The Axe Files with David Axelrod-logo

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

Best of The Axe Files: Bryan Stevenson

6/1/2020
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,...

Duration:01:03:11

Ep. 388 — Ezra Klein

5/28/2020
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.

Duration:01:07:28

Best of The Axe Files: Admiral William McRaven

5/25/2020
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.

Duration:01:04:49

Ep. 387 — Gene Sperling

5/21/2020
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...

Duration:01:03:25

Ep. 386 — Mayor Lori Lightfoot

5/18/2020
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.

Duration:01:05:06

Ep. 385 — Mary Kay Henry

5/14/2020
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.

Duration:00:57:56

Best of The Axe Files: Aaron Sorkin

5/11/2020
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.

Duration:01:09:34

Ep. 384 — Gayle Smith

5/7/2020
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.

Duration:00:59:22

Ep. 383 — Megan Rapinoe

5/4/2020
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.

Duration:00:58:49

Ep. 382 — Cecilia Muñoz

4/30/2020
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...

Duration:00:59:19

Best of The Axe Files: José Andrés

4/27/2020
We revisit our 2018 conversation with world-renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés. He joins David to talk about becoming a United States citizen, his passion for cooking, his crisis relief efforts, and more.

Duration:01:02:18

Ep. 381 — Stacey Abrams

4/23/2020
Stacey Abrams, former Georgia gubernatorial nominee and founder of Fair Fight 2020, joins David to talk about inequities in Georgia's public health infrastructure, voter suppression and her efforts to remedy it, her own journey in public service, and vice presidential speculation.

Duration:01:13:17

Best of The Axe Files: Steve Kerr

4/20/2020
We revisit our 2016 conversation with Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors. He sits down with David to discuss his upbringing in the Middle East, the qualities of exceptional athletes, his coaching philosophy, and more.

Duration:01:02:24

Ep. 380 — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

4/16/2020
Gretchen Whitmer is the 49th governor of Michigan. She joins David to talk about leading her state during the COVID-19 pandemic and her assessment of the federal response, as well as her journey in public service and her response to speculation she could become Joe Biden’s running mate.

Duration:00:48:15

Ep. 379 — Chris Christie

4/13/2020
Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey, joins David to talk about what he’s learned throughout his thirty-year career in law and politics, his relationship with President Trump, what advice he would give to the administration during the present crisis, and more.

Duration:01:04:22

Ep. 379 — Gov. Chris Christie

4/13/2020
Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey, joins David to talk about what he’s learned throughout his thirty-year career in law and politics, his relationship with President Trump, what advice he would give to the administration during the present crisis, and more.

Duration:01:03:20

Best of The Axe Files: Tom Hanks

4/9/2020
We revisit our 2017 Axe Files episode with Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks, who joins David to talk about how he parlayed an early love of drama into a career, his most memorable roles, sexual harassment scandals in Hollywood, Trump's relationship with the media, and more.

Duration:01:04:21

Best of The Axe Files: Doris Kearns Goodwin

4/6/2020
This week, we revisit our November 2016 conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. She joins David to talk about why storytelling is important in politics, the qualities that make a great leader — particularly during trying times — what she learned from studying our nation's greatest leaders, and more.

Duration:01:05:20

Ep. 378 — Dr. Sanjay Gupta

4/2/2020
Dr. Sanjay Gupta is a neurosurgeon, professor, and the Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN. He joins David to share his insights into the present crisis, his assessment of the government’s response to COVID-19, and what steps we can take to mitigate the long-term effects of the pandemic. Dr. Gupta and David also discuss his remarkable personal story—including his foray into journalism, how difficult it is to deliver bad news as a doctor, and whether he thinks universal healthcare is...

Duration:01:03:32

Ep. 377 — Gerald Butts

3/30/2020
Gerald Butts is the former chief adviser and strategist to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He joins David to talk about the early friendship he forged with Trudeau as college debate partners, what he believes it takes to run a successful national campaign, the state of U.S.-Canadian relations in the age of Trump, and his efforts to combat climate change.

Duration:01:14:43