The Takeaway

Oct 23 2020 48 mins 19.3k

A fresh alternative in daily news featuring critical conversations, live reports from the field, and listener participation. The Takeaway provides a breadth and depth of world, national, and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

Politics with Amy Walter: What Early Voting Patterns Tell Us About Wisconsin
Oct 23 2020 47 mins  
This week marked the second and final debate between Joe Biden and President Donald Trump. What has felt like a never-ending election cycle is taking place against the backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, and a groundswell for racial justice and police reform. With less than two weeks until Election Day, Joel Payne, Democratic strategist and Host of Here Comes the Payne, and Patrick Ruffini, Republican Party pollster and political strategist, reflect on the rest of the race. It’s been six months since the $2 trillion CARES Act was signed into law. The bill provided much-needed aid to states, businesses, and individuals who were deprived of traditional means of income as a result of the pandemic. The relief the CARES Act provided has since dried up and millions have fallen into poverty as a result. Emily Cochrane, a congressional reporter at The New York Times, shares the latest from the ongoing stimulus talks between Speaker Pelosi and Secretary Mnuchin and what could happen if a deal doesn’t come together before Election Day. Turnout is up in Wisconsin where voters will play a pivotal role in deciding who will become the next president of the United States. As some Wisconsin neighborhoods have already surpassed turnout levels from 2016, Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Wisconsin shares how the level of enthusiasm compares to four years ago. Plus, Craig Gilbert of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel describes trends in early voting and what’s happened to pockets of support for President Trump since 2016. This election cycle special attention is being paid to growing voting blocs that have the power to move the needle towards or away from a second term for Donald Trump. Since 2016, millions of Latino voters have become eligible to vote, making young Latino voters a powerful political force. Takeaway host Tanzina Vega joins Amy to discuss what A Votar series and what she's observed from the conversations she’s had with this group ahead of Election Day.

Politics with Amy Walter: Democrats Gain Edge in Quest to Overtake the Senate
Oct 16 2020 60 mins  
After the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18th and nomination of Amy Coney Barrett just a week later on September 26th, there’s been a lot of speculation about the political implications of a Supreme Court fight just days before Election Day. Democrats have seen a boon in fundraising with Jaime Harrison, the Democrat running against Republican Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham, pulling in millions in the days after Ginsburg’s death. Graham himself, as well as several other vulnerable Republican senators, are hoping that the confirmation of a conservative to the court will help boost GOP enthusiasm and turnout. As the hearing wrapped up on Thursday, it was clear that Barrett had made it through the process unscathed. A vote is expected on October 22nd in the Judiciary Committee and by the full Senate at the end of the month. We spoke about this with Sahil Kapur, national political reporter for NBC News, and Jessica Taylor of The Cook Political Report. Also on the show, a look at the political landscape in Texas going into the 2020 election. For years now, Democrats have been predicting they can turn this red state blue. But the last time a Democratic presidential candidate actually won the state was in 1976. However, Texas is changing. A diverse electorate, combined with a backlash to Trump in traditionally Republican suburbs has given Democrats serious political traction. The latest polls show President Trump leading Joe Biden by an average of just two points. We got an overview of what’s happening in Texas from Abby Livingston, D.C. Bureau Chief at the Texas Tribune. There’s also a Senate race in the state this year. In 2018, a Texas Senate race was the center of the political universe. Then, Democratic Representative Beto O’Rourke raised millions of dollars and gained national attention for his race against Senator Ted Cruz. O’Rourke came up short, but his impressive showing gave him enough momentum and fame to mount a presidential run—albeit a short-lived run. Two years later, another Republican Senator, John Cornyn is up for re-election in Texas. We spoke to his opponent, MJ Hegar, the Democratic Senate candidate and U.S. Air Force veteran, about her race against the three-term incumbent. Her campaign brought in $13.5 million in the third quarter and she’s been outspending Cornyn in TV ads over the past few weeks. But even though the race is tightening, polls show Cornyn is still ahead by over seven percentage points. We also took a look at the Latino vote in Texas with Jason Casellas, an associate professor of political science at the University of Houston. According to recent estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, the Latino population in Texas grew by two million over the last decade, and it’s on track to become the state’s largest demographic group in 2021.

Politics with Amy Walter: What A Year This Week Has Been
Oct 09 2020 55 mins  
There are just over three weeks until Election Day and President Donald Trump is trailing Joe Biden in national polls by double digits. Sidelined with COVID-19 and unable to participate in traditional campaign events, the president has taken to Twitter, cable TV, and homemade videos to pitch voters on promises to deliver everything from free coronavirus drug cocktails to stimulus checks. Amidst the political theatre, more than six million voters have cast their ballots. Laura Barrón-López, national political reporter at POLITICO, and Clare Malone, senior political writer at FiveThirtyEight breakdown the state of the race for the White House. Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence gathered in Utah on Wednesday for the first and only vice presidential debate. The advanced age of President Donald Trump and Joe Biden against the backdrop of a highly contagious pandemic has emphasized the role of vice president. Maya King from POLITICO and Annie Karni from the New York Times explain what role Harris and Pence will play between now and Election Day. An unusually competitive senate race in South Carolina is among the many twists and turns of this election cycle. Lindsey Graham, Senator from South Carolina, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Trump loyalist is fighting for his political career. The latest polling has Senator Graham virtually tied with charismatic newcomer, Democrat Jaime Harrison. Danielle Vinson, professor of politics and international affairs at Furman University, explains why the state is in play in this year and what Senator Graham misunderstood about South Carolina's electorate. It's been four years since Donald Trump was elected after one of the most unconventional and divisive campaign cycles in recent history. During his norm-shattering first term, President Trump has been impeached, emboldened far-right groups, refused to release his tax returns, and attempted to use his status to influence the Department of Justice. Moments that would've ended anyone else's political ambitions are just bumps in the road for Donald Trump. The authors of "After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency" describe how Trump has taken advantage of his office and how the presidency could be reformed to prevent similar abuse. Bob Bauer is a senior adviser to the Biden campaign and former White House counsel to President Barack Obama and Jack Goldsmith is a professor at Harvard Law and served as George W. Bush’s assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel.

Politics with Amy Walter: How the President's Coronavirus Diagnosis Alters the Race for the White House
Oct 02 2020 51 mins  
On Friday morning, President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump said they had tested positive for the coronavirus. More than seven million people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and more than 200,000 have died as a result. With about a month to go before the election, this news could upend a cycle that has already been buffeted by major events on an almost weekly basis. White House Reporter for The Washington Post Toluse Olorunnipa describes what this could mean for President Trump's ability to govern. Both President Trump and Joe Biden are preparing for a drawn-out battle over election-related litigation. They are going to court over everything from signature-match rules, to who can and can’t collect absentee ballots, to where ballots can be dropped off. The results of these disputes taking place before and after Election Day could have serious implications regarding the future of voting. At the same time, false allegations of voting abnormalities from the White House pose the risk of casting doubt over the final result. Justin Riemer, Chief Counsel at the Republican National Committee, shares how they’re approaching pre-election litigation. Grace Panetta, Politics and Voting Reporter for Business Insider, describes how both campaigns are attempting to substantiate their arguments and how that’s playing out in state courts. Pennsylvania is among a handful of states that will play a decisive role in electing the winner of the upcoming election. In 2016, Trump won the state's 20 electoral votes by less than one percent. Pennsylvania, which recently began allowing no-excuse absentee voting, has also become ground zero for pre-election lawsuits. Jonathan Lai is a reporter covering voting and elections for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He joins Politics with Amy Walter to describe how voting in Pennsylvania has changed since 2016 and he expands on the false assertions the president made about Philadelphia in Tuesday's debate. The New York Times recently published new reporting about President Trump’s tax returns that detailed how the president avoided paying income taxes. Andrea Bernstein, co-host of the Trump, Inc. podcast from WNYC and ProPublica, outlines how Trump has benefitted financially from the presidency and what it could mean for the Trump Empire when he leaves office. She is also the author of "American Oligarchs: The Kushners, the Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power."

Politics with Amy Walter: A Look at the SCOTUS Nomination Fight
Sep 25 2020 67 mins  
The U.S. has observed a week of mourning since Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, in addition to partisan warfare regarding her replacement. Senate Republicans have decided they will move to confirm President Trump's nominee ahead of the general election. His announcement is expected Saturday. President Trump has said that the election could be decided by the Supreme Court and has implied that a justice appointed by him would be loyal in any case involving the election. NBC News National Political Reporter Sahil Kapur discusses what we can expect from the nomination process from now through the election. Wisconsin is among the few states that played a decisive factor in Hillary Clinton's 2016 loss. This year, the state made headlines because of a flawed primary election that took place towards the beginning of the pandemic. Election officials struggled to keep up with absentee ballot requests, thousands of mail ballots were ultimately rejected, and when it came to in-person voting, photos of people waiting in line for hours, at the height of the pandemic, went viral. Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe, Politics Reporter and Washington Bureau Chief for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Craig Gilbert, and Wisconsin Public Radio’s Laurel White dissect Wisconsin's political landscape and share how seriously we should be taking polling. Also, Black voters are the backbone of the Democratic Party. They are one of the party's most reliable voting blocs and failing to secure their votes will have significant electoral consequences. There is also a significant generational gap between younger Black Americans who feel alienated from traditional politics and older Black voters who are typically loyal to the Democratic Party. Vice President and Chief of Campaigns at Color of Change Arisha Hatch shares how Black voters are thinking about the voting process. These conversations are part of a series called Every Vote Counts.

Politics with Amy Walter: Raising (Votes in) Arizona
Sep 18 2020 63 mins  
Arizona has been a reliably Republican state at the presidential level in every election since 1952 — except when Bill Clinton won in 1996. But a rapidly growing population has chipped away at the Republican advantage. In 2020, Arizona is rated a toss-up. The state has had no-excuse absentee voting since 1991 and the numbers of voters who use this method continue to grow. As the president continues to malign the U.S. Postal Service and absentee ballots and question the integrity of the upcoming election, we hear from Katie Hobbs, Arizona Secretary of State, KJZZ Phoenix host Steve Goldstein, and Professor Lisa Sanchez from the University of Arizona. Latino voters are a growing share of the population in states like Florida, Texas, and Nevada. In Arizona, they account for about a quarter of voters in the state according to Pew. While national polling indicates that Joe Biden is ahead of President Trump when it comes to Latino voters, he hasn't been able to match Hillary Clinton’s margins from 2016. The Trump campaign is appealing to Latinos with a message centered on crime and the economy. The Biden campaign is using President Trump's response to the pandemic to illustrate that he's unfit to lead. Daniel Garza, president of the conservative Libre Initiative, and Carlos Odio, co-founder of democratic Latino polling and analysis firm Equis Research, share their insights as to what's at stake for this electorate. These conversations are part of a series called Every Vote Counts.

Politics with Amy Walter: How North Carolina's Electoral Process is Unfolding
Sep 11 2020 64 mins  
While the bedrock of democracy is free and fair elections, the President has been sowing seeds of distrust throughout the course of the campaign. He's used his platform to spread conspiracy theories about the integrity of absentee ballots to his millions of followers. The consequences of those lies can be seen in a recent Monmouth University poll that found almost 40 percent of Americans don’t believe that the elections will be conducted fairly and accurately. A majority of Americans say that they think the Trump campaign will try to cheat if necessary to win in November, while 39 percent say the same of the Biden campaign. Aside from Barack Obama in 2008, North Carolina hasn't voted for a Democrat for president since Jimmy Carter in 1976, but polls show President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are neck and neck there. A contentious senate race is also on the ballot in the state. North Carolina began sending out absentee ballots on September 4th. The more than 700,000 mail ballots that have been requested has shone the national spotlight on the Tar Heel State. Chair of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, Damon Circosta, Michael Bitzer, a professor of Political Science at Catawba College, and Rusty Jacobs, politics reporter at WUNC North Carolina Public Radio, walk us through the state's electoral process. Many credit Barack Obama’s win in North Carolina to strong turnout from African American voters. Exit polls that year showed African Americans making up almost a quarter of the electorate and they gave Obama 95 percent of the vote. Congresswoman Alma Adams of North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District and Professor Kerry Haynie, Political Science and African & African American Studies at Duke University, describe how the Biden/Harris ticket is working to convince Black voters to turnout. As part of our continuing series on how the pandemic has changed campaigns, we checked in with Chase Gaines, Coalition Director North Carolina GOP. He describes what it's like to organize at this moment and what he's heard from voters while knocking doors. These conversations are part of a series called Every Vote Counts.

Politics with Amy Walter: The Role of Political Disinformation in the Race for the White House
Sep 04 2020 46 mins  
Since May, protests have unfolded to denounce the way police interact with Black Americans. Most recently, the shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed father, has grabbed national headlines. Blake was shot in the back seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The violent event has resulted in many taking to the street and demanding answers to why this keeps happening. Maya King, political reporting fellow at POLITICO, and Katie Glueck, national politics reporter for The New York Times unpack how questions surrounding the role of law enforcement could alter November's election. NextGen America is a political group that engages young voters to support progressive causes and candidates. Before the start of the pandemic, they interacted with students in-person on college campuses through voter registration drives and casual conversations about voting. Jared DeLoof, State Director NextGen America explains how they've adapted to the new reality. The idea that disinformation and conspiracy theories thrive on the internet is widely known and has been part of the mainstream conversation since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Despite attempts to remove bad actors and regulate social media networks, conspiracy theories are still making their way to the forefront of our politics in 2020. Ben Collins, covers disinformation, extremism, and the internet for NBC, and Cindy Otis, vice president of analysis at the Alethea Group and author of “True or False: A CIA Analyst's Guide to Spotting Fake News” describe the methodology behind these nefarious actors and why they're committed to their cause.

Politics with Amy Walter: Whose Convention Resonated Best?
Aug 28 2020 49 mins  
Over the last two weeks, both the Republican and Democratic parties have proposed their visions for America and they could not be more different. President Trump used his primetime speech to convince those watching that he was still the outsider that had been elected four years prior and that he would not conform to establishment politics, even though he is now the establishment. Joe Biden used his time to demonstrate that he believes that Trump is a threat to democracy and that reelecting him would mean four more years of divisive politics and the continued mishandling of the coronavirus. Toluse Olorunnipa, White House Reporter at The Washington Post, Tim Alberta, Chief Political Correspondent at Politico, and Elaina Plott, National Political Reporter at The New York Times analyze the Republican National convention and share what the next 60 days could look like. The economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic has left millions of Americans without work. That includes Angelica Garcia, who was a barista at Starbucks in The Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for 19 years. She shares what the last few months have been like for her and what her hopes are for the future. Plus, Heather Long from The Washington Post describes the overall health of the U.S. economy and whether Americans can expect more economic relief from the federal government. In 2018, former defense department analyst Elissa Slotkin flipped a seat from red to blue in a suburban Michigan district that Trump carried by seven points. She credited extensive grassroots organizing for her success, including the 200,000 doors her team knocked. This time around, the restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic have made it impossible for her to reuse her 2018 playbook. Congresswoman Slotkin shares how she's adjusted her campaign and how she's working to safely interact with voters in person and online.

Politics with Amy Walter: A Virtual Democratic Convention
Aug 21 2020 46 mins  
This week, Joe Biden officially became the Democratic nominee for president in the first-ever virtual convention. While there were no crowds, handshakes, or applause to demonstrate excitement, the new format allowed for Americans across the country to participate. Each night consisted of live and taped speeches where voters implored those watching to vote for Joe Biden. They spoke about President Trump's failure to address climate change, structural racism, gun violence, economic insecurity, and the coronavirus that has killed more than 170,000 Americans. A significant portion of the week was dedicated to bringing Republicans into the fold as many shared that they had voted for Trump in 2016 and came to regret doing so. Headliners like Michelle and Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren stressed that the country is at an inflection point and that those in positions of power are working to dilute American votes. Maya King from Politico, Astead Herndon from The New York Times, and Alex Roarty from McClatchy reflect on the historic convention and how it was received by those watching from home. Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour, analyzes how President Trump spent his week. Also, progressives are using a method called “deep canvassing” to engage with voters ahead of November’s general election. These are longer conversations that take place over the phone or in-person with the goal of changing someone’s beliefs by using personal stories and empathy to create a lasting connection. In the early 2000s, Steve Deline and Ella Barrett got involved with deep canvassing to understand why people had voted against same-sex marriage in California. They now run the New Conversation Initiative, a group that works with People's Action to teach deep canvassing to progressives. This conversation is part of our continued look at the limits of campaigning during the pandemic and how activists and candidates are trying to connect with voters in spite of restrictions.

Politics with Amy Walter: Processing a New Kind of Election Night
Aug 14 2020 46 mins  
The surge in absentee ballots because of the coronavirus could mean the outcome of the presidential race remains undetermined for weeks after the first Tuesday in November. Recently, The New York Times published a piece about what the media may not understand about covering election night 2020. The way election night coverage has unfolded in the past makes this new reality particularly tough to understand. But just because the exit poll data and electoral college tally that we are used to seeing populate our screens may not all be there by the time we go to bed does not mean there's something sinister going on. Caitlin Conant, Political Director of CBS News and Rick Klein, the Political Director of ABC News describe how they're preparing both their newsrooms and the American people for election night. This week, Joe Biden announced that Kamala Harris would join him on the Democratic presidential ballot as his vice president. Black women have been among the most loyal supporters of the Democratic Party, even though they're underrepresented in positions of power within the party. The Biden-Harris ticket is historic, especially as notable women in media and politics announced that they would be paying special attention to the way the media covers them. Valerie Jarrett, Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama reacts to the news. On this show, we've been following how elections and campaigns have changed because of the pandemic. Among the most notable differences is the way campaigns interact with voters since large gatherings have been discouraged. Americans for Prosperity Action, a conservative organization linked to the Koch network, is knocking on doors in swing states in support of Republicans running in senate and congressional races. Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity, shares what he's learning from voters at the doors.

Politics with Amy Walter: An Unexpected Battle for the Senate
Jul 24 2020 33 mins  
Conventional wisdom had most people thinking that any gains that Democrats made in the Senate would be nominal. But, unexpected events over the last six months have turned a long-shot into the very real possibility that Democrats take control of the Senate in November. Seats that were formerly considered safe for the GOP are now in play as a result of the Trump administration’s failure to handle the coronavirus crisis and provide a national plan for recovery while simultaneously stoking racial tensions at a moment of national reckoning. In Iowa, a state that President Trump easily won in 2016, Democrat Theresa Greenfield is challenging Republican Senator Joni Ernst, where the latest polling has her up by a few points. Greenfield shared her motivation for getting in the race and what she thinks Iowans want to see in Washington. Senator Joni Ernst will join Politics with Amy Walter next week. Also, this week President Trump announced new guidelines for school reopenings. He said that public schools in coronavirus hotspots could delay reopening for a few weeks but ultimately that decision will fall to governors. As many schools across the country are expected to begin the academic year in the next month or so, school districts have been grappling with how to manage the reality of COVID-19 with the expectations for curriculum. In Iowa, Republican Governor Kim Reynolds recently announced limitations on remote learning and mandated that at least 50% of the time students spend on learning core subjects must take place in-person. Grant Gerlock, a reporter for Iowa Public Radio, shares how schools are dealing with balancing the governor's latest requirements against the well-being of their students and staff. Guests: Theresa Greenfield, Democratic Candidate for Senate in Iowa Grant Gerlock, Reporter for Iowa Public Radio

Politics with Amy Walter: North Carolina, Up For Grabs
Jul 19 2020 36 mins  
With its 15 electoral votes, North Carolina is one of a handful of states truly up for grabs come November. Since 2008, no presidential candidate has carried the state by more than three points. The most recent polls show Vice President Joe Biden ahead of President Donald Trump by about two points. And, only one Democrat running for president has been able to build a winning coalition in the state in the last 10 elections, and that was Barack Obama in 2008. Associate Professor, Jarvis Hall from North Carolina Central University explains North Carolina’s political geography. North Carolina is significant for another reason, it is one of a handful of states with two other top offices on the ballot; Governor, Roy Cooper, a Democrat is up for reelection as is US Senator Thom Tillis, a Republican. The race for Senate is of national prominence, Republicans are fighting to hold onto the seat and Democrats are hoping a win here puts them on the path back to majority control. Cal Cunningham, the Democrat who is challenging Tillis tells us why he thinks he’s the right choice for North Carolinians. We’ve reached out to the Tillis Campaign for an interview but have yet to receive a response. Of course, all of this is happening amid a global health crisis, putting increased scrutiny on the voting process in every state. Legislators and election officials in North Carolina have been working to ensure a safe and accessible election, Rusty Jacobs a political reporter at WUNC explains what changes have been made to both absentee and in-person voting ahead of the election. Finally, recent polling has put President Trump behind Joe Biden in the general and re-energized Democrats about their chances for winning both the White House and Senate. Amy talks with Jessica Taylor, Senate and Governors Editor for The Cook Political Report about this year’s competitive Senate races and what the senate map might look like come November. Some of the music on this pod by Gypsy George.

Politics with Amy Walter: How Cities Across the U.S. are Responding to Demands for Police Reform
Jul 10 2020 46 mins  
Lately, President Donald Trump’s speeches and tweets have become more pointed and divisive as he attempts to appeal to members of his base. There are four crucial months until election day and the president is spending them emphasizing racial divisions and defending symbols of white supremacy. The move is at odds with a cultural moment of awareness about systemic racism and police brutality. Maya King, campaign 2020 reporting fellow at POLITICO, David Nakamura, White House reporter for The Washington Post, and Clare Malone, senior political writer at FiveThirtyEight share what they've observed in their reporting on the President's reelection bid. The killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis sparked an uprising for racial justice and renewed demands for police reform. Across the U.S., calls to defund the police and reinvest the funds into schools and mental health services have grown louder as the mission of police departments is reconsidered. Daniel Nichanian, founding editor, The Appeal: Political Report, shares where these proposals are taking place and whether or not it’s just a liberal city phenomenon. Plus, Cincinnati Council Member Chris Seelbach and founder of the Cincinnati Black United Front, Iris Roley reflect on the state of policing in their city and how effective their community-based model has been since it was enacted in the early 2000s. Check out our ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here. Click on the 'Listen' button above to hear this segment. Don't have time to listen right now? Subscribe for free to our podcast via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts to take this segment with you on the go. Want to comment on this story? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page, Twitter or Instagram.

Politics with Amy Walter: What it's Like to Start a Career During the Pandemic
Jul 03 2020 50 mins  
When the COVID-19 swept the U.S. in March, it was hard to fully understand how society would fundamentally change. Since then, more than 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment. As states grapple with the uncertainty that comes with reopening their economies, Politics with Amy Walter returns to a conversation from April about what it's like to be entering the workforce at this time. Hannes Schwandt, assistant professor at Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy, shares how cohorts unlucky enough to join the workforce during a recession see a loss in lifetime earnings. Amanda Mull, a staff writer at The Atlantic, describes how disasters like pandemics alter the worldview of those transitioning into adulthood and how the current economic downturn has the potential to do the same for Generation C. Judah Lewis was finishing the second semester of his senior year at Howard University when COVID-19 caused the school to close and classes to move online. The path to his last semester was not an easy one and now he feels like the rug has been pulled out from underneath him. Lewis talks to us about how the pandemic has jeopardized his post-graduation prospects and provides an update on his career plan. In May, activist and playwright Larry Kramer died at age 84. He'd devoted his life to advocating for the gay community during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Kramer was an outspoken critic of the government's response to the crisis and famously criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci, who at the time was the face of the federal government's response, in the pages of the San Francisco Examiner. Dr. Fauci reflects on his friendship with Larry Kramer and how their bond influenced the rest of his career in public health.

Politics with Amy Walter: What a Surge in Absentee Ballots Means for November 2020
Jun 26 2020 46 mins  
The uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has resulted in a record number of people requesting to vote-by-mail. While increased access to mail ballots will stem the spread of the disease, waiting for ballots to arrive will delay the final result. Kentucky and New York are among the states that hosted primaries this week. In both states, several candidates of color, many who ran on progressive platforms, had strong performances. While officials wait for absentee ballots to arrive so they can provide a final tally, the delayed outcome has raised questions about future elections. Amy Gardner, National Political Reporter at The Washington Post and Astead Herndon, National Political Reporter at The New York Times, share how Tuesday's elections bode for November. The general election will likely come down to a handful of swing states. In Pennsylvania, where a primary was held on June 2, the process of counting votes lasted until days after. Montgomery County Commissioner Ken Lawrence weighs in on the looming pressure regarding the upcoming presidential contest. Plus, Democratic Congressman Conor Lamb flipped his seat from red to blue in a special election in 2018. A pro-second amendment, pro-fracking moderate, Lamb was cautious to weigh in on President Trump in a district he'd won in 2016. Congressman Lamb describes how his campaign has shifted its messaging for 2020. The ongoing protests against police brutality have prompted a national reexamination about the role of the police. In Philadelphia, Larry Krasner was elected as District Attorney in 2017. He ran as a reform candidate and promised to reduce the number of people in jail by overhauling the sentencing process and the bail system, in addition to holding officers accountable for misconduct. He weighs in on the culture of policing and police unions as we move towards a national tipping point. As protesters continue to demand justice for George Floyd and accountability for police brutality, public symbols of white supremacy have become a target. Confederate statues have long held the ire of those who’ve said they elevate those who fought (and lost) to keep slavery alive. As the demands to remove public reverence to confederate generals become more widespread, historians are requesting that schools modify textbooks that romanticize what confederates were fighting for. James W. Loewen, historian, sociologist, and author of "Lies My Teacher Told Me," and Keisha N. Blain, Associate Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh, join Politics to discuss. Check out our ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here. Click on the 'Listen' button above to hear this segment. Don't have time to listen right now? Subscribe for free to our podcast via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts to take this segment with you on the go. Want to comment on this story? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram.

Politics with Amy Walter: A National Reckoning
Jun 19 2020 46 mins  
In the weeks since George Floyd was killed by police officers in Minneapolis, we’ve been watching uprisings take place against police brutality. What many Americans have finally woken up to is what Black Americans have known for years: That it’s impossible to separate police brutality from the racism that is baked into the structure of every American institution. Institutions, like schools, healthcare, housing, and policing have failed to give Black Americans a level playing field. 99 years ago, Tulsa, Oklahoma was the site of one of the deadliest and most destructive race massacres in U.S. history. On that day, violent white people took it upon themselves to murder Black Americans and loot their businesses. Black homes, churches, restaurants, drugstores, and doctors offices were razed. In the end, Black Wall Street, one of the most prosperous Black communities, was destroyed. At a time when Americans are grappling with the role white supremacy played in shaping modern society, President Donald Trump chose to hold a rally in Tulsa during the weekend of Juneteenth. We take look at how the holiday resonates differently this year. Guests: Karlos K. Hill, Chair of the African and African American studies department at the University of Oklahoma RJ Young, Host of the RJ Young Show. Excerpts from his audio diary were provided to us by KOSU. RJ's story is part of the America Amplified initiative. How Progressive District Attorneys Are Approaching Criminal Justice Reform It’s been almost a month since George Floyd was brutally killed by police officers in Minneapolis. Protester's demands for police accountability have not waned, forcing officials to address the role of racism in policing and policy. As calls to defund the police grow louder, mayors, police chiefs, and local law enforcement step into the spotlight. At the same time, officials that attempt to reprimand officers for misconduct must face the wrath of powerful police unions. We speak with Kimberly Gardner, the Chief Prosecutor for the City of St. Louis, who was elected on the promise of reform on what it's like to go toe-to-toe with the police. Guest: Kimberly Gardner, Chief Prosecutor for the city of St. Louis How the Economy Fails Black Americans Not only has the coronavirus pandemic disproportionately hurt Black Americans who've been infected at a higher rate, but the economic uncertainty it's created has set them back in terms of employment. Black Americans are concentrated in parts of the economy that have been designated as essential, like grocery store workers and transit operators. Still, Black unemployment almost tripled from February to May to almost 17 percent. Today, Black households have one-tenth of the wealth compared to white families and are much less likely to own their homes. Historically, recovering from recessions is tougher for Black people. We sit down for a conversation about the unemployment rate for Black Americans and what an economic recovery might look like. Guest: Amara Omeokwe, Economics Reporter at The Wall Street Journal

Politics with Amy Walter: The Politics of "Defund the Police"
Jun 12 2020 41 mins  
Georgia’s Primary, George Floyd’s Funeral, and Congress’ Approach to Police Reform As the coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainty for the upcoming general election, many Americans are reconsidering how they’ll cast their ballots. This week, many primary voters in Georgia were greeted by long lines and malfunctioning voting machines. The chaos surrounding Georgia’s recent election has raised questions about whether or not the same issues will reoccur in November. Also, George Floyd was laid to rest in Houston following weeks in which thousands of Americans took to the streets to decry police brutality in his name. Meanwhile, Congress is reckoning with how to respond to the protests and calls for police accountability. Two national reporters join Politics with Amy Walter to discuss the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, how Republicans are responding to calls for police accountability, and Georgia’s flawed elections. Guest Host: Matt Katz, WNYC Guests: Nick Fandos, Congressional Correspondent for The New York Times Laura Barron-Lopez, National Political Reporter at POLITICO Congressman James Clyburn on his Time in the Civil Rights Movement and Addressing Systemic Racism This week, Democrats introduced the Justice in Policing Act on Capitol Hill. If passed, the bill would prohibit chokeholds, ban some no-knock warrants, track police misconduct at the national level, and make it easier to pursue legal and civil action against the police. The momentum for the bill stems from the uprisings against police brutality after George Floyd was brutally killed by police officers in Minneapolis. Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina reflects on his time in the civil rights movement and what he hopes to accomplish through the Justice in Policing Act. Guest: James Clyburn, Congressman from South Carolina’s 6th Congressional District and Majority Whip How “Defund the Police” has Become More Palatable to the Mainstream The killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis has shifted the way Americans see policing. Recent polling from The Washington Post found that 69 percent of Americans found “the killing of Floyd represents a broader problem within law enforcement.” While many high-ranking members of the Democratic Party don’t support calls to defund the police entirely, the notion of some form of defunding is picking up traction. A conversation about the politics of defunding the police. Guests: Alex Vitale, Author of "End of Policing" and Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of The Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College Andrea Ritchie, Researcher at the Interrupting Criminalization Initiative and author of "Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color" How Minneapolis Plans to Dismantle Their Police Department Minneapolis has been in the national spotlight since George Floyd was killed by police on video. Although the events there sparked protests across the nation, the city is also a catalyst for change. One progressive city leader, Steve Fletcher, has been working on police reform since he took office in 2018. He was among nine members of the Minneapolis city council that recently announced their commitment to dismantling the city’s police department. Guest: Steve Fletcher, Minneapolis City Council, Ward 3

Politics with Amy Walter: The Tipping Point for the End of Systemic Racism in Policing
Jun 05 2020 48 mins  
How a Legacy of Racist Policies and Police Brutality Contributed to the Mass Disenfranchisement of Black People The death of George Floyd, an African American man, at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis has ignited protests and conversations surrounding the mistreatment of Black Americans at the hands of the state against the backdrop of a pandemic that is disproportionately affecting Black people. Americans in every state have taken to the streets to protest police brutality and chant "Black Lives Matter." A look at the history of Black disenfranchisement, failures in leadership and policy, and the role ongoing protests will play in the general election. Guests: Adam Serwer, Staff Writer at The Atlantic covering politics Elizabeth Hinton, incoming Professor of History, law and African-American studies at Yale and the author of “From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America” Carol Anderson, Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University and author of "White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide" Mayors, Past and Present Since George Floyd was killed by police officers in Minneapolis, demonstrations against police brutality have taken place across the United States. For mayors, listening to the protester's grievances and balancing them against the responsibility of engaging with police chiefs is a challenging task. A conversation with Michael Tubbs, the first Black Mayor of Stockton, California, about addressing police brutality at the local level and what he hopes will come from the protests. Plus, a conversation with former San Antonio Mayor, Julián Castro. As a candidate for the Democratic nomination, Castro spoke often about the pattern of police brutality and how bias in the criminal justice system disproportionately impacts Black Americans. He reflects on his time as mayor, ending police brutality, and the future of the movement. Guests: Michael Tubbs, Mayor of Stockton, California Julián Castro, former Mayor of San Antonio and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development How Demonstrations Across the U.S. have changed the Vice Presidential Selection Process A national conversation about race and the lack of police accountability has shifted the trajectory of the VP selection process for the Biden campaign. With the disparities in health care that coronavirus has underscored and the brutal killing of George Floyd, the selection process faces heightened scrutiny. Guests: David Siders, National Political Correspondent at Politico

Politics with Amy Walter: The Future of the Democratic Party
May 29 2020 52 mins  
The Future of the Democratic Primary At the beginning of the Democratic nominating contests, the party faced a number of challenges. The field being crowded with candidates with such varied politics demonstrated that there were different visions for the future of the party. And today, while Joe Biden is the presumed nominee, there is concern that he won't drive excitement and turnout in the way a candidate like Senator Bernie Sanders might've been able to. The Democratic Party's foremost goal is to remove President Donald Trump from office, but they'll need to respond sufficiently to questions surrounding racial and economic inequality in addition to the fault lines exposed by the coronavirus pandemic. A roundtable discussion about the future of the Democratic Party and the role progressive candidates will play within the larger institution. Also, a conversation about the killing of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis and how Trump's response demonstrates his need to exploit division. Guests: Joel Payne, former aide to Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign and host of "Here Comes the Payne" Maya King, Campaign 2020 Reporting Fellow at Politico Dave Weigel, National Political Reporter at The Washington Post Jamaal Bowman, Democratic Primary Candidate for New York’s 16th Congressional District The Legacy of Larry Kramer with Dr. Anthony S. Fauci This week, activist and playwright Larry Kramer died at age 84. He devoted his life to advocating for the gay community during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Kramer was an outspoken critic of the government's response to the crisis and famously criticized Dr. Anthony Fauci, who at the time was the face of the federal government's response, in the pages of the San Francisco Examiner. Dr. Fauci reflects on his friendship with Larry Kramer and how their bond influenced the rest of his career in public health. Guest: Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Politics with Amy Walter: How Social Psychology Influences Political Behavior
May 22 2020 50 mins  
How Political Identities Have Become About What We Hate Instead of What We Love Individual reactions to the coronavirus pandemic and the public health restrictions that have accompanied it have underscored how powerful negative partisanship can be in the formation of political opinions. In past crises, national shocks have urged partisans to put aside their personal grievances in pursuit of the greater good, but today, that doesn't seem to be the case. A look at how the perception of risk influences our political behavior and the impact it has on public opinion. Guests: - Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist and Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School - Lynn Vavreck, Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics and Public Policy at UCLA and contributor to The Upshot at The New York Times Georgia's Reopening Last month, Georgia became one of the first states to begin easing restrictions associated with COVID-19. The decision was criticized by health officials as moving too quickly and risking a potential surge in cases. Across the state, citizens, business owners, and mayors hold mixed feelings regarding how Governor Brian Kemp has approached the public health crisis. While many governors across the U.S. have seen a bump in approval for their handling of the crisis, just 39% approved of Governor Kemp's handling of the pandemic. A look at how Georgia residents and business owners are navigating the reopening and what they need to see before they decide to participate. Guests: - Andra Gillespie, Associate Professor of Political Science at Emory University and Director of the James Weldon Johnson Institute - David Bradley, President and CEO of the Athens Chamber of Commerce Back to School Parents can't go back to work if they're also responsible for co-teaching and childcare throughout the day. Any return to normalcy for families across the U.S. will be impossible without schools reopening. And while online learning has become the norm, it's exacerbated inequality as having a computer and reliable internet access have become precursors to learning from home. A look at how schools in Colorado are approaching what a return might look like and the steps that would be necessary to get students back in the classroom. Guest: Katy Anthes, Commissioner of Education for the State of Colorado

Politics with Amy Walter: How California is Preparing for the General Election During the Pandemic
May 15 2020 41 mins  
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a serious toll on not only our health, but on the economic well-being of cities and states across the country. As leaders grapple with how best protect the health of their constituents in addition to mitigating the economic fall out caused by stay-at-home orders, preparation for future elections is in front of mind. Recently, California became the first state to modify its plans for the general election after Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that said the state's 20 million-plus registered voters would receive ballots in the mail. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla explains the logistics behind getting ballots to voters and what precautions will be taken for those who need to vote in person. John Myers, the Sacramento Bureau Chief of the Los Angeles Times, shares why it's so easy to vote absentee in the state. David Wasserman, House editor for The Cook Political Report, dissects what a primarily vote-by-mail election looks like and uses the special election in the state's 25th District as a case study. In April, Wisconsin held its primary and local elections in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Many voters who did not receive their absentee ballots in time had to choose between risking their health to vote in person or not voting at all. This week, the state's Supreme Court struck down the stay-at-home order signed by Democratic Governor Tony Evers in March. Amy shares her thoughts on the partial reopening. Heather Long, economics correspondent at The Washington Post, and Betsey Stevenson, Professor of Public Policy and Economics at the University of Michigan, explain what the economic downturn means for small businesses and the American middle class long-term.

Politics with Amy Walter: A Look at Phase One of North Carolina's Plan to Reopen
May 08 2020 49 mins  
The White House has deferred to states about reopening their economies. This week, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced that his state would move to phase one of their plan to reopen. Phase one will begin at 5 p.m. on Friday, May, 8th. While the stay-at-home order will still be in effect, there will no longer be a distinction between essential and non-essential businesses. Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, shares what metrics the state used to determine that it's the right time to begin phase one. Phase one of North Carolina’s reopening includes a relaxation of restrictions on social gatherings, including worship services. Services with more than 10 people can take place as long they are outside and social distancing is respected. Spence Shelton, lead pastor at Mercy Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, shares what it's like to lead group worship remotely and how he's navigating phase one. Dr. Lucian Conway is a professor of Social Psychology at the University of Montana studying what shapes human thoughts and communications at the Political Cognition Lab. He shares what's driving the gap between what liberals and conservatives think about how seriously to take the threat of COVID-19 and how the government should respond to it. Small business owners have been saddled with the enormous responsibility of managing their businesses during the pandemic. They've seen a sharp decline in sales with no end to the public health crisis in sight. This week, we hear from two small business owners trying to navigate the new normal. Lenore Estrada is the owner of Three Babes Bakeshop in San Francisco and Abigail Opiah is the cofounder of Yeluchi by Unruly, a mobile hairstyling service. This week, the Justice Department announced that they were dropping the criminal case against Michael Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser. Flynn had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI twice regarding conversations he’d had with a Russian diplomat in 2016. Katie Benner, who covers the Justice Department for The New York Times, shares how the decision came about and whether or not it undermines the credibility of the Russia investigation.

Politics with Amy Walter: The Return of Big Government
May 01 2020 46 mins  
The Great Depression, 9/11, and the 2008 financial crisis dealt serious shocks to the nation and resulted in the expansion of government. When a crisis happens, leaders in Washington try to mitigate financial ruin and to boost morale which often results in the creation of programs that have a lasting impact. The creation of Homeland Security, unemployment benefits, and new regulations on banks have stemmed from national disasters. The coronavirus pandemic is no exception as more than 30 million Americans have applied for unemployment insurance over the last six weeks. This week, Politics with Amy Walter examines how the government response to the coronavirus pandemic compares to dilemmas of the past. Tony Fratto, deputy assistant to President George W. Bush and Jason Furman, top economic adviser to President Barack Obama share what it was like to lead the country through an unprecedented shock. Jerry Seib, the executive Washington editor of The Wall Street Journal, explains why there’s more widespread support for government intervention today versus during the 2008 financial crisis. Erica Werner, a congressional reporter for The Washington Post, describes how members of Congress have been working together on multiple COVID-19 recovery packages and how likely it is that the partnership lasts. Annie Linskey, a national political reporter at The Washington Post, shares how Joe Biden’s campaign is adjusting to the realities of campaigning from home as a result of the pandemic. Finally, Mayor Quentin Hart of Waterloo, Iowa shares how his constituents are dealing with the coronavirus outbreak and how a local outbreak is tied to the city's Tyson Foods plant.

Politics with Amy Walter: Social Distancing on the Campaign Trail
Apr 24 2020 49 mins  
Rallies, conventions, and press conferences were once the primary method for campaigns to connect with voters. The coronavirus pandemic has forced politicians and strategists to rethink how they approach campaigning. Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for President Barack Obama in 2012, and Matt Rhoades, campaign manager for Mitt Romney in 2012, share how campaigns will need to rely heavily on digital efforts. Recent graduates seeking to get involved in field campaigns have also had to shift expectations. Sam Aleman, a digital organizer for the Democratic National Committee, and Kiran Menon, a senior at the University of Virginia studying politics, discuss what it's like to pursue campaign jobs during the pandemic. States have scrambled to adjust long-planned elections because of the public health risk posed by COVID-19. Earlier this month, the governor of Wisconsin attempted to postpone in-person voting but was ultimately unsuccessful. So on April 7, Wisconsin voters stood six feet apart in long lines to cast their ballots while respecting social distancing. Since then, a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation found systemic problems with the state's absentee ballot request process. Reporter Daphne Chen described the electoral shortfalls. Also, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose describes how he's navigating the changes of the state's upcoming all vote by mail primary. As part of our series on governing during a pandemic, we spoke to Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry. He shared how his constituents are holding up and how he's advising the governor on reopening the state. Check out our ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here.

Politics with Amy Walter: How Coronavirus Will Hurt those Attempting to Enter the Workforce
Apr 17 2020 46 mins  
It's hard to know how the coronavirus pandemic will permanently alter the fabric of society. So far, 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the last month of social distancing. This week, Politics with Amy Walter looks at the impact the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 will have on a generation that was just starting to find their footing. Hannes Schwandt, Assistant Professor at Northwestern University School of Education and Social Policy, shares how cohorts unlucky enough to join the workforce during a recession see a loss in lifetime earnings in addition to other less desirable life outcomes. Amanda Mull, a staff writer at The Atlantic, describes how disasters like pandemics alter the worldview of those transitioning into adulthood. The economic fallout from the Great Recession made it difficult for millennials to start stable careers causing them to protest the institutions and policies that contributed to their struggle. The current economic downturn has the potential to do the same for Generation C. Judah Lewis was finishing the second semester of his senior year at Howard University when COVID-19 caused the school to close and classes to move online. The path to his last semester was not an easy one and now he feels like the rug has been pulled out from underneath him. Lewis talks to us about how the pandemic has jeopardized his post-graduation prospects and his job with Teach for America. Heather Long, an economics reporter at The Washington Post, shares an update on who is left out when it comes to the $1,200 government stimulus checks meant to soften the blow from the economic downturn. As part of our continuing look at how mayors across the country are tackling this pandemic, Mayor Linda Gorton of Lexington, Kentucky describes the measures she's taken to fight COVID-19. Check out our ongoing coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here. Check out our local leader series here.

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