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The Axe Files with David Axelrod
David Axelrod, the founder and director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, brings 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.
- Ep. 387 — Gene SperlingGene 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 p...Show moreolicy experience to offer market reforms that would secure greater economic dignity for American workers.May 21, 2020
- Ep. 386 - Mayor Lori LightfootChicago 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
- Ep. 385 — Mary Kay HenryMary 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
- Best of The Axe Files: Aaron SorkinWe 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
- Ep. 384 — Gayle SmithGayle 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 7, 2020
- Ep. 383 — Megan RapinoeMegan 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 4, 2020
- Ep. 382 — Cecilia MuñozCecilia 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...Show more, 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
- Best of The Axe Files: José AndrésWe 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.Apr 27, 2020
- Ep. 381 — Stacey AbramsStacey 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.Apr 23, 2020
- Best of The Axe Files: Steve KerrWe 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.Apr 20, 2020