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A chance meeting with his Congressman during a high school football banquet set Tim Ryan on a path to politics, from a seat in the Ohio Senate, to two decades in the U.S. House of Representatives, to a bid for U.S. Senate in 2022. He joined David to talk about growing up in working class Ohio and how the Democrats lost touch with blue-collar Americ…
 
Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a circuitous path to government, working in journalism, law, and the movies before landing a job in the Clinton administration. He still has varied interests; while he spends his days meeting with world leaders, guitar fans can also find him on Spotify. Secretary Blinken joined David before a live audience at t…
 
When poet Amanda Gorman was 5 years old, she was already in the habit of waking up before dawn to write; her mother paid her a quarter each morning she stayed in bed past 6 a.m. Poetry became Amanda’s outlet for exploring history and her own experiences. Her talents have taken her from serving as the first National Youth Poet Laureate to reciting h…
 
Although New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu has said that he was a shy child, he has no problem with the spotlight now; there is widespread speculation that he will run for president in 2024. As a popular Republican governor in a purple state, some say Gov. Sununu has the right playbook for putting a Republican back in the White House, while his d…
 
In 2022, Democrats in Michigan made history when they took control of state government for the first time in 40 years. At the top of the ticket was Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who won reelection by nearly 11 percentage points. Governor Whitmer joined David to discuss the role reproductive rights played in her campaign, the dangers facing public serv…
 
This week The Axe Files team is sharing an episode of CNN’s The Assignment with Audie Cornish. Each week Audie pulls listeners out of their digital echo chambers to hear from the people who actually live the headlines. From the sex work economy to the battle over what’s taught in classrooms, no topic is off the table. For this episode, Audie talks …
 
After 54 years at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Dr. Anthony Fauci will step down from his role at the end of 2022. While he has worked on a spectrum of infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, he rose to national prominence recently for his work on the Covid-19 pandemic. Considered at times to be a hero to the left and a villain to the r…
 
When Maryland Governor-elect Wes Moore was 3 years old, he watched his father collapse in front of him. Losing his father at a young age greatly impacted Moore’s life. He acted out at school, was sent to a military academy by his mother, and later confronted what he called the inequitable policies influencing his life, including his father’s inabil…
 
Former Vice President Mike Pence has centered his career around his Christian faith and conservative beliefs. Most recently, he spent four years serving alongside former President Donald Trump, who has been criticized for his brash and confrontational demeanor. While the two have different political styles, Pence remained steadfastly loyal to Trump…
 
This Thanksgiving, we're revisiting a conversation with Anderson Cooper from October 2021. Anderson is now a well-known CNN anchor and host of the new podcast, All There Is with Anderson Cooper, but he got his start in journalism armed with just a camcorder and a fake press pass. Anderson is also part of the storied Vanderbilt family, which he wrot…
 
Just months after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in engineering, California Senator Alex Padilla was drawn to politics, outraged by a state ballot initiative regarding undocumented immigrants. He soon became the youngest Los Angeles City Council president and is now the first Latino senator from California. …
 
Rusty Bowers, Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, is a Mormon and conservative Republican. He is also a sculptor and painter with a love of the outdoors who likes to sketch satirical drawings of his fellow legislators. After years in the state legislature, Speaker Bowers rose to national prominence when, as he said, he chose his oath t…
 
Journalist Major Garrett caught the journalism bug early, chasing fire trucks down the street in search of a story as a kid. He has since spent his career as a Congressional and White House correspondent, most recently at CBS. Major joined David to talk about the upcoming midterm elections, what he believes is hurting Biden and Democratic candidate…
 
In the span of 15 months, Rep. Liz Cheney went from House GOP conference chair to losing her primary by more than 30 points. Her fall within the Republican Party began with her vote to impeach President Donald Trump after the January 6 attack on the Capitol and accelerated when she joined the House committee investigating the events of that day. Re…
 
Journalist Maggie Haberman began covering Donald Trump as a reporter for the New York tabloids in the early 2000s. Now at The New York Times, Maggie rose to national prominence churning out scoops on the Trump White House. Maggie joined David to talk about her complex relationship with Trump, what she believes is Trump’s legacy, what a second Trump…
 
In high school, Cody Keenan wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon. But a challenging college chemistry course led him to pursue a degree in political science instead. He got his start working in the mailroom for Sen. Ted Kennedy, eventually becoming chief speech writer for President Barack Obama. Cody joined David to talk about the challenges of speec…
 
While in law school, former Alabama Senator Doug Jones skipped class to watch the trial of Robert Chambliss, convicted in 1977 for his role in the deadly 1963 Birmingham church bombing, which killed four Black girls. Decades later, as a US attorney, Jones successfully prosecuted two others involved in the attack. Doug joined David to talk about the…
 
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