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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. 506 — Doug Jones

10/6/2022
While in law school, former Alabama Senator Doug Jones skipped class to watch the trial of Robert Chambliss, convicted in 1977 for his role in the deadly 1963 Birmingham church bombing, which killed four Black girls. Decades later, as a US attorney, Jones successfully prosecuted two others involved in the attack. Doug joined David to talk about the state of the Democratic Party and why Alabama voters have turned their backs on Democrats, why curriculum that teaches America’s flaws...

Ep. 505 — Beth Macy

9/29/2022
When journalist and author Beth Macy first pitched a book about the opioid crisis in 2014, her publisher and editor rejected the idea. But Beth kept following the story, publishing “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America” in 2018. The book has since been adapted into an Emmy Award-winning Hulu miniseries. Beth joined David to talk about her upbringing in Urbana, Ohio, how the loss of manufacturing jobs and opioid use intersect, the stigmatization of addiction,...

Duration:00:58:35

Ep. 504 — Chris Wallace

9/22/2022
Chris Wallace spent 18 years at the helm of Fox News Sunday, surprising viewers when he announced his resignation on-air in December 2021. Now at CNN with a new show streaming on HBO Max, Wallace has admitted that the lies about the 2020 election and anti-media rhetoric at Fox influenced his decision to leave. He joined David to talk about interviewing Vladimir Putin and the war in Ukraine, how the media shifted under Trump, the state of the news business, how raising his kids led him to...

Duration:01:05:23

Ep. 503 — Rep. Adam Kinzinger

9/15/2022
Rep. Adam Kinzinger was one of just 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump following the January 6 insurrection. After deciding to not seek reelection in 2022, Rep. Kinzinger has spent his last months in office as a member of the January 6 Committee, investigating the events of that day. He joined David to talk about his work on the Committee, tribalism in politics and its negative effect on leaders, why he thinks the Mar-a-Lago search could spell trouble for...

The Axe Files presents Offline with Jon Favreau

9/8/2022
This week we’re sharing a conversation between Jon Favreau, host of Offline, a podcast from Crooked Media, and Ev Williams, co-founder and former CEO of Twitter. The two discuss Twitter’s early years, including the design decisions behind some of the app’s most important features. They dive into the promise of Twitter and attempt to make sense of what’s changed. Ev also talks about Twitter’s newest board member and largest shareholder, Elon Musk, and if Donald Trump should be allowed back...

Duration:00:58:48

The Axe Files presents Hell & High Water with John Heilemann

9/1/2022
This week The Axe Files team is sharing an episode of Hell & High Water with John Heilemann. This episode features a conversation with David Axelrod and was recorded in New York City in December 2021. Together they took a look back at the year in politics, from the Biden administration’s successes and mishaps, Covid-19, the polarization and paralysis in Washington, and Donald Trump’s continued stranglehold on the Republican Party. Axelrod reminisces about his storied career as a political...

Duration:01:16:06

The Axe Files presents Morning Brew’s Imposters

8/25/2022
In 2020, Alexis Ohanian, Co-Founder of Reddit & Founder of Seven Seven Six, broke ties with the $10 billion-dollar company he helped to build as an act of protest during the Black Lives Matter movement. In doing so, he stepped away from the business he’d known for most of his career, and instead decided to found a different kind of VC firm. In this episode, Alexis tells Alex about the traumas he faced at the very start of his career, and how that has driven him towards the impact-focused...

Duration:00:45:32

Ep. 502 — Henry Kissinger

8/18/2022
As a young boy, former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger and his family escaped Nazi Germany; later, as a soldier with the US military, he helped liberate the Ahlem concentration camp, a searing, surreal moment for a Jewish immigrant. Both revered and controversial, Kissinger is best known as a towering foreign policy figure, guided by his belief in realpolitik. He joined David to talk about working with President Nixon, opening relations with China, the...

Duration:00:45:33

Ep. 501 — Jason Kander

8/11/2022
Ten years after serving in Afghanistan, Jason Kander was a rising star in the Democratic Party, testing the waters for a presidential run. In 2018, he shocked the political world when he ended his campaign for mayor of Kansas City to seek treatment for PTSD. He joined David to talk about falling in love with the Army, focusing on his career as a form of self-medication, trading presidential aspirations for personal healing, and his new book, “Invisible Storm: A Soldier’s Memoir of Politics...

Duration:01:03:11

Ep. 500 — John Legend

8/4/2022
At 15, musician John Legend wrote an essay proclaiming he would one day become a famous singer and use his platform to advance civil rights. His words ended up being particularly prescient; he has since spent his life pursuing dual paths of artistry and social justice. For the 500th episode of The Axe Files, John talks with David about his musical roots in the church, his consulting gig at Boston Consulting Group while waiting for his big break, his focus on fighting for criminal justice...

Best of The Axe Files: Sen. Bernie Sanders

7/28/2022
As we prepare for the 500th episode of The Axe Files, we take a look back at the show’s very first episode featuring Sen. Bernie Sanders. David spoke with Sen. Sanders in September 2015, just a few months after he announced his campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. In this episode, Sen. Sanders talks with David about his childhood in Brooklyn, his presidential campaign, and his stance on selfies. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

Duration:00:50:55

Ep. 499 — David Chalian

7/21/2022
When David Chalian was in first grade, he memorized the names of all the US presidents—in reverse chronological order. His interest in politics was second only to his love of theater. Chalian later found the intersection of his two passions as a journalist covering the larger-than-life characters and intricate storylines in politics. Now the political director at CNN, and host of the CNN Political Briefing podcast, Chalian joined David to talk about losing his father at a young age, how...

Duration:01:04:00

Ep. 498 — Gov. Jared Polis

7/14/2022
By the time Colorado Gov. Jared Polis was 16, he was already enrolled at Princeton University. At 23, he became a millionaire after selling the business he started in his college dorm, and at 25, he was elected to state-wide office in Colorado. As a Democratic politician with a libertarian streak, Gov. Polis spent 10 years in Congress before becoming governor. He joined David to talk about volunteering for campaigns before he was a teenager, the impact of the Supreme Court ruling legalizing...

Duration:00:59:51

Ep. 497 — Sen. Chris Murphy

7/7/2022
Sen. Chris Murphy caught the political bug early; he was first elected to the Connecticut state legislature at age 25 while still in law school. He eventually served three terms as a US Congressman before being elected to the US Senate in 2012. Shortly before his term began, he became an outspoken advocate for gun reform after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at his district’s Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Sen. Murphy joined David to talk about how Sandy Hook refocused his...

Duration:00:50:47

Ep. 496 — Kellyanne Conway

6/30/2022
Kellyanne Conway made history as the first woman to run a Republican campaign for president when she helped Donald Trump win in 2016—a far cry from her days packing blueberries at a farm in New Jersey. As many advisers fell in and out of Trump’s orbit during his presidency, Kellyanne remained a constant presence before leaving the White House in August 2020. She joined David to talk about being raised by four women in blue-collar New Jersey, her relationship with Trump, her disappointment...

Duration:00:59:01

Ep. 495 — Rep. Fred Upton

6/23/2022
After more than three decades representing his Michigan hometown in Congress, Rep. Fred Upton announced his retirement in a speech on the House floor in April 2022. He joined David to talk about his famous Michigan family, his focus on bipartisanship, why he supports gun safety legislation, voting to impeach Donald Trump following the January 6 attack on the Capitol, and his decision not to run for reelection in 2022. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit...

Duration:01:03:19

Ep. 494 — John Dean

6/16/2022
John Dean, former counsel to President Richard Nixon, was directly involved in covering up the Watergate break-in. But he has also been credited with taking down Nixon, thanks to his critical testimony before the Senate committee investigating the scandal. In recognition of Watergate’s 50th anniversary, John joined David to talk about his professional journey that landed him in the White House at just 31 years old, his involvement in Watergate, parallels between Nixon and Donald Trump, his...

Duration:01:01:56

Ep. 493 — Arne Duncan and Curtis Toler

6/9/2022
Former US Secretary of Education and CEO of Chicago Public Schools Arne Duncan now spends his days focused on stopping gun violence in his hometown of Chicago through his organization, Chicago CRED. Curtis Toler, the organization’s director of outreach, grew up surrounded by violence and was a gang leader before joining CRED, where he works to stop violence throughout the city and build relationships with at-risk young people. Arne and Curtis joined David to talk about the challenges facing...

Duration:01:05:01

Ep. 492 — Gov. Pete Ricketts

6/2/2022
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts tried to get out of applying to the University of Chicago, as his father wanted, by pretending to forget about the application. His ruse didn’t work, and he ended up attending the school and spending more than a decade in Chicago before making his way back to Omaha. Gov. Ricketts joined David to talk about what he learned from his father, what he believes makes the Second Amendment inalienable, his strongly held convictions on abortion and the death penalty,...

Duration:00:58:25

Ep. 491 — Chris Krebs

5/26/2022
Chris Krebs was a champion pole vaulter and spent time as a scuba instructor before getting into infrastructure risk management. He ended up as the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency at the Department of Homeland Security, a role that put him in former President Trump’s crosshairs as Chris sought to secure the 2020 election infrastructure. He was ultimately fired by the president. Chris joined David to talk about the ever-evolving nature of cybersecurity,...

Duration:01:06:23