Welcome to Playbook Deep Dive, the stories behind the power. From Congress and the White House to bar stools and back rooms, POLITICO Playbook’s Ryan Lizza brings you interviews with the most compelling and important figures who explain what’s really going on in Washington.
Nancy Mace’s main character energy
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) has a way of being in the middle of things, whether it’s standing up to Trump after Jan. 6 when many in her party kept quiet, helping overthrow House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, or warning Republicans about how they were wrong when it comes to the politics of abortion.
But some of that drama is catching up with Mace back home in South Carolina, which on Saturday will be the center of the political world as voters head to the polls in the state’s presidential primary. Mace is now back in Trump’s corner and facing a primary which features not one but two candidates at least partly motivated by revenge: a candidate backed by McCarthy and Mace’s own former chief of staff.
On this episode of Deep Dive, host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza talks to Rep. Mace about her on-again, off-again history with Trump; the revenge plots playing out in her primary; her prediction about Trump’s margin of victory on Saturday; and the backstory to that time she wore a giant scarlet “A” on the House floor.
Jim Himes on satellites, space nukes and Section 702
Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, joins host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza to discuss everything you might want to know about Russian space weapons, Section 702 reforms, and the behind-the-scenes action at the Intelligence Committee during a week of extraordinary volatility.
Chris Murphy's untold border bill backstory
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) was the Democratic lead on the much anticipated bipartisan border legislation that was supposed to sail through the Senate and unlock funding for the war in Ukraine. But everything went sideways this week when Republicans, at Donald Trump’s insistence, abruptly turned against the bill. On this episode of Deep Dive, Sen. Murphy tells host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza what really happened behind the scenes in the negotiations that assembled the bill and how things unraveled so fast.
How the border is splitting Biden’s closest allies
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) discusses the unique role she plays as one of President Joe Biden’s campaign co-chairs who is also opposed to some of the key policies he is pursuing on immigration and in the Middle East.
On this episode, she tells Deep Dive host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza:
Her views on Biden’s border policies and the senate bill
Her own ideas of what a winning immigration policy looks like
Her concerns about Biden’s policies in the Middle East — and what she fears is the potential political fallout for his re-election
What might be on the agenda at the next secret meeting of Biden’s campaign co-chairs
Whether she’d rather Biden run against Nikki Haley or Donald Trump
Meet the pollster who is getting under the Democrats’ skin
Mark Penn is best known for two things: his devotion to centrist politics and his former role as the top pollster and strategist for Bill and Hillary Clinton. Lately, he’s added a third: a barrage of polls that show a large majority of Americans are crying out for an alternative to Trump and Biden.
On this episode of Deep Dive, he talks with host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza about his relationship (or lack thereof) with No Labels – a group promoting a third-party candidacy – the recent GOP primary results, his controversial polls, and why he thinks that Nikki Haley may still have a big role to play in this year’s election.
Is this the end of the New Hampshire primary as we know it?
Joe McQuaid, the longtime publisher of The New Hampshire Union Leader – the 161-year old conservative paper that has operated like a Republican party boss for many decades – joins Deep Dive to tell host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza everything you need to know about Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, including whether or not Nikki Haley can win, if she’ll get the Union Leader’s endorsement, and whether New Hampshire’s primacy in American politics has come to an end.
If you want to understand how policymaking and politics really works Playbook Deep Dive is the podcast. Guests are frequently not the most famous politicos that you see regularly on mainstream media but rather politicians, staffers, civil servants, and consultants that are doing much of the real policymaking work. And Lizza is consistently amazing in his questioning to get down to what the real situation is and how the process is working (or not working); and often learning a small bit of personal information that humanizes his guests. I consistently look forward to the pod dropping every Friday.
Wow. Thank you SO MUCH for minimizing ads and placing them at end of episodes! And for delivering such excellent coverage in this and your briefer daily politics podcast, also new to me. Both so smart and helpful. Thank you!
Stay on this track with analysis of 2024 election(s) with top journalists and pollsters etc. from here on out…Johnathan Martin was fantastic!