Chris Riback's Conversations

Chris Riback's Conversations

chrisriback.com
Engaging smart thinkers on issues of the day. Subscribe for newsletter & show notes at chrisriback.com (podcast formerly “Political Wire Conversations”)


Jonathan Karl: Front Row at the Trump Show (Live Event)
May 4 • 58 min
This is a special live Zoom edition of Chris Riback’s Conversations, the first in our new series of political book conversations sponsored by Cornell’s Institute of Politics & Global Affairs. What does it mean for democracy when the President attacks the…
Mayor Noam Bramson: From Patient Zero to New York as Epicenter
Mar 25 • 30 min
Chances are, you may not have heard of New Rochelle, NY before about a month ago. It’s New York’s 7th largest city, located just 30 minutes north of Manhattan. It was founded by refugee Huguenots – French Protestants – who were fleeing religious…
Rep. Steve Israel: Running for President in Time of Coronavirus
Mar 20 • 29 min
When I first scheduled an election analysis discussion with former U.S. Representative Steve Israel, it’s fair to say that my initial set of questions had nothing to do with how to run for President in a time of Coronavirus. That’s where this conversation…
Rick Hasen: Can America Run a Fair Election?
Feb 28 • 35 min
Today we continue with our check on the state of American democracy. We began with Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt to get an update on “How Democracies Die” and the question: How much more can our institutions take? Today we’ll look…
Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt: Revisiting “How Democracies Die”
Feb 17 • 37 min
It’s time for a democracy check. With the Trump Impeachment Trial over and the 2020 presidential primaries in full bloom, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I imagine many other people are wondering, too: How’s our democracy doing? Are America’s…
Philip Rucker & Carol Leonnig: A Very Stable Genius
Feb 7 • 30 min
The first time he said it – or rather tweeted it – was in January 2018. In describing his business, television, and political accomplishments, President Trump typed: “I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius… and a very stable genius at that!”…
Rick Wilson: Running Against the Devil
Jan 17 • 71 min
Rick Wilson – the sharp-witted, wise-cracking Republican political strategist, ad-maker, analyst, columnist, and crazy-good tweeter – joined me in Westchester County, NY for a live conversation about the 2020 election, impeachment, and his new book,…
Chief Justice John G. Roberts: 2019 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary
Jan 11 • 14 min
(Note: This is a DocuPod – audio reads of important public documents. No conversation; no interview. Just the document itself.) You may have noticed: Especially with the impeachment, there’s been a lot of news, coverage and discussion – tweets, speeches,…
Matt Stoller: The American Battle Between Monopoly and Democracy
Jan 2 • 40 min
As our 2020 Presidential campaign becomes more intense and pointed, it’s clear there is a battle going on for, among other things, America’s economic soul. Politically, the debate has exploded a revival of -isms… Populism, authoritarianism, socialism. But…
Peter Bergen: Trump and His Generals
Dec 20, 2019 • 37 min
It started with the generals. Mattis. Kelley. McMaster. Along with Rex Tillerson, they were part of the “Axis of Adults,” the ones, as the story of this presidency has been told, who stood between President Trump and chaos – between President Trump and…
Fintan O’Toole: Think It’s Crazy Here? Time to Look at Brexit
Nov 12, 2019 • 39 min
If you’re feeling lousy about the state of politics in America, now might be the time to surround yourself with some Brits. As they surely must ask about us: What in the world is going on over there? The UK is now more than three years into Brexit, the…
LTC Alexander S. Vindman: Opening Statement to US House Impeachment Investigators
Oct 31, 2019 • 13 min
This is a special episode of Chris Riback’s Conversations. For this podcast, I read the opening statement of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander S. Vindman to the US House Impeachment Investigators on October 29. As you surely know, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman is…
Amb. William B. Taylor: Opening Statement to US House Impeachment Investigators
Oct 29, 2019 • 37 min
This is a special episode of Chris Riback’s Conversations. For this podcast, I read the opening statement of Amb. William B. Taylor, the senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, who testified behind closed doors before the U.S. House Impeachment Investigators on…
Julie Hirschfeld Davis & Michael D. Shear: Inside Trump’s Assault on Immigration
Oct 18, 2019 • 45 min
Between the alligator moat revelation and horrendous, inhumane taking of children from their parents, when considering Donald Trump’s immigration policy, it can be hard to get past the headlines. But it turns out, the immigration story serves as an…
Andrew McAfee: Why Capitalism & Technology Will Save the Planet
Oct 11, 2019 • 34 min
If one question has driven mankind’s quest for innovation, it very well might be this: How can we get more from less? For most of our time on this planet, the answer was simple: We couldn’t. As my guest Andrew McAfee points out, for just about all of…
Isaac Stone Fish: Why China is America’s Biggest Threat
Oct 4, 2019 • 30 min
October 1st marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China – the name given by Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong in 1949. To understate the reality, a lot has happened in China over the last 70 years. The fact is,…
James Poniewozik: How the Trump Show Happened
Sep 27, 2019 • 34 min
As regular listeners of this podcast know, I read a lot of books. Most of them, frankly, are excellent – smart people making thoughtful arguments in engaging ways. Every once in a while, though, I read one that’s not just excellent, but delivers something…
Philip Mudd: Trump & the Attack on U.S. Intelligence
Aug 2, 2019 • 41 min
It was a perfect week to have Philip Mudd, CNN counterterrorism analyst, on the podcast. Phil spent some 25 years at the highest levels of the CIA – reaching Deputy Director of the National Counterterrorism Center – and FBI, where he was hired to be its…
Tim Alberta: How Trump Filled the GOP Leadership Vacuum
Jul 26, 2019 • 43 min
What happened to the Republican Party? You’ve heard of it: One of the two major political collectives in America… the one that counts Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan among its heroes? The modern GOP branded itself on ideals of fiscal responsibility,…
Robert Tsai: Is Justice Possible? Your Supreme Court Questions Answered
Jul 19, 2019 • 56 min
You may have heard last week’s conversation on the Supreme Court. Well, there’s something about the Supreme Court that gets listeners’ attention. I received a lot of follow-up questions – so many, that I wished I had immediate access to another…
Adam Liptak: How Far Did Trump Tip the Supreme Court Balance?
Jul 12, 2019 • 31 min
It was the Supreme Court session Democrats feared and Republicans had waited a generation for – a solidly conservative 5-4 majority. It took the Merrick Garland block and Brett Kavanaugh hearings to get here, and now that first session is complete. So…
Angela Stent: Explaining Putin’s World
Jul 5, 2019 • 32 min
Here’s a parlor game: Outside of President Trump, who’s the most curious figure on the world stage today? China’s Xi? North Korea’s Kim? MBS of Saudi Arabia?As Trump’s interactions with global leaders raise never-ending questions, few are as perplexing –…
Jared Cohen: Accidental Presidents
Jun 28, 2019 • 32 min
With 20 candidates and 2 Democratic debates spread over 48 hours this week, the 2020 Presidential campaign season is officially underway. We know the process: For the next 16 months, candidates will debate, boast, fundraise, debate, and fundraise some…
Joseph Stiglitz: Saving Capitalism From Itself
Jun 21, 2019 • 31 min
It’s already one of the major issues of the 2020 presidential campaign: Does American capitalism still work? In the face of ever widening income disparity – not just exponential upward movement at the top, but also, at best, stagnation near the bottom —…
We’re Back: New Season, New Name
Jun 19, 2019 • 3 min
A few updates: First, we’re back. I’ve been doing a lot of prep for this new podcast season. I think you’re going to like it. Second – and maybe this should be first – you may have noticed the name change from Political Wire Conversations to Chris…
Sen. Maggie Hassan: ‘No More Medical Surprises’
Dec 6, 2018 • 18 min
So you’re in a restaurant. Great meal. The bill comes, and it’s got a surprise – an unexpected $10 charge because, well it turns out your entrée required a special ingredient the server forgot to mention. Would you pay it? Would you expect to have to pay…
Live from Harvard’s Kennedy School
Oct 29, 2018 • 77 min
This is a special live edition of Political Wire Conversations. On Friday, I hosted an outstanding live event and discussion at Harvard’s Kennedy School: Midterm Elections Preview: Blue Wave or Red Save? I was joined onstage by an All Star cast of…
Richard Clarke: Democracy Is On the Ballot
Oct 19, 2018 • 30 min
The countdown to Midterms is on. With less than three weeks to go, many questions remain and the stakes couldn’t be higher. How high? According to my guest today, “the nature of our democracy is on the ballot.” I’m not sure I disagree.You may remember…
Michael Lewis: Who’s Actually Running Our Government?
Oct 12, 2018 • 30 min
How do you make the most arcane, overlooked, eyes-glaze-over – and most critical – aspect of the U.S. government – interesting? How do you help folks understand that the so-called deep state – the parts of the bureaucracy that some people ignore and…
Rebecca Traister: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger
Oct 2, 2018 • 34 min
One thing is sure about the extraordinary, once-in-a-generation Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing last week: There was a lot of anger in the room.Judge Brett Kavanaugh: Angry. Senator Lindsay Graham: Angry.But it might have been the anger outside the…
Major Garrett: What’s It Like to Cover the Trump White House
Sep 25, 2018 • 32 min
Think your life is crazy? How’d you like to be a White House correspondent with Donald Trump in the Oval Office?After all, if your daily schedule doesn’t get turned around multiple times, you always could get cursed or threatened at a campaign rally. In…
Doris Kearns Goodwin: Trolling Trump on Leadership
Sep 18, 2018 • 29 min
Doris Kearns Goodwin. Do I need to say more?Seven books; multiple New York Times’ best sellers; Pulitzer Prize. She is simply one of our nation’s great presidential historians.And Doris has spent much of her career studying four of the best – Lincoln,…
David Kaplan: The Most Dangerous Branch of Government
Sep 7, 2018 • 36 min
How important has the Supreme Court become in American life? From gun rights to personal relationships, from money in politics to healthcare, whether it’s access to abortion, the voting booth or even our borders, the Supreme Court increasingly dominates…
Michael D’Antonio and Peter Eisner: Who Is Mike Pence?
Aug 30, 2018 • 34 min
Who is Mike Pence? It seems strange, but more than two years after he entered our national stage, how much do you feel you know about the Vice President? He’s a man of faith – we know that… but what exactly does it mean? He has acted as something of an…
Jason Kander: Lessons In Everyday Courage
Aug 20, 2018 • 29 min
Jason Kander has a lot going on.To begin, he’s running for mayor of Kansas City. For most of us, that would be a full-time job. But as you’ll hear, Jason Kander is most definitely not the rest of us. It’s not just that he can rebuild a combat weapon while…
Rick Wilson: A GOP Strategist on the ‘Worst President Ever’
Aug 10, 2018 • 21 min
Rick Wilson doesn’t expect you to like him.For the last 30 years, Rick has been part of the underbelly of American politics: A self-described “Republican political strategist and infamous negative ad-maker.”And he’s done it for Republicans at all levels –…
Catherine Rampell: What, Exactly, is Trumponomics?
Jul 28, 2018 • 32 min
The latest economic numbers are out, and by the time you hear this podcast, Donald Trump surely will have told us all why they are great, why tariffs work, and why this economy is the best ever.But you know better. Or at least Washington Post opinion…
Nicholas Burns: ‘I Don’t Think He’s Fit for Office’
Jul 20, 2018 • 25 min
Well, that was quite a week. And no doubt, in the few hours between my recording this intro and when the podcast drops, another extraordinary week will have passed.How to make sense of it? To fashionably employ the double negative – it’s so good to see…
Brian Abrams: Understanding Obama
Jul 13, 2018 • 33 min
It feels like a lifetime ago, I know. But so much of what’s happening today – the divides, anger, insults, policy realities – have emerged as a reaction to the Obama years. To understand today, it helps to understand what came before.Brian Abrams makes an…
Dan Pfeiffer: What Comes Next for Democrats
Jun 29, 2018 • 31 min
So here’s the timeline: Two days ago, I spoke with Dan Pfeiffer. As you surely know, he’s President Obama’s former communications director and senior advisor and co-host of a podcast you might have heard of: Pod Save America. Then yesterday, Dan’s new…
Steven Brill: The Fifty-Year Fall of America
Jun 22, 2018 • 26 min
In the face of jailing immigrant children, questions about capitalism amid tariffs and possible trade wars, and concerns about democracy as we reject western allies and warmly welcome authoritarians and dictators, a lot of us are wondering not just who…
Scott Jennings: What’s Happening to the Republican Party?
Jun 15, 2018 • 34 min
For many on the right and left, the question has been “what’s happening to the GOP?” Free Trade? Gone. Budget deficits? No problem Free movement of labor? Not so much. Military war exercises? Who needs’em? Russia as outlaw state? How about Russia in the…
Harry Litman: Does President Trump Think He’s a King?
Jun 12, 2018 • 34 min
Does President Trump think he’s a king?That was the provocative headline to a recent piece by Harry Litman, a former U.S. Attorney and Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General. Litman made his argument after reviewing the legal arguments made in that…
Bill Browder: Vladimir Putin’s Public Enemy No. 1
Jun 1, 2018 • 36 min
If you know Bill Browder’s story already, you surely won’t mind hearing it again. It’s extraordinary. If you haven’t heard it before, get ready. Bill Browder very well may be Vladimir Putin’s public enemy No. 1. Why? Remember that “Hillary dirt” Russia…
Gen. Michael Hayden: Trump’s Assault on Intelligence
May 24, 2018 • 33 min
Of the many institutions that Donald Trump has attacked – Courts, Congress, media, political parties, diplomats, former Presidents – perhaps the most surprising and unnerving has been the relentless attacks on our intelligence community. Even before that…
Amy Walter: Six Months Until Midterms… What Do We Know?
May 20, 2018 • 37 min
Can we talk politics?In the last weeks on this podcast, we’ve talked about racism, our shrinking diplomacy, the Mueller investigation, how democracies die, and more.But we ought not forget: it’s the political elections that deliver the policies that…
Mitch Landrieu: A White Southerner Confronts History
May 7, 2018 • 22 min
Usually we drop these conversations on Friday mornings – you know, something to look forward to since the workweek excitement is about to end.But we’re posting this on Monday, May 7 because of my guest: It’s his last day as Mayor of New Orleans.Did you…
Ronan Farrow: Inside the War on Peace
May 3, 2018 • 31 min
Iran, North Korea, Syria, Brexit, Paris Agreement, China. Prime Minister Abe, Macron, Merkel, Xi, a fellow named Putin. At a time when U.S. foreign policy – when diplomacy itself – requires as much clarity and coordination and skill as it has in decades,…
Stuart Eizenstat: Taking Another Look at the Carter Years
Apr 26, 2018 • 39 min
Forget everything you think you know about President Jimmy Carter and get ready to ask yourself: Was he an ineffective, overwhelmed outsider who oversaw four of the worst years in our history… or, as my guest today argues, was Carter’s presidency one of…
Asha Rangappa: How Will the Mueller Investigation End?
Apr 12, 2018 • 32 min
How will it end?For any of us following the Mueller investigation — hanging on the latest leaks around the mood inside the White House and who might get fired or not fired – the wonder of what’s next is relentless. The possibilities seem endless.That’s…
Jennifer Palmieri: Who Will Be the First Woman President?
Apr 9, 2018 • 38 min
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 besides Hillary Clinton herself, the people who surely must think about it most are the…
Rick Hasen: How Antonin Scalia was the Donald Trump of the Supreme Court
Mar 30, 2018 • 35 min
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…
David Wasserman: The House Outlook for 2018
Mar 23, 2018 • 25 min
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…
Michael Isikoff and David Corn: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America
Mar 15, 2018 • 28 min
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 us, the…
Chris Whipple: How the Trump White House Is the Most Dysfunctional Ever
Mar 8, 2018 • 37 min
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, insulting the…
Steve Coll: Inside America’s Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Feb 20, 2018 • 31 min
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 was a…
How Democracies Die
Feb 9, 2018 • 38 min
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…
Peter Enns: Where Polls Live Forever
Jan 31, 2018 • 42 min
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…
David Cay Johnston: Political Termites
Jan 23, 2018 • 40 min
Investigative Reporter David Cay Johnston documents President Trump’s first year in office and explains why “It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America.”
McKay Coppins: What Is God’s Plan for Mike Pence?
Dec 18, 2017 • 25 min
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…
Chris Matthews: Looking at Today’s Politics Through the Perspective of RFK
Dec 8, 2017 • 39 min
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…
Charlie Cook: Is There a Democratic Wave Coming In 2018?
Nov 22, 2017 • 44 min
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 —…
Preet Bharara: How to Flip a Witness
Nov 13, 2017 • 28 min
I just finished talking with former U.S. Attorney and current podcast/analysis/and media star Preet Bharara. He claims to be a rookie at this whole media thing, but if you’ve listened to his top rated podcast “Stay Tuned with Preet,” you know that’s what…
Rep. Jim Jordan: “Just Ask Me”
Oct 4, 2017 • 20 min
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 had been…
Jason Altmire: A Former Congressman Explains Our Divided Country
Oct 3, 2017 • 41 min
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…
David Litt: My Hopey, Changey White House Years
Sep 20, 2017 • 29 min
It turns out the key to a great conversation: Book a comedy-writing presidential speechwriter as your guest. That’s what we have for you today. David Litt worked in the Barack Obama White House as Special Assistant to the President and senior presidential…
Joshua Green: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency
Jul 22, 2017 • 25 min
If you’re going to read one book on politics this summer vacation, the word is out: Devil’s Bargain – Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency is the one. The book is by Josh Green, Senior National Correspondent for Bloomberg…
Graham Allison: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?
Jul 21, 2017 • 33 min
That’s the provocative, timely, and somewhat scary question posed by one of America’s great authorities on international affairs: Harvard’s Graham Allison. Allison looks at the rising tensions between the two global competitors through a 2500-year lens in…
Al Franken: “I freed up the funny”
Jun 8, 2017 • 34 min
So where do you start a conversation with U.S. Senator Al Franken? There’s so much to discuss. Russia investigations? President Trump? Congressional Hearings? Health Care? Which is why we started with the obvious: The Grateful Dead. He’s a big fan. But…
Sidney Blumenthal: ‘Wrestling with His Angel’
May 19, 2017 • 33 min
I just finished talking with Sidney Blumenthal, and I know, depending on which cable network you prefer, he’s someone you already likely either love or hate. But I’m telling you, regardless of where you fall, you’re really going to like this conversation.…
Tom Walker (a.k.a. Jonathan Pie): Political satire in the Trump era
Apr 11, 2017 • 48 min
Today Tom Walker is going to set you straight on politics, liberalism, free speech, and more. Who’s Tom Walker? You might know him better as Jonathan Pie, the liberal British “newscaster” – and that’s in quotes – who keeps getting surreptitiously filmed…
Garry Kasparov: Why Trump Will Lose Playing Putin’s Dangerous Game
Mar 3, 2017 • 42 min
What went on – and is going on – with Russia and the U.S., or more specifically, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump? DNC hacking; the President’s continually positive characterizations of Putin; former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn; new…
Norm Eisen: Is Donald Trump Above the Law?
Jan 18, 2017 • 34 min
It feels like every day we reach a new point of “well, this has never happened before” in American politics. And I’m not just talking about the Tweets. Ok, the tweets are something. Incredible, really. We can and will have a conversation on when to ignore…
Celinda Lake: It Was Still the Economy, Stupid
Dec 24, 2016 • 31 min
The Electoral College has voted. The next cabinet is essentially filled. And with the holiday season here, and our focus is turning to the little things like peace on earth and good will towards men. And yet, even with the time passing, even with the new…
Neil Newhouse: The ‘Nose-Holder’ Election
Nov 4, 2016 • 38 min
We’re down to the numbers game, folks. Don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll still have the name calling, threats, promises, rallies, commercials and more – I didn’t say the campaign is over – but all focus now turns to a single number: 270. What’s the best path…
David Wasserman: Can Democrats Put More House Seats In Play?
Oct 25, 2016 • 25 min
It’s so hard to talk politics and not have the whole conversation be about Donald Trump. And with all of the coverage – even ours – seemingly centered on the Presidential race, it might be hard to remember that there’s another branch of government where…
What’s Going On with the Republican Party?
Oct 16, 2016 • 37 min
I wanted to step away from the daily politics today and take a bit of a longer view, because maybe you’re wondering the same thing I am: What’s going on with the Republican Party? Everywhere you turn there’s another layer of erosion, whether from…
Dan Drezner: Foreign Policy for Campaigns is Like an Unexploded Landmine
Sep 28, 2016 • 37 min
I just finished talking with Dan Drezner, Professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Stay with me now… because Drezner is most definitely not your parents’ poli sci professor. For one, you’ve got…
Jim Messina: “It Was Always Going to be Close”
Sep 24, 2016 • 32 min
So I just finished talking with Jim Messina, Barack Obama’s winning 2012 campaign manager. Boy this guy knows politics. He knows the numbers. He knows the states. He knows the strategies. He knows the personalities. And he offers this great mix of numbers…
Maureen Dowd: “This is Pure Madness”
Sep 16, 2016 • 27 min
So if this campaign is part psychological drama, part comical farce – a matchup of personalities that would be case studies 1 and 1a for any Psych 101 class… is there anyone better to talk to than Maureen Dowd? Of course there isn’t. Which is why I was…
Robert Costa: Reporting on a ‘Wild and Weird’ Election
Sep 8, 2016 • 35 min
So I just finished talking with Robert Costa, the Washington Post National Political Reporter and political analyst for NBC and MSNBC. The call was perfectly timed, as just this morning, a bunch of publications – including the Washington Post and Bob…
Stuart Stevens: A Neutron Bomb Has Gone Off in the Republican Party
Aug 26, 2016 • 53 min
Where does Stuart Stevens find the time? He is a founding partner of Strategic Partners & Media, the political consulting firm. He’s a Daily Beast contributor. He was the lead political strategist for the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney.…
Jim Lehrer: There’s Never Been One Like This
Aug 3, 2016
Jim Lehrer, the Dean of debate moderators, as Bernie Shaw once called him, joins us on Political Wire Conversations. Moderator of 12 U.S. Presidential debates. He’s also a current member of the Board of Directors for the Commission on Presidential…
Taegan Goddard: Is This Clinton’s Election to Lose?
Jul 13, 2016 • 30 min
The 2016 presidential campaign is shaping up as Hillary Clinton’s race to lose — unless everything we know about politics is wrong. Clinton is leading Donald Trump in the national polls and most state polls as well. Nearly every forecast at this point…
John Dickerson: Have We Really Never Seen a Presidential Election Like This One?
Jul 8, 2016 • 44 min
We’re in the middle of a political campaign that everyone says is unprecedented. There’s never been a candidate like Donald Trump. There’s never been a candidate like Hillary Clinton. There’s never been a campaign like this one. Never more negative. Never…
Van Jones: When the Temperature Gets Too Hot
Jun 2, 2016 • 40 min
So as you know, because you can hardly turn on the television without seeing him, Van Jones is a political commentator on CNN. But as you’ll hear, he’s got so much else going on. He is President of Dream Corps and Rebuild the Dream, and you’ll hear about…
Josh King: An Advance Man’s Look at the 2016 Campaign
May 11, 2016 • 37 min
Chris Riback talks to Josh King about his new book, An Advance Man’s Guide to White House Stagecraft, Campaign Spectacle, and Political Suicide, and the 2016 presidential campaign. King, a veteran of Bill Clinton’s White House, leads readers through an…
Charlie Cook: This Has Been the Wildest Year
Apr 21, 2016 • 29 min
If you really want to know how good the Cook Political Report is, you’ll want to listen up – because we’ve got the real thing! Charlie Cook is Editor and Publisher of the eponymous Cook Political Report. He is also a National Journal columnist, and it’s…
Taegan Goddard: The Outcomes Look Bleak for Republicans
Apr 12, 2016 • 32 min
The candidates may be riding the subway in New York. Perhaps they’re thinking about Pennsylvania – Even California. But all political eyes are on Cleveland. While polls show Donald Trump crushing in the Big Apple, Ted Cruz was the Big Cheese in Wisconsin.…
Rick Shenkman: What Your Brain Really Thinks About Donald Trump
Apr 1, 2016
Many of us look at this extraordinary, ridiculous, seemingly-unprecedented political season and wonder: How is this possible? The anger perhaps we understand. The feeling that the system is so corrupted that the only effective approach will be to kick…
Mark Blumenthal: What Do Americans Really Think About Politics?
Mar 19, 2016 • 34 min
Chris Riback speaks with pollster Mark Blumenthal on what we know about the 2016 presidential election. For answers to a Presidential campaign that few predicted and fewer, perhaps, pretend to understand, we often turn to the dark science of polling.…
Taegan Goddard: The Party No Longer Decides
Mar 16, 2016
Chris Riback and Taegan Goddard discuss the how Donald Trump’s campaign not only broke the Republican party but broke political science. What in the world is going on? We are well into a primary season with results few of us expected, headed straight to a…
Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore
Nov 22, 2014 • 23 min
With the elections finally behind us, our focus turns the hard work of governing – and the big question of what, if anything, will get done?With Republicans controlling Congress and a lame duck Democrat who’s surely thinking about his legacy in the White…
David King, Harvard Kennedy School
Nov 1, 2014 • 26 min
Midterms 2014 are just around the corner, and for Repubicans it seems the voting can’t come soon enough. State by state, poll by poll, the GOP appears to pick up steam by the day. They can taste Senate control.Are the appearances true? Might there even be…
Larry Sabato, Center for Politics at the University of Virginia
Oct 23, 2014 • 24 min
It’s almost time – Election Day 2014, Midterm style is less than two weeks away. We can see the finish line from here – unless, that is, the finish line gets moved.With Republicans seeming more and more likely to take Senate control, could this election…
Charlie Cook, The Cook Political Report
Oct 16, 2014 • 26 min
We’re proud to have as our guest today – our sponsor, Charlie Cook, Editor and Publisher of the Cook Political Report and Columnist for the National Journal.Few follow the ins and outs of political campaigns more closely than Cook and his team of…
Stan Greenberg, Democratic pollster
Oct 9, 2014 • 27 min
With less than a month to go, the question that’s been at the center of the midterm elections continues to be the big unknown: Who will take control of the Senate.We know that stats: 36 races are on the ballots; to takeover control, Republicans need a net…
Jules Witcover, author of “The American Vice Presidency: From Irrelevance to Power”
Oct 3, 2014
Is there any office in American politics with simultaneously more and less power than the Vice Presidency?Indeed, there may be no phrase in American politics that carries more unspoken meanings than “A heartbeat away.” It’s been used to create fear and…
Sam Wang, Founder of Princeton Election Consortium
Sep 24, 2014 • 31 min
It remains impossible to talk about the 2014 Midterms without turning immediately to the big question – the only question –which party will take Senate Control? And who are we to fight that power?So while we wait 6 weeks for actual results, we turn…
Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight
Sep 17, 2014 • 25 min
As we make our way towards the first Tuesday in November, a highly-watched, always-debated component of American politics is ready to take it’s place center stage: Statistical models.These models, which connect and weight a range of ever-changing data,…
Chuck McCutcheon and David Mark, authors of “Dog Whistles, Walk-Backs and Washington Handshakes”
Sep 10, 2014 • 24 min
Every topic has its own slang, it’s own lingua franca. From football’s NFL stadiums to academia’s ivory towers to California’s beaches, every niche these days maintains a coded language of its own.To really understand these niches – to be clear on what’s…
John Avlon, Editor in Chief of The Daily Beast, author of “Wingnuts”
Sep 5, 2014 • 23 min
Finally, summer is over! The relaxation, beach vacations and barbecues are finally behind us and in this post-Labor Day glow, Americans can focus on our prime national sport – the one with the late hits, flagrant fouls and crazy fanatics.Of course, I mean…
John Dean, author of The Nixon Defense
Jul 28, 2014 • 24 min
In little more than a week, we’ll mark 40 years since one of the darkest days in American politics, government and culture – 40 years since President Richard Nixon resigned our nation’s highest office.Much has been written and reviewed about Watergate. So…
Alex Lundry
Jul 22, 2014 • 30 min
It’s time to review what may become the most important words in the 2014 Midterm and 2016 Presidential campaigns. These words are not immigration or gun control or employment. They’re neither liberal or conservative The most important words just may be…
Noam Bramson, Mayor of New Rochelle
Jul 17, 2014 • 26 min
Is political courage dead? The question gets asked a lot these days, most recently around President Obama and the immigration-border control disaster. Joe Klein of Time wrote what many of us feel: “True political courage is near extinct.” He continued:…
Willy Jay on the Supreme Court term
Jul 3, 2014 • 27 min
It’s an annual summer event, as much a part of our American culture as a Fourth of July barbeque – often with its own set of fireworks: Another Supreme Court term ended. It’s time to make sense of the policies and the politics.Important and intriguing…
Carroll Doherty, Pew Research Center
Jun 27, 2014 • 30 min
It’s no shock, of course, that we live in polarized times. Even with no empirical evidence, everything seems to feel more ideological and divided than it has in many of our lifetimes. So is that true? And if so, is there a way out?Well, we now have a…
David Wasserman, Cook Political Report
Jun 25, 2014 • 28 min
For anyone who thought Midterms 2014 was only about the Senate and which party will take control, we recently got our wakeup call. Congress has another chamber, as well.You may have heard: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary race to a…
Doug Schoen, Democratic pollster
Jun 20, 2014 • 16 min
Today’s issue, who’s running harder against President Obama – Republicans or Democrats? The question is only partly exaggerated. From criticism on “who lost Iraq” to the handling of the Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl prisoner exchange to even the environment.…
Philip Howard, author of “The Rule of Nobody”
Jun 19, 2014 • 30 min
For anyone who looks at our government today and says, “Everything seems great to me. No room for improvement here,” well, today’s conversation is not for you.Now that that person has stopped listening, here’s what the rest of America can learn from…
Ken Vogel, author of Big Money
Jun 13, 2014 • 36 min
At first glance, today’s conversation might seem as surprising as dog bites man: Money has taken over our political process. I know – not a shocker. But what if I told you that, quite possibly, our next President will be chosen by 5 or 6 of the richest…
Joe Lockhart, former White House Press Secretary
Jun 8, 2014 • 27 min
The White House recently announced a change at the top. Not the very top, of course, but as head of the Press Office. Jay Carney is stepping down; Josh Earnest is stepping up.The White House Press Secretary is, quite often, America’s face to the world.…
Nate Cohn, The Upshot/New York Times
Jun 5, 2014 • 36 min
Forget the Koch Brothers or Super PACs or even President. The most-watched player in the 2014 Midterms just might be a computer program called LEO.LEO is the always-on, data-crunching, poll-adjusting Senate forecasting model used by the New York Times.…
Mike McCurry, former White House press secretary
Jun 3, 2014 • 34 min
Throughout American history, the balance of faith and politics has helped define who we are. And that definition hasn’t always been totally clear.Examples of extreme positives and negatives have dominated our headlines – from the clergy’s role in driving…
Michael D. Shear, White House Correspondent at the New York Times
May 29, 2014 • 32 min
You think it’s hard to manage your life? Your schedule runs at the mercy of your boss or your clients or spouse or kids… Well, I’m pretty confident your life is smooth sailing compared to today’s guest.Michael D. Shear is White House Correspondent at the…
Jonathan Alter, executive producer of Alpha House
May 29, 2014 • 34 min
It’s no secret that trust in government and politicians continues to chill. From a recent Harvard poll of Millennials to earlier surveys of older voters, the question for Midterms 2014 may not be whom do we trust, but do we trust at all?But as our trust…
Jon Ralston, Ralston Reports
May 23, 2014 • 30 min
As the battle for US Senate control continues to dominate Midterms 2014, perhaps the most influential and controversial senator in the process is not even running.It’s hardly an exaggeration that Majority Leader Harry Reid is the key Senate player in the…
John Della Volpe, Harvard Institute of Politics
May 21, 2014 • 30 min
With key Senate battles in multiple states, and both parties looking to build 2016 momentum, for Midterms this year, the old line is true: Every vote will count.So here’s some bad news for candidates who might be depending on young voters for victory:…
Susan Demas, Inside Michigan Politics
May 17, 2014 • 28 min
It’s been more than a year since Michigan’s six-term U.S. Senator Carl Levin announced he was calling it quits. Like other Democrats, Levin made his decision early – giving his party the chance to choose its best candidate and build a big lead.While they…
Wayne Slater, Dallas Morning News
May 13, 2014 • 42 min
As we continue our state by state deep dives, whaddya say we mess with Texas?In a place known for big personalities – big everything, really – this year is no exception.Of course, this year the eyes of Texas – and eyes in many other parts of the country –…
Kay Henderson, Radio Iowa
May 9, 2014 • 31 min
If there’s one state where politics never turns off, it’s Iowa. And while preparations for the next Iowa Caucus seem to start the day the current Caucus ends, there is, perhaps, a more interesting new development on the Iowa horizon – for the first time…
Adam Smith, Tampa Bay Times
May 6, 2014 • 26 min
As we continue our deep dives into Midterm 2014 key states, we visit a place where the focus is not on the Senate, but on the Governor’s mansion. It’s also been at the center of every Presidential race since 2000, and 2016 is no different. In fact, the…
Elizabeth Wilner, Kantar Media Ad Intelligence
May 2, 2014 • 25 min
There are two sporting events where the advertisements are watched as closely as the game itself – and we’re not talking today about the Super Bowl.We’re talking politics, and if you think it’s too early in the Midterm 2014 season to pay attention to the…
John Maginnis, LAPolitics.com
Apr 29, 2014 • 23 min
On our next stop of deep dives into key states for Midterm 2014 – Louisiana. To put it mildly, there’s always something colorful going on there.At the moment, highlights include a kissing Congressman stepping down, a former imprisoned Governor stepping…
Geoff Garin, Democratic pollster at Hart Research
Apr 25, 2014 • 33 min
Geoff Garin has served as one of the most prominent Democratic pollsters of our generation. As President of Hart Research Associates, Garin has led research for nearly every leading policy, health care, education group in the world, including the United…