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The Scrum

Updated 8 days ago

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The Scrum is a weekly politics podcast from WGBH News, Boston's PBS and NPR affiliate (89.7 FM), hosted by Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis. The Scrum focuses on Boston and Massachusetts politics, but makes frequent forays into the national scene — especially when local individuals and issues of note make their influence felt. Talk back to us on Twitter (@reillyadam, @kadzis) or via email: scrum@wgbh.org. 

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The Scrum is a weekly politics podcast from WGBH News, Boston's PBS and NPR affiliate (89.7 FM), hosted by Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis. The Scrum focuses on Boston and Massachusetts politics, but makes frequent forays into the national scene — especially when local individuals and issues of note make their influence felt. Talk back to us on Twitter (@reillyadam, @kadzis) or via email: scrum@wgbh.org. 

iTunes Ratings

45 Ratings
Average Ratings
33
7
4
0
1

Essential listening

By Horse Racing is legal again! - Aug 04 2019
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The Scrum covers all things #mapoli. You can’t claim to be up on the news until you’ve heard it!

What a podcast should be

By Redopl - Mar 12 2015
Read more
Intimate and interesting. So glad Peter and Adam and others are back at it regularly.

iTunes Ratings

45 Ratings
Average Ratings
33
7
4
0
1

Essential listening

By Horse Racing is legal again! - Aug 04 2019
Read more
The Scrum covers all things #mapoli. You can’t claim to be up on the news until you’ve heard it!

What a podcast should be

By Redopl - Mar 12 2015
Read more
Intimate and interesting. So glad Peter and Adam and others are back at it regularly.
Cover image of The Scrum

The Scrum

Latest release on May 19, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 8 days ago

Rank #1: "The Urgency Has Just Grown So Much": Michelle Wu Talks Development And Representation

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Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu has been everywhere over the past few months — campaigning against fare hikes at the “T,” calling out the Boston Herald for some questionable cover art, and now calling for the abolition of the very powerful, deeply entrenched Boston Planning and Development Agency.

Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly talk about why she thinks the BPDA needs to go, what it would take to actually make it happen, and whether Mayor Marty Walsh’s defense of the agency passes muster. Also discussed: how the role of a Boston City Councilor has changed during Wu’s six years in office, and what the implications of an majority-female Boston City Council would be.

Oct 16 2019

39mins

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Rank #2: Making Sense of Boston's Predictable, Surprising 2017 Elections

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We know Boston Mayor Marty Walsh
was just re-elected by a big margin. Look closer at the results of Boston's
municipal election, though, and some provocative themes and questions start to
emerge. The Scrum dove into the results at the Banshee Pub in Dorchester with a
panel of media experts **— **Meghan Irons of the Boston Globe, Yawu Miller
of the Bay State Banner, and Jennifer Smith of the Dorchester Reporter **— **and
then took some sharp questions from the audience.

Nov 20 2017

26mins

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Rank #3: Heather Cox Richardson's Impeachment Marathon

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Be honest: how closely are you following President Trump’s Senate impeachment trial?

Maybe you’ve tuned out altogether, since the outcome seems like a foregone conclusion. Maybe you’re checking the news sites or social media for the occasional update, or even tuning in to live coverage on cable or NPR on occasion.

Whatever your approach, though, you’re probably not following it anywhere *near* as closely as Heather Cox Richardson. For months, Richardson, a professor of history at Boston College, has been writing a daily digest of all things impeachment, titled Letters From An American — and to her surprise, it’s attracted a something of a cult following.

Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis sat down with Richardson and talked about why she started her project; what it’s been like to be continually immersed in a story many people actively avoid; what she’s learned that she didn’t know before; and what the stakes are for American democracy as the Senate weighs its options.

Jan 29 2020

30mins

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Rank #4: Linda Dorcena Forry Talks TPS and Trump

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Right before Thanksgiving, the Trump Administration said it would end Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for about 60,000 Haitians who’ve lived and worked legally in the US since Haiti was hit by a devastating 2010 earthquake. The expectation now is that they’ll return to Haiti by July 2019 — and face deportation if they don’t. The Scrum sat down with State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, who’s a Haitian American and that community’s local standard-bearer, to discuss how she learned about the Trump Administration’s decision; what she hopes will happen next; and whether she thinks Boston Mayor Marty Walsh might have to make good on his dramatic vow to shelter possible deportees inside Boston City Hall.

Nov 30 2017

13mins

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Rank #5: Pre-Primary Palaver

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With the drama-packed Massachusetts primary just a few days away, Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis size up recent developments and home-stretch storylines to watch with their colleague Mike Deehan, Mass Live’s Gin Dumcius, and Twitter’s own @ScamwellTarley, Topics covered include Mike Capuano going 0 for 2 with the Boston Globe and Herald; whether Charlie Baker should be praised or blamed for not debating Scott Lively; and what’s at stake for Boston Mayor Marty Walsh on September 4.

Aug 30 2018

24mins

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Rank #6: In Worcester, Mass. Dems Rebuke Bill Galvin and Wax Ambivalent on Charlie Baker

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There were two big developments at the 2018 Massachusetts Democratic Party
convention: challenger Josh Zakim getting an endorsement in the secretary
of state's race over six-term incumbent Bill Galvin, and Jay Gonzalez winning
the endorsement for governor in resounding fashion over Bob Massie. But the
convention also highlighted the awkward fact that, with the general election
just five months away, Democrats aren't sure whether to attack Republican
Governor Charlie Baker or ignore him.  WGBH News's Adam
Reilly, Peter Kadzis, and Mike Deehan size up what happened in Worcester
with Zakim, Mass Dems chair Gus Bickford, and Quentin Palfrey, who won the
convention's endorsement for lieutenant governor — and get some instant analysis and insight from
Gintautas Dumcius of Mass Live and the Springfield Republican and Lauren
Dezenski of Politico.

Jun 03 2018

26mins

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Rank #7: The Squad Versus Pelosi Versus Trump

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It was a chilling moment: an eager crowd calling for an American citizen and United States congresswoman to be sent back to her native Somalia, as the president of the United States — whose protracted denunciation sparked their chant — silently let it run its course. But what’s become a story about malignant American nativism started out, not too long ago, as a story about a tactical, ideological, and generational split inside the Democratic Party. After a quick back-and-forth with Peter Kadzis, Adam Reilly sizes up the Squad versus Nancy Pelosi versus Donald Trump with Jen Deaderick, the author of She the People, and Tina Opie, a management professor and organizational-behavior specialist at Babson College.

Jul 18 2019

39mins

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Rank #8: Who's Got The Edge In The Capuano-Pressley Contest?

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Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley and Congressman Mike Capuano clashed recently in a debate sponsored by UMass Boston, the Boston Globe, and WBUR; in a few days, they’ll meet for another tete-a-tete hosted by WGBH News’s Jim Braude. Which parts of the incumbent’s and challenger’s pitches are working, and which are falling flat? And what — if anything—should Capuano and Pressley do differently in the race’s final weeks? Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis talk it over with the Globe’s Joan Vennochi and Yawu Miller of the Bay State Banner — and delve into some state-level primary fights that also pit progressive incumbents against progressive challengers.

Aug 09 2018

34mins

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Rank #9: Housing: Boston City Hall Versus the Market

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Boston’s overheated real-estate market is already changing the its fundamental character, and there’s grave concern that, in the future, lower- and middle-class people simply won’t be able to call the city home. Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis speak with Boston City Councilors Lydia Edwards and Michelle Wu, who say there’s still time to craft policies to keep that from happening — and describe in detail what they think needs to be done. (Listen for a cameo from Cass, Councilor Wu’s charming younger son.)

May 17 2018

21mins

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Rank #10: Power Of The Purse: Budget Czar Aaron Michlewitz Tells All

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The 2018 midterms yielded plenty of political continuity in Massachusetts, but there were also some big changes — including Ayanna Pressley’s win over Mike Capuano and, on Beacon Hill, the exit of House Ways and Means chair Jeffrey Sanchez, who was ousted in the Democratic primary by Nika Elugardo. That development, in turn, yielded a promotion for Representative Aaron Michlewitz of the North End, who’s stepped into Sanchez’s old role as maestro (on the House side, at least) of the Massachusetts budget process. WGBH News State House correspondent Mike Deehan talked with Michlewitz about his new gig, how he put his first-ever House budget together, and whether he’d be interested in another promotion down the road. Peter Kadzis hosts.

Apr 17 2019

21mins

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Rank #11: How Setti Warren Would Run Massachusetts

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The Scrum rounds out its conversations with the Democratic candidates for governor with Setti Warren, the former mayor of Newton. Yawu Miller, senior editor at the Bay State Banner, joins WGBH News’s Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly for the conversation.

Feb 28 2018

25mins

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Rank #12: Boston Politics: Pitching Wu, Council Upheaval, And A BPS Reckoning

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Is Michelle Wu Boston’s mayor in waiting? That’s the contention of the Atlantic, which recently published a glowing profile of the at-large city councilor. But would Wu actually challenge incumbent Marty Walsh — especially since sitting mayors are notoriously tough to beat?

Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis talk it through with Yawu Miller of the Bay State Banner and Joan Vennochi of the Boston Globe (spoiler alert: signs point to yes). Then the foursome tackles two other #bospoli topics of note: the 2019 city-council elections, which could end with that body controlled by women and people of color, and the soon-to-be-completed search for Boston’s new school superintendent, which has elicited some frustration among BPS parents.

Apr 30 2019

33mins

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Rank #13: Is The Mass. GOP Charlie Baker's Party — Or Donald Trump's?

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Governor Charlie Baker, the state’s most powerful Republican, has offered Massachusetts as a model for the way politics *should* be, saying our civility and pragmatism set us apart. But under new chair Jim Lyons, the Massachusetts GOP has moved in a very un-Baker-like direction, accusing Democrats of hating America and seeking to perpetrate infanticide. So what’s driving the party’s shift? And is it a smart way to grow Republicans’ paltry presence (Baker notwithstanding) in Massachusetts politics? Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis talk it through with Stephanie Murray of Politico, WGBH News’s own Mike Deehan, and Boston Broadside editor Lonnie Brennan, who’s bullish on Lyons’ approach.

May 16 2019

41mins

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Rank #14: The Muzzle Awards, Or, The Year In Free-Speech Failures

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Peter Kadzis flies solo in this episode, talking with WGBH News contributors Dan Kennedy and Harvey Silverglate about their annual compendium of threats to or diminishments of free speech. Some big names in this year’s edition: Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, Boston Police Commissioner Bill Evans, former President Barack Obama, and President Donald Trump — plus UMass Boston, Tufts, and Northeastern.

Jul 03 2018

28mins

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Rank #15: Dan Kennedy on the Future of Newspapers

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Dan Kennedy’s new book, “The Return of the Moguls: How Jeff Bezos and John Henry Are Remaking Newspapers for the Twenty-First Century,” is more than just a look at how two highly regarded newspapers are adapting to the way we live now. It’s also a clear-eyed, often bracing inquiry into whether modern business realities and habits of mind can coexist with the high-quality journalism that’s driven American civic life for decades. Kennedy, who’s a WGBH News contributor, discusses his conclusions with WGBH News reporter Adam Reilly and senior editor Peter Kadzis, both of whom he previously worked with at the late, lamented Boston Phoenix.

Mar 28 2018

26mins

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Rank #16: Can Elizabeth Warren Bounce Back?

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For the better part of 2019, Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign seemed to be doing everything right. But then, about two months ago, her poll numbers started dropping instead of climbing — and the decline was precipitous.

So what went wrong, exactly? And what will it take for Warren to rebound? This episode of the Scrum starts with insights from the Washington Post’s Annie Linskey, who may know Warren better than any other journalist and says healthcare policy played a key role in Warren’s decline. Next, Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis talk with UMass Boston political scientist Erin O’Brien about whether other factors might be at play (gender, maybe?) and what it would take for Warren to regroup.

Dec 08 2019

33mins

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Rank #17: Did Barack Obama's Earliest Policy Decisions Give Us Donald Trump?

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The election of Donald Trump can seem overdetermined, to use academic parlance: from Russian skulduggery to Hillary Clinton ignoring Wisconsin to racism stoked by the election of first black president, a million different factors explain Trump’s win and Clinton’s loss.

But what if Obama himself deserves a significant measure of blame? That’s the provocative contention of Reed Hundt, a card-carrying member of the Democratic establishment who served on Obama’s transition team. Hundt was, and is, a huge fan of the 44th president — but in his book “A Crisis Wasted: Barack Obama’s Defining Decisions,” he argues that by not responding to the economic meltdown of 2008 with sufficient ambition and alacrity, Obama inadvertently gave us the political reality we’re living in today.

In this episode of “The Scrum,” Peter Kadzis speaks with Hundt about what he thinks Obama got wrong, and why — then sizes up Hundt's thesis with Adam Reilly.

Jun 05 2019

30mins

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Rank #18: Two From Kadzis: Baker And Walsh's T Tiff / Warren Gets The Kiddie Table

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We’re doing something different in this episode. Instead of bringing his wisdom incrementally, over the course of a Q and A with a guest or two, Peter Kadzis steps into the spotlight — weighing in on the politics of MBTA dysfunction and CNN’s decision to stick Elizabeth Warren in the JV Democratic debate, even though her campaign seems to be surging.

Jun 20 2019

31mins

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Rank #19: New Kids On The Block: Nika Elugardo and Jon Santiago On Their Wins And What Comes Next

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Ayanna Pressley’s win over Mike Capuano was the big national story coming out of Massachusetts’ September 4 primary, but there were some other dramatic developments, too — including Rachael Rollins’ win in the Suffolk DA race and the ouster of two members of House leadership, Ways and Means chair Jeffrey Sanchez and majority whip Byron Rushing. Lawyer and activist Nika Elugardo and physician Jon Santiago, Sanchez and Rushing’s victorious challengers, join Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly to discuss their wins, the change they hope to bring to the House, and who they’ll back in the next election for House Speaker.

Sep 12 2018

36mins

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Rank #20: Don't Confuse Legislating With Democracy

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Last month, a blog post by a retired Beacon Hill lobbyist made waves in local
political circles because it details one of state government's most verboten
subjects: how legislation and the wheels of power really work in the State
House. In a conversation with WGBH's Mike Deehan, Phil Sego details his
experience working with lawmakers and why he tells voters not to "confuse
what goes on in this building with democracy." 

Jan 04 2019

29mins

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