The Axe Files with David Axelrod

Follow The Axe Files with David Axelrod
Share on
Copy link to clipboard

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. This show is m…

The Institute of Politics & David Axelrod


    • Jan 26, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 1h AVG DURATION
    • 539 EPISODES


    Search for episodes from The Axe Files with David Axelrod with a specific topic:

    Latest episodes from The Axe Files with David Axelrod

    Ep. 519 — Sec. Antony Blinken

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 26, 2023 43:08


    Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a circuitous path to government, working in journalism, law, and the movies before landing a job in the Clinton administration. He still has varied interests; while he spends his days meeting with world leaders, guitar fans can also find him on Spotify. Secretary Blinken joined David before a live audience at the University of Chicago to talk about Russia's war on Ukraine, America's relationship with China, Afghanistan, the state of the world, and the power of public service.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 518 — Amanda Gorman

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 19, 2023 57:44


    When poet Amanda Gorman was 5 years old, she was already in the habit of waking up before dawn to write; her mother paid her a quarter each morning she stayed in bed past 6 a.m. Poetry became Amanda's outlet for exploring history and her own experiences. Her talents have taken her from serving as the first National Youth Poet Laureate to reciting her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” at President Joe Biden's inauguration. Amanda joined David to talk about her mother's influence, working through her childhood speech impediment, the importance of representation in poetry and literature, writing for the inauguration following the Jan. 6 attacks on the Capitol, poetry as the language of the people, and her presidential aspirations.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 517 — Gov. Chris Sununu

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 12, 2023 64:46


    Although New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu has said that he was a shy child, he has no problem with the spotlight now; there is widespread speculation that he will run for president in 2024. As a popular Republican governor in a purple state, some say Gov. Sununu has the right playbook for putting a Republican back in the White House, while his detractors say he doesn't stand a chance against former President Donald Trump's base. Sununu joined David to talk about the power of local government, where he believes President Joe Biden has failed, his thoughts on Trump and his 2024 chances, his stance on abortion, New Hampshire's place on the primary calendar, and when the public can expect a decision from him on a presidential run.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 516 — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 5, 2023 51:05


    In 2022, Democrats in Michigan made history when they took control of state government for the first time in 40 years. At the top of the ticket was Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who won reelection by nearly 11 percentage points. Governor Whitmer joined David to discuss the role reproductive rights played in her campaign, the dangers facing public servants today and the sacrifices her family has made, governing through the COVID-19 pandemic, and the priorities for her second term in office.   To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    The Axe Files presents The Assignment with Audie Cornish

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 22, 2022 34:58


    This week The Axe Files team is sharing an episode of CNN's The Assignment with Audie Cornish. Each week Audie pulls listeners out of their digital echo chambers to hear from the people who actually live the headlines. From the sex work economy to the battle over what's taught in classrooms, no topic is off the table. For this episode, Audie talks to two parent activists turned elected school board officials about what motivated them to run for office and the changes they hope to make while in power.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 515 — Dr. Anthony Fauci

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 15, 2022 54:33


    After 54 years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Anthony Fauci will step down from his role at the end of 2022. While he has worked on a spectrum of infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, he rose to national prominence recently for his work on the Covid-19 pandemic. Considered at times to be a hero to the left and a villain to the right, Dr. Fauci talked to David about his career at NIH, what he sees as social media's deleterious impact on science, fighting conspiracy theories, threats against his family, the discomfort of contradicting the president of the United States, and the state of Covid-19 today.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 514 — Wes Moore

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2022 57:58


    When Maryland Governor-elect Wes Moore was 3 years old, he watched his father collapse in front of him. Losing his father at a young age greatly impacted Moore's life. He acted out at school, was sent to a military academy by his mother, and later confronted what he called the inequitable policies influencing his life, including his father's inability to receive adequate medical care. Governor-elect Moore talked with David about his path to public service and gubernatorial victory, his time serving in Afghanistan and studying at Oxford, how leadership transformed his outlook on his capabilities and himself, his governing philosophy, and the future of Maryland.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 513 — Mike Pence

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2022 64:22


    Former Vice President Mike Pence has centered his career around his Christian faith and conservative beliefs. Most recently, he spent four years serving alongside former President Donald Trump, who has been criticized for his brash and confrontational demeanor. While the two have different political styles, Pence remained steadfastly loyal to Trump until January 6, 2021, when Pence refused to reject the results of the 2020 election. Pence spoke to David about the role of his faith in his political career, why election denial was not a winning strategy in the 2022 midterms, public safety and the Second Amendment, his role at the Capitol on January 6, and his views on 2024.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Best of The Axe Files: Anderson Cooper

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2022 61:37


    This Thanksgiving, we're revisiting a conversation with Anderson Cooper from October 2021. Anderson is now a well-known CNN anchor and host of the new podcast, All There Is with Anderson Cooper, but he got his start in journalism armed with just a camcorder and a fake press pass. Anderson is also part of the storied Vanderbilt family, which he wrote about in the book Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty. He joined David to talk about the corrosive power of money and how its effects can ripple through generations, his mother's life and her capacity for overcoming trauma, losing his father at 10 years old, and how he hopes his book teaches his children to feel connected to something beyond themselves.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 512 — Sen. Alex Padilla

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 55:00


    Just months after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in engineering, California Senator Alex Padilla was drawn to politics, outraged by a state ballot initiative regarding undocumented immigrants. He soon became the youngest Los Angeles City Council president and is now the first Latino senator from California. Sen. Padilla joined David to talk about the 2022 midterms, election deniers and voter suppression, policing and public safety, his relationship with California Governor Gavin Newsom, the diversity of the Latino community, and his dedication to immigration reform.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 511 — Speaker Rusty Bowers

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2022 47:07


    Rusty Bowers, Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, is a Mormon and conservative Republican. He is also a sculptor and painter with a love of the outdoors who likes to sketch satirical drawings of his fellow legislators. After years in the state legislature, Speaker Bowers rose to national prominence when, as he said, he chose his oath to the Constitution over pressure from Donald Trump and his allies to overturn Arizona's results in the 2020 presidential election. Speaker Bowers joined David to talk about his lifelong passion for art, how working with the Indigenous people of Mexico's Copper Canyon changed his life, election deniers and what happens if they win elected office, the current state of the Arizona GOP, and facing off against Trump.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 510 — Major Garrett

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2022 67:32


    Journalist Major Garrett caught the journalism bug early, chasing fire trucks down the street in search of a story as a kid. He has since spent his career as a Congressional and White House correspondent, most recently at CBS. Major joined David to talk about the upcoming midterm elections, what he believes is hurting Biden and Democratic candidates, the state of democracy, and his new book written with David Becker debunking the myth that the 2020 election was stolen, “The Big Truth: Upholding Democracy in the Age of the Big Lie.”To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    509 — Rep. Liz Cheney

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2022 54:58


    In the span of 15 months, Rep. Liz Cheney went from House GOP conference chair to losing her primary by more than 30 points. Her fall within the Republican Party began with her vote to impeach President Donald Trump after the January 6 attack on the Capitol and accelerated when she joined the House committee investigating the events of that day. Rep. Cheney joined David to talk about Trump and his supporters in Congress, her work on the Jan. 6 committee, how the threats to American democracy go beyond the ballot, and her hopes for the country's political future.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 508 — Maggie Haberman

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2022 56:07


    Journalist Maggie Haberman began covering Donald Trump as a reporter for the New York tabloids in the early 2000s. Now at The New York Times, Maggie rose to national prominence churning out scoops on the Trump White House. Maggie joined David to talk about her complex relationship with Trump, what she believes is Trump's legacy, what a second Trump administration would look like, and her new book, “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.”To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 507 — Cody Keenan

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2022 54:08


    In high school, Cody Keenan wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon. But a challenging college chemistry course led him to pursue a degree in political science instead. He got his start working in the mailroom for Sen. Ted Kennedy, eventually becoming chief speech writer for President Barack Obama. Cody joined David to talk about the challenges of speech writing, battling imposter syndrome, the joys and frustrations of working in politics, and a whirlwind 10 days chronicled in his new book, “Grace: President Obama and Ten Days in the Battle for America.”To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 506 — Doug Jones

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 6, 2022 59:32


    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 demonstrates progress rather than failure, his thoughts on Biden's political accomplishments and Trump's legal troubles, and serving as Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson's guide through her Senate confirmation.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 505 — Beth Macy

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 29, 2022 57:19


    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, Trump's appeal in former factory towns, her thoughts on the Sackler family of Purdue Pharma, and her new book, “Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of the Overdose Crisis.”To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 504 — Chris Wallace

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2022 61:53


    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 reflect on his own childhood, and his new show, Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 503 — Rep. Adam Kinzinger

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2022 58:43


    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 Trump, and his predictions for the midterms.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    The Axe Files presents Offline with Jon Favreau

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2022 57:18


    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 on. Please note this conversation was recorded prior to Musk's attempt to purchase Twitter.   For a closed-captioned version of this episode, click here. For a transcript of this episode, please email transcripts@crooked.com and include the name of the podcast.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    The Axe Files presents Hell & High Water with John Heilemann

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2022 75:09


    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 reporter, Democratic strategist, and architect of Barack Obama's rise to the White House. Looking ahead to 2022, Axelrod lays out what he sees as the greatest challenges ahead for Democrats — and American democracy.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    The Axe Files presents Morning Brew's Imposters

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 25, 2022 44:02


    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 mission he has today when it comes to 776, as well as how he approaches being as present as possible for both his family and his work.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 502 — Henry Kissinger

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2022 43:33


    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 current state of the US-China relationship, how to end Russia's war in Ukraine, and his new book, “Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy.” To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 501 — Jason Kander

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2022 61:51


    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 and PTSD.”To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 500 — John Legend

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2022 58:53


    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 reform, his disgust over the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and navigating the intersection of celebrity and political activism.To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Best of The Axe Files: Sen. Bernie Sanders

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2022 49:25


    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

    Ep. 499 — David Chalian

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2022 62:11


    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, Chalian joined David to talk about losing his father at a young age, how working for playwright and performer Anna Deavere Smith inspired his career in political journalism, the challenges of covering the 2016 Trump campaign and presidency, and the political climate today—and what it means for Biden, Trump, and the 2022 midterms. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 498 — Gov. Jared Polis

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 14, 2022 58:10


    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 same-sex marriage and his concerns about the current court, his focus on education and charter schools, how he responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the advice he would give President Biden. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 497 — Sen. Chris Murphy

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2022 49:17


    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 political career, the new gun safety legislation he helped usher through Congress, what he sees as the politicization of the Supreme Court, why he hopes voters begin paying attention to Senate procedure, and his belief that Sen. Mitch McConnell wants to be part of the paradigm shift on preventing gun violence. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 496 — Kellyanne Conway

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2022 57:54


    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 with the Trump 2020 campaign, the difficulties of being a working mother, her predictions for Trump's 2024 plans, and her memoir, “Here's the Deal.” To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 495 — Rep. Fred Upton

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2022 57:53


    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 cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 494 — John Dean

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2022 60:26


    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 concerns about the present day Republican Party, and his work on CNN's “Watergate: Blueprint for a Scandal.” To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 493 — Arne Duncan and Curtis Toler

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2022 62:29


    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 many young Chicagoans and the daily trauma they experience, the lack of Congressional action on gun safety, policing in Chicago, the impact of Covid-19 and George Floyd's murder in the communities they serve, and why Arne decided against running for mayor. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 492 — Gov. Pete Ricketts

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2022 54:24


    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, his views on the role of government, the benefits and challenges of working with Nebraska's unicameral legislature, and why he thinks that these are the good old days. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 491 — Chris Krebs

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2022 62:23


    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, working in the Trump administration, threats of Russian cyberattacks to the West and the war in Ukraine, and his concerns that false claims of election fraud are growing—and putting democracy at risk. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 490 — Rep. Jackie Speier

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2022 54:30


    Rep. Jackie Speier got her start in politics working for Rep. Leo Ryan, then a California state Assemblyman. But what started as a high school assignment ended on an airstrip in Guyana, where Rep. Ryan was killed, and Rep. Speier was shot five times ahead of the Jonestown Massacre. She has since dedicated her life to public service, making a mark when she became the first US Representative to speak about her own abortion on the House floor in 2011. Rep. Speier joined David to talk about her blue-collar upbringing, her experience in Jonestown and its lingering ramifications, abortion rights, gun violence, her concerns for the future of Congress—and what gives her hope. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 489 — Shaka Senghor

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2022 60:57


    Growing up, Shaka Senghor wanted to be a doctor. But at age 14, he ran away from his unstable home. By 19, he was in prison. While in prison, he began unravelling his past, seeking to understand how he went from a bright young boy to solitary confinement. Shaka joined David to talk about the overwhelming challenges facing young people in neighborhoods like the one he grew up in, the seduction of drug culture, the injustices of the criminal justice system, being a father, and his new book, “Letters to the Sons of Society.” To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 488 — Al Franken

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2022 57:09


    Al Franken has been in the public eye for decades, first as a comedian and then as a senator from Minnesota. Since he resigned from the Senate in 2018 amid sexual harassment allegations—that he has denied—he has mostly stayed out of the spotlight. He talks to David about his transition from comedy to politics, his departure from the Senate and his subsequent battle with depression, whether he might run for office again, and his touring comedy show, “The Only Former U.S. Senator Currently on Tour Tour.” To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 487 — Amb. Michael McFaul

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 28, 2022 60:27


    As a high school student in Montana, Ambassador Michael McFaul became interested in Russian affairs while working on a debate team assignment concerning trade sanctions on the Soviet Union. He first visited the Soviet Union in college and went on to serve as US Ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014. Ambassador McFaul joined David to talk about Russian President Vladimir Putin's paranoia over the expansion of democracy around the world, the rise of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, what he sees as potential outcomes for the war in Ukraine, and how Putin's attempts to tighten his grip on power may actually accelerate the unraveling of his leadership. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 486 — Sarah Longwell

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 21, 2022 60:54


    Inspired by the stacks of books in her parents' home, Republican strategist Sarah Longwell once thought she might become a poet. But at Kenyon College, she found herself more captivated by political science than writing. Sarah joined David to talk about coming out as gay in a very conservative professional environment, her work to keep Donald Trump from winning in 2020, the struggle to separate true conservatism from the current culture wars, why she believes Joe Biden shouldn't run for reelection, and what happens if Trump wins in 2024. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 485 — Maria Ressa

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 14, 2022 64:21


    Nobel Prize-winning journalist Maria Ressa faces 100 years in prison stemming from what she says are illegitimate charges, but that hasn't stopped her mission of exposing political malfeasance and lies in her home country of the Philippines. She joined David to talk about immigrating to the US as a child and later returning to the Philippines where she built a career, technology's corrosive impact on journalism and democracy, founding Rappler and finding herself a government target, and maintaining hope as she fights corruption and disinformation through her journalism. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 484 — Anne Applebaum

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 7, 2022 39:45


    This week's episode comes from a conversation at the Disinformation and the Erosion of Democracy Conference, co-hosted by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and The Atlantic. Journalist Anne Applebaum joined David on stage to talk about how globalization has turbocharged the spread of disinformation, how the Russian disinformation campaign in Ukraine failed, how we lost touch with the truth, and what happened when she found herself at the center of a disinformation campaign.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 483 — Tony Fabrizio

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 31, 2022 61:21


    Growing up, GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio spent time helping out at his grandfather's produce stand in Brooklyn, selling everything from watermelons to Christmas trees. While he was always interested in politics, fostered by an early fascination with Richard Nixon, the idea of politics as a career didn't take shape for Tony until he moved to Long Island at age 12. Tony joined David to talk about how he got his start in political polling, the story behind the infamous Willie Horton ad, working with Donald Trump on his presidential campaigns, Trump's 2024 prospects, and getting kicked out of the Young Republicans.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 482 — Amb. Marie Yovanovitch

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 24, 2022 67:02


    Growing up the child of Eastern European and German immigrants, former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch strived to fit in. Learning to navigate other cultures ultimately proved useful during her 33 years in the Foreign Service. In 2019, her diplomatic career ended after a months-long smear campaign led to her recall from Ukraine by then-President Trump. She joined David to talk about lessons learned from her parents, the on-going Russian invasion of Ukraine, her take on Putin's mindset, what it was like being attacked by a sitting president and her new book, “Lessons from the Edge.” To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 481 — Erin Burnett

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 17, 2022 62:14


    CNN anchor Erin Burnett grew up on a farm in a small town in eastern Maryland, but her career has taken her around the world, covering major events from the Arab Spring in Cairo to the Bataclan shooting in Paris. She talked with David about how a letter to a stranger helped her get her start in journalism, her relationship with former President Trump, joining CNN at an unpropitious time, and her recent reporting from Ukraine.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 480 — Frank Bruni

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 10, 2022 55:41


    One morning in 2017, journalist Frank Bruni woke up to altered vision— he had lost sight in his right eye during the night. As he grappled with this new reality, he began reevaluating his expectations, priorities, and outlook on life. He joined David to talk about how his lost eyesight taught him to approach others with empathy and savor meaningful moments, his thoughts on the politicization of Covid-19 and how President Biden is doing so far, and his new book, “The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found.” To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Best of The Axe Files: Justice Sonia Sotomayor

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 3, 2022 62:46


    With the recent nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson, who, if confirmed, would be the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court, we revisit a conversation with another history maker, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She joined David in November 2018 to discuss her remarkable personal journey from the Bronx to the highest court in the land, how her background as a prosecutor and district judge helped to inform her perspective, the shifting dynamics on the Supreme Court, and more. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 479 — Bianna Golodryga

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 24, 2022 65:45


    Growing up in Texas, Bianna Golodryga begged her immigrant parents to avoid speaking Russian in front of her friends for fear of not fitting in. She soon came to appreciate her background, becoming fluent in Russian and pursuing a degree in Russian/East European and Eurasian studies. Bianna, now a CNN senior global affairs analyst, joined David to discuss how watching CNBC with her father led to a career in journalism, the rapidly evolving Ukraine-Russia crisis, and how Russian President Vladimir Putin's views have changed in recent years. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 478 — Lotfullah Najafizada

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 17, 2022 60:36


    When he was 5 years old, Afghan journalist Lotfullah Najafizada watched as rockets landed in his front yard. He and his family moved around the country to escape conflict, but after the fall of the Taliban following 9/11, a new sense of calm—and a burgeoning media landscape—emerged. Lotfullah became the director of TOLOnews, the country's most-watched station. He joined David to talk about the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, engaging in peace talks with the Taliban, America's successes and failures in the country, and what he wants people to know about the colleagues he has lost to violence.  To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 477 — Sen. Jon Tester

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 10, 2022 62:06


    More than 100 years ago, Sen. Jon Tester's grandfather arrived in Montana, where he homesteaded a vast stretch of farmland. Sen. Tester still makes time to farm that land today, saying his tractor doesn't care if he's a US Senator. He joined David to talk about how farming helps him keep perspective when he's working in Washington, why addressing climate change is imperative to the agriculture industry, his thoughts on political polarization and the filibuster, and why Democrats are losing in rural America. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Ep. 476 — Ian Bremmer

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 3, 2022 56:19


    In 1998, Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer made a name for himself when he successfully predicted the collapse of the Russian ruble. Since then, Bremmer has turned offering his political science insights into a successful business, helping companies understand geopolitical risk as they shape their global strategies. Bremmer joined David to talk about his rise from Chelsea, Massachusetts to Wall Street, what he believes could happen with the Russia-Ukraine conflict, China, the risks of the US stepping back from global leadership, and why a looming Constitutional crisis is not enough to create real change in America. To learn more about how CNN protects listener privacy, visit cnn.com/privacy

    Claim The Axe Files with David Axelrod

    In order to claim this podcast we'll send an email to with a verification link. Simply click the link and you will be able to edit tags, request a refresh, and other features to take control of your podcast page!

    Claim Cancel