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

Ep. 394 — Atul Gawande

7/9/2020
Atul Gawande is a surgeon, bestselling author and writer for The New Yorker. He joins David to talk about how Trump has misled the public in responding to the Coronavirus pandemic, why it “will be a miracle” to get a Covid-19 vaccine quickly, and how U.S. leaders are undermining the formula for safely reopening the country. He also shares his early experiences as the son of two immigrant doctors in rural Ohio, his initial rebellion against medicine, and poignant insights drawn from decades...

Duration:01:00:24

Best of The Axe Files: Lin-Manuel Miranda

7/6/2020
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...

Duration:00:43:08

Ep. 393 — Shannon Watts

7/2/2020
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.

Duration:01:00:11

Yang Speaks to The Axe Files

6/29/2020
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.

Duration:01:01:25

Ep. 392 — Jon Stewart

6/25/2020
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.

Duration:01:01:56

Best of The Axe Files: Mitch Landrieu

6/22/2020
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.

Duration:01:10:55

Ep. 391 — Charlie Sykes

6/18/2020
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.

Duration:00:59:36

Ep. 390 — Bakari Sellers

6/15/2020
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.

Duration:00:52:47

Best of The Axe Files: Bryan Cranston

6/11/2020
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.

Duration:01:00:40

Best of The Axe Files: Ta-Nehisi Coates

6/8/2020
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.

Duration:01:04:29

Ep. 389 — Mark Cuban

6/4/2020
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...

Duration:01:02:29

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