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POLITICO's Off Message


POLITICO takes you behind the scenes with Washington's power players to uncover what's really driving politics and policy in the nation’s capital.


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POLITICO takes you behind the scenes with Washington's power players to uncover what's really driving politics and policy in the nation’s capital.






Bonus: 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. Subscribe to...


Sponsored Content: How Covid-19 accelerated the future of work

Presenting a sponsored episode of “Global Translations”: Over the past year, businesses, employees and families across the globe were forced to rethink what it means to “go to work.” Now, with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout underway, many corporate leaders are focused on ensuring the return to work is equitable for all employees.


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...


"I haven't been able to get this moment out of my head"

On a special episode of POLITICO's Nerdcast: "It became clear that Scott Pruitt had sought to purchase a used mattress from the Trump hotel. And I thought, 'This is not what I expected this job would look like.'" At the close of Donald Trump's presidency, POLITICO's reporters and editors share their strongest memories of the last four years. Shocking moments they witnessed, conversations they overheard and what will stay with them forever. Plus, new Playbook co-author Tara Palmeri talks to...


Cures for an Ailing Labor Market

"Off Message" presents Episode 9 of the new season of POLITICO's podcast "Global Translations": The pandemic sent shockwaves through a global labor market already upended by digitization and the green energy transition. It left tens of millions jobless and amplified skills gaps. Even as we spent trillions keeping the economy on life support, investment in the skills of the future has been scarce. So how do we get the right skills to the right people, to get the economy motoring again? Hosts...


Sponsored Content: Greening the Global Economy

"Off Message" presents Episode 8 of the new season of POLITICO's podcast "Global Translations": [Sponsored Content] As the world looks to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net zero by 2050, the financial sector is playing a critical role in facilitating this low-carbon transition through the deployment of innovative financing solutions and by rethinking how climate risk is analyzed and managed.


Digging for Solutions: Securing Minerals for Green Energy

"Off Message" 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"....


Why green energy means mining: the case of cobalt

"Off Message" 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...


Critical Minerals: The next dirty fight over clean energy

"Off Message" 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...


How can the US compete with China, Inc.?

"Off Message" presents Episode 3 of the new season of POLITICO's podcast "Global Translations": The pandemic and the rise of China are prompting Republicans and Democrats to turn to government power to grow industries important to America’s security and place in the world. “Industrial policy” is an idea long reviled among Washington policymakers. Hosts Luiza Savage and Ryan Heath talk to the people trying to make industrial policy cool again. Luiza Savage is the host of "Global...


Can we get enough vaccine?

"Off Message" presents the second episode of the new season of POLITICO's podcast "Global Translations": Once there is a working Covid vaccine, manufacturers across the globe will need to scale up production to produce billions of doses — meaning billions of pharmaceutical-grade glass vials, rubber stoppers, packaging and storage and refrigeration. In a special airing of POLITICO's Global Translations podcast, hosts Luiza Savage and Ryan Heath look at the challenges of making enough vaccines...


Introducing... Global Translations: The world's tug-of-war

"POLITICO's Off Message" brings you a special episode of POLITICO's new podcast series "Global Translations." From closed factories to closed borders, the Covid-19 pandemic exposed the fragility of our systems, creating a period of scarcity where demand skyrocketed — from freezers to PPE — and we couldn't supply items fast enough. In this episode of "Global Translations", POLITICO hosts Luiza Savage and Ryan Heath take a deep dive with experts into global supply chains and what "decoupling"...


Rahm Emanuel weighs in on 2020

Rahm Emanuel — former Chicago mayor and former chief of staff to President Barack Obama — talks to POLITICO founding editor John Harris about his new book, "The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running the World," his "toy phone" in Bill Clinton's White House and his thoughts on the 2020 field.


A new tone from some in GOP on climate change -- but mostly behind closed doors

We're bringing you an episode of POLITICO's Global Translations, a show about big global problems that will take a certain amount of creativity to solve. Driven by a public clamoring for action and pressure from corporate CEOs, lawmakers are noting an evolution in attitudes toward climate action among some of their Republican colleagues – a subtle but significant shift in tone that could pave the way for modest legislation this year. Guests include:Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)Rep. Francis...


Which 2020 Democrat should Donald Trump most be afraid of?

To get the inside view from the only people in the world who know what it’s like to run in a primary field so large -- and do so in the shadow of Donald Trump -- we invited the strategists for four of the top GOP primary campaigns of 2016 into a Washington cigar bar, a literal smoke-filled room, to talk shop. Which Democratic candidate has the most raw political talent? What weaknesses of Donald Trump's would they exploit in 2020? And why is everybody still so ticked off about the Virginia...


This is what Kirsten Gillibrand hates about running for president

Kirsten Gillibrand is a U.S. Senator with a soaring national profile, but her presidential campaign has yet to take flight. She’s even at risk of failing to have enough donors to make the debate stage under DNC rules, leading her to ask people for just a dollar, to boost her numbers. But that’s not what bothers her most about running for president.


Is John Hickenlooper too normal to be president?

In a crowded field of Democratic presidential contenders, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper makes an impression on voters as a genuine candidate, even if he's a bit quirky. He colors outside the lines of the political conventions -- a geologist by training, a brewer and restauranteur by profession, and a politician only later in life. In this episode, he talks about his temper as a child, his pragmatic approach to politics, and how he's managed to succeed in a people-driven business...


How it feels to win (and lose) a House majority

For our post-midterms edition of Off Message, we talked to Corry Bliss and Charlie Kelly, the two men who led the largest House campaign organizations in 2018. This election, Bliss led the Republican-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund, and Kelly led its Democratic counterpart, the House Majority PAC. They talk about what went on behind the scenes, their biggest regrets of 2018, and where things go from here.


David Axelrod: Voters don't want a ‘Democratic version of Trump’

The strategist behind Obama's presidential campaigns gives his midterms predictions, shares his lightning-round thoughts on 2020 candidates and tells Tim whether he thinks any politician can recapture the Obama magic. David Axelrod doesn’t like the path the country—or the Democratic Party—is on. The chief strategist who steered Barack Obama’s winning White House campaigns worries that President Trump has laid a trap—and that his party is walking right into it. “Escalation breeds escalation,”...


Meet the next Ted Cruz

When Chip Roy was a top staffer for Ted Cruz, he was an architect of the Texas senator’s strategy to shut down the government over Obamacare. Now, in all likelihood, he’s heading for Congress with a House seat of his own, and top Republicans worry he’s going to make Cruz look like a squishy moderate. Roy is ready to play hardball with GOP leaders in Congress. He has pledged to support House Freedom Caucus founding chairman Jim Jordan for speaker, and is expected to quickly establish himself...