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The Axe Files

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

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

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

Language:

English


Episodes

Ep. 286 - Mark Salter

11/15/2018
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Mark Salter is a longtime advisor and speechwriter to Senator John McCain. He joins David to talk about the early literary influences that shaped both his and his late boss’s political philosophies, the selection of Sarah Palin as McCain’s vice presidential pick and its broader political impact, the life and legacy of John McCain, and why Salter believes Trumpism will lead to the extinction of the Republican Party as we know it.

Duration:01:05:15

Ep. 285 - Gloria Borger

11/12/2018
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Gloria Borger is a political pundit, journalist, and columnist who currently commentates as a chief political analyst for CNN. She sits down with David the day after Tuesday’s midterm elections to share her take on the outcome and why she believes we are experiencing a realignment in American politics. The conversation also spans Borger’s foray into journalism and the formative experiences she’s faced throughout her life and career: from entering Colgate University as part of the first class...

Duration:00:59:06

Ep. 284 - Jen Psaki

11/8/2018
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Jen Psaki is the former White House Communications Director and White House Deputy Press Secretary under President Obama. She joins David after the midterms to discuss the implications of the results and their impact on the political landscape as well as Psaki’s personal political journey: from knocking on doors for Governor Vilsack in Iowa to helming the Obama communications shop in the White House.

Duration:00:59:15

Ep. 283 - Arnold Schwarzenegger

11/3/2018
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Bodybuilder, actor, and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger joins David for the Axe Files on CNN to talk about his rise from a humble Austrian village to an American cultural icon and his views on contemporary politics, the #MeToo movement, and more.

Duration:01:14:36

Ep. 282 - Steve Brill

11/1/2018
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Author and journalist Steve Brill joins David to talk about his new project NewsGuard, which uses journalism to fight fake news, as well as his long career in business and journalism.

Duration:01:03:26

Ep. 281 - Steve Schmidt

10/29/2018
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Steve Schmidt is former Republican campaign strategist, who notably ran the 2008 John McCain campaign for the presidency. Since the election of Donald Trump he has left the Republican Party to become independent and appears as a commentator on MSNBC. He joins David to discuss the fateful nomination of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate, the connection between her and Donald Trump, as well as his storied career in politics.

Duration:01:10:40

Ep. 280 - Jonah Goldberg

10/25/2018
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Jonah Goldberg is an author and columnist for the National Review. He joins David to discuss his roots in journalism, how a family tragedy shaped his view on the War on Drugs, and his criticisms of Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

Duration:01:04:32

Bonus Pod - Underdog: Beto vs. Cruz

10/24/2018
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The first episode of Underdog: Beto vs. Cruz. To hear future episodes from this podcast, find it in your podcast app and subscribe or visit apple.co/beto.

Duration:00:28:23

Ep. 279 - Jeff Weaver

10/22/2018
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Jeff Weaver was the campaign manager for Senator Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign. He joins the show to discuss Sanders' unique appeal to voters, what it was like to run against Hillary Clinton, the landscape of 2020, and more.

Duration:01:03:01

Ep. 278 - Mary Katharine Ham

10/18/2018
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Mary Katharine Ham is a journalist and conservative commentator on CNN. She joins David to discuss fake news, Nikki Haley, the cultural issues dividing the country, and the Republican Party's Faustian bargain with Donald Trump.

Duration:01:01:46

Ep. 277 - Khizr Khan

10/15/2018
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Khizr Khan is a Gold Star father best known for his iconic speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention honoring his late son, Humayan Khan, a U.S. Army captain killed in the Iraq War. He joins David to discuss what led him from poverty in Pakistan to the pursuit of law in the United States, the experiences that informed his belief in American exceptionalism, his son’s military service and the day he died, and the impact Donald Trump’s rhetoric towards Muslims and immigrants has both...

Duration:01:06:36

Ep. 276 - Ana Navarro

10/11/2018
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Ana Navarro, GOP strategist and political commentator for CNN, joins David to talk about how her Nicaraguan upbringing shapes her view of U.S. immigration policy, the impact of the evolving landscape of the Republican Party and what she dubs the “Trumpification” of the GOP, and how the increasingly tribal nature of our politics is shaping institutions from Congress to the courts.

Duration:00:58:21

Ep. 275 - Steven Pearlstein

10/8/2018
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Steven Pearlstein is a Pulitzer Prize-winning business and economics columnist for The Washington Post. He joins David to chat about his beginnings in business writing, how to interpret the country’s record levels of deficit and present state of the economy, and the potential impact Brett Kavanaugh will have on the Supreme Court. They also discuss Pearlstein’s new book – Can American Capitalism Survive? – which explores how American capitalism has lost its moral legitimacy.

Duration:01:03:42

Ep. 274 - Chuck Todd

10/4/2018
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Chuck Todd is a longtime political journalist and current host of NBC's Meet the Press. He joins David to talk about his father’s struggle with alcoholism and the impact of his premature death; the celebrification of politics and the 21st-century media strategy he thinks works; and what he believes to be both Donald Trump’s greatest strength and greatest weakness.

Duration:01:02:50

Ep. 273 - Gov. Steve Bullock

10/1/2018
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Montana Governor Steve Bullock joins the show to discuss the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, how Democrats can win back voters in rural states, his work on the opiod epidemic, money in politics, and more.

Duration:01:01:33

Ep. 272 - Roberta Jacobson

9/27/2018
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Roberta Jacobson is an American diplomat who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico until May of 2018. She joins David to discuss the diplomatic tension between the U.S. and Mexico, the Trump administration's relationship with the United Nations, her work normalizing relations with Cuba under the Obama administration, and more.

Duration:01:05:05

Ep. 271 - Peter Sagal

9/24/2018
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Peter Sagal is the author of The Incomplete Book of Running and host of NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me. He joins David to discuss a variety of topics including getting passed on by the Harvard Lampoon, appearing on Jeopardy as struggling writer in Los Angeles, his early work as a playwright, and crossing the finish line just minutes before the attack on the Boston Marathon.

Duration:01:00:00

Ep. 270 - Bob Shrum

9/20/2018
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Bob Shrum is a longtime Democratic campaign strategist and speechwriter. He joins David to discuss his new Institute for the Political Future, volunteering for Citizens for Kennedy as a college student, how to marry a candidate with a message, and much more.

Duration:01:04:00

Ep. 269 - Deval Patrick (TV)

9/15/2018
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Deval Patrick, former Governor of Massachusetts and civil rights lawyer, author, and businessman, sits down for a special televised edition of The Axe Files on CNN. He talks with David about his upbringing in the South Side of Chicago, the significance of the 2018 and 2020 elections, his take on the Trump administration, and whether or not he plans to run for president in 2020.

Duration:01:16:17

Ep. 268 - Susan Glasser

9/13/2018
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Susan Glasser is a preeminent political journalist with nearly three decades of reporting experience spanning foreign policy, domestic politics, and war correspondence. She joins David to talk about her experience as co-chief of the Washington Post’s Moscow bureau under the auspices of the early Putin regime; what she gleaned from conducting the first interview Vladimir Putin granted to American correspondents in 2001, and how authoritarian qualities endemic to Putin’s Russia undergird...

Duration:01:05:50