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The Axe Files with David Axelrod

CNN

David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, and CNN bring you The Axe Files, a series of revealing interviews with key figures in the political world. Go beyond the soundbites and get to know some of the most interesting players in politics.

David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, and CNN bring you The Axe Files, a series of revealing interviews with key figures in the political world. Go beyond the soundbites and get to know some of the most interesting players in politics.

Location:

United States

Description:

David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, and CNN bring you The Axe Files, a series of revealing interviews with key figures in the political world. Go beyond the soundbites and get to know some of the most interesting players in politics.

Language:

English


Episodes

Ep. 430 — Heidi Heitkamp

2/18/2021
While former US Senator Heidi Heitkamp was growing up in Mantador, North Dakota, her family made up one tenth of the town’s population. She took the lessons she learned from her small-town upbringing to the Senate, where she served as a rare Democrat from a deep-red state willing to work across the aisle with then-President Donald Trump. Former Sen. Heitkamp joined David to talk about rural America’s emotional attachment to Trump, the energy industry and climate change, why she couldn’t vote...

Duration:01:08:59

Ep. 429 — Daniel Goldman

2/11/2021
After more than a decade working as a federal prosecutor and legal analyst, Daniel Goldman became a household name in 2020 for his role as lead counsel for the House in the first impeachment trial of former President Trump. As Trump’s second impeachment trial continues, Daniel joined David to talk about the House managers’ opening arguments, the through line from Trump’s first impeachment to his second, growing up a descendent of Levi Strauss, and how losing his father as a child impacted...

Duration:01:00:26

Ep. 428 — Andrew McCabe

2/4/2021
Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe didn’t always plan to become an agent, but while interning at the Department of Justice he found himself obsessed with intricate details in case records. The fascination led him to a 22-year career in the Bureau—one that would end with McCabe himself at the center of a DOJ investigation. He joined David to talk about the “slow burning rise” of domestic terrorism, the decision to open an investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election, and...

Duration:01:01:16

Ep. 427 — Rep. Adam Kinzinger

1/28/2021
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a sixth-term Congressman from Illinois, recently found himself in the spotlight after he called for former President Trump’s removal from office following the January 6 attack on the Capitol. He was also one of 10 Republican House members to vote in favor of impeaching Trump. While some are lauding him as a voice of reason within the Republican Party, others are deriding him for turning against Trump and being out of touch with the broader GOP. Rep. Kinzinger joined...

Duration:00:56:02

Ep. 426 — Doris Kearns Goodwin

1/21/2021
Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin found she had a knack for storytelling as a child, recounting baseball games inning-by-inning for her father when he’d return home from work. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author has since harnessed that skill into chronicling the lives and leadership styles of American presidents at moments of national crisis, most recently with her 2018 book Leadership in Turbulent Times. Doris joined David to talk about the episodes of history that have led us to the present...

Duration:01:05:00

Ep. 425 — Joe Scarborough

1/14/2021
Joe Scarborough had his first media experience hosting a call-in show on public access television to raise his political profile during a run for Congress. He won that 1994 Congressional race and held the Florida seat until 2001 before returning to television full-time. Now the co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, he joined David to discuss the violence at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, his hot and cold relationship with Donald Trump, what happens next for the Republican Party, and his new book,...

Duration:01:02:34

Ep. 424 — Rep. Ayanna Pressley

1/7/2021
Rep. Ayanna Pressley got her start in progressive politics at a young age, watching as her mother fought for tenants’ rights as an organizer in Chicago. When Rep. Pressley left college to care for her ailing mother, it didn’t stop her political trajectory. After serving as the first woman of color on the Boston City Council, she beat out a long-time incumbent in 2018 for a seat in US House of Representatives. Rep. Pressley joined David to talk about the destruction caused by Covid-19,...

Duration:01:03:04

Silence is Not an Option: Black to the Future

12/31/2020
This week we’re bringing you an episode of Silence is Not an Option, a CNN podcast hosted by Don Lemon. A record number of Black candidates ran for office this year, representing not only their constituencies, but also the diversity of perspectives that exist among Black Americans. Don talks to two newly elected representatives, Mondaire Jones (D-New York) and Cori Bush (D-Missouri), about their platforms, their strategies for Congress, and the future of Black politics. To learn more about...

Duration:00:29:22

Best of the Axe Files: Tony Blinken

12/24/2020
Antony "Tony" Blinken, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State, first met Biden more than 15 years ago when he served as staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which Biden chaired. Blinken went on to serve as Deputy National Security Advisor and Deputy Secretary of State during the Obama administration, cementing his role as a member of Biden’s inner circle. This week, we’re revisiting a conversation David had with Blinken back in 2017. He joined David...

Duration:01:04:54

Ep. 423 — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

12/17/2020
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took the House by storm when she beat out 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, winning on a staunchly progressive platform. She is often portrayed as the embodiment of the liberal left, both by the media and her GOP adversaries who hold her up as a warning of how far left the Democrats have gone. Now in her second term, she has showed no interest in backing down from her priorities, like a $15 minimum wage and healthcare for all. She joined David to talk...

Duration:01:03:00

Ep. 422 — Dan Rather

12/10/2020
As a young reporter, Dan Rather was no stranger to getting the story by any means necessary, whether that meant sneaking off to use the office phone at Lyndon B. Johnson’s ranch or chaining himself to a tree during Hurricane Carla. The legendary broadcaster joined David to talk about his storied career, why covering civil rights changed him personally and professionally, how he learned to steel himself while covering earth-shattering and often emotional historic moments and how he still...

Duration:01:03:59

Ep. 421 — Abby Phillip

12/3/2020
Growing up, journalist Abby Phillip wanted to be a heart surgeon. But a college service trip through the South caused Abby to reconsider. Inspired by reporters of the civil rights era, she turned her focus to journalism. A CNN reporter since 2017, Abby rose to prominence during her marathon on-air election coverage last month. Abby joined David to talk about growing up a child of immigrants; the pressures she feels as a Black woman in political reporting; and how journalists need to...

Duration:01:04:25

Ep. 420 — Sen. Mitt Romney

11/19/2020
After failing to win the presidency in 2012, Senator Mitt Romney suggested he might be done with national politics for good. But after a move to Utah, the two-time presidential candidate, former Massachusetts governor and Bain Capital co-founder decided to run for the US Senate. He was elected in 2018 and has made his disdain for President Trump’s demeanor known, although his voting record shows he falls in line with his party more often than not. Sen. Romney joined David to talk about what...

Duration:00:49:01

Ep. 419 — Gov. Andrew Cuomo

11/12/2020
Governor Andrew Cuomo was just over a year into his third term as Governor of New York when Covid-19 first reached his state. While he was a well-known political figure before, his daily press briefings became must watch television as the pandemic ravaged New York. Governor Cuomo joined David to talk about governing through Covid-19, why politicians should focus on how they can change people’s lives, President Trump’s skills as a marketer, and why he believes progressives-in-name-only are...

Duration:01:09:23

Ep. 418 — David Plouffe

11/9/2020
David Plouffe is a veteran Democratic political strategist who served as Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager and later as senior advisor to President Obama. Just days after the 2020 race was called, David sat down with his former business partner and longtime collaborator to break down last week’s election, discuss how Joe Biden rebuilt the blue wall, why he was the best candidate for this moment and the challenges that await the Biden administration and the broader Democratic Party. To...

Duration:00:58:23

Ep. 417 — Jon Meacham

11/2/2020
As a child, historian Jon Meacham would find artifacts from Civil War battles while playing in the Chattanooga hills. To him, history was always tangible. He liked finding the line from the past to the present, a sentiment that has guided his career. Jon, who started his professional life as a journalist, writes about American presidents, the nation’s founding principles and historic moments, all with an eye toward what history can teach us and how it helps us make sense of the present. In...

Duration:01:05:42

Ep. 416 — Mandy Patinkin

10/29/2020
Mandy Patinkin may be a well-known, award-winning actor and singer on the big screen and stage, but these days he’s trying out a new medium: social media. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Mandy has been uploading videos ranging from heartfelt moments with his wife, writer and actress Kathryn Grody, to political messages encouraging people to vote for Joe Biden. He joined David to talk about growing up enmeshed in the Chicago Jewish community, his love for acting even as he wrestled with being a...

Duration:01:06:45

Ep. 415 — Nina Totenberg

10/26/2020
As a young reporter, Nina Totenberg once got a tip about a robbery underway at the local bank. When she called the bank to confirm, one of the burglars answered the phone. Her career has since taken her from covering misguided crimes to reporting on the country’s highest court. Nina joined National Public Radio in 1975 as a legal affairs correspondent and has covered the Supreme Court ever since. She joined David to talk about her journey as a reporter, the evolution of the court over the...

Duration:01:06:48

Ep. 414 — Susan Page

10/22/2020
As a high school senior facing college applications, Susan Page had a choice to make. Should she follow her passion for playing the oboe and go to music school? Or should she allow her love of journalism to guide her? In the end, journalism won, and Susan soon found herself away from her home state of Kansas for the first time as a freshman at Northwestern University. Now the Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today, Susan has covered six administrations and 11 presidential elections. She spoke...

Duration:01:06:37

Ep. 413 — Peter Baker and Susan Glasser

10/19/2020
Journalists Peter Baker and Susan Glasser met while working together at The Washington Post. While they spent long hours together in the newsroom investigating the Monica Lewinsky scandal, they didn’t realize they lived on the same block until a colleague pointed out the coincidence. Today, Baker—who famously doesn’t vote for the sake of objectivity—covers the White House for the New York Times, and Glasser writes on Washington for The New Yorker. The now-married couple joined David to...

Duration:01:02:29