POLITICO Playbook Daily Briefing-logo

POLITICO Playbook Daily Briefing


POLITICO Playbook's must-listen briefing on what's driving the day in Washington.


United States




POLITICO Playbook's must-listen briefing on what's driving the day in Washington.



Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

July 19, 2024: And that's a wrap on the RNC

On Thursday night, Donald Trump gave the longest televised acceptance speech ever, and while the crowd was initially locked in, it later grew restless. The news elephant in the room for many reporters was actually President Biden, as speculation continues to increase about when — and if — he steps down from the ticket. Playbook co-authors Ryan Lizza, Eugene Daniels, and Rachael Bade share their takes after the speech, what they're hearing about Biden from sources, and try to go find steak.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

July 18, 2024: J.D. Vance pitches himself to America

J.D. Vance officially accepted his party’s nomination for vice president Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention. To unpack how Vance's speech played in the room — and the split screen as speculation around Biden grew Wednesday — Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza is joined by Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels and national political correspondent Adam Wren.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

July 17, 2024: One-on-one with Sen. Ted Cruz at the RNC

Day two of the 2024 Republican National Convention was informally about the runners-up. Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis were two of the notable speakers. Each pledged their full support for the Trump/Vance ticket, urging even those who don't see eye-to-eye with the former president on every single issue to follow suit. But is the message of unity merely a facade? Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza and Politics Bureau Chief Jonathan Martin caught up with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-T.X.), the 2016 runner-up, to ask just that, and more.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

July 16, 2024: Live from Milwaukee, it's the RNC

Roughly halfway through the first day of the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump announced that had chosen J.D. Vance, a junior senator from Ohio, as his running mate. But of course although the announcement was one of the biggest and arguably most important moments of the election cycle, it was overshadowed by the biggest elephant in the room: Trump's attempted assassination over the weekend. The former president isn't scheduled to speak until Thursday, but his appearance Monday—with a large bandage on his ear—was unquestionably the highlight of the day. Olivia Beavers sat down with Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza in Milwaukee last night to unpack that and the rest of the highlights from the day.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

July 15, 2024: Welcome to RNC day one

The Republican National Convention begins today, with former President Donald Trump expected to address attendees on Thursday. But all expectations of what that moment would hold were shattered when a 20-year-old gunman opened fire on Trump at a rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday. National politics correspondent Meridith McGraw joins Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels from Milwaukee to talk about how the extraordinary incident will effect the convention.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

July 12, 2024: Biden’s presser leaves Dems in purgatory

It was almost certainly the most important press conference of President Joe Biden’s long career. And now that it’s done … well, things seem even more unclear than they were before. Democrats now find themselves in a sort of purgatory while their ultimate fate remains undetermined. Was it enough to silence the naysayers? Probably not. But it also wasn’t bad enough to swell their ranks, either. Where do things head from here? White House reporter Myah Ward — who was in the room during Biden’s presser — talks it through with Playbook co-author Rachael Bade.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

July 11, 2024: Biden's pressure-cooker presser

What’s driving the day today is what’s been driving the day: Joe Biden’s health and whether he’s going to stay in the race. Recently, the Biden campaign has begun calling delegates, in what politics bureau chief and senior political columnist Jonathan Martin calls an unprecedented sign of the times. He talks about it with Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

July 10, 2024: The public/private split screen of Hill Dems

A Tuesday meeting with Hill Democrats left many who initially expressed concerns after the debate two weeks ago reluctantly falling in line with Biden or saying nothing at all. Though the dam appears to be holding behind the president for now, will it stay strong? What will happen if Biden stumbles again before the Democratic National Convention next month? Congressional reporter Nicholas Wu joins Playbook co-author Rachael Bade to break it all down.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

July 9, 2024: NATO is Biden’s next big agility test

Over the next few days, the spotlight on Joe Biden will only sharpen as the president attends this year’s NATO summit in Washington. His first big test will be a major address today commemorating the 75th anniversary of the organization. Whether a strong performance there — and at a Thursday news conference — can calm the nerves of Democrats still shaken by a shoddy debate performance is another thing entirely. White House correspondent Adam Cancryn joins Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels to walk through what's happening with the Democratic debate over calling for Biden to step aside. Plus, what we’re watching out of Biden’s ultra secure meeting with House Democrats this morning, and all the rest of the news you need to know today.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

July 8, 2024: Biden's support on the Hill begins to crumble

Congress returns today after time off for the Fourth of July, but it is the forthcoming presidential election that is the only thing anyone is talking about. More and more Democrats are coming out of the woodwork to suggest President Joe Biden step aside and pass the baton to another candidate to run in November. But who, if anyone, actually has influence over the decision? Playbook co-author Rachael Bade walks through what she is watching.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

July 3, 2024: The case for Kamala Harris at the top of the ticket

Nearly a week after the disastrous presidential debate, more Democrats are going on the record to suggest President Biden step aside and let another candidate be the nominee for president in 2024. After prominent Democrats called questions about Biden’s mental acuity “valid,” a cascade of other voices echoed the sentiment. But that introduces a potentially more complicated question: if not Biden, who? Playbook co-authors Rachael Bade and Eugene Daniels take stock of the Democratic disarray.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

July 2, 2024: What the SCOTUS immunity ruling really means

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that Donald Trump has immunity from criminal prosecution for some actions he took as president while fighting to subvert the 2020 election, further complicating efforts to put Trump on trial in Washington on criminal charges. The decision immediately deflated some of the central allegations that special counsel Jack Smith leveled against Trump. Plus, what does this indicate for the powers a President has? Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza and Ankush Khardori — former federal prosecutor at the Department of Justice and now senior writer for Politico Magazine — break down the details.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

July 1, 2024: Debate aftershocks continue to rattle Democrats

The fallout from last week's presidential debate continues. Over the weekend, it was reported that the Biden family gathered to discuss whether the president should remain in the race. His family is said to have encouraged him to see it through. But, despite nobody publicly coming forward to encourage him to drop out, others in the Democratic Party are indicating that they aren’t so sure that is the best approach. Playbook co-author Rachael Bade has the inside scoop. Plus, all eyes are on the Supreme Court, which is set to rule today on whether former President Trump has immunity from criminal prosecution.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

June 28, 2024: Biden's unmitigated disaster of a debate

President Joe Biden’s campaign gambled on a June debate, ostensibly with the goal of shaking up the trajectory of the campaign. Last night, it backfired in spectacular fashion. Over the course of a disastrous 90 minutes, the incumbent often wandered into incoherence, his voice faint, while former President Donald Trump blasted a firehose of insults and untruths. Now, with word that prominent Dems are in crisis mode, could we be approaching virtually unforeseen political territory? Playbook co-authors Rachael Bade, Ryan Lizza and Eugene Daniels unpack what we saw and where things go from here.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

June 27, 2024: Biden and Trump sharpen their teeth ahead of tonight’s debate

It’s the day that members of both major parties have been waiting for with excitement and/or dread. Tonight in Atlanta, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump will take to the debate stage for their first debate of the 2024 cycle. Could this be a make-or-break moment for the candidates? How are both candidates angling to get under one another’s skin? What is realistically at stake? White House reporter Lauren Egan joins Playbook co-author Rachael Bade to tell us what to watch for — and what she’s expecting to see in the spin room.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

June 26, 2024: The Supreme Court's final sprint

The Supreme Court is slated to deliver rulings on roughly a dozen cases in the coming days—its last batch of this term. Among these is Trump v. United States, which will rule on whether the former president is immune from criminal prosecution over his bid to subvert the 2020 election. Also expected in this wave of decisions is a ruling on Relentless Inc. v. Department of Commerce, which may spell the end of the controversial so-called Chevron doctrine. Senior legal affairs reporter Josh Gerstein joins Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels to discuss the cases and what—if anything—can be predicted about the rulings. Plus, the biggest takeaways from Tuesday's primary elections.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

June 25, 2024: Live from New York: It’s primary day

It is primary day in the Empire State, and one of the buzziest races of the day involves Rep. Jamaal Bowman (NY-16). In the only public polls out, Bowman appears to be trailing his opponent, George Latimer, by a whopping 17 points. As New York Playbook co-author Emily Ngo explains, it is the issues at hand in the race—namely, a divide surrounding Israel and Gaza, a microcosm of the Democratic Party at large—that are perhaps the most interesting thing about the race. She joins Playbook co-author Rachael Bade to discuss it and what else she is watching. Plus, Julian Assange is a free man, and the rest of the news you need to know today.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

June 24, 2024: Activists form abortion-rights "supergroup”

Groups including Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and Reproductive Freedom for All are banding together to form Abortion Access Now, an alliance focused on restoring protections for abortion care on the federal level. The new coalition is marking the second anniversary of the fall of Roe v. Wade with a pledge to spend $100 million on a national, 10-year campaign. But the coalition is finding fractures within the Democratic Party about how to best proceed with protecting abortion. Health care reporter Alice Miranda Ollstein walks Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza through what to know about her scoop. Plus what we're watching during Tuesday's primary elections out West. That, plus all the rest of the news you need to know today.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

June 21, 2024: Jack Smith braces for a shot from Cannon

Today begins a momentous three days of hearings in Trump’s classified documents case in the Florida courtroom of Judge Aileen Cannon. In an alternate timeline, the criminal prosecution — which was originally slated to start on May 20 — is already underway. But in the real world, Cannon has postponed proceedings indefinitely — and it’s likely that, pending what happens today, Monday and Tuesday, they won’t begin at all in 2024. Senior legal affairs reporter Kyle Cheney joins Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza to discuss. Plus, after an enormous wave of donations triggered by his conviction in New York, Trump has all but erased Joe Biden’s cash advantage in the presidential race. All that and the rest of the news you need to know today.


Ask host to enable sharing for playback control

June 20, 2024: SCOTUS prepares for judgment day

It could happen today. It could happen tomorrow. And you can count on it happening next week, too. The Supreme Court has 22 remaining cases left on the docket, and with time ticking down on this term, the floodgates are about to open. From abortion restrictions to Trump’s claims of presidential immunity in his bid to subvert the 2020 election, to social media censorship, to a decision that could gut the regulatory state, the decisions that remain could have a sweeping impact on American life. Senior legal affairs reporter Josh Gerstein sits down with Playbook co-author Eugene Daniels to walk through some of the key cases and what pros should watch for.