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The Axe Files with David Axelrod

Updated about 1 month ago

Rank #93 in News category

News
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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.

Read more

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.

iTunes Ratings

5127 Ratings
Average Ratings
3813
614
274
179
247

Repeats

By Monails - May 11 2020
Read more
Tired of “best of” want up to date.

great show

By Beyond playlists - Apr 17 2020
Read more
just started listening and it’s already my go-to political podcast

iTunes Ratings

5127 Ratings
Average Ratings
3813
614
274
179
247

Repeats

By Monails - May 11 2020
Read more
Tired of “best of” want up to date.

great show

By Beyond playlists - Apr 17 2020
Read more
just started listening and it’s already my go-to political podcast
Cover image of The Axe Files with David Axelrod

The Axe Files with David Axelrod

Latest release on Jul 06, 2020

Read more

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.

Rank #1: Ep. 108 - President Barack Obama

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President Barack Obama sits down with David Axelrod to discuss their shared history together, how President Obama managed to stay grounded during turbulent moments of his childhood and adolescence, why the Obama presidency struggled to overcome the partisan politics in Washington, and what’s in store for the President when he leaves office on January 20th.

Dec 26 2016

58mins

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Rank #2: Ep. 49 - Jon Stewart (Live)

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Jon Stewart, comedian, author, and former host and executive producer of "The Daily Show," chats with David in Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago to talk about Donald Trump and the 2016 election, lessons from lobbying in Washington, what he's working on today, and more.

May 10 2016

49mins

Play

Rank #3: Ep. 95 - Van Jones

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Van Jones, political activist and CNN commentator, talks with David about Tuesday’s election results and the cultural chasm that exists in America, his childhood in rural Tennessee and the important relationship he had with his father, and why he won’t be running for public office any time soon.

Nov 10 2016

1hr 1min

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Rank #4: Ep. 33 - Lindsey Graham

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spends his Super Tuesday talking with David on Capitol Hill about why he opposes GOP frontrunner Donald Trump, why he thinks the Republican Party is falling apart, and how his parents' owning a bar in a small South Carolina town helped prepare him for a career in politics.

Mar 03 2016

39mins

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Rank #5: Ep. 323 — James Carville

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James Carville is a Democratic political strategist best known for his work as the lead strategist of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. He joins David to talk about how growing up in segregated Carville, Louisiana motivated him to jump into politics, what he believes set Bill Clinton apart as a presidential contender, and what it will take for any 2020 hopeful to succeed.

May 02 2019

1hr 1min

Play

Rank #6: Ep. 288 — Barack Obama (Live)

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Former President of the United States Barack Obama sits down with David in Hyde Park for a special live taping of the Axe Files. Their conversation touches on the Obamas' life in the Hyde Park community, the sacrifices his family made for his political career, his biggest regret from his time in the presidency, the politics of race in America, increasing political polarization, and much more.

Nov 20 2018

1hr 13mins

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Rank #7: Ep. 135 - Sen. John McCain

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Senator John McCain talks with David Axelrod about the threat Russia poses to Western democracies, why he is more worried now about America than he has ever been before, what he misses most about his early days in the House and Senate, and why Donald Trump is no Ronald Reagan.

Apr 02 2017

54mins

Play

Rank #8: Ep. 238 - Michael Avenatti

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Michael Avenatti, the high-profile attorney representing Stormy Daniels, joins David to chat about how the loss of his father’s job when he was a teenager fueled his own ambitions, his passion for racecar driving, the slew of hard-hitting legal cases he’s been involved in, and what he thinks the outcome of the Stormy Daniels case will be.

Apr 30 2018

1hr 3mins

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Rank #9: Ep. 11 - Jon Favreau

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Jon Favreau, former Director of Speechwriting for President Obama, speaks with David about his nerve-racking first meeting with his future boss, what it was like writing speeches in the White House, and the state of political speech-making today.

Nov 16 2015

46mins

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Rank #10: Ep. 348 — George Will

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Conservative commentator and columnist George Will discusses how Trump has dismantled political norms and whether a return to civility is possible. He answers whether the Democrats and Speaker Pelosi should push harder for impeachment or if the political waters are too difficult to navigate.

Sep 23 2019

57mins

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Rank #11: Ep. 267 — Jon Lovett

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Pod Save America co-host and former speechwriter for President Barack Obama Jon Lovett joins the show to talk about the art of speechwriting, his experience working with Hillary Clinton prior to joining the Obama White House, and what the future holds for Crooked Media.

Sep 10 2018

1hr 3mins

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Rank #12: Ep. 252 — Rachel Maddow

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Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, joins David to talk about growing up as a liberal activist in a conservative town, her unique philosophy on newscasting in the Trump era, and lessons she’s learned from her lifelong battle with cyclical depression.

Jun 18 2018

1hr 8mins

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Rank #13: Ep. 167 - Rahm Emanuel

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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel reacts to Trump's controversial statements on Charlottesville, discusses the city's lawsuit over the Trump administration's immigration policies, shares his advice for the Democratic Party ahead of the 2018 midterms, and more.

Aug 17 2017

1hr 7mins

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Rank #14: Ep. 197 - Tom Hanks

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Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks joins David to talk about how his career began, films as a part of historical record, the sexual harassment scandals in Hollywood, his views on the Trump presidency, and more.

Dec 03 2017

1hr 18mins

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Rank #15: Best of The Axe Files: Aaron Sorkin

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We revisit our May 2019 conversation with Aaron Sorkin: screenwriter, director, producer, and playwright. He joins David to talk about the qualities that make a great speechwriter, how writing for the screen differs from writing for the stage, creating “The West Wing,” his struggle with addiction, and more.

May 11 2020

1hr 7mins

Play

Rank #16: Ep. 31 - Gov. Jon Huntsman

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Former Republican presidential nominee Jon Huntsman chats with David about his time as governor of Utah, ambassador of China, and 2012 GOP hopeful, as well as his views on the 2016 race, including why he is intrigued by Donald Trump and what impressed him about Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

Feb 22 2016

54mins

Play

Rank #17: Ep. 48 - Anderson Cooper

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Journalist and host of CNN’s “AC360” Anderson Cooper talks with David about his new book, becoming a self-appointed embed in Burma and Somalia, Donald Trump’s relationship with the media, and more.

May 09 2016

59mins

Play

Rank #18: Ep. 208 - Condoleezza Rice

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Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joins the Axe Files on CNN to discuss her tenure in the Bush administration, foreign policy under the Trump administration, her advice for Oprah, and much more.

Jan 14 2018

1hr 5mins

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Rank #19: Ep. 241 - Jeffrey Toobin

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Staff writer for the New Yorker Jeffrey Toobin joins David to talk about working as a prosector in the Oliver North trial, covering the O.J. trial as a journalist, the Mueller investigation, and more.

May 10 2018

1hr 3mins

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Rank #20: Ep. 183 - Ta-Nehisi Coates

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Author and writer for The Atlantic Magazine Ta-Nehisi Coates sits down with David to talk about his upbringing in Baltimore, his early forays into journalism, race and politics in America, his reflections on the Obama presidency, and much more.

Oct 19 2017

1hr 3mins

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Best of The Axe Files: Lin-Manuel Miranda

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When Lin-Manuel Miranda first picked up Ron Chernow’s autobiography of Alexander Hamilton, he didn’t know much about the former Treasury Secretary. He didn’t yet know he was an immigrant, and he hadn’t yet read a sentence penned by Hamilton in which he wished for a war—the line that would inspire the creation of a revolutionary hip hop musical and Disney feature film. Lin joined David in October 2016 and spoke about what Alexander Hamilton would think of our politics today. He also discusses the value of growing up in a school where the arts were emphasized as much as math and science, and what came next when he thought to himself, “What happens if I bring all of me to something?”

Jul 06 2020

42mins

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Ep. 393 — Shannon Watts

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Shannon Watts is the founder of Moms Demand Action, an advocacy group dedicated to ending gun violence. She joins David to talk about how she became an unlikely founder of a grassroots organization with millions of supporters, the increased demand for guns amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and how the NRA has faltered during the Trump administration.

Jul 02 2020

59mins

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Yang Speaks to The Axe Files

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In this crossover edition of The Axe Files, David joins entrepreneur and former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang on his new podcast Yang Speaks. They talk about the future of the Democratic Party and what Joe Biden needs to do to win, Trump’s electoral strategy, the nation’s reckoning with social, racial, and economic inequality, and what America might look like in a post-Trump world.

Jun 29 2020

1hr

Play

Ep. 392 — Jon Stewart

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Jon Stewart is a comedian, writer, director, and former host of The Daily Show. He joins David to talk about President Trump’s out-of-touch messaging, the pervasiveness of systemic racism and inequity in America, how he worked to correct a lack of diversity at The Daily Show and why he still believes in American exceptionalism. He also discusses the inspiration for his new political satire Irresistible.

Jun 25 2020

1hr

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Best of The Axe Files: Mitch Landrieu

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This week we revisit our July 2017 conversation with former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. He joins David to talk about his father’s journey in public service and his efforts to promote racial justice in the South, rebuilding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, his decision to remove Confederate monuments from the city, and why Democrats shouldn’t write off another Trump victory.

Jun 22 2020

1hr 9mins

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Ep. 391 — Charlie Sykes

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Charlie Sykes is a longtime conservative commentator and the founder and editor-at-large of The Bulwark. He joins David to talk about his father’s roots in Democratic politics, the growing politicization of the media over the course of his career, why he no longer considers himself a member of the Republican Party, and his assessment of the state of play in his home state of Wisconsin ahead of the November election.

Jun 18 2020

58mins

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Ep. 390 — Bakari Sellers

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Bakari Sellers is a political commentator, attorney, and former South Carolina state representative. He joins David to talk about how growing up in a rural South Carolina community shaped his life’s work, his father’s leadership during the civil rights movement, and what, if anything, he believes today’s fight for racial justice might achieve. His new memoir, My Vanishing Country, situates his own story in the context of declining prosperity for the black working class in the rural South.

Jun 15 2020

51mins

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Best of The Axe Files: Bryan Cranston

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We revisit our April 2019 conversation with Bryan Cranston, actor, producer, director, and screenwriter. He joins David to talk about finding truth in acting, challenges posed by inhabiting larger-than-life figures, the parallels between acting and politics, and more.

Jun 11 2020

59mins

Play

Best of The Axe Files: Ta-Nehisi Coates

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This week we revisit our October 2017 conversation with author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates. He joins David to talk about his upbringing in Baltimore, his career in journalism, race relations in America, reflections on the Obama presidency, and more.

Jun 08 2020

1hr 3mins

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Ep. 389 — Mark Cuban

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Mark Cuban is an entrepreneur, television personality, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks. He joins David to discuss the origins of his entrepreneurial spirit, what he learned from his early failures in business, his assessment of Donald Trump’s presidency, and whether he sees politics in his own future. He also shares his reflections on this difficult moment in our country, what inspired him to join the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death, and how he is challenging himself to recognize his own privilege.

Jun 04 2020

1hr

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Best of The Axe Files: Bryan Stevenson

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This week we revisit our December 2018 conversation with Bryan Stevenson: civil rights activist, lawyer, and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization that provides legal aid to prisoners lacking representation. He joins David to talk about his experience growing up in a segregated county in southern Delaware, what it will take to confront America’s brutal legacy on race, his mission to provide legal aid to those disenfranchised by the U.S. criminal justice system, and more.

Jun 01 2020

1hr 1min

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Ep. 388 — Ezra Klein

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Ezra Klein is a journalist and co-founder of Vox, where he currently serves as the editor-at-large. He joins David to talk about his evolution from obscure blogger to national political commentator, his early work on the Howard Dean campaign, his assessment of the current presidential race, and more. His new book, Why We’re Polarized, explores the structural and psychological forces behind America’s growing political divisions and offers prescriptions to help remedy them. 

May 28 2020

1hr 6mins

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Best of The Axe Files: Admiral William McRaven

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In honor of Memorial Day we revisit our September 2019 conversation with Admiral William McRaven, retired U.S. Navy SEAL who served as the commander of U.S. Special Operations from 2011 to 2014. He joins David to talk about his decision to serve in the military, his assessment of the Trump administration, and his most memorable missions — including the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips, and the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. 

May 25 2020

1hr 2mins

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Ep. 387 — Gene Sperling

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Gene Sperling is the former Director of the National Economic Council under Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. He joins David to share how his parents’ fight for racial and economic justice shaped his values, what his time in two presidential administrations taught him about the power of economic policy, how the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the country to rethink everything from workers’ rights to budget deficits, and more.

His new book, Economic Dignity, draws on decades of economic policy experience to offer market reforms that would secure greater economic dignity for American workers.  

May 21 2020

1hr 1min

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Ep. 386 — Mayor Lori Lightfoot

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Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot joins David to talk about managing the COVID crisis and its disproportionate impact on communities of color, the consequences of federal misdirection, and the possibility of reopening the city in stages over the coming months. She also shares her personal story: growing up a minority in a predominantly white Ohio community, her career in law enforcement, and her path to become the first black female and openly LGBTQ mayor of Chicago.

May 18 2020

1hr 2mins

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Ep. 385 — Mary Kay Henry

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Mary Kay Henry is the president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), an organization of more than 2 million union members in health care, the public sector, and beyond. She joins David to talk about the many SEIU members who are on the front lines fighting COVID-19, her concerns about the politicization of the federal pandemic response, her assessment of union members’ attitudes towards President Trump, and more.

May 14 2020

55mins

Play

Best of The Axe Files: Aaron Sorkin

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We revisit our May 2019 conversation with Aaron Sorkin: screenwriter, director, producer, and playwright. He joins David to talk about the qualities that make a great speechwriter, how writing for the screen differs from writing for the stage, creating “The West Wing,” his struggle with addiction, and more.

May 11 2020

1hr 7mins

Play

Ep. 384 — Gayle Smith

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Gayle Smith is the president and CEO of the ONE Campaign and the former administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). She joins David to talk about her two decades spent in Africa as a young journalist and NGO worker, insights from her career in global development and humanitarian assistance, efforts to combat the Ebola epidemic in the Obama administration, and more.

May 07 2020

56mins

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Ep. 383 — Megan Rapinoe

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Megan Rapinoe, captain of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, joins David to talk about growing up in a small conservative town, finding and forging her identity, her decorated soccer career and World Cup wins, and on using her platform to engage in progressive activism: from LGBTQ and racial justice to equal pay, electoral politics, and more.

May 04 2020

57mins

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Ep. 382 — Cecilia Muñoz

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Cecilia Muñoz is the former Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Obama administration and currently serves as Vice President for Public Interest Technology and Local Initiatives at New America, a public policy think tank. She joins David to talk about growing up as one of the few Latinas in a Midwestern town, her trailblazing work in civil rights advocacy and journey to the White House, Covid-19’s disproportionate impact on communities of color, and more.

Her new book, More Than Ready, draws lessons from the challenges she faced as the first Hispanic to serve as director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and offers insights to other young women seeking to forge paths of their own.

Apr 30 2020

57mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

5127 Ratings
Average Ratings
3813
614
274
179
247

Repeats

By Monails - May 11 2020
Read more
Tired of “best of” want up to date.

great show

By Beyond playlists - Apr 17 2020
Read more
just started listening and it’s already my go-to political podcast