Alyssa Mastromonaco is an author and served as Barack Obama's deputy Chief of Staff for Operations in the White House. She joins David to talk about her early experience interning for Bernie Sanders, working on Obama's 2008 campaign, transitioning back to life outside of the White House, and much more.
Legendary broadcast journalist and news anchor Bill Kurtis joins the show to talk about the history he's witnessed from his many year covering the news, from being threatened by Charles Manson to his investigative work on the effects of Agent Orange on soldiers returning from Vietnam, and everything in between.
Claire McCaskill, former Democratic U.S. Senator from Missouri, joins David to talk about the 2018 midterms race she narrowly lost in a state swept by Donald Trump by nearly 19 points in 2016. She also shares her take on governing and campaigning in a post-Trump political climate, the impending Mueller report, her evaluation of the slew of 2020 candidates, and much more.
Lisa Madigan is the former State Attorney General for Illinois. She joins the show to talk about teaching in South Africa during the rise of the anti-apartheid movement, the Jason Van Dyke case in Chicago, her investigation into abuse in the Catholic Church, why she didn't run for governor, and more.
Kirsten Powers is an author, columnist for USA Today, and frequent contributor on CNN. She joins David to discuss her far-flung upbringing in Alaska, the personal struggles which she discussed openly in her columns, working for AOL during the dawn of the internet age, her experience as a liberal-leaning commentator for Fox News, and much more.
Nate Silver, statistician and founder of FiveThirtyEight, joins David to talk about how his early love of sports fused with a passion for statistical modeling, the bridge from sports modeling to predicting political races, the 2008 projections that catapulted him to national fame, and his take on the 2020 field—including why an analysis of five key groups within the Democratic party suggests Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke may have the best chance of securing the nomination, why early polls so often miss the mark, and why Howard Schultz’s potential impact on the race may not be as helpful to Trump as some pundits claim.
Josh Shapiro, Attorney General of Pennsylvania, joins David to discuss the Pennsylvania grand jury report revealing child sex abuse by Catholic priests and the consequent sweeping cover-up—one of the broadest inquiries into church sex abuse in U.S. history. Shapiro also shares own journey in public service and the law, the importance of knocking on doors and listening to constituents, the ongoing investigation into Big Pharma’s role in the opioid crisis, and why he believes a Democrat will take Pennsylvania in 2020.
Stanley McChrystal is a retired four-star general in the U.S. Army who led America’s Joint Special Operations Command and NATO forces in the War in Afghanistan. He joins David to share his view of Trump’s military policy both abroad and domestic, the famous resignation letter he handed President Obama in the wake of a bombshell Rolling Stone story, his take on former colleague Michael Flynn, and much more. His new book, Leaders: Myth and Reality profiles famous leaders from a range of fields to explore how leadership works in practice and challenge the myths that underlie our understanding of it.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry joins David for a televised version of the Axe Files to discuss the state of American foreign policy under Donald Trump, whether he’s considering a run for the White House in 2020, what he learned from a life of public service, his decorated service in Vietnam, and why he remains hopeful for the future.
Sherrilyn Ifill is the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. She joins David to talk about how growing up in the heat of the civil rights movement inspired her to practice law, the impact of the present reversing of Obama-era policies designed to protect marginalized groups, contemporary race relations in America, her take on Attorney General nominee Bill Barr’s confirmation hearing, and much more.
Miguel Cervantes, star of the blockbuster Hamilton play in Chicago, sits down with David to talk about the years he spent auditioning prior to landing the leading role, the cultural phenomenon the play has become, and his daughter’s unexpected diagnosis with epilepsy – the news of which coincided with his landing the titular role.
Ivo Daalder is the President of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the former U.S. ambassador to NATO. He joins David to talk about the decline of American influence abroad and current vacuum in global leadership, the cost of abdicating international cooperation, how growing up outside of the U.S. impacted his appreciation for the United States, and his assessment of contemporary U.S. foreign policy in diplomatic hotspots including China, Russia, North Korea, Syria, and more. His new book, The Empty Throne: America’s Abdication of Global Leadership, explores the erosion of American diplomacy and its impact on the postwar world order.
J.B. Pritzker, governor-elect of Illinois, joins David to discuss the unique challenges facing the state and his priorities moving forward, what surprised him upon meeting Donald Trump during the December governors meeting, and – despite his family’s storied wealth – the poignant series of events that struck the Pritzker clan when J.B. was young.