467 episodes

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.

The Axe Files with David Axelrod The Institute of Politics & CNN

    • News

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.

    Best of The Axe Files: Megan Rapinoe

    Best of The Axe Files: Megan Rapinoe

    With the Tokyo Olympics under way, we revisit a conversation from 2020 with Megan Rapinoe, captain of the U.S. women’s national soccer team and Olympic gold medalist. At the time, Rapinoe was skeptical about the future of the 2020 games. Megan joined 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 using her platform to engage in progressive activism: from LGBTQ and racial justice to equal pay, electoral politics, and more.

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    • 56 min
    Ep. 453 — Stephanie Cutter

    Ep. 453 — Stephanie Cutter

    Democratic strategist Stephanie Cutter says she has a fearless streak. This fearlessness gave her the confidence to walk into Gov. Mario Cuomo’s office asking for a job in her early twenties and to later successfully execute the virtual 2020 Democratic National Convention during a pandemic. Stephanie joined David to talk about her upbringing in a small town in Massachusetts, her close relationship with the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, working for former President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky period, and putting together President Joe Biden’s Emmy-nominated inauguration program.

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    • 56 min
    Ep. 452 — John Anzalone

    Ep. 452 — John Anzalone

    John Anzalone first met President Joe Biden while working as a field organizer in Iowa on Biden’s 1988 presidential campaign. Thirty-three years later, John was the top pollster for Biden’s 2020 campaign, this time watching as Biden secured the presidency. John joined David to talk about growing up in a working-class family in Michigan, how living away from Washington helps inform his work, the surprising way Covid-19 impacted the 2020 polls, and why he believes Biden is handing Democrats a strong platform heading into the 2022 midterms.

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    • 57 min
    Ep. 451 — Ben Rhodes

    Ep. 451 — Ben Rhodes

    Ben Rhodes thought he wanted to pursue creative writing, but witnessing the 9/11 terrorist attacks as a graduate student at New York University altered his career path. He joined the 2008 Obama campaign as a speechwriter, eventually becoming deputy national security advisor for strategic communications in the Obama administration. He joined David to talk about how American foreign policy has shaped the world in the last 30 years, what he learned from traveling with Obama during and after his time in the White House, national identity, and his new book, After the Fall: Being American in the World We’ve Made.

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    • 58 min
    Ep. 450 — Nathan Law

    Ep. 450 — Nathan Law

    As an architect of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Umbrella Movement, Nathan Law first tried to keep his activism a secret from his mother. But before long she saw police arresting him at a protest on live television. Since then, Law has been elected to political office, served time in prison and fled to London where he has been granted asylum. He joined David to talk about his upbringing and path to disenchantment with Beijing, threats to democracy in Hong Kong and the US, and leaving behind his family and the city that he loves—possibly forever. 

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    • 55 min
    Ep. 449 — Surgeon General Vivek Murthy

    Ep. 449 — Surgeon General Vivek Murthy

    Surgeon General Vivek Murthy was picking up his dry cleaning in Brooklyn when he got a call from the Obama administration asking if he was interested in the job. He wavered at first, but realized it was the perfect blend of his healthcare nonprofit, advocacy and medical practice experiences. He is now on his second stint as America’s top doctor under President Biden. Dr. Murthy joined David to talk about his family’s immigration story, Covid-19 and his concerns over variants and vaccination rates, gun violence, emotional wellness and loneliness and designing a better post-pandemic future.

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    • 59 min

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