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Can He Do That?

News & Politics Podcasts

“Can He Do That?” is The Washington Post’s politics podcast, exploring presidential power in the face of weakened institutions, a divided electorate and changing political norms. Led by host Allison Michaels, each episode asks a new question about this extraordinary moment in American history and answers with insight into how our government works, how to understand ongoing events, and the implications when so much about the current state of American life and the country’s politics is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

“Can He Do That?” is The Washington Post’s politics podcast, exploring presidential power in the face of weakened institutions, a divided electorate and changing political norms. Led by host Allison Michaels, each episode asks a new question about this extraordinary moment in American history and answers with insight into how our government works, how to understand ongoing events, and the implications when so much about the current state of American life and the country’s politics is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Location:

United States

Description:

“Can He Do That?” is The Washington Post’s politics podcast, exploring presidential power in the face of weakened institutions, a divided electorate and changing political norms. Led by host Allison Michaels, each episode asks a new question about this extraordinary moment in American history and answers with insight into how our government works, how to understand ongoing events, and the implications when so much about the current state of American life and the country’s politics is unlike anything we’ve seen before.

Language:

English


Episodes

Biden vs. the delta variant

7/22/2021
The delta variant raises new challenges for the Biden administration: Will they change their approach to masking? What steps can they take to combat vaccine disinformation and get more Americans vaccinated? And is the economy at risk of another meltdown? Vaccine hesitancy at home, desperation abroadThe mystery of the pandemic’s origins(and what it means for Biden)White House officials debate masking push as covid infections spike

Duration:00:30:55

Should the U.S. government still invest in space?

7/15/2021
How does NASA fit in when billionaires fly to space? What are Biden’s plans for the space agency and how much of Trump’s initiatives does he plan to continue? And, ultimately, why should the government still invest in space exploration at all? Related episodes and reading As China’s space ambitions grow, NASA tells Congress it needs more money to competeEverything you need to know about going to space

Duration:00:21:27

Inside the Trump White House during the pandemic response

7/8/2021
On this episode, Post Reports host Martine Powers talks to two Post reporters who reported on chaos in the early days of the pandemic including details about how sick President Trump was and his proposal to send infected Americans to Guantánamo. Inside the extraordinary effort to save Trump from covid-19Trump and science: An erosion of our institutions, in public and behind the scenesThe president’s desperate push to reopen America

Duration:00:24:16

What makes a president a good (or bad) leader?

7/1/2021
As Americans celebrates the country's founding, we examine the presidency. How is a president’s leadership measured over time, and how do cultural moments change our historical perception? We offer insight from C-SPAN's Presidential Historians Survey. 'The Framers would not recognize the modern presidency.’Promises made. Promises kept?C-SPAN’s Presidential Historians Survey 2021

Duration:00:19:36

Biden’s evolution on criminal justice

6/24/2021
The Biden administration is supporting a bill that would end the sentencing disparity in crack and powder cocaine offenses. But that disparity exists largely because of bills President Biden spearheaded in 80s and 90s. How much has Biden evolved? How an early Biden crime bill created the sentencing disparity for crack and cocaine traffickingBiden administration endorses bill to end disparity in drug sentencing between crack and powder cocaineMenthol cigarettes kill more Black Americans....

Duration:00:25:26

Washington’s revolving door hits Biden on the way in

6/17/2021
President Biden promised a government where“public servants serve all Americans, not themselves or narrow special interests.” But one set of brothers pose a challenge to Biden's efforts to return to transparency and accountability in government. Related reading and episodes Lobbyist brother of top Biden adviser poses challenge to president’s ethics promisesNot the'normal' Washington Biden promised

Duration:00:25:35

Biden says ‘America is back’ on the world stage. Is it?

6/10/2021
Can Biden rally the world’s democracies to meet today's challenges? And what might this trip reveal about the Biden foreign policy doctrine? On this episode, White House reporter Anne Gearan weighs in from Europe, as she travels with President Biden. Related reading and episodes Biden’s personal diplomacy to be tested on his first trip abroadOpinion: Joe Biden: My trip to Europe is about America rallying the world’s democraciesBiden, Boris Johnson release updated Atlantic Charter after...

Duration:00:23:18

The mystery of the pandemic’s origins (and what it means for Biden)

6/3/2021
What are the geopolitical implications of the intelligence community"redoubling its efforts" to identify the pandemic's origins? And what are the political challenges for President Biden in acknowledging a theory once touted by the Trump administration? Vaccine hesitancy at home, desperation abroadCoronavirus‘lab leak’ theory jumps from mocked to maybe as Biden orders intelligence reviewTimeline: How the Wuhan lab-leak theory suddenly became credible

Duration:00:28:02

Biden wants to end housing discrimination. Can he do that?

5/20/2021
Discrimination is built into the American housing crisis. We examine the limits of President Biden's power to fix it, in this second episode in our occasional series about the policy challenges that President Biden faces during his first year in office. Promises made. Promises kept?How Biden stimulus bill will target homelessnessMarcia Fudge confirmed as first Black woman to lead HUD in more than 40 years

Duration:00:23:18

Not the 'normal' Washington Biden promised

5/13/2021
Are the divisions within the Republican party causing real problems for Biden’s goals? And if he’s forced to move his agenda forward with only the help of his own party, how might Democratic factions and party discord make that more difficult? Related reading and episodes Promises made. Promises kept?As Biden faces a struggle to hold the Senate, Democrats’ divisions resurfaceThe fight over Liz Cheney and Donald Trump is just beginning

Duration:00:29:46

Vaccine hesitancy at home, desperation abroad

5/6/2021
As the president lays out a new vaccine strategy at home, how much can Biden also do to help curb the spread of coronavirus around the world? And what do the challenges with U.S. vaccine hesitancy mean for supply here -- and abroad? Related reading and episodes Biden commits to waiving vaccine patentsWhite House is split over how to vaccinate the worldWill Biden get you a vaccine?

Duration:00:23:45

Promises made. Promises kept?

4/29/2021
One hundred days into the Biden administration, how far has the president come on his campaign pledges? Biden promised a new way of governing, so has much changed? Reporter Matt Viser unpacks President Biden's progress and what's next on his agenda. Related reading and episodes Biden’s big bet on big governmentBiden signed a $1.9 trillion bill. How much relief will Americans feel?Biden urges expansion of government services, setting up struggle with GOP

Duration:00:22:18

Menthol cigarettes kill more Black Americans. Should Biden ban them?

4/22/2021
Will the Biden administration be able to strike a balance between politics and public health to regulate menthol cigarettes? And what are the implications if it does? We explain the pending decision and unravel the history of menthol marketing. Related reading and episodes Biden’s big bet on big government FDA weighs ban on menthol cigarettes

Duration:00:19:54

Will the president cancel student debt?

4/15/2021
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, an economist, and a student all weigh in on what to do — or not — about student debt, in this first episode in our occasional series about the policy challenges that President Biden might face during his first year in office. Related reading and episodes The faces of student debtBiden at odds with Democratic leaders over lawmakers’ call to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student debt

Duration:00:34:09

How a voting law ignited a culture war

4/8/2021
The political power of culture warsRepublicans ramp up attacks on corporations over Georgia voting law, threaten‘consequences’The Georgia voting law, explained

Duration:00:27:07

Biden’s big bet on big government

4/1/2021
How did Biden become a president with an ambitious agenda for major government expansion? Where will his proposals position him in history? And is he likely to accomplish much of what he’s put forth? The Post’s Dan Balz weighs in. Related reading and episodes Biden is betting on bigger government. The pandemic may be helping him.Biden signed a $1.9 trillion bill. How much relief will Americans feel?

Duration:00:21:11

Do presidents have the power to stop mass shootings?

3/25/2021
After tragedies in Colorado and Georgia, Biden has pledged to tighten gun laws. But the country has been here before, in the aftermath of mass shootings. Regardless of which party is in power, little reform has happened. Will this time be different? Related reading and episodes

Duration:00:21:50

The political power of culture wars

3/18/2021
We examine why transgender rights have risen to the forefront of our politics, and what the history of the modern Republican party reveals about how social issue battles work as a political tool, with reporter Samantha Schmidt and professor Brian Conley. Related reading and episodes A transgender girl struggles to find her voice as lawmakers attack her right to existTransgender rights emerge as a growing political flash pointThe Biden era begins

Duration:00:29:02

Biden signed a $1.9 trillion bill. How much relief will Americans feel?

3/11/2021
Will low income Americans feel their lives change in tangible ways? On the other hand, might a fast-growing economy cause big problems? Plus, how might Biden make sure Americans know the government is responsible for some of economic changes they see? Related reading and episodes How to fix our democracy? Start in Kindergarten.Will Biden get you a vaccine?Biden wants to sell the stimulus. The White House is still figuring out how.

Duration:00:28:02

How to fix our democracy? Start in Kindergarten.

3/4/2021
A new report draws a line from today’s civics crises to a long-standing failure to effectively teach American government and history in our public schools. On this episode, we explain what the potential outcomes for civic engagement. Related reading and episodes Biden’s shifting benchmarks for reopening schools Investment civics education proposed to address eroding trust in democracy The Biden era begins

Duration:00:21:22