The Axe Files with David Axelrod-logo

The Axe Files with David Axelrod

CNN

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

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

Location:

United States

Description:

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

Language:

English


Episodes

Ep. 449 — Surgeon General Vivek Murthy

6/24/2021
Surgeon General Vivek Murthy was picking up his dry cleaning in Brooklyn when he got a call from the Obama administration asking if he was interested in the job. He wavered at first, but realized it was the perfect blend of his healthcare nonprofit, advocacy and medical practice experiences. He is now on his second stint as America’s top doctor under President Biden. Dr. Murthy joined David to talk about his family’s immigration story, Covid-19 and his concerns over variants and vaccination...

Duration:01:00:47

Ep. 448 — Cecile Richards

6/17/2021
Growing up was a political affair for activist Cecile Richards. She spent time stuffing envelopes at her family’s dining room table and got in trouble in high school for protesting the Vietnam War. Her activism later propelled her to the position of president of Planned Parenthood, which she led for more than a decade. She joined David to talk about the ongoing fight for abortion rights as some states move to restrict access, what Democrats miss in talking to rural voters, her work with...

Duration:00:58:44

Ep. 447 — Rep. Liz Cheney

6/7/2021
When Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney was a little girl, she and her sister would spend Saturday mornings watching cartoons in the West Wing while their father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, served as Chief of Staff to President Ford. Rep. Cheney ultimately became a politician herself, rising to House GOP conference chair. She was removed from her leadership position in May after denouncing former President Trump’s repeated claims that the 2020 election was stolen. She joined David to talk about...

Duration:00:50:10

Ep. 446 — Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

6/3/2021
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has already faced a series of unprecedented crises during her almost four year tenure in the nation’s highest office. The young, progressive Prime Minister has led her country through a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, and most recently the Covid-19 pandemic, successfully keeping case and death numbers low. From her rural and working-class childhood to her nation’s highest office, Prime Minister Ardern says her focus has always been on creating...

Duration:00:54:21

Ep. 445 — Heather McTeer Toney

5/27/2021
Growing up in the Mississippi Delta, much of Heather McTeer Toney’s life was tied to the environment, from food and agriculture to the levees holding back the Mississippi River. But it wasn’t until she was mayor of her hometown and working on a water issue that she realized the connection between climate and social justice. Heather is now senior adviser at Moms Clean Air Force, a group that works to protect children from air pollution and climate change, and climate justice liaison at the...

Duration:01:01:44

Ep. 444 — Justin Amash

5/20/2021
Growing up as the son of a Palestinian refugee and a Syrian immigrant, former Rep. Justin Amash developed an early appreciation for the opportunities and freedoms America offered. His views on what power the government should have in limiting those freedoms crystalized after a Google search led him to libertarian thinkers and texts. As a Republican member of Congress following those libertarian principles, Amash sometimes found himself at odds with party leadership and eventually with...

Duration:01:08:01

Ep. 443 — Sally Yates

5/13/2021
Sally Yates was born into a family of lawyers. She followed suit, entering private practice before becoming a federal prosecutor, which began a 27 year career at the Department of Justice. As Deputy Attorney General during the Obama administration and then as Acting Attorney General just after President Trump took office, she was involved in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Just ten days into her tenure as Acting Attorney General, Yates was fired by President...

Duration:00:59:18

Ep. 442 — Jen Psaki

5/6/2021
Press Secretary Jen Psaki didn’t envision herself returning to the White House after serving as Communications Director under President Obama, but when President Joe Biden asked her to join his team, she agreed. She now speaks on behalf of the Biden administration and holds near-daily press briefings, which she called just the tip of the iceberg of her responsibilities. Jen joined David to talk about how the constant flow of information shapes her communication strategy, what the job of...

Duration:01:01:47

Ep. 441 — Speaker John Boehner

4/29/2021
As the second oldest of 12 siblings growing up in a two-bedroom house, former Republican House Speaker John Boehner learned early on how to wrangle a large, chaotic group of people. After catching the political bug as a member of his neighborhood homeowner’s association, Speaker Boehner worked his way to the top of House leadership. He joined David to talk about his thoughts on earmarks, his respect for Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi, his horror over the events of January 6 and his new...

Duration:01:00:46

Ep. 440 — Amb. Linda Thomas-Greenfield

4/22/2021
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield grew up in the small, segregated Louisiana town of Baker. After watching a group of Peace Corps volunteers who showed up in Baker for training, Thomas-Greenfield decided to pursue a career in foreign affairs. Amb. Thomas-Greenfield joined David to talk about growing up in the segregated South, facing down death in Rwanda, the importance of the US engaging with both adversaries and allies, and her reaction to the jury finding former police...

Duration:00:49:09

Ep. 439 — Jamie Dimon

4/15/2021
Jamie Dimon assumed the roles of CEO and Chairman of JPMorgan Chase in 2005 and 2006 respectively, just before the onset of the Great Recession. He's been widely credited with steering the bank safely through the global financial crisis, making his one of the most sought-after voices in finance. Just days after releasing his annual letter to shareholders, Dimon joined David to talk about his outlook for a post-pandemic economy, America’s competitive edge over China, the responsibility of...

Duration:01:03:24

Ep. 438 — Sen. Tammy Duckworth

4/12/2021
When Senator Tammy Duckworth was shot down over Iraq while serving in the US Army, she did not notice at first that her legs were mostly gone, destroyed by the blast. After countless surgeries and hours of rehab, Sen. Duckworth eventually learned to walk on prosthetics. Her new memoir, Every Day Is a Gift, recounts her injury and recovery, as well as her childhood and rise to the US Senate. Sen. Duckworth talked with David about growing up in Southeast Asia and Hawaii and the financial...

Duration:00:47:49

Ep. 437 — Bud Selig

4/8/2021
Growing up, former Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig was enamored with baseball, thanks primarily to his mother’s love of the game. After a brief stint selling cars, he jumped into the MLB, working his way up to commissioner. Commissioner Selig joined David to discuss watching Jackie Robinson’s debut at Wrigley Field as a 13-year-old fan, always doing what he thought was best for the game as commissioner, dealing with the steroid scandal, and why he believes baseball is a social...

Duration:00:53:49

Ep. 436 — Rev. Dr. William Barber

4/1/2021
Growing up as the son of an ordained minister, Rev. Dr. William Barber didn’t want to be a preacher. But during his senior year of college he reconsidered, and after a long talk with his father, he preached his first sermon a few weeks later. Rev. Barber has since become a leading voice in the national fight for social justice. He joined David to talk about desegregating his school as a second grader, starting Moral Mondays to combat voter suppression, how he sees the fight for a $15 minimum...

Duration:01:06:17

Ep. 435 — Kara Swisher

3/25/2021
While using an early iteration of email in the 1990s, tech journalist Kara Swisher, host of the podcasts “Sway” and “Pivot,” had a feeling the internet was about to become a giant story. She jumped on it and became a preeminent source of tech news with distinct insight into Silicon Valley. She talks with David about the power that comes with speaking her mind and being bold, the moment she realized digitization was about to change the world, how she quickly pinpointed the privacy and...

Duration:01:12:06

Ep. 434 — Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

3/18/2021
For Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, the last year was full of unexpected challenges and opportunities. She has led her city through the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and when summer social justice protests in Atlanta turned violent, Bottoms gave an impromptu press conference imploring people to go home. Mayor Bottoms spoke to David the day after a string of shootings in the Atlanta area that left eight dead. The two talked about how her father’s time in prison shaped her and her family’s...

Duration:01:03:09

Ep. 433 — Tim Alberta

3/11/2021
Journalist Tim Alberta got his first taste of Washington, DC straight out of undergrad as an intern for The Wall Street Journal. Since then, he has become a plugged-in political reporter, with a particular focus on the Republican Party. He has watched and reported as American politics and priorities shifted—something he said most of the country has yet to fully grapple with. He joined David to discuss growing up the son of an evangelical pastor, covering the 2020 election from his home state...

Duration:01:10:58

Ep. 432 — Rep. Joe Neguse

3/4/2021
Rep. Joe Neguse first became interested in politics at a young age, inspired by his immigrant parents’ lesson to give back to the country that had welcomed them from Eritrea. He joined student government and got elected to the University of Colorado Board of Regents while still in law school. But the second-term congressman reached national prominence as an impeachment manager in the second impeachment trial of former President Trump, delivering deft and emotional arguments on behalf of...

Duration:00:59:09

Ep. 431 — Fareed Zakaria

2/25/2021
As the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the US and much of the country hunkered down under stay-at-home orders, journalist, author and CNN host Fareed Zakaria was already thinking about the future. He began considering the lessons the virus could teach us about our health, the economy and society moving forward. Fareed joined David to discuss what we’ve learned so far about combatting Covid-19, why today’s economy needs political intervention for a more equitable future, the faltering...

Duration:01:02:31

Ep. 430 — Heidi Heitkamp

2/18/2021
While former US Senator Heidi Heitkamp was growing up in Mantador, North Dakota, her family made up one tenth of the town’s population. She took the lessons she learned from her small-town upbringing to the Senate, where she served as a rare Democrat from a deep-red state willing to work across the aisle with then-President Donald Trump. Former Sen. Heitkamp joined David to talk about rural America’s emotional attachment to Trump, the energy industry and climate change, why she couldn’t vote...

Duration:01:08:59