up in a rare interview with POLITICO’s Burgess Everett. They get personal: about reconciliation, frustration over the Senate’s hurdles — even why Murkowski hogs the best fishing holes. And Manchin reveals a major endorsement, heard first on this show. Rachael Bade is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Burgess Everett is co-congressional bureau chief at POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio. Special thanks to Elana Schor, Anthony Adragna and Ben Lefebvre SHOW NOTES - Democrat Manchin backs Republican Murkowski's reelection, by Burgess Everett
23/04/21·27m 45s

BONUS: Why California’s fracking ban went bust

California is the country’s leader when it comes to climate policies. But not even Democrats could impose a ban on fracking despite holding all levels of power in California. On POLITICO Energy, Colby Bermel explains why.
16/04/21·8m 54s

Bonus: How a fake reporter infiltrated the White House press corps

On this bonus episode of POLITICO Dispatch: Who is “Kacey Montagu”? Christopher Cadelago tells the wild and weird story of how a fictitious correspondent rose from the depths of internet role playing to the White House briefing room.  Subscribe to POLITICO Dispatch here: https://www.politico.com/podcasts/dispatch
14/04/21·13m 23s

Coming soon: Playbook Deep Dive

Playbook Deep Dive is a new weekly podcast from Politico — for the stories that seem stranger-than-fiction, but are all too real. Underneath all the theater, backstabbing and strategy in DC are colorful characters and real life consequences. You know those stories that stop you in your tracks? That's what we're going to tell each week. Featuring Playbook authors, reporters from all across the Politico newsroom, and characters from all over DC. Launching April 23.
09/04/21·3m 31s

The hellish future of post-Covid travel & a special tribute at the end of this show

Five cities, four countries and 15 days locked down in Australia: Global Translations author Ryan Heath talks to Playbook's Tara Palmeri about his 68-hour travel journey to get Down Under. He peers inside the hellish future of global travel and explains why it might be more expensive for travelers. Plus, a surprise ending to this special Nerdcast episode. Tara Palmeri is a POLITICO Playbook co-author.  Scott Bland is a politics editor at POLITICO. Ryan Heath is  a senior editor at Politico and author of Global Translations. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
02/04/21·18m 56s

Fili-fix the Filibuster?

Black civil rights leaders, voting rights advocates and elected officials are putting more and more pressure on Senate Democrats to nix the filibuster. The argument? Keep the filibuster OR pass voting rights legislation... 'cause you can’t do both! Playbook author Eugene Daniels and reporter Zach Montellaro dig into the politics behind the filibuster and voting rights legislation. Eugene Daniels is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Zach Montellaro is  a campaign reporter and author of the Morning Score newsletter. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
26/03/21·28m 47s

Sen. Brian Schatz and why Senate Democrats are walking on eggshells

POLITICO Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza interviews Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) to talk the next bill on the Democrats' agenda, whether or not Democrats will have to go around Republicans to get anything done and what his philosophy degree can tell us about this moment. Come for the policy, stay for the Kant*. *Actually it was the German poet Novalis (formally Georg Friedrich Philipp von Hardenberg) who said "Philosophy can bake no bread; but she can procure for us God, Freedom, Immortality." There's your trivia for the week. Ryan Lizza is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Sen. Brian Schatz is a Democrat and the senior Senator from Hawaii. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
19/03/21·24m 57s

Biden's planes, trains and automobiles

Bipartisanship didn’t happen with Covid relief. But President Joe Biden says he really, really wants to go bipartisan on infrastructure — plus, he'll need the Republican votes. POLITICO Playbook co-author Rachael Bade calls up transportation reporter Sam Mintz to talk Biden's infrastructure hopes, the major players in Congress, and why at this early stage, there’s every indication that GOP cooperation is less likely on a massive public works bill than it was on the pandemic legislation. Rachael Bade is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Sam Mintz is a transportation reporter at POLITICO. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
12/03/21·23m 18s

How do you solve a problem like vaccine hesitancy

On today's episode, the PR campaign the government is waging on vaccine hesitancy and equitable access for vaccine. Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels talks to Dr. Ebony Hilton and POLITICO healthcare reporter Adam Cancryn about whose job is it to combat hesitancy, and how the Biden administration is stacking up. Eugene Daniels is a co-author of POLITICO Playbook. Dr. Ebony Hilton is associate professor of anesthesiology at UVA and a critical care physician. Adam Cancryn is a healthcare reporter at POLITICO. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
05/03/21·36m 31s

The most important person you don't know

On today's episode, everything you want to know about the mysterious but powerful Senate Parliamentarian. Elizabeth MacDonough ruled Thursday that Senate Democrats would be deemed out of order if they include a $15 minimum wage in their coronavirus relief package. Congress editor Elana Schor and congressional budget reporter Caitlin Emma talk to host Scott Bland about the Senate's referee and this blow to the progressive agenda. Scott Bland is a politics editor at POLITICO. Elana Schor is a congress editor at POLITICO. Caitlin Emma is a congressional budget reporter at POLITICO. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
26/02/21·21m 31s

We'll always have the Des Moines Marriott

We're roughly one year out from Iowa's catastrophic caucuses, and people are already thinking about the next primary calendar. Amid growing concerns that Iowa voters don't reflect the country, and pushes by Nevada and South Carolina to move up in line, are we watching Iowa — and its influential, historic, weird caucuses — get sidelined? White House correspondent Natasha Korecki, senior politics editor Charlie Mahtesian and Scott Bland talk about the future of presidential politics and whether Iowa will lose its crown. Scott Bland is a politics editor at POLITICO. Charlie Mahtesian is a senior politics editor at POLITICO. Natasha Korecki is a  White House correspondent for POLITICO. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
19/02/21·27m 9s

The post-Trump path of “one dude”

With Donald Trump's impeachment acquittal almost assured, at the moment, the Republicans occupying the anti-Donald Trump lane in the post-Trump GOP are in danger of being run over. But if the GOP’s fervor for the former president fades to any degree, Senator Ben Sasse may be better positioned than anyone to capitalize. National political correspondent David Siders and Scott Bland talk about Sasse's recent video which inflamed his party's GOP and the future of the Republican party. Scott Bland is a politics editor at POLITICO. David Siders is a national political correspondent at POLITICO.  Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
12/02/21·22m 17s

Biden's gatekeepers

Gone are the late night tweets of yore. In their place? Meticulously managed calendars. White House correspondent Anita Kumar takes Scott Bland inside the West Wing to see who is managing President Biden's time and what that tells us about the administration — and how it plans to achieve its goals. Scott Bland is a politics editor at POLITICO. Anita Kumar is a White House correspondent and associate editor at POLITICO.  Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
05/02/21·19m 2s

The page who took down the GOP

In 2006, a young man holding no political office brought down a 180+ years program and reshaped Congress forever. Scott Bland talks to POLITICO magazine reporter Zack Stanton, a former House page who leaked transcripts of sexual messages that former Congressman Mark Foley sent to teen pages... which resulted in his resignation and torpedoed the Republican hold on power for years. Scott Bland is a politics editor at POLITICO. Zack Stanton is an editor at POLITICO magazine.  Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
29/01/21·29m 31s

Impeached twice and still empowered

He's spent a lifetime turning near-disasters into brand-building triumphs. POLITICO magazine writer Michael Kruse talks to Scott Bland about how President Trump could do it again—unless the Senate breaks the pattern. Plus, a dispatch from POLITICO Congress reporter Sarah Ferris. Scott Bland is a politics editor at POLITICO. Michael Kruse is a senior staff writer at POLITICO magazine. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
15/01/21·25m 56s

A riot and a reckoning

The government ground to a halt on Wednesday when rioters breached and laid siege to the Capitol. Hours later, Congress reconvened to complete the electoral count and confirm Joe Biden's victory. Meanwhile, Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock won their Georgia Senate races, giving Democrats a narrow Senate majority. POLITICO founding editor John Harris talks with Scott Bland about this chaotic week in politics. Scott Bland is a politics editor at POLITICO. John Harris is founding editor of POLITICO. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
08/01/21·21m 52s

Nerdcast presents: Global Translations, episode 7

"Nerdcast" presents Episode 7 of the new season of POLITICO's podcast "Global Translations":  What will it take to secure access to the critical minerals we need for the future — and can we solve one environmental challenge without creating a new one? Hosts Luiza Savage and Ryan Heath talk to political leaders around the world about what they are doing to shore up access to critical minerals.  Luiza Savage is the host of "Global Translations". Ryan Heath is a host of "Global Translations".  Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO Audio.  Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO Audio.  Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO Audio.  Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO Audio. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Ambassador Kirsten Hillman is Canada’s Ambassador to the United States EU Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič is Vice-President of the European Commission for Interinstitutional Relations Read Luiza Savage's article on how US, Canada & Europe's policymakers are scrambling to secure critical minerals to develop clean energy: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/09/renewables-mining-clean-energy-443844 And check out the other POLITICO newsletters:  Global Translations: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/global-translations Morning Energy: https://www.politico.com/morningenergy/ The Long Game: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/the-long-game China Watcher: politico.com/china Morning Tech: https://www.politico.com/morningtech/
01/01/21·34m 28s

Nerdcast presents: Global Translations, episode 6

"Nerdcast" presents Episode 6 of the new season of POLITICO's podcast "Global Translations":  To understand how essential critical minerals are to our world, we turn to a case study: cobalt. This mineral is proving key to the future of green energy, defense and high tech manufacturing — not to mention electric vehicles. But cobalt has its challenges. Hosts Luiza Savage and Ryan Heath look at China’s dominant role in global cobalt mining and the serious problems that can arise if other countries can't get enough supplies. Luiza Savage is the host of "Global Translations". Ryan Heath is a host of "Global Translations".  Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO Audio.  Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO Audio.  Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO Audio.  Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO Audio. Nedal T. Nassar is Chief of Materials Flow Analysis Section at the U.S. Geological Survey. Bryce Crocker is the CEO of Jervois Mining Aimee Boulanger is the executive director of Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) Read Luiza Savage's article on how America got outmaneuvered in a critical mining race: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/02/china-cobalt-mining-441967 And check out the other POLITICO newsletters:  Global Translations: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/global-translations Morning Energy: https://www.politico.com/morningenergy/ The Long Game: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/the-long-game China Watcher: politico.com/china Morning Tech: https://www.politico.com/morningtech/
25/12/20·28m 18s

Goin' to the chapel to get out the v-o-t-e

Ahead of January's runoff election in Georgia, the Black church has been, once again, thrust into the spotlight as an organizing force for voters and as a point of contention for conservatives. POLITICO reporter Maya King talks with Dr. Freddy Haynes, senior pastor at Dallas' massive Friendship West church, about the historic role that the Black church has played in American politics, from Harriet Tubman to Martin Luther King, Jr. to Senate runoff candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock, and what he's hoping to see from a Biden-Harris administration. Maya King is a politics reporter at POLITICO. Rev. Dr. Freddy Haynes is senior pastor at Friendship-West Baptist Church Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
18/12/20·23m 34s

Abuela is always right, and other lessons from Florida 2020

It's an unspoken rule not to talk politics at the dinner table — unless you have a podcast recording, then it's fine! POLITICO's Sabrina Rodriguez gets real with her Cuban family — abuela Diana, aunt Gloria and mom Martha — about their 2020 votes, and how Cuban Americans in Miami-Dade County helped Donald Trump win Florida. Then she talks to Scott Bland about whether the ultimate purple state is drifting red. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Sabrina Rodriguez is a political  reporter at POLITICO. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
11/12/20·25m 35s

The one place where the 2020 election isn't over

It's a political cliche to say that the stakes couldn't be higher — but we're looking at Georgia and the stakes couldn't be higher! Republicans and Democrats are feeling the pressure as they vie for the Senate majority, which has major implications for Joe Biden's presidency. Senate reporter James Arkin talks to Scott about his latest trip down to Georgia. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. James Arkin is a Senate campaigns reporter at POLITICO. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
04/12/20·26m 50s

Introducing Global Translations: Critical Minerals: The next dirty fight over clean energy

"Nerdcast" presents Episode 5 of the new season of POLITICO's podcast "Global Translations":  The technologies that protect us, move us and power our daily lives require mining minerals and metalsin distant places. But access to these essential materials is increasingly under threat. Hosts Luiza Savage and Ryan Heath talk with experts who are sounding the alarm.  Luiza Savage is the host of "Global Translations". Ryan Heath is a host of "Global Translations".  Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO Audio.  Kara Tabor is a producer for POLITICO Audio.  Jenny Ament is the senior producer for POLITICO Audio.  Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO Audio. Sharon Burke is a senior advisor for the International Security Program and Resource Security Program at New America.  Nedal T. Nassar is Chief of Materials Flow Analysis Section at the U.S. Geological Survey. Tom Duesterberg is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute. He is an expert on trade and foreign policy.  Luiza Savage's article on how America's dependence on critical minerals from China: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/18/china-could-strangle-biden-agenda-437171 And check out the other POLITICO newsletters:  Global Translations: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/global-translations Morning Energy: https://www.politico.com/morningenergy/ The Long Game: https://www.politico.com/newsletters/the-long-game China Watcher: politico.com/china Morning Tech: https://www.politico.com/morningtech/
25/11/20·24m 25s

New apps, no fact checks

Dan Bongino is pushing a stolen election conspiracy theory, and he's gaining followers. Some far-right commentators like Dan are flocking to apps like Parler and Rumble, where they don't have to be fact checked by Facebook and Twitter. POLITICO reporter Maggie Severns tells Scott Bland about the conservative pundits and fringe outlets whose conspiracies will dominate far-right messaging for the next four years. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Maggie Severns is a  reporter at POLITICO. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
20/11/20·23m 29s

How to make a gov't in 4,000 easy steps

The 2020 presidential transition is one of the most consequential transfers of power in American history: Covid-19 is raging, Joe Biden still isn't receiving classified information as prez-elect, and Donald Trump hasn't conceded the election. POLITICO Transition Playbook author Alex Thompson demystifies the process with host Scott Bland and talks about some of the frontrunners in Joe Biden's cabinet. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Alex Thompson is a political reporter at POLITICO and an author of  Transition Playbook. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
13/11/20·24m 20s

The Longest Week

Election Day came and went, and on this, Day 5 of Election Week, we have a result: Joe Biden is the president-elect. POLITICO's Sudeep Reddy and Scott Bland lay out what we know, what we (still) don’t, the state of political journalism and polling after the vote and what in the world that presidential transition is going to be like. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Sudeep Reddy is managing editor at POLITICO Adrienne Hurst is a producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
06/11/20·27m 38s

The results?

It's definitely not the Election Night we dreamed of. But it definitely happened. Host Scott Bland teams up with Dispatch's Jeremy Siegel to analyze the results — or lack of results. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor for POLITICO. Jeremy Siegel is the host of "Dispatch" for POLITICO. Jenny Ament is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.  Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
04/11/20·10m 0s

How to watch election night like a pro

Nov. 3 is barreling toward us, but don't expect that to be the day we'll know who won the presidency. POLITICO's Zach Montellaro and Nerdcast host Scott Bland decode how to watch Election Day — and the days that follow — like a pro. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor for POLITICO. Zach Montellaro is a politics reporter for POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is an associate producer for POLITICO audio.  Jenny Ament is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.  Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
30/10/20·35m 9s

How Trump could repeat 2016

By almost every measure, the likely outcome is that Joe Biden will win the White House. Yet less than two weeks before Election Day, the unfolding reality of 2020 is that it’s harder than ever to be sure. POLITICO's Charlie Mahtesian and Scott Bland lay out why they're not ruling out another surprise Trump victory on Nov. 3. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor for POLITICO. Charlie Mahtesian is a senior politics editor for POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is an associate producer for POLITICO audio.  Jenny Ament is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.  Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
23/10/20·28m 39s

Inside the weirdest, wildest, tightest state in politics

While Florida Republicans used to dominate the absentee ballot game, this year there's been a stunning development: For the first time ever at this stage of a general election, Florida Democrats are outvoting Republicans. But lest they get too excited, campaign veterans warn that a wave of Republican votes is coming on Election Day. POLITICO's Marc Caputo takes Nerdcast host Scott Bland inside the must-win swing state in the final weeks of an unprecedented election year. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Marc Caputo is a senior reporter covering Joe Biden and Florida for POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is an associate producer for POLITICO audio.  Jenny Ament is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.  Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
16/10/20·34m 59s

Trump stock market soars — and wealthy reap gains

President Donald Trump regularly promotes the soaring stock market as a barometer of the economy's health. But the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans own 50 percent of the value of stocks held by individual households — and investors aren’t sharing the wealth. POLITICO's Victoria Guida explains how this gap is fueling an increasingly lopsided economic recovery. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Victoria Guida is a financial services reporter for POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is an associate producer for POLITICO audio.  Jenny Ament is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.  Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
09/10/20·24m 58s

6 Catholics, 1 Court: SCOTUS and the rise of the Federalist Society

Evangelicals make up a bigger share of the Republican electorate. But on the courts? It's conservative Catholics who reign supreme. If confirmed, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, would be the sixth Catholic justice currently sitting on the high court — five of whom were nominated by Republicans. University of Denver political science professor Joshua Wilson and POLITICO's Scott Bland dig into the conservative Catholic legal movement and one group at the center of it all: the Federalist Society. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Joshua Wilson is a professor of political science at the University of Denver and co-author of "Separate but Faithful: The Christian Right's Radical Struggle to Transform Law and Legal Culture." Adrienne Hurst is an associate producer for POLITICO audio.  Jenny Ament is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.  Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
02/10/20·25m 38s

Trump team braces for a presidential self-own

Donald Trump will face Joe Biden for the first of three presidential debates on Tuesday. POLITICO's Gabby Orr and Scott Bland dive into how the president is prepping — or not — for the big day ... and why some of his supporters worry Trump has set a trap for himself by attacking Biden’s mental acumen. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Gabby Orr is a White House reporter for POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is an associate producer for POLITICO audio.  Jenny Ament is a senior producer for POLITICO audio.  Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
25/09/20·19m 38s

Was the TikTok face-off 'security theater'?

After weeks of uncertainty following President Donald Trump's executive order on TikTok, the Chinese-owned video app that has stolen the hearts — if not the data — of millions of teens has found an American partner: Oracle. But will it make Americans' data any safer? POLITICO Magazine contributing editor Zachary Karabell and Scott Bland explore Trump's TikTok fight — and whether it's really a form of "national security theater."
18/09/20·20m 10s

The 9/11 babies are all grown up — and ready to vote

For the first time, young adults born on or around September 11, 2001, will vote in a presidential election this November. America has been at war virtually every day they've been alive — and now they're coming of age politically during a world-changing pandemic. They speak up in this episode, as POLITICO Magazine contributor Garrett M. Graff and Scott Bland discuss how Gen Z voters could shake up American politics.
11/09/20·20m 53s

Inside the Wild West of PredictIt

When Joe Biden selected Kamala Harris as his running mate, it was a historic moment — and one that made some people thousands of dollars. Traders on the website PredictIt, a stock market for politics, wager thousands of dollars on an array of political moments. Today on Nerdcast, Zach Montellaro tells Scott Bland about his conversations with political traders — one who trades semi-professionally and two who are looking to avenge their losses from the 2016 election. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Zach Montellaro is campaign reporter & Morning Score author for POLITICO. Jason Pipkin runs the blog Predicting Politics Starlee Kine is a co-host of Election Profit Makers Jon Kimball is a co-host of Election Profit Makers Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
04/09/20·32m 54s

Bonus episode: A tale of two conventions

Are we a country that's failed disastrously to respond to a global pandemic, or a country that's overrun by protests and violence on the streets? Democrats and Republicans painted wildly different pictures of America at their party conventions this month. For the double conventions, we're featuring a double host special: Nerdcast's Scott Bland joins Dispatch's Jeremy Siegel to discuss the biggest takeaways from the past two weeks. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Jeremy Siegel is the host of POLITICO's Dispatch podcast. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
31/08/20·12m 14s

The GOP's identity crisis

A question from a high schooler left POLITICO chief political correspondent Tim Alberta stumped: What does it mean to be a Republican? Alberta talks with Scott Bland about whether the Republican National Convention answered that question this week — and how Donald Trump has shaped the party's future. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Tim Alberta is the chief political correspondent for POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
28/08/20·25m 51s

Signed. Sealed. Delivered?

The postal service is older than America itself. It delivers bills, Amazon packages and even ballots straight to your house. So what happens when, in the middle of a pandemic that has skyrocketed the demand for vote-by-mail, the USPS suddenly seems like it’s falling apart? POLITICO Magazine digital editor Zack Stanton joins Scott Bland to talk about the mail-system meltdown and what USPS expert Phil Rubio, himself a former letter carrier, says about how fundamental the postal service is to the 2020 election — and to our very idea of democracy. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Zack Stanton is digital editor at POLITICO magazine. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
21/08/20·25m 52s

Fundraising Remix: The Zoom where it happens

In-person events have long been the bedrock of political fundraising. So what happens when a global pandemic takes away in-person fundraisers? … They go to Zoom. Sure, there's awkwardness and technical difficulties, but they are helping both campaigns raise record amounts of money. And even in a post-coronavirus world, this looks like the new normal. Democratic strategist Tim Lim and GOP donor Dan Eberhart on Zoom fundraising in 2020. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Tim Lim is a Democratic strategist. Dan Eberhart is CEO of Canary and a GOP donor. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
14/08/20·25m 50s

Canvassing, interrupted

Donald Trump's campaign says it knocks on a million doors a week. Joe Biden's campaign says it knocks on zero. Host Scott Bland talks to Miles Baker — former door knocker, organizer and current political strategist — about the silver linings of the pandemic. Halting in-person canvassing has actually been a useful way to retool campaign strategies. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Miles Baker is campaigns director at The Action Factory. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
07/08/20·19m 7s

At-risk Republicans have a problem: Trump

The congressional map as it stands now — three months out from the election — paints a cautiously optimistic picture for Democrats, who could see their majority grow.  POLITICO reporter Ally Mutnick talks with Scott Bland about how Donald Trump's current numbers are affecting the way that Republicans in suburban districts are campaigning. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Ally Mutnick is a campaign reporter for POLITICO. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is senior producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
31/07/20·23m 4s

Everything that can go wrong in November

November's election is about to be a perfect storm — that we can all see coming. Garrett M. Graff digs into his POLITICO magazine cover story with Scott Bland about the voting issues that have tripped up primaries in 2020 so far, and why November won't look like any election we've seen before. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Garrett M. Graff is a contributor to POLITICO magazine.  Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
24/07/20·26m 37s

Trump vs. the NFL

President Donald Trump's vendetta against the NFL isn't just political. It's personal. POLITICO Magazine's Michael Kruse talks with Scott Bland about the decadeslong feud — and whether recent shifts in public sentiment on racial justice issues could make Trump's reelection campaign the final battlefield. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Michael Kruse is a senior staff writer for POLITICO Magazine. Adrienne Hurst is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer of POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
17/07/20·26m 31s

Why a football coach could beat Jeff Sessions

Trump's former attorney general wants his Senate seat back. But polling shows Tommy Tuberville — a former football coach and political newbie — ahead of Jeff Sessions in the Republican primary runoff. Birmingham, Ala.-based journalist Eric Velasco talks with Scott Bland ahead of the July 14 matchup. Plus, James Arkin brings us up to speed on the broader Senate map. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Eric Velasco is a freelance journalist based in Birmingham, Ala. James Arkin is a Senate campaigns reporter for POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer of POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
10/07/20·25m 19s

The SCOTUS case that could tip the 2020 scales

The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision to strike down a Louisiana abortion law could motivate conservative voters at the ballot box — and progressives, too. Health care reporter Alice Miranda Ollstein explains. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Alice Miranda Ollstein is a health care reporter for POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer of POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
03/07/20·23m 3s

How to handle a scandal

House Democrats are wrestling with how hard to go after President Donald Trump's laundry list of alleged abuses. With just weeks to go until Election Day, could aggressive oversight undermine the party's political prospects? Congress reporter Heather Caygle talks with Scott Bland about lawmakers' game plan. Scott Bland is the host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Heather Caygle is a Congress reporter for POLITICO. Adrienne Hurst is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer of POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
26/06/20·24m 24s

Split screen: Inside Trump's favorite network

Guest host Eugene Daniels and POLITICO Magazine deputy editor Elizabeth Ralph lift the curtain on One America News Network — where liberal staff are chafing at their own network’s coverage of national protests and the coronavirus. Eugene Daniels is a political reporter for POLITICO. Elizabeth Ralph is a deputy editor for POLITICO Magazine. Adam Wren is a contributing editor for POLITICO Magazine. Adrienne Hurst is an associate producer for POLITICO audio. Jenny Ament is the senior producer of POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
19/06/20·27m 23s

White America reckons with racism: Polls and what it means for 2020

Public opinion polls that show support for the Black Lives Matter movement has jumped almost as much in the last two weeks as it has in the past two years. Guest host Eugene Daniels and national political reporter Alex Thompson talk about what that means — plus, identity politics from Trump and Biden. Eugene Daniels is a political reporter for POLITICO. Alex Thompson is a national political reporter for POLITICO. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Jenny Ament is the senior producer of POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
12/06/20·31m 12s

The protests — the political and the personal

Guest host Eugene Daniels talks with chief Washington correspondent Ryan Lizza about the growing unrest and national protests — and what he's observed spending his nights outside the White House. Thank you to Ryan Lizza, Zack Stanton and Sarah Crump for audio used in this episode. Eugene Daniels is a political reporter for POLITICO. Ryan Lizza is chief Washington correspondent for POLITICO. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Jenny Ament is the senior producer of POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
05/06/20·33m 13s

The politics of a pandemic

Guest host Eugene Daniels talks with national political correspondent David Siders about how, three months in, the coronavirus crisis is simultaneously upending and reaffirming political allegiances. Eugene Daniels is a political reporter for POLITICO. David Siders is a national political correspondent for POLITICO. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO Audio.  Jenny Ament is the senior producer of POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
29/05/20·23m 9s

The presidential race Florida is *really* talking about

White House reporter and guest host Nancy Cook chats with  Florida bureau chief Matt Dixon about  the 2024 - yes, 2024- political aspirations of some Florida politicians, and what all their history tells us about the Republican party in one of the most important swing states in the country. Nancy Cook is a White House reporter for POLITICO.  Matt Dixon is Florida bureau chief for POLITICO.  Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Jenny Ament is the senior producer of POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
22/05/20·27m 11s

Hello? Hello? The Supreme Court calls in

Congress reporter Kyle Cheney talks with White House reporter Nancy Cook about cases heard at the Supreme Court on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday: justices heard a case that pits the House’s demand for President Trump’s financial documents against his attorneys’ claim that it intrudes on the constitutional powers of the presidency. And Wednesday: whether faithless presidential electors should be forced to abide by their promises. Nancy Cook is a White House reporter for POLITICO.  Kyle Cheney is a Congress reporter for POLITICO.  Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Jenny Ament is the senior producer of POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
15/05/20·24m 41s

The Biden paradox

POLITICO reporters Eugene Daniels and Holly Otterbein tackle the political ramifications of the Tara Reade sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden: accusations of Democratic hypocrisy, how this affects Biden's veepstakes and "lesser evil" voting in 2020. Eugene Daniels is a political reporter for POLITICO. Holly Otterbein is a political reporter for POLITICO. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO Audio.  Jenny Ament is the senior producer of POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
08/05/20·34m 38s

China vs U.S. fight turns into Thunderdome

Chief economic correspondent Ben White sits in the host chair this week to talk to foreign affairs correspondent Nahal Toosi about the increasingly sour relationship between the US and China — and how their political problems are affecting everything else. Ben White is chief economic correspondent for POLITICO. Nahal Toosi is a foreign affairs correspondent for POLITICO.  Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO audio.  Jenny Ament is the senior producer of POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
01/05/20·26m 9s

Nothing is enough: Governing during coronavirus

What's coming? We haven't seen an economic crisis like this since before WWII or a health crisis like this in a century. And an unsettling reality is setting in: We’re not doing enough to ease the pain on either front so far. Chief economic correspondent Ben White talks to Scott about the economy, coronavirus testing and more, and tries not to give him too much anxiety. Scott Bland is host of Nerdcast and a politics editor at POLITICO. Ben White is chief economic correspondent for POLITICO. Annie Rees is a producer for POLITICO Audio.  Jenny Ament is the senior producer of POLITICO audio. Irene Noguchi is the executive producer of POLITICO audio.
24/04/20·19m 31s

Is this thing on? How Trump wants to restart the economy

President Donald Trump is talking about reopening the economy -- and slinging around old movie references. But mid-pandemic, what does "reopening" the economy even mean? White House reporter Nancy Cook talks to host Scott Bland about Trump's desire for a booming economy even amid warnings from his health advisers, and why this is so complicated.
17/04/20·19m 54s

The primary's over. The veepstakes have begun.

Bernie Sanders bows out — POLITICO reporter Holly Otterbein gives us the inside scoop and whether Joe Biden can entice Bernie's supporters to his camp. Then, chief political correspondent Tim Alberta fills Scott in on Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan governor who is dealing with coronavirus, an angry president and the real possibility she might be Biden’s choice for running mate — all intertwined at the same time.
10/04/20·28m 38s

Mute ye, mute ye: What Congress might look like on videoconference

Zoom videoconferencing goes to Washington. Since 9/11, disaster planners have been trying to warn Washington of the risks of a government based on stuffing all of America’s most important legislators into one place. Covid-19 is reviving the conversation in real time. Senior tech reporter Nancy Scola joins host Scott Bland to talk through the pitfalls of a Congress that could legislate remotely.
03/04/20·22m 33s

The two trillion dollar question

Ten days and $2 trillion -- that's right, with a "tr." How did the Senate get to 96-0? Reporter Marianne LeVine joins host Scott Bland to talk through the past few days of negotiations on Capitol Hill. Plus, Michael Kruse on how the coronavirus task force briefings have become episodes of President Donald Trump's reality TV show.
27/03/20·29m 22s

The political system vs. COVID-19

COVID-19 has upended daily life in the United States. On this week's Nerdcast, we're talking about how the virus is altering politics: from chaotic or canceled 2020 primaries to its reverberations in the White House and on Capitol Hill. Host Scott Bland is joined by reporters Zach Montellaro, Nancy Cook and editor Ben Weyl.
20/03/20·25m 45s

COVID-19 and the campaign trail

There's one news story that's eaten all the others: COVID-19. Although the coronavirus has been a public health crisis and major news story for weeks now, this week it became the only story. Scott talks to editorial director Blake Hounshell about President Donald Trump's address to the nation and how the coronavirus is affecting the 2020 presidential race. Then, political reporter Eugene Daniels joins to discuss Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden's strengths and weaknesses.
13/03/20·18m 26s

Mini Tuesday, Biden's not-so-mini wins

Scott Bland talks to reporter Christopher Cadelago about Joe Biden's key wins in the "Mini Tuesday" primaries and how the door is closing on Bernie Sanders.
11/03/20·7m 52s

What we learned in a whirlwind 2020 week

POLITICO health care reporter Dan Diamond talks us through the Trump administration's coronavirus response and the many questions being raised about preparedness. Later, campaign reporter Elena Schneider joins Scott to break down Super Tuesday — and the whirlwind week in politics that has the Democratic primary down to just two major candidates: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
06/03/20·22m 59s

Super Tuesday: Biden & Bernie blast off

POLITICO reporters and editors race to get Super Tuesday results up as Joe Biden makes a surprise surge in the delegate count. Plus, Scott Bland and Laura Barrón-López on where things stand after the biggest night of the primary.
04/03/20·6m 20s

South Carolina: Biden his time all along

POLITICO's Ryan Lizza joins Scott to talk through Joe Biden's decisive victory in the South Carolina primary -- and whether or not it threatens Bernie Sanders' momentum ahead of Super Tuesday. Plus, we pour one out for Tom Steyer, who taught us that many millions can't fix everything.
01/03/20·14m 10s

Mega! Primary! Preview!

POLITICO reporter Eugene Daniels talks Scott Bland through his recent reporting trip to South Carolina, where he caught up with his nana Ruby Brown and dove into the state’s all-important black vote. Plus, he and Scott talk all things Super Tuesday — just days away. Later, POLITICO reporters James Arkin and Ally Mutnick join to highlight the most interesting Senate and House primaries on Super Tuesday.
28/02/20·28m 58s

Debate extra: When in doubt, shout!

POLITICO's Elena Schneider and host Scott Bland break down a key moment in Tuesday night's Democratic Presidential debate: when Bernie Sanders admitted his mistake in voting for immunity for gun manufacturers.
26/02/20·11m 39s

Bernie hits the jackpot in Nevada

POLITICO reporter Holly Otterbein joins host Scott Bland to break down Bernie Sanders' big win in Nevada -- and what it means with South Carolina and Super Tuesday fast approaching.
23/02/20·13m 39s

The art of the troll

Zach Montellaro and Scott talk about the Nevada caucuses and whether to expect Iowa 2.0 on Saturday. Plus, Gabby Orr clues us in about the Trump administration's rally strategy: trolling.
21/02/20·22m 49s

Debate extra: They (really) don't like Mike

Scott and POLITICO reporter Chris Cadelago break down the spiciest debate yet: Elizabeth Warren's big night of burns, Mike Bloomberg's struggles and how Bernie Sanders did as the frontrunner.
20/02/20·11m 22s

Justice Dept. drama? Roger that.

Josh Gerstein brings Scott up to speed on the two court cases with nine lives: Roger Stone and Michael Flynn. Plus, meet Alice, a 78-year-old volunteer for Amy Klobuchar who had the night of her life on Tuesday. Political reporter Stephanie Murray talks with Scott about Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg — and their prospects after top-three finishes in New Hampshire.
14/02/20·25m 3s

New Hampshire feels the Bern

The New Hampshire primary had ups, downs...and, oh yeah, decisive results! POLITICO reporters Holly Otterbein, Alex Thompson, Elena Schneider, Marc Caputo, Stephanie Murray and Eugene Daniels join us from the New Hampshire election night parties and editor Steven Shepard analyzes the results with host Scott Bland.
12/02/20·13m 55s

Debate extra: How Pete took the pressure

In this debate night special, Scott Bland and political reporter Elena Schneider break down a fundamental disagreement between Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden and how Buttigieg handled the body blows as he rises in the New Hampshire polls. Subscribe and rate the Nerdcast on Apple Podcasts.
08/02/20·10m 51s

Breakfast at Bernie's

Nerdcast is in New Hampshire this week ahead of Tuesday's primary. We run into Bernie Sanders in a diner and talk to political reporter Holly Otterbein about the fallout of the messy Iowa caucus numbers and the New Hampshire polls showing Sanders up front and Buttigieg rising.
07/02/20·14m 47s

Trump on trial: Acquitted

The Nerdcast goes daily with short episodes providing the most crucial Senate impeachment trial updates with a stable of POLITICO reporters and editors. In the final episode: senior reporter Darren Samuelsohn on the vote to acquit President Donald Trump — and Mitt Romney's vote to convict him on one article of impeachment. Plus, White House reporter Nancy Cook takes the 30-second challenge. Join us for a daily look at impeachment in under 10 minutes.
06/02/20·9m 12s

Iowa: We're in this for the long haul

It's the 2020 Iowa caucuses and basically nothing went according to plan. Scott Bland talks with POLITICO reporters Eugene Daniels, Charlie Mahtesian, Laura Barrón-López and Elena Schneider about Iowa's role in the political process and what on earth happened on caucus night.
04/02/20·12m 4s

Trump on trial: End times

The Nerdcast goes daily with short episodes providing the most crucial Senate impeachment trial updates with a stable of POLITICO reporters and editors. Today: editorial director Blake Hounshell on the trial creeping toward the end. Plus, White House reporter Nancy Cook takes the 30-second challenge. Join us for a daily look at impeachment in under 10 minutes.
31/01/20·7m 32s

5 things to watch before the Iowa caucuses

This week, Scott and national political reporter Natasha Korecki discuss the five big things to watch ahead of the Iowa caucuses, including the latest movement in the polls and where the candidates are spending the last moments before voting.
31/01/20·22m 34s

Trump on trial: Is the end near?

The Nerdcast goes daily with short episodes providing the most crucial Senate impeachment trial updates with a stable of POLITICO reporters and editors. Today: senate reporter Marianne LeVine gives Scott the low-down from today's Q&A session on the Hill. Plus, White House reporter Nancy Cook takes the 30-second challenge. Join us for a daily look at impeachment in under 10 minutes.
30/01/20·7m 43s

Trump on trial: It's question time

The Nerdcast goes daily with short episodes providing the most crucial Senate impeachment trial updates with a stable of POLITICO reporters and editors. Today: Senior reporter Darren Samuelsohn gives Scott the low-down from on today's Q&A session on the hill. Plus, Congress editor Ben Weyl takes the 30-second challenge. Join us for a daily look at impeachment in under 10 minutes.
29/01/20·7m 17s

Trump on trial: the defense rests

The Nerdcast goes daily with short episodes providing the most crucial impeachment trial updates with a stable of POLITICO reporters and editors. Today: founding editor John Harris gives Scott a high-altitude view of the impeachment trial: surprises, quirks, and memories of his reporting during President Clinton's Senate impeachment trial. Plus, White House reporter Nancy Cook takes the 30-second challenge. Join us for a daily look at impeachment in under 10 minutes.
28/01/20·7m 52s

Trump on trial: Bolton's room where it happened

The Nerdcast goes daily with short episodes providing the most crucial Senate impeachment trial updates with a stable of POLITICO reporters and editors. Today: editorial director Blake Hounshell on the reported allegations in John Bolton's upcoming memoir and what they mean for the Senate impeachment trial. Plus, Nancy Cook takes the 30-second challenge. Join us for a daily look at impeachment in under 10 minutes.
27/01/20·8m 54s

Trump on trial: TiVo and tweetin'

The Nerdcast goes daily with short episodes providing the most crucial Senate impeachment trial updates with a stable of POLITICO reporters and editors. Today: Nancy Cook on the White House's mood, strategy, and what to expect from President Trump's legal defense team on Saturday. Join us for a daily look at impeachment in under 10 minutes.
24/01/20·8m 5s

A 'slap fight' and a court fight

This week, Scott talks to healthcare reporter Susannah Luthi about the Supreme Court punting consideration of a high-stakes legal challenge to Obamacare. Plus, politics editor Charlie Mahtesian talks to Scott about Bernie, Biden, and their long-simmering slap fight on Social Security.
24/01/20·22m 55s

Trump on trial: Un-Schiff-ting strategy

The Nerdcast goes daily with short episodes providing the most crucial Senate impeachment trial updates with a stable of POLITICO reporters and editors. Today: Ben Weyl talks Adam Schiff's background and strategy. Join us for a daily look at impeachment in under 10 minutes.
23/01/20·6m 28s

Trump on trial: Senate factions

The Nerdcast goes daily with short episodes providing the most crucial Senate impeachment trial updates with a stable of POLITICO reporters. Today: Burgess Everett guides Scott through the Senate factions and Nancy Cook takes the 30 second challenge. Join us for a daily look at impeachment in under 10 minutes.
22/01/20·7m 18s

Trump on trial: Mitch McConnell

The Nerdcast goes daily with short episodes providing the most crucial Senate impeachment trial updates with a stable of POLITICO reporters. Today: Darren Samuelsohn guides Scott through day one. Join us for a daily look at impeachment in under 10 minutes
21/01/20·5m 54s

How to run an impeachment trial

This week, Scott talks to polling expert Steven Shepard and House campaign reporter Ally Mutnick about the latest 2020 election developments. Plus, senior reporter Darren Samuelsohn joins us to walk through exactly what to expect as the impeachment trial begins in the Senate.
17/01/20·34m 52s

Sanders, Warren and the great debate over how to win

In this debate night special, Scott and senior politics editor Charlie Mahtesian break down a disagreement between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on trade -- and how that explains the two progressives' different visions of how to win and how to govern.
15/01/20·9m 32s

Iran conflict shakes Washington

This week, Scott talks to foreign affairs correspondent Nahal Toosi and deputy defense editor Dave Brown about the last week's worth of news of the Iran conflict, where things stand now and the Pentagon's inconsistent response. Plus, political reporters Zach Montellaro and Holly Otterbein talk to Scott about the small number of polls out in the field, who has currently qualified for Tuesday's debate and what they're looking for on the debate stage.
10/01/20·34m 42s

Four decades in politics - what's next?

In this New Years special, Scott and senior White House reporter Darren Samuelsohn look back at the defining political moments of the 80s, 90s, 2000s and 2010s and then give their magic 8-ball a shake and talk about what might happen in the 2020s.
03/01/20·28m 58s

Back next week!

We'll be back with a new episode next Friday, January 3rd.
27/12/19·37s

Klobuchar strikes Buttigieg in fight for center

Scott and senior politics editor Charlie Mahtesian break down a key moment in a battle of the moderates between Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg. Plus, White House reporter Nancy Cook and deputy Congress editor David Kihara talk the impeachment vote and what's coming next.
20/12/19·29m 31s

Debate week day 4: Moderating

Go inside the making of the December Democratic presidential debate with POLITICO on this special edition of the Nerdcast. POLITICO debate moderator Tim Alberta fills us in and chief Washington correspondent Ryan Lizza and political reporter Laura Barrón-López talk about the lack of diversity among the front-runners on the debate stage.
19/12/19·14m 14s

Debate week day 3: Playbook in LA

Go inside the making of the December Democratic presidential debate with POLITICO on this special edition of the Nerdcast. POLITICO Playbook co-author Anna Palmer talks to Scott from Los Angeles about impeachment, which Democratic presidential candidates have the most friends in Washington, and fundraising as a litmus test in the Democratic presidential primary.
18/12/19·11m 33s

Debate week day 2: The making of

Go inside the making of the December Democratic presidential debate with Politico on this special edition of the Nerdcast. POLITICO's editor Carrie Budoff Brown and PBS NewsHour's Executive Producer Sara Just take us behind the scenes and explain all the decisions that go into hosting a debate -- some large, some very small. Plus, we chat with carpenter Bobby Rizzo as he builds the set for Thursday.
17/12/19·7m 25s

Debate week day 1: You didn't answer my question

Go inside the making of the December Democratic presidential debate with Politico on this special edition of the Nerdcast. Scott talks to the 2020 campaign reporters covering the candidates on stage about what each candidate's biggest challenge is heading into Thursday -- and the question each one would most like to answer.
16/12/19·19m 31s

A nightmare December and a 2020 tiff

The Nerdcast talks to POLITICO White House reporter Nancy Cook and congress editor Ben Weyl about the chock-full December ahead: USMCA, prescription drug pricing, a spending bill to avert a government shutdown and, oh yeah, impeachment. Plus, national political reporters Alex Thompson and Elena Schneider talk to Scott about the tension between Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren and why things are heating up in the Democratic presidential primary.
13/12/19·29m 2s

Digging into Kamala's downfall and the demographics of 2020

The Nerdcast talks to POLITICO national political reporter Christopher Cadelago about what went wrong in Kamala Harris' bid for president. Plus, national political reporter Laura Barrón-López and reporting fellow Maya King talk to Scott about the demographics on the campaign trail -- why Cory Booker and Kamala Harris have struggled to make inroads with black voters, Pete Buttigieg's failure to connect with Latino and black voters and what the path to victory through South Carolina and Nevada looks like.
06/12/19·31m 29s

Prospective 'first gentlemen' on the campaign trail

The Nerdcast talks to POLITICO national political reporter Elena Schneider about the 2020 husbands on the campaign trail. The Democratic primary field is historic, with four women and a gay man running for president - but they're running in a country where only three percent of governors, the highest statewide executive office, have been women. That can make things complicated for how to introduce a male spouse on the campaign trail.
27/11/19·16m 44s

What we learned in the impeachment hearings

The Nerdcast talks to POLITICO national security correspondent Natasha Bertrand as she breaks down four major takeaways from this week's slew of impeachment hearings. Plus, politics reporter Daniel Strauss talks to Scott about Saturday's governor race in Louisiana, where the Democratic incumbent narrowly kept his seat.
22/11/19·28m 30s

A can't-we-all-get-along debate

The Nerdcast breaks down an emblematic moment from Wednesday's Democratic presidential debate -- a question about President Trump highlighting a primary field determined, for the moment, to focus on next year's general election instead of fighting among each other. Guest hosted by Charlie Mahtesian with Massachusetts Playbook author Stephanie Murray.
21/11/19·7m 8s

The 2020 party crashers

The Nerdcast talks to POLITICO’s Nahal Toosi and Ben Weyl as the first public impeachment hearing pulls the spotlight away from the campaign trail and Democrats try to engage the public in the push to remove President Donald Trump from office. Plus, political reporter Stephanie Murray joins from Boston to discuss the oddly expanding Democratic primary field, with Michael Bloomberg dipping his toes in the water and Deval Patrick going for a full cannonball into New Hampshire.
15/11/19·26m 44s

Remember remember the fifth of November: breaking down Tuesday's election results

The Nerdcast talks to reporters Steven Shepard and Ally Mutnick about the election day results out of Kentucky and Virginia, what those results could mean for 2020 and how congressional maps are - or aren't - changing. Plus, campaign reporter Alex Thompson and healthcare reporter Alice Ollstein delve into Elizabeth Warren's new whitepaper on her payment plan for 'Medicare For All.'
08/11/19·30m 25s

Ironman Sen. Kyrsten Sinema

The Nerdcast talks to ace congressional reporter Burgess Everett as he introduces us to the independently minded Democratic senator irritating the left and delighting the GOP: Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.
01/11/19·19m 4s

Political nightmares and peering into the future

The Nerdcast gets into the Halloween spirit with White House reporters Darren Samuelsohn and Gabby Orr, who entertain some future speculations and sketch out political nightmare scenarios. What are the worst-case fears for Democrats and Republicans heading into 2020? Plus, senior legal affairs contributor Josh Gerstein joins Scott to talk about Rudy Giuliani who continues to place himself at the center of the Ukraine story.
25/10/19·29m 32s

Money in the bank and the latest on impeachment

The Nerdcast nerds out with Maggie Severns and Zach Montellaro over the campaigns releasing their Q3 fundraising numbers. Which candidates are on top as they head into the most expensive part of the race so far and whose coffers are in the danger zone? Plus, Ben Weyl and Nahal Toosi join Scott to chat about what's new in impeachment and who's who in the cast of characters testifying on the Hill behind closed doors this week.
18/10/19·30m 52s

Warren gets the front-runner treatment

We unpack a key moment of the latest Democratic presidential debate -- when the differences between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren came into focus. POLITICO's Elena Schneider joins guest host Charlie Mahtesian to break down what happened.
16/10/19·11m 26s

Senator, is your refrigerator running? Sen. Graham's hoax calls with Russians

The Nerdcast has a stacked show this week as we get Natasha Bertrand to take us inside two prank calls to Sen. Lindsey Graham that fly in the face of his recent comments on Turkey, the Kurds and Syria. Plus, Nancy Cook, Holly Otterbein and Daniel Strauss join guest host Charlie Mahtesian to chat about what's new in impeachment and why next week's Democratic debate might actually be kind of fun. Please note this episode contains an explicit word.
11/10/19·41m 34s

Impeachment and Iowa

The Nerdcast sits down with Politico's Nancy Cook and Ben Weyl to go inside Trump's impeachment bunker and Pelosi's war room. Plus, get up to speed on what's going on in 2020 land: Iowa. Elena Schneider, Natasha Korecki and Charlie Mahtesian join Scott to chat about the importance of Iowa, South Carolina, New Hampshire, and a local steak fry.
04/10/19·30m 39s

The moment that impeachment got real

Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.) helped kick off the latest phase of the House Democrats' impeachment debate when she and six other moderate members of Congress said that Donald Trump's contact with Ukraine could constitute an impeachable offense. She reflected on the weight of what that means in a raw and emotional interview with POLITICO's Michael Kruse, and Michael joins the show to share his observations. Plus: how'd we get here? POLITICO's Natasha Bertrand takes us through the timeline.
27/09/19·29m 5s

Trump's Turnberry resort and a zombie impeachment memo

The Nerdcast sits down with Politico's Natasha Bertrand and Ben Shreckinger to find out what's going on at Turnberry, President Trump's luxury golf resort in Scotland where the U.S. Air Force has lodged its crews. Plus, Darren Samuelsohn tells the story of a "zombie" congressional impeachment memo: one that Hillary Clinton helped craft in 1974, was used 20 years later as a blueprint in impeachment proceedings against President Clinton and today has new life breathed into it during impeachment discussions.
20/09/19·32m 9s

Breaking down Castro vs Biden

The Nerdcast team breaks down a key moment from Thursday's democratic presidential debate -- when former HUD Secretary Julian Castro took a swipe at Joe Biden's memory. Plus, a look at how Elizabeth Warren became Elizabeth Warren, and how she made so many enemies in the Obama Administration in the process.
13/09/19·37m 48s

Not the debate that climate activists wanted

On this episode of the Nerdcast with host Scott Bland: In a marathon forum on climate change, Democratic contenders began to seek separation from one another on the key issue. POLITICO energy reporter Kelsey Tamborrino and national political reporter David Siders explain the first signs of candidates weaponizing climate change in the primary campaign. Plus, POLITICO national political reporter Chris Cadelago explains how Kamala Harris won over the prominent voice of rapper 2 Live Crew.
06/09/19·26m 15s

Nerdcast bonus: The presidential race enters a new phase

On this episode of the Nerdcast with guest host John Harris: The presidential campaign may feel like it’s been going on forever, but it’s about to enter a new phase. POLITICO founding editor John Harris joined reporters Holly Otterbein, Natasha Korecki and David Siders to talk about why authenticity is so elusive, whether the left is ascendant in the Democratic party, and why candidate selfies are all the rage.
02/09/19·29m 15s

Dem campaigns get desperate after debate shutout

This week on the Nerdcast with Scott Bland: More than half of the Democratic presidential field got bounced from the party’s debate circuit Wednesday night, but they’re not meekly exiting stage left. POLITICO campaign reporter Elena Schneider explains what actions they might take against the DNC’s debate rules. Also, voters across the country — from California to Pennsylvania to Massachusetts — grilled House Democrats on the potential impeachment of President Donald Trump at a series of events this month. POLITICO reporter Sarah Ferris describes what she observed on the ground at town halls.
30/08/19·23m 0s

Trump team braces donors for potential recession

This week on the Nerdcast with Scott Bland: White House reporter Nancy Cook explains how the Trump administration may be putting on a happy face in public, but in private, they’re worrying about a global economic slowdown triggering a U.S. recession. Also, White House reporter Daniel Lippman looks inside the president's feud with Tom Barrack, on of his closest friends.
23/08/19·22m 16s

Trump finally tries the patience of Evangelicals

This week on the Nerdcast with host Scott Bland: Evangelicals chafe at Trump’s blasphemy— POLITICO White House reporter Gabby Orr explains why. Also, POLITICO's senior politics editor Charlie Mahtesian joins national politics reporters Chris Cadelago and Natasha Korecki to break down what's happening on the ground in Iowa.
16/08/19·25m 3s

Is Joe Biden’s brother the next Billy Carter?

This week on the Nerdcast with guest-host Blake Hounshell: Over his decades in office, ‘Middle-Class Joe’s’ family fortunes have closely tracked his political career. We have POLITICO's Ben Schreckinger on to discuss his investigation on former Vice President Joe Biden's family finances.
09/08/19·27m 56s

The post-debate state of the race

This week on the Nerdcast with host Scott Bland: POLITICO national political reporter Elena Schneider and senior politics editor Charlie Mahtesian break down who came out on top in this week's democratic debates. Also: A divided Federal Reserve is cutting interest rates for the first time in more than a decade. What’s that mean and why does it matter? POLITICO financial services reporter Victoria Guida explains.
02/08/19·19m 27s

Dissecting a moment: Booker piles on Biden

Cory Booker, in search of his first bona fide “moment” as he tries to work his way up in the presidential race, came ready to lunge into his critique of Joe Biden’s new criminal justice proposal as too little, too late to fix the problem of mass incarceration, after Biden’s authorship of punitive crime legislation in the ‘90s. POLITICO national political reporter Chris Cadelago joins host Scott Bland to analyze an important moment from round two of the second Democratic debate on Tuesday night.
01/08/19·8m 45s

'You're wrong' vs. 'I'm right': Sanders and Warren spar with moderates

"You're wrong" for criticizing “Medicare for All,” Sen. Bernie Sanders told former Rep. John Delaney in the first answer of the night — setting up an evening of conflict between the left and the center. POLITICO health care reporter Dan Diamond joins host Scott Bland to analyze an important moment from round one of the second Democratic debate on Tuesday night.
31/07/19·9m 18s

2020 Dems prepare to come out swinging in this week's debates

On this special episode of the Nerdcast with host Scott Bland, POLITICO White House reporter Chris Cadelago on the things he'll be watching for during this week's debates.
29/07/19·12m 30s

Democrats plot a post-Mueller strategy

This week's Congressional appearance by Robert S. Mueller III landed with a thud, so what's next for Democrats itching to impeach the president? Sarah Ferris from POLITICO's Congressional team joins the show to explain why Nancy Pelosi's team is maintaining a united front in public, even if they're arguing behind closed doors. Plus, POLITICO's Chief Economic Correspondent Ben White breaks down how the president's advisers are trying to safeguard the long-running economic boom, even if it means walking away from their opposition to deficit spending. We take a look inside the "do no harm" caucus.
26/07/19·23m 27s

Is the Democratic field about to shrink?

This week on the Nerdcast with host Scott Bland, POLITICO White House reporter Gabby Orr and Congressional reporter Heather Caygle explain the fallout of President Trump's racist tweets. Also: POLITICO national political reporter David Siders on why a big shrink to the democratic primary field might be coming soon.
19/07/19·25m 20s

AMERICAN CARNAGE: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump

Today on a special edition of Nerdcast with Scott Bland: Tim Alberta, chief political correspondent for POLITICO Magazine, talks about his forthcoming book AMERICAN CARNAGE: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump.
15/07/19·10m 52s

Does conventional wisdom have it wrong on Sanders and Warren?

This week on the Nerdcast with host Scott Bland: We examine some of the front-runners who have begun to emerge for Democrats, particularly on the left of the party. POLITICO's National political reporters Holly Otterbein and Alex Thompson check on the 2020 race. Also: What would you ask Robert Mueller, if you got the chance? POLITICO's national security correspondent Natasha Bertrand and POLITICO's legal affairs analyst Josh Gerstein discuss what might happen on Capitol HIll for Robert Mueller.
12/07/19·26m 8s

Two Supreme Court decisions, explained

This week on the Nerdcast with host Scott Bland: The Supreme Court had a busy week, ruling on two cases that have big political implications. First, immigration reporter Ted Hesson joins to explain how a road block has been put in the path of implementing a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Then, Scott and Charlie talk about the ruling on partisan gerrymandering. In the second segment, national political reporter Natasha Korecki explains where the democratic presidential candidates stand in the first week post-debate.
03/07/19·30m 31s

How Harris made her moment against Biden

The California senator came prepared to prosecute a case against the front-runner. We analyze an important moment from Thursday night's Democratic debate.
28/06/19·8m 2s

Dissecting a moment: Elizabeth Warren on Medicare for All

Sen. Warren seemed to make her fullest embrace of Bernie Sanders’s healthcare plan, but did she leave herself room to change her mind. We analyze an important moment from Wednesday’s night Democratic debate.
27/06/19·9m 24s

Centrist Dems are warming up to Warren. That's a big change.

This week on the Nerdcast with host Scott Bland: It’s debate night in America! Well, it will be next week, and we’re giving you a preview! Two Politico reporters who are debate experts at this point join the show. Then, centrists who used to fear Warren was the end of the party are starting to levitate towards her. We've got two reporters who just attended an event aimed at centrists coming on to break down how Warren has become a palatable candidate for a group that once eviscerated her in an op-ed.
21/06/19·28m 20s

Will FDR comparisons connect Bernie with older voters?

This week on the Nerdcast with host Scott Bland: The president isn't so sure that he would call the FBI if he was approached with information about his competitors from foreign actors. Or maybe he would. A White House reporter explains the president's bizarre statement. Then, a 2020 reporter breaks down why Senator Sanders is doubling down on socialism. Plus, Mitch McConnell may have benefited from his wife Elaine Chao's position as the secretary of transportation. And he's proud of it! The reporters who broke the story join the Nerdcast.
14/06/19·33m 21s

Trick or Trade and the 2020 Electoral Map

This week on the Nerdcast with guest-host Charlie Mahtesian: the minds of POLITICO's White House and trade team to help you understand what’s happening with a looming trade war with Mexico. Also: The president scored surprising wins in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan in 2016. He’s shooting for New Hampshire, New Mexico and Nevada in 2020.
07/06/19·27m 51s

New Dem debate criteria has candidates miffed

This week on the Nerdcast with host Scott Bland: A deep dive into Elizabeth Warren’s campaign strategy with a politico reporter who was on the trail with her and the new qualifying rules for the second set of democratic debates are out. And the candidates hate them! We've got some of POLITICO's campaigns reporters coming in to explain what's going on.
31/05/19·31m 33s

How the 2020 Democratic candidates are preparing for the primaries

This week on the Nerdcast with host Scott Bland: a surprising figure has come forward in the impeach trump movement…and no one seems happy about it! Correspondant Tim Alberta joins Scott to talk about it. Plus Scott sits down with some of POLITICO’s national political reporters to talk about 2020 campaign strategies. They’re all over the place. They explain the thinking behind the candidates' decisions.
24/05/19·25m 9s

Democrats want a progressive in the White House. They also want someone who is going to get things done.

It's time for a new episode of the Nerdcast, with host Scott Bland. This week on the show: Joe Biden has been touting a new plan on the trail this week that pundits have absolutely trashed. But voters might actually love it… we’ll talk about the what the plan is and the why people are loving it (and hating it) with POLITICO reporter Marc Caputo. Plus, Scott sits down with some of POLITICO’s health care reporters to talk about the major anti-abortion bills that are passing in state legislatures around the country right now.
17/05/19·26m 26s

'It's definitely causing stress': New DNC debate requirements put the pressure on democratic candidates

On the show this week, a packed democratic presidential field makes getting a spot on the debate stage a challenge for candidates, so some of them have completely changed their campaign strategies in hopes of securing a spot. POLITICO national political reporter Elena Schneider joins the show to talk about the requirements for getting onto the stage, and how democratic candidates have reacted. Then, national political reporter Chris Cadelago joins the show to talk about Kamala Harris, who had a new message in the midwest this past weekend. Then, Jesus Rodriguez joins the Nerdcast to talk about a story he wrote for POLITICO magazine, about the takeover of the Venezuelan embassy in DC, and how that ties into the situation in Venezuela proper.
10/05/19·33m 23s

How Trump warmed up to AG Barr

On the show this week, a roundup from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with White House reporters Nancy Cook and Andrew Restuccia. Plus, a look into the relationship between evangelical voters and Trump's inner circle. Then, congressional campaigns reporter James Arkin joins the Nerdcast to talk about a problem for democrats: finding people willing to run for senate.
03/05/19·27m 20s

With 20 candidates 'you're going to have a lot of wreckage when it's done'

First, Scott and POLITICO reporter Marc Caputo talk all things Joe Biden. The former vice president finally announced that he's running for president, becoming the 20th democrat to enter the race. Does Biden stand a chance? Maybe. He could even be a front-runner. Then, Anita Kumar and Sarah Ferris join Scott to talk about a fight between the White House and 12 House committees. Basically, the White House is refusing to give up documents requested by these House committees. It seems like a big deal in the Beltway, but back home things don't reflect that: topics like medicare concern constituents more. Will these committees get anywhere? The gang attempts to break down what‘s really happening.
26/04/19·29m 12s

The Mueller report lands. Now it's Congress's turn

It's an all Mueller edition of the Nerdcast show, with host Scott Bland and reporters Kyle Cheney and Melanie Zanona. The crew unpacks some of the fundamental questions from Thursday’s release of the redacted Mueller report and figures out what’s next -- how will Congress act on this report?
19/04/19·15m 23s

Will the purge at DHS scare people into acting?

Immigration hard-liners are ascendant at the White House. What does it mean for people trying to enter the U.S., and for the president politically? Plus, POLITICO Playbook authors Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman join the Nerdcast to talk about their new book about congress in the Trump era, "The Hill To Die On."
12/04/19·31m 55s

Where do you draw the line between friendly grandpa and creepy uncle?

What might have been seen as normal behavior in the past is not welcome in the present. How will Biden handle the change? Plus, how much money do you really need to raise to become president? We discuss.
05/04/19·22m 22s

'It felt really different at the White House this week'

How have things changed at the White House since the report came out? We go behind the scenes at the White House and on the Hill post-Mueller report. Plus, only three days remain until the end of the weekend, the end of the month, and the end of the first quarter. It matters because that’s when candidates for president have to report to the federal government just how much money they’ve raised so far this year.
29/03/19·21m 48s

Does the 'candidate next door' stand a chance?

Beto O'Rourke raised $6.1 million in the first 24 hours of his presidential candidacy. That's a huge number. It indicates how the Democrats running for president have already built big national followings before campaign season has really even fully started. We break it down. Plus, 17 House Committees are currently attempting to investigate the Trump White House. Are they going to get anywhere? We talk about why the White House is largely ignoring the requests from those committees.
22/03/19·23m 11s

Beto is in. Now what?

No one has successfully gone from U.S. representative to president since James Garfield. Beto O'Rourke thinks he can. Plus, the mishandling of a sexual harassment case that is haunting Kirsten Gillibrand.
15/03/19·27m 20s

For the time being, Bernie's got his groove back

White House reporter Nancy Cook and congressional reporter Burgess Everett join the Nerdcast to discuss the tension between President Trump.... and some republicans. Plus, campaign reporter Holly Otterbein joins to explain what's different for presidential hopeful Senator Sanders this time around, and why some former Clinton campaign staffers just can't stand the guy.
08/03/19·27m 22s

Cohen testimony renews impeachment speculation

President Trump's former fixer spent hours fixating the American public. Did his testimony reveal anything new? Plus, Iowa proves to be twice as nice.
01/03/19·28m 23s

Bernie is back — and backed — bigly

Guess who's back (back back)!? back again (again again)!? Bernie's back (back back) AND..... he's already gotten a ton of donations and is pretty popular so you probably don't need to tell a friend because they probably already know.... We're breaking down Bernie 2020 and a similar candidate from a state very close to Vermont... who will get the progressive vote? Plus, Trump 2020 is looking pretty corporate! A POLITICO national political reporter joins to talk about Rosslyn's hottest campaign headquarters.
22/02/19·22m 40s

These are the 2020 Democrats who Trump is worried about

With the field of Democrats running for president growing more crowded each week, the Trump re-election effort has started to zero in on three of them. But Joe Biden -- who's yet to decide whether he'll join the field -- is thought to be the candidate the campaign is most worried about in a general election contest. Plus, the unfolding drama over the budget, the president's plan for a wall on the border with Mexico, and a looming shutdown gives us plenty of clues about what to expect in the era of divided government.
15/02/19·29m 49s

Even more democrats are diving into the 2020 pool

The three top Democrats in Virginia are facing scandals, and it's a story that just keeps getting worse. Campaigns reporter Zach Montellaro joins the Nerdcast to explain. Plus, We've got another two presidential announcements coming up this weekend. Elizabeth Warren will presumably announce that her exploratory committee has ended and she will officially become a presidential candidate, and Amy Klobuchar, the democratic senator from Minnesota will likely announce her run at an event scheduled in Minneapolis on Sunday. Campaigns reporter Elena Schneider and national political reporter Nolan McCaskill join the Nerdcast.
08/02/19·24m 4s

Will 2020 be the battle of the billionaires?

Trump might not be the only billionaire running for president in 2020. Looks like there’s two other ultra-rich contenders considering a campaign. Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks and Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York, have indicated interest in running. It begs the question: Has Donald Trump set the standard rather than the exception as a wealthy presidential candidate? Plus,
01/02/19·24m 18s

As the shutdown drags on it is 'unclear what will get us out of this'

The White House hasn't been able to strike a deal with Congress to end the shutdown. It may come down to Mitch McConnell getting involved.
25/01/19·28m 53s

Looks like the shutdown could stretch into February

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Trump should reschedule the speech if the government is still shut down come January 29. White House reporter Nancy Cook, congressional reporter Sarah Ferris and senior politics editor Charlie Mahtesian join to explain how the move might be less about security concerns and more of a sign of acrimony between president Trump and the democrats. Plus national political reporter Natasha Korecki, who spent some time following Elizabeth Warren around Iowa, joins the Nerdcast to explain what's going on the ground in Iowa and with democratic voters as the 2020 race gears up.
18/01/19·26m 9s

Three ways President Trump could get his wall

There's ways the president could get his wall without congressional approval. But it won't be pretty. POLITICO White House reporter Nancy Cook joins the podcast to give an update on what's happening in the White House during the shut down as federal employees miss their first paychecks. Last week she told us not much was going on, but this week everything has gone into hyper drive. Then POLITICO reporters Elena Schneider and David Siders join to talk about the democrats with big donation possibilities. Plus, editor Charlie Mahtesian talks about the importance of candidates having viral moments as they gear up for 2020.
11/01/19·29m 1s

Possibility of a shutdown deal is at a 'total impasse'

The president and democrats haven't been able to come to an agreement, and with the new congress sworn in it doesn't look like things are going to get any easier. White House reporter Nancy Cook joins the Nerdcast to discuss if there is an end in sight for the government shutdown. Plus, senior politics editor Charlie Mahtesian breaks down Warren's potential presidential run and politics reporter Alex Isenstadt explains what's going on with Mitt Romney, who, as you may remember, he went on a hike with before.
04/01/19·27m 59s

Unpacking the government shutdown

The government is shutdown…and everyone seems pretty mellow about it. Why aren’t more people freaking out? We’ll dive into what’s going on now that the new Congress is about to take over with POLITICO congress reporters Rachael Bade and Burgess Everett. Dan Diamond guest hosts.
28/12/18·17m 45s

Examining Trump's grip on GOP leaders

The president has been able to get once resistant GOP party leaders to fall in line — but how? Plus, how southern democrats manage to exist in a party moving further left with each passing day.
20/12/18·28m 14s

Republicans are in a shutdown pickle

Hope for avoiding shutdown is evaporating; it might be a long few weeks in Washington, with less than happy holidays approaching. We breakdown the republican mood with the shutdown deadline approaching. Then, hear from two White House reporters on the chief of staff search. Nobody wants the job that used to be one of the most sought after in Washington.
14/12/18·28m 30s

The invisible primary becomes visible

With Avenatti and Patrick taking a pass on running in 2020, the field is narrowing before the chaos of a long election season even begins. Hear how things that used to happen in private have taken on a new, very public forum. Then, a House race in North Carolina is still undecided, and could lead to a whole special election. Elena joins to explain what's going on in her home state. Plus, Charlie breaks down the last time something like this happened.
07/12/18·25m 31s

Connecting the dots of the Mueller investigation

This week, as Nancy Pelosi takes a big step toward reclaiming the gavel as Speaker of the House, how did she manage to turn back so many vocal critics in this round of the speakership fight? The Mueller investigation seems to be heating up. The president’s one-time lawyer was back in court, this time admitting he lied to Congress about Donald Trump’s business dealings in Russia.
30/11/18·26m 28s

How pardons hang over the Mueller investigation

Even though the Founding Fathers were anti-king, there was one king-ly power they really liked: the pardon. Thus the presidential pardon was born. Traditionally, presidents have waited patiently for their lame duck period to pardon controversial people. But president Trump isn't waiting. He's been pardoning the controversial from the beginning. In this episode of the Nerdcast, Scott is joined by presidential historian Jeffrey Engel and Politico senior reporter Darren Samuelsohn in an attempt to understand how the president's pardons hang over the Mueller investigation.
21/11/18·30m 16s

The precarious power of the progressive left

Everything seemed fine in the White House during midterms, but now there's the churn and burn. Big staff turnover is expected, and no one is sure who will make the cut. Plus, what's going on with the midterm election races that have yet to be called and how Sinema flipped a long-held Arizona senate seat blue.
16/11/18·24m 45s

Trump comes to grips with divided government

It’s time for a new episode of Nerdcast, POLITICO’s podcast on the White House and politics. Tune in each week to geek out with us as we dive deep into the political landscape and the latest numbers that matter.
09/11/18·24m 43s

How to make sense of the midterm results

POLITICO's senior politics editor, Charlie Mahtesian, and campaign reporters Elena Schneider and Steve Shepard explain how Democrats won so much in the House but lost so much in the Senate. Tune in each week to geek out with us as we dive deep into the political landscape and the latest numbers that matter.
07/11/18·20m 25s

What we're watching for on election night

'Twas the week before midterms and all through the House everyone was stirring and totally freaking out!! This is the week before midterms edition of the Nerdcast. Find out what's happening in congressional districts all across the country as things get down to the wire, who might come out in top in gubernatorial races and if the blue wave is really coming. Plus: Which candidate for U.S. Senate "exudes New Jersey."
02/11/18·29m 29s

We watched every campaign ad so you don't have to

POLITICO senior politics editor Charlie Mahtesian and White House reporters Nancy Cook and Chris Cadelago discuss President Donald Trump's phantom tax plan. Plus, POLITICO campaign reporter Zach Montellaro has been watching hundreds of political ads — and lived to tell the tale.
26/10/18·29m 31s

All election edition: Live at Politicon

It’s time for a new episode of Nerdcast, POLITICO’s podcast on the White House and politics. This week, we're live from POLITICON in Los Angeles. Tune in each week to geek out with us as we dive deep into the political landscape and the latest numbers that matter. Subscribe and rate the Nerdcast on Apple Podcasts.
21/10/18·36m 29s

Inside Donald Trump's safe space

This week is all about the money money money mooooney! First, POLITICO's Elena Schneider explains the bananas amount of money that Democratic candidates have raised compared to Republican incumbents. It's bonkers. Then, White House reporter Andrew Restuccia talks about Donald Trump, insult comic, who is living in a safe space of his own creation.
19/10/18·36m 44s

Whose Kavanaugh vote is going to hurt them the most?

This week on Nerdcast: The future of senators Murkowski and Collins after they cast controversial Kavanaugh votes, and a Race Ratings and midterm check-in.
12/10/18·34m 54s

The White House's nickname for President Trump

White House staffers have been using an.... interesting nickname for President Trump. Maybe a reference to his love for skyscrapers? Who can say? White House reporter Nancy Cook spills. Then reporter Rachael Bade shares some behind the scenes tape that shows the different sides of vulnerable House republicans. Who they are depends on who is listening.
05/10/18·28m 52s

What are the political consequences of Kavanaugh's testimony?

The partisan display at Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation hearing is likely to change the way future nominees are vetted -- and whether people are willing to submit themselves to such scrutiny. Plus, are the coming midterms just one big national election? We parse the map.
28/09/18·31m 50s

Behind the scenes as Kavanaugh's nomination hit the rocks

Brett Kavanaugh's hearing was on track.... then off..... then on.... and now maybe off track again? We break down what's happening between Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused him of sexual assault in the 80s. TLDR: It's a mess for everybody. Then, in our second segment we talk about the midterm races shaping up to be real nail biters. Will Texas go blue for Beto? Charlie's all "nah." Can Steve change his mind?
21/09/18·34m 49s

The politics of hurricanes explained

On this week’s Nerdcast, POLITICO’s podcast on the White House and politics: As Hurricane Florence arrives, Donald Trump can’t resist firing his feud with Puerto Rico back up over how the administration handled Hurricane Maria there last year. Plus, find out what people who want to run for president in 2020 learned from the primaries in 2018. Tune in each week to geek out with us as we dive deep into the political landscape and the latest numbers that matter.
14/09/18·34m 59s

Is the left building its own Tea Party or something else entirely?

The defeat of an incumbent congressman in Massachusetts and the contentious Supreme Court nomination hearings for Brett Kavanaugh show how Democrats seem to be after style as much as substance in 2018. Plus, a lodestar joke as we check on the mood at the White House after a roller coaster week.
07/09/18·32m 54s

Trump's pre-Magna Carta mindset

A primary Tuesday means a primary Friday on Nerdcast — a primary analysis, that is. We break down what happened in the last big multi-state primary before the midterms and talk about the White House, Trump's promises and what happens when he doesn't keep them and the exit of McGahn.
31/08/18·30m 51s

Inside Trump's split screen reality

A guilty verdict, a guilty plea, and an indictment. What a week in national politics. POLITICO reporting referenced in this segment:Inside the Trump bubble, 'Sympathy for the Devil' but no talk of Cohen By Lorraine WoellertTrump paints his own reality amid legal fallout By Andrew Restuccia and Nancy Cook ‘A new cherry put on top of the story of corruption’: Trump scandal fallout hangs over midterms By Natasha Korecki and James ArkinTrump’s new rallying cry: Mollie Tibbetts By Natasha KoreckiHunter indictment could jeopardize GOP seat By John Bresnahan and Rachael BadeFrom Fallujah to FBI investigation: The undoing of Duncan Hunter By Rachael Bade and John Bresnahan ‘People are afraid of retribution’: Hunter clan fights for survival By Rachael Bade
24/08/18·33m 52s

BONUS: Did a presidential pardon just become more likely?

President Trump loves a controversial pardon. Following his disgraced former campaign chairman Paul Manafort being found guilty, it's looking like we might be entering a fall filled with the will-he-or-won't-he energy of a president faced with the power to pardon and a loyal former campaign chair caught in a, shall we say, legal snafu. Plus, we talk about the implications of Michael Cohen's, uh, implication.
22/08/18·13m 34s

High primary turnout creates more centrist Dems

What do democratic voters want? A candidate that will win! How will they try to get it? By moving more to the center, probably! High voter turnout in the primaries among Democrats is showing that there is promise in backing centrist candidates at the top of the ballot. We break down what happened during the primaries on Tuesday night, and what we're expecting to see in the midterms and beyond. Plus: The heartland's version of Costco and just a lil bit of Omarosa to top it off.
17/08/18·27m 42s

Bernie-backed underdogs underperform

Primaries, nerds! *cue emoji clapping hands and confetti* We're in our happy place. First, we're talking campaigns, what Bernie Sanders might be getting at when he backs underdog candidates and what we can expect in the midterm elections. Then, we get into the scandal of the week: Rep. Chris Collins and alleged insider trading.
10/08/18·34m 29s

Trump gets into the midterms. Big league.

Ahhh Midterm season is (still) in the air. With president Trump back on the road, we've been hearing him drop some midterm hopefuls' names on the rally trail. When he's not dropping names out front, his 2020 re-election campaign is behind the scenes dropping dolla dolla bills, ya'll. We talk about who Trump wants to come out on top and what that's going to take. Then, we break down how ch-ch-changes to the electoral map will impact the outcome of 2020. PLUS: a mini-Mahtesian on mic!
03/08/18·32m 35s

The decrease in White House transparency continues

The White House has decreased press briefings and announced that they'll no longer be sharing summaries of Trump's call's with foreign heads of state. Plus, they pentagon is not talking to reporters, leaving them in the dark when it comes to military issues. We also talk about the trade war's impact on farmers and how the White House is handling it.
27/07/18·27m 51s

Trump's Russia comments: deeply damaging or just bizarre?

As Trump walks back his remarks on Russian meddling, the question of whether he's compromised by a foreign power moves from the fever swamps to the mainstream. Plus, POLITICO'S Rachael Bade says GOP women running for office are in a pickle.
20/07/18·34m 17s

The Trump Pence split-screen

While President Trump is ruffling feathers of world leaders in Europe, Mike Pence is on his own press tour a little closer to home: he's in the Midwest. We get into what he's doing there, and why his message sounds a little different from the president's.... or does it? Then, we talk about the Supreme Court some more. Three weeks in a row isn't too much, in our opinion, but it's a very narrow ruling.
13/07/18·34m 28s

How Supreme Court nominations are like political campaigns

Scott's on vacation, but we're not! Charles Mahtesian, Esq. sits in the host seat this week. Name a better time to go full Supreme Court..... we'll wait. We have two White House reporters bringing us up to speed on what Trump is thinking with his self-imposed announcement deadline rapidly approaching. Then, Josh Gerstein returns to tells us about the 38 cases the Supreme Court has agreed to hear next year.
06/07/18·29m 37s

Kennedy retirement reunites fractured Republicans

In a news week that seemed like it would never end, there were two big upsets for the Democrats: First, in New York's 14th congressional district, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated Joe Crowley, an incumbent no one expected to be defeated. Then, Justice Anthony Kennedy, considered a swing vote on the bench, announced that he would retire, opening up an opportunity for Trump and republicans to alter the Supreme Court as we know it.
29/06/18·35m 55s

The turmoil at the border is just beginning

This week we're talking about the border from two perspectives: The White House and the Hill. Then, we'll explain why democratic congresspeople and democratic candidates have been turning their backs on Nancy Pelosi, and why it seems like she might be okay with it.
22/06/18·34m 25s

For Republicans, Trump holds the cards

The primary outcomes have us wondering: What's the state of the GOP? Politico's Elena Schneider and Alex Isenstadt join us this week to fill us in on what's going on with the republicans. Then, Rachael Bade joins us from the Hill fresh from a presser with Paul Ryan to talk about DACA and immigration.
15/06/18·30m 14s

BONUS: Decoding Trump, Post Summit

While we were sleeping, President Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore. They signed a "very comprehensive document," but what was in it? And what does it all mean in the long run? Emily Stephenson hosts, joined by foreign affairs correspondent Halley Toosi and Michael Crowley, national security editor to break down what happened and what the future could hold.
12/06/18·10m 27s

A sigh of relief from Democrats

With a giant primary day in the rearview mirror, the Nerdcast team sizes up the race for the House this fall, and we explain what to expect from the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore. Plus: A heartfelt apology to our many listeners in South Dakota.
08/06/18·34m 40s

Super Tuesday: primary elections edition

Just when you thought primary election season couldn't get any better, we get 8 primaries on a single Tuesday! We're calling it a Super Tuesday. Hear about California's top-two primary system (it's wonky!) and then what the White House has up its sleeve for the 2018 Midterms.
01/06/18·34m 0s

Can Democrats win in the South, and Paul Ryan’s pickle

You already know what time it is: Primary discussion time! *Insert airhorn sound effect* Daniel Strauss and Steve Shepard are back to talk about the primaries that happened this week. Then, Paul Ryan is a lame duck, and he's gotten himself into a pickle. What happens when your own party doesn't wanna work with you? Rachael Bade breaks it down for us.
25/05/18·33m 41s

Inside Mueller’s team, and a look at the Dems

If you ain't talking primaries, we don't wanna talk (we'll call you back). Talking primaries again, we know you love it! Hear what democrats are facing, and how women are faring in primary elections this year. Then, get a look inside the Mueller investigation with POLITICO reporter Josh Gerstein.
18/05/18·31m 17s

Sizing up the primaries and unpacking two nuclear relationships

We talk about what unfolded in Tuesday night's primary elections, and then breakdown the next round of primaries we're gearing up for. Then, it's on to Iran and North Korea and all the ways they're intertwined — yet completely different. Plus, in a win for Charlie, he's asked to talk about his favorite place in the world: The Keystone State.
11/05/18·31m 51s

BONUS: The woman who connected Castro with the White House

History forgot Lisa Howard, but we still see the implications of her work today. The story of how one pioneering female journalist used grit, determination and some intimate diplomacy to establish a secret backchannel between the U.S. government and Fidel Castro, altering the course of the Cold War. Read the full Politico Magazine story at politico.com/magazine.
07/05/18·39m 4s

Nobody wants to be Trump's lawyer

President Trump's new lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, shared some revealing news about the president during an interview with Sean Hannity regarding the alleged arrangement his former lawyer made with the adult film star Stormy Daniels. Following suit, we reveal a secret about Charlie. We also break down the upcoming primary elections, including the four happening next Tuesday.
04/05/18·35m 47s

Dr. Ronny Jackson drops out, Missouri midterms heat up

It seems like we are destined to have at least one confirmation battle pending before the senate until the end of time. This week, we can thank Dr. Ronny Jackson, who has withdrawn his nomination to lead the VA. White House reporter Eliana Johnson breaks down all the drama surrounding his nomination. Then, reporter Daniel Strauss breaks down what is shaping up to be an interesting midterm election in Missouri.
27/04/18·30m 12s

Abe visits Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Nikki Haley and Election 2018

It's been a very foreign-policy focused week for the White House. We bring you a breakdown of the big events that made headlines. Then we’ll talk about how the diplomatic world and corporate America have adapted to the way the president changes his mind. Plus, Scott Bland's favorite topic: CAMPAIGNS! We talk about Sun City, Arizona, the next stop in a special-election-season that keeps on giving.
20/04/18·30m 37s

Nine months is a long time to be a lame duck

Paul Ryan announced that he'd be retiring after three years as Speaker of the House. Where does that leave republicans, and what about all that fundraising money Ryan rakes in? We get into both. Then, Nancy Cook catches us up on another whirlwind week at the White House. It was, in a word: bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
13/04/18·32m 48s

Scott Pruitt did 'the swampiest thing imaginable'

Scott Bland is back! This week, our host has returned, and somehow, no one left the White House. We're talking about the controversies surrounding EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, then shifting gears to take on the big economic stories from this week: Tariffs from China and why President Trump really doesn't like Amazon. Plus, in a tale of three Scotts, a Nerdcast mega-fan lends a hand.
06/04/18·31m 36s

Inside How Trump favored Texas over Puerto Rico

In this episode, going in-depth on a POLITICO investigation that found disparities in how the federal government handled the responses to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria. Plus, it was a quiet week at the White House (only one firing), so what else is going on? Stick around to the end for a special surprise to celebrate 100 episodes of the Nerdcast.
30/03/18·32m 50s

Democrats Unfriend Facebook

On the show this week, it's Facebook's future in Washington, a Senate race in West Virginia and questions asked by Politico readers. Plus, Charlie gets some "Deer Hunter" closure.
23/03/18·31m 4s