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The Political Wire Podcast

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Engaging interviews and discussions of elections and the political issues of the day. Updated weekly.

Engaging interviews and discussions of elections and the political issues of the day. Updated weekly.
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Engaging interviews and discussions of elections and the political issues of the day. Updated weekly.




Jennifer Palmieri: Who Will Be the First Woman President?

Why is Hillary Clinton not the first woman President? Many people, political types, historians and sociologists will consider that question for many years to come. But besi [...]


Rick Hasen: How Antonin Scalia was the Donald Trump of the Supreme Court

Perhaps this is how the Framers wanted it, but has there ever been a time where more issues with the potential to more deeply divide us – has there ever been a time where more of them seemed so likely to head to the same place: The U.S. Supreme Court? I’m talking about the 2nd Amendment, and the inevitable gun rights issues surely to come out of the growing #enoughisenough movement. I’m talking about gerrymandering, the crazy geographical games that determine who sits in our state...


David Wasserman: The House Outlook for 2018

For the last several weeks, regular listeners will know that I’ve been pretty focused on the state of our democracy. We all need to pay attention. At the heart of democracy, of course, is elections… and so today we get to focus on the politics and pro [...]


Michael Isikoff and David Corn: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America

With the daily headlines on Russia – Nunes memos, Mueller indictments, Trump denials, continual cable TV panels – it’s easy to miss a powerful and – as it turns out, complicated – question: How did Russia happen? How did we get here? For many of [...]


Chris Whipple: How the Trump White House Is the Most Dysfunctional Ever

I’ve just got one thing to say: Thank goodness for John Kelly! I bet that’s not the one thing you expected me to say. But here’s why: With Kelly so much in the news – for the Rob Porter disaster, inexplicable non-existent security clearances, insult [...]


Steve Coll: Inside America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan

About 13 years ago, I climbed on the bandwagon and, like lots of other folks, read several books to better understand our history in Afghanistan and Iraq and with Al Quaeda — how we got into the mess and, maybe how we’d get out. You may recall – it w [...]


How Democracies Die

I might not have a more important political conversation this year than the one I just had with Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. You’ll be tempted to look at the title of their book How Democracies Die and – particularly if you sit on the left side of things – think that it’s purely about President Trump. It’s not. Yes, of course, it covers Trump. Specifically, by looking at authoritarians across continents and throughout history, the authors outline four key indicators of...


Peter Enns: Where Polls Live Forever

If you’ve ever wondered: Where do public polls go to die, today we bring you the answer: They don’t. They live on forever at the Roper Center. One of the things I love most about doing this podcast is the opportunity to talk with incredibly smart people in fields where, under normal circumstances, our paths might not cross. I just finished talking with one of them. Peter Enns is Executive Director of The Roper Center at Co [...]


McKay Coppins: What Is God’s Plan for Mike Pence?

McKay Coppins, Staff Writer at The Atlantic, joins Chris to discuss religion and politics, and his recent piece: “God’s Plan for Mike Pence.” If we want to understand just how divided the country is – and if we want to consider whether it will ever be repaired – we better dig deeper into the role of religion and politics. One question: How do evangelicals today reconcile the [...]


Chris Matthews: Looking at Today’s Politics Through the Perspective of RFK

First, where to begin? Roy Moore? Al Franken? Tax bill? Jerusalem? Government shutdown? Russia? The pace of politics is relentless – fatiguing, really – so you need someone of relentless energy to talk about politics with. And few have more relentless energy than Chris Matthews. But these times also call out for perspective and context. What in the world is going on? To many of us, it feels like there’s an all-out war – on decency, good behavior, justice – even democracy. What does...


Charlie Cook: Is There a Wave Coming In 2018?

It’s only a slight exaggeration that there is nothing in the political world that Charlie Cook can’t analyze, clarify or explain. Which is good news, because we had plenty to cover, starting with the Cook Political Report’s Midterm analysis. The report — Political Environment and Congressional Breakdown Charts – is available only to Charlie’s subscribers. But he went into the details with me. I also asked Charlie about a recent piece he wrote – one with a headline sure to excite...


Rep. Jim Jordan: “Just Ask Me”

So a couple of weeks ago, I saw Rep. Jim Jordan – Republican from Ohio’s 4th congressional district – say something on TV that I feel I see our politicians say all the time and I never believe: Call me. Rep. Jordan was reacting to something that [...]


Jason Altmire: A Former Congressman Explains Our Divided Country

So this is tough one. I just finished speaking with former Congressman Jason Altmire. He has written a new book that I really hope you read. It captures exactly what most of us hope for, but also seems like a ridiculous long shot at the moment: That somehow our divided country will come together around policy and politics. Congressman Altmire’s new book is “Dead Center: How Political Polarization Divided America, and What We Can Do About It.” Some background: From 2007-13, Altmire...


David Litt: My Hopey, Changey White House Years

David Litt is the author of “Thanks, Obama: My Hopey, Changey White House Years” Remember when presidents spoke in complete sentences instead of in unhinged tweets? Former Obama speechwriter David Litt does. In his comic, coming-of-age memoir, he takes us back to the Obama years – and charts a path forward in the age of Trump.


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