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July 1, 2020
This week the Hacks welcome back John Heilemann of Showtime’s The Circus and The Recount. We cover Covid's resurgence in red states and how it could affect Trump’s reelection bid, mixed messaging from the White House, Trump’s reckoning with race relations, new swing state polling, how Trump-Biden debates could impact the election, and more. We also answer listener questions on competitive Senate races, what the conventions might look like, and what advice we might give to those who might want to jump in to politics and lend a hand to campaigns. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 23, 2020
This week, Axe and Murphy are joined by former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. We talk Trump’s Tulsa tirade and what the smaller-than-anticipated crowd size could mean for the campaign, the administration’s ongoing bungled pandemic response, big obstacles for Biden, the Bolton book, and more. Plus, we answer listener questions on whether a national crisis changes the importance of the economy in the minds of voters, to what extent we can trust polls this year, and Susan Rice VP speculation. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 16, 2020
Axe and Murphy are joined this week by Alex Wagner of Showtime’s “The Circus” and CBS News. Trumpworld is in turmoil as civil rights protests churn nationwide, POTUS’s poll numbers plunge, and the Supreme Court hands down a landmark pro-LGBTQ decision penned by Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch. The Hacks talk through what this means for Trump’s electoral prospects and more. Plus, we discuss statewide polling and competitive Senate races, and answer listener mailbag questions on whether anything Trump does can turn his base against him, AG Barr and the potential for blanket pardons, and which media markets Team Biden should prioritize. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 16, 2020
Axe and Murphy are joined this week by Alex Wagner of Showtime’s “The Circus” and CBS News. Trumpworld is in turmoil as civil rights protests churn nationwide, POTUS’s poll numbers plunge, and the Supreme Court hands down a landmark pro-LGBTQ decision penned by Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch. The Hacks talk through what this means for Trump’s electoral prospects and more. Plus, we discuss statewide polling and competitive Senate races, and answer listener mailbag questions on whether anything Trump does can turn his base against him, AG Barr and the potential for blanket pardons, and which media markets Team Biden should prioritize. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 9, 2020
Joining Murphy at the helm this week is Phil Rosenthal, television writer, producer, and creator of Netflix’s “Somebody Feed Phil.” This week, we talk Trump’s plummeting approval rating amid nationwide protests, what Joe Biden needs to do to from now until November, what the latest polling could portend for the general election, and more. We also talk about the politics of food and how a meal can bring people together, especially on the campaign trail. Finally, Murphy answers listener questions on closed party primaries and which states might the likeliest bellwethers on election night. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
June 3, 2020
Axe and Murphy are joined this week by former Obama White House press secretary Robert Gibbs. We discuss the grief and outrage gripping the nation in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the suppression of peaceful protestors at Trump’s behest, how the politics of the moment have shifted, Joe Biden’s attempt to take the wheel, and more. The Hacks also take listener’s questions about Trump’s relationship with Twitter, the youth vote, and what polls portend for Trump. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 27, 2020
Axe and Murphy are joined by guest hack John Heilemann of The Recount and Showtime’s The Circus. This week we unpack the latest polling, what the Hacks think might move persuadable voters, Biden’s most recent gaffe and how it might impact the veepstakes, convention apprehension, and more. Plus, we answer listener questions on campaign strategy, Arizona's potential to flip from red to blue, and the likelihood of Trump swapping out VP Pence for Nikki Haley. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 20, 2020
Guest hack Rahm Emanuel, former Chicago mayor and Chief of Staff to President Obama, joins Axe and Murphy to discuss Trump’s trip down hydroxychloroquine lane, the Democratic party’s messaging problem, ‘Obamagate,’ and more. Plus, Axe, Murphy, and Rahm answer listener questions on Trump’s teflon approval ratings, the effectiveness of negative campaign ads, and what young people can do to get involved in politics and public service.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 12, 2020
Axe and Murphy are joined this week by Robert Gibbs, former White House press secretary. This week we talk Trump’s tantrum press briefing, Obama’s criticism of the federal government’s response to COVID-19, the state of various Senate races, and more. The Hacks also answer listener questions on the odds that Michelle Obama returns to the political arena and why betting markets often differ from the polls — and which to believe.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
May 6, 2020
The Hacks are joined this week by Alex Wagner, host of Crooked Media’s new podcast “Six Feet Apart” and co-host of Showtime’s The Circus. We talk Trump’s pivot from running on the economy to running from the economy, and the wild comparison he made between himself and President Lincoln. The Hacks also discuss Axe & David Plouffe’s New York Times op-ed in which they give advice to Team Biden, developments in the Tara Reade sexual assault allegations, and the state of play in competitive Senate races. Axe, Murphy, and Wagner sift through the mail bag and answer listeners’ questions on the potential impact of Justin Amash’s third-party bid, a possible drawback in selecting a sitting governor as Biden’s VP, and what kind of role Trump might play in the Republican Party after his presidency comes to an end. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 28, 2020
Axe and Murphy reunite this week with special guest hack John Heilemann of MSNBC, The Recount, and Showtime’s The Circus. The Hacks talk Trump’s China blame game and the politics of the economy. Plus, they discuss what Biden can and should be doing to define himself in the campaign—so Trump doesn't do it for him. Finally, they take listeners’ questions on the Veepstakes, Mike Bloomberg’s war chest, and Democratic populism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 22, 2020
Axe and Murphy unite virtually with guest hack Mark McKinnon, former presidential adviser and co-host of Showtime’s The Circus.   This week, we talk POTUS’ push to re-open the economy, the latest general election polling and what it could portend for November. We also break down Biden’s new ad and debate whether news networks should air Trump’s daily press briefings.  Finally, we sort through the mail bag and answer listeners’ questions on Elizabeth Warren as a potential vice presidential pick, why Murphy and McKinnon don’t consider Trump a conservative, and which political movies the Hacks deem their favorites. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 15, 2020
Axe and Murphy return with fellow super-hack and former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel to talk all the latest, including Trump’s presser meltdown, Obama’s Biden endorsement, the Wisconsin election, and more.   We reach into the mail bag and take listeners’ questions on Biden’s vice presidential pick, Trump’s removal of the Coronavirus fund watchdog, and what happens if Trump refuses to leave office. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 15, 2020
Axe and Murphy return with fellow super-hack and former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel to talk all the latest, including Trump’s presser meltdown, Obama’s Biden endorsement, the Wisconsin election, and more.   We reach into the mail bag and take listeners’ questions on Biden’s vice presidential pick, Trump’s removal of the Coronavirus fund watchdog, and what happens if Trump refuses to leave office. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 7, 2020
The Hacks are once again joined by former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to break down the latest in a raucous week in DC. Wisconsin improbably held its primary amid a pandemic, despite the governor’s attempt to postpone it. Could this set a precedent for November? Axe, Murphy, and Gibbs discuss the ousting of yet another White House press secretary and what this means for the administration. Plus, they discuss the probability of a virtual convention and what more, if anything, the Biden campaign should be doing right now. Tune in to hear all this and more! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 1, 2020
This week, Axe and Murphy are joined by former Obama White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to discuss the latest:   When reality becomes reality TV: Trump’s daily press briefings threaten to sweep reality under the rug in a barrage of disinformation. Is Trump’s tactic an effective one?   Where’s Joe?—In the throes of a pandemic, it seems impossible for Biden to forge a platform of his own. Could Biden's empathetic message be seen as the antidote to Trump, or will the general election simply be a referendum on the president?   The Hacks dive beneath the toplines in new polling from the Washington Post and Fox News—what might these breakdowns tell us about turnout patterns in 2020?   And Murphy, Axe, and Gibbs reach into the mail bag and field listeners’ questions on whether free market health care works, gubernatorial leadership, and the potential for election postponement. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
April 1, 2020
This week, Axe and Murphy are joined by former Obama White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to discuss the latest:   When reality becomes reality TV: Trump’s daily press briefings threaten to sweep reality under the rug in a barrage of disinformation. Is Trump’s tactic an effective one?   Where’s Joe?—In the throes of a pandemic, it seems impossible for Biden to forge a platform of his own. Could Biden's empathetic message be seen as the antidote to Trump, or will the general election simply be a referendum on the president?   The Hacks dive beneath the toplines in new polling from the Washington Post and Fox News—what might these breakdowns tell us about turnout patterns in 2020?   And Murphy, Axe, and Gibbs reach into the mail bag and field listeners’ questions on whether free market health care works, gubernatorial leadership, and the potential for election postponement. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 24, 2020
The socially-distanced Hacks reunite virtually to discuss the latest:   Trump twists his tune as the dire COVID-19 consequences take hold. Trump is zeroing in on the pandemic’s economic impact, but will this messaging be effective, and is it smart?   Biden’s buzz abates as coronavirus coverage rightfully continues to dominate news cycles. Axe and Murphy put on their campaign hats and offer strategic advice for the presumptive Democratic nominee: how should he position himself during a nationwide crisis of confidence?    Lastly, the Hacks tackle listeners’ questions on whether they think Trump will use the pandemic as an excuse to dodge debates with Biden, and whether reporters should be more aggressive during press briefings. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 19, 2020
The socially-distanced Hacks reunite with special guest John Heilemann of MSNBC, Showtime’s The Circus, and The Recount.    As the gravity of the Coronavirus escalates and the world shudders to a halt, where do we go from here? What does it mean for what’s left of the Democratic primary and beyond?   In the wake of another round of primaries on Tuesday, Bernie’s chance at nabbing the nomination dwindles even further. Will he bow out any time soon, and what becomes of his loyal base?   Reality cuts through the bubble of bull%^&*: from fanning conspiracies last week to a ‘wartime’ stature this week, President Trump pivots on the pandemic. As markets crash and the global economy collapses, what will this mean for him politically?    Lastly, the Hacks-plus-Heilemann dive into the mailbag and answer listeners’ questions on how Biden overcame organizational weaknesses, Bernie and Warren’s fight for the Left, VP Pence’s role as virus czar, and voter turnout trends.    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 19, 2020
The socially-distanced Hacks reunite with special guest John Heilemann of MSNBC, Showtime’s The Circus, and The Recount.    As the gravity of the Coronavirus escalates and the world shudders to a halt, where do we go from here? What does it mean for what’s left of the Democratic primary and beyond?   In the wake of another round of primaries on Tuesday, Bernie’s chance at nabbing the nomination dwindles even further. Will he bow out any time soon, and what becomes of his loyal base?   Reality cuts through the bubble of bull%^&*: from fanning conspiracies last week to a ‘wartime’ stature this week, President Trump pivots on the pandemic. As markets crash and the global economy collapses, what will this mean for him politically?    Lastly, the Hacks-plus-Heilemann dive into the mailbag and answer listeners’ questions on how Biden overcame organizational weaknesses, Bernie and Warren’s fight for the Left, VP Pence’s role as virus czar, and voter turnout trends.    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 16, 2020
The Hacks convene the day after what might be the last debate of the primary to share their reactions and analysis. What did Biden and Sanders do well and where did they miss the mark? Will Biden’s promise to choose a woman as his running mate change the game? And with COVID-19 rightfully dominating the news, where does the race go from here? Tune in to hear the latest from Hacks on Tap. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 12, 2020
Another Super Tuesday is behind us! Bernie Sanders makes it clear he intends to stay in the race — for now. What does this mean for the upcoming head-to-head debate in Arizona? What message does Biden need to send to Sanders’ supporters in order to gain their support? Axe and Murphy dive into the data from last night's contests to see what, if anything, the turnout may portend for the general election. Plus, the Hacks talk politics of the Coronavirus. We also take listeners' questions on the newfangled wave of support for Joe Biden and why some candidates seem more "likable" when they drop out of the race. Tune in! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 5, 2020
Turns out Super Tuesday was super exciting. The Hacks spent a day taking it all in and are now ready to sort through the fallout. Where did Biden’s surprise surge come from? Now that the race has narrowed to two, what’s the path forward for both candidates? Are the Democrats still facing the prospect of a contested convention? Plus, Axe and Murphy open the mail bag to take listeners’ questions. Tune in to hear all this and more! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
March 2, 2020
The Hacks convene in the aftermath of the South Carolina Democratic primary to talk about what Joe Biden’s win might mean for the rest of the race. Did Biden get his Mo-Joe back? Buttigieg drops out — does this portend the end for Klobuchar and Warren as well? And what should we be looking for on Super Tuesday? ...All this and more! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
February 27, 2020
On this bonus crossover episode, the Hacks join Slate's "How To! With Charles Duhigg" to discuss how to weigh ideology vs. electability and rank the issues that really matter. They talk to an Independent voter who hasn't made up his mind. Can their advice help Anthony—and all of us—make sure our vote counts? Released February 25, 2020. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
February 25, 2020
The Hacks are back for a special post-Nevada, pre-South Carolina pod: First, Sanders claims his surge has the Democratic establishment worried: can anyone best Bernie or will the Democratic socialist nab the nomination? And what might a Sanders nomination mean for down-ballot races? The aftermath of Bloomberg's paltry debate performance remains to be seen, but may spell trouble for the billionaire. Will another media blitz move the needle for the former mayor? As we turn the corner on Nevada and steer to South Carolina, and all eyes are on Joe Biden: will the former Vice President pick up the Joe-mentum he needs or will his debate performance sink expectations? And in Washington: Donald Trump fires the Acting Director of National Intelligence and appoints the U.S. Ambassador to Germany in his wake. But how much do voters really care about the chaos? Lastly, the Hacks dive into our mail bag and take listeners’ questions on whether Bloomberg should launch a media assault on Bernie, and how some candidates’ debate prep failed to gird them for the obvious. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
February 20, 2020
The Hacks are back to break down the latest Democratic debate from Las Vegas, Nevada–   Mike Bloomberg makes his debate stage debut but bombs under a barrage of blows. He may have fallen short on the debate stage at the hands of Elizabeth Warren and others, but will his incoming ad blitzes erase his paltry performance? Plus, Pete Buttigieg takes some of the wind out of Klobuchar’s sails, but will this muddle in the middle ultimately benefit Bernie?   Where are we now? As we lurch toward Super Tuesday, the possibility of a brokered convention seems more real than ever before. What does this mean for the party – and for Democratic prospects against Donald Trump?    And no Holds Barr-ed: the Hacks dive into the chaos from the Justice Department and touch on Trump’s pardon-palooza.   All this, and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
February 20, 2020
The Hacks are back to break down the latest Democratic debate from Las Vegas, Nevada–   Mike Bloomberg makes his debate stage debut but bombs under a barrage of blows. He may have fallen short on the debate stage at the hands of Elizabeth Warren and others, but will his incoming ad blitzes erase his paltry performance? Plus, Pete Buttigieg takes some of the wind out of Klobuchar’s sails, but will this muddle in the middle ultimately benefit Bernie?   Where are we now? As we lurch toward Super Tuesday, the possibility of a brokered convention seems more real than ever before. What does this mean for the party – and for Democratic prospects against Donald Trump?    And no Holds Barr-ed: the Hacks dive into the chaos from the Justice Department and touch on Trump’s pardon-palooza.   All this, and more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
February 12, 2020
The Hacks are back to break down the results out of New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders narrowly edged out Pete Buttigieg in the first in the nation primary. Amy Klobuchar proved that the “Klobusurge” is real after a strong debate performance propelled her to a third place finish in New Hampshire.    As we look towards Nevada and beyond, what do the results from the first two contests mean for Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren? What do Buttigieg and Klobuchar need to do to continue their momentum in the lead up to Super Tuesday? And with Mike Bloomberg making his debate debut next week, is his path to the nomination suddenly becoming more clear?   The hacks also open up the mail bag and give shout outs to some of their favorite books on the behind-the-scenes of campaign strategery. Finally, they bid adieu to candidates who decided New Hampshire was the end of the road for their campaigns. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
February 4, 2020
Bleary-eyed and results-less, Murphy and guest hack Robert Gibbs join forces to wade through last night’s Iowa caucus madness. Are the Iowa caucuses no longer viable? Laden with technical difficulties and “quality control” issues, was the mangled process the nail in the coffin for Iowa’s first-in-the-nation status? Or for caucuses in general? As the country holds its breath, multiple candidates seize on the opportunity to tout a “victory” speech: to what degree is the real winner’s spotlight diluted? If Buttigieg wins Iowa, but doesn't get to enjoy a big bounce going into New Hampshire, what will it mean for his candidacy? Will Biden crumble if he underperforms expectations? And on impeachment: Murphy shares his take on former client Sen. Lamar Alexander and the Hacks wade through what happens next. Lastly, we dive into the mailbag and take listeners’ questions on why Nevada is so often overlooked in the early states' media narrative, and how Murphy feels about the Wall Street Journal’s soft touch on Trump. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
January 28, 2020
The Hacks are back this week with a live edition before students at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. We talk all the latest—   First, John Bolton’s new book coincidentally coincides with his willingness to testify before the Senate. If he is indeed called as a witness, how much will it matter – if at all?    Trump defense lawyer Pam Bondi aims her case squarely at the Bidens and Burisma – is Burisma the new Benghazi?   Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar vie for the lead in Iowa. With three of the five frontrunners trapped in jury duty, how will the final results take shape? Plus, the Hacks review the latest ads from all five top contenders, sharing their views on how the ad wars could impact each candidate’s position in the race.   We take live mail bag questions from students at the University of Chicago, who wonder if there’s room for both Sanders and Warren to split the lead in Iowa.    Our Last Call this week takes a closer look at a newly-minted Amy Klobuchar ad.
January 21, 2020
The Hacks are here to talk all the latest: The impeachment trial launches in the Senate and both sides assume their marks: will it amount to more than Kabuki theater, or will the partisan paradigm pervade? And how much will it matter in November? T minus two weeks until our favorite time of the year: the Iowa caucuses! Polling points to cadre of four frontrunners: under what circumstances could any of them pull ahead? And as the Warren/Bernie feud continues to dominate news coverage, who benefits from the spat, and how will it shape the fight to lead the Left? Klobuchar is climbing in the polls: but will Senate jury duty hamper her chances? Is there a lane for Mayor Mike Bloomberg under any circumstances? The Hacks dive into the mailbag: we offer advice to an Iowa caucus voter and assess the possibility that Team Warren planted the Bernie bout. Lastly, the New York Times’ editorial board offer their endorsement to an unprecedented two Democratic contenders. What say the Hacks about this anomalous assertion?
January 15, 2020
The mad dash to the Iowa caucuses are upon us! The Hacks break down the Des Moines Register/CNN Democratic Debate—and pinch-hitting for David this week is the great Robert Gibbs, former White House Press Secretary under President Obama.    The Hacks tackle Iowa: it’s a race to the finish as four leading candidates vie for the top spot. Gibbs and Murphy draw from their experiences as former campaign pros to dish behind-the-scenes info on the Iowa caucuses. Can caucus procedure shape the outcome? And a chunk of Hawkeye voters still remain undecided: will this shake up the race?   Democrats duke it out in Des Moines: Bernie and Warren plunge into a cold war, culminating in the “non-handshake from hell” – will it impact Bernie’s strong standing in the polls? Biden stood his ground, but will it be enough? Buttigieg and Klobuchar try to claim the centrist torch: is it strong enough to knock Biden from his perch?   The articles of impeachment have been transmitted from the House to the Senate: will new evidence and potential new witnesses shape the outcome? And will the presidential contenders on Senate “jury duty” suffer from absences in Iowa?    Lastly, the Hacks dive into the mailbag and take listeners’ questions on the possibility and outcome of a brokered convention, whether or not Iowa has the potential to fall to Democrats in the general election, and the extent to which Trump has hijacked the Republican Party.
January 7, 2020
The Hacks kick off the new decade with all the latest—   President Trump ordered the fatal strike of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week. Was there a strategy behind the move, and to what end? Will the attack play to his base or undermine his pledge to end endless war?    John Bolton says he’ll testify before the Senate during the President’s impeachment trial. But will it move the needle in the Senate?   The Iowa caucuses are upon us! With a purported three-way tie between Biden, Buttigieg, and Bernie – and Warren not far behind – the frontrunners vie for victory. What do the latest fundraising disclosures mean for the candidates and their campaigns, and how will it shake up the final weeks of the Iowa race?   The Hacks also tackle listener questions on how likely a repeat PA, MI, and WI general election sweep is for President Trump, and share a Hacks history lesson – when and how Axe and Murphy, political pros hailing from opposite sides of the aisle, became pod-mates.
December 20, 2019
The Hacks reunite in Los Angeles, California as the sixth Democratic debate draws to a close. Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar overperform the norm: will this newfound Joe-mentum last? The blows buffet Buttigieg: will he weather the storm? We turn to impeachment: the House of Representatives voted this week to impeach Donald Trump, but his approval rating remains steady. How will the saga unfold, and what will it portend for the 2020 election? All this and more during our midnight edition of Hacks on Tap.
December 10, 2019
The hacks are here to talk all the latest—  Politics of impeachment: as the impeachment saga continues to unfold, Democrats and Republicans alike continue to politicize the process. How much — if at all — will this weaken Trump in 2020, and will any senators defect from the party line?  Someone had his Cup o’ Joe! Biden talks tough toward an Iowa voter — did he cross the line, or is this the energy voters want to see from him?  Bloomberg’s bid: he’s flush with cash and flooding the airwaves—but will he make a splash?  Lastly, we dive into the mailbag and answer listeners’ questions on what the onslaught of House GOP retirements mean, how to reconcile Buttigieg’s Christian faith with his lack of support among faith-based strongholds, and parse through what the “white working class” actually means.
December 4, 2019
This week, the Hacks dive into the latest polling out of New Hampshire and size up the state of the race. With the breaking news that Sen. Kamala Harris is dropping out, will other lower-tier candidates follow suit? Is Bloomberg’s huge ad buy cash well-spent, or will he fail to break through? Will Mayor Pete’s weekend jaunt through the Carolinas move the needle? Plus, Axe and Murphy talk Trump’s visit to the NATO summit and dig into the latest impeachment news. Tune in for all this and more!
November 21, 2019
The Hacks are back to discuss the latest Democratic debate. With public impeachment hearings sucking up most of the oxygen, did the debate move the needle in the race? Axe and Murphy break down each candidate’s performance and recap the night’s best—and worst—moments. The Hacks also weigh in on the latest impeachment news. Despite some extraordinary testimony, will the Senate vote to convict? Tune in to hear Axe and Murphy’s take!
November 12, 2019
The Hacks huddle to tackle the latest: The public impeachment hearings kick off this week. Republicans have been auditioning wild arguments in defense of the president—and Jeff Sessions’ new Senate ad suggests this won’t change—what, if anything, will bring Republicans around?  Former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg consider throwing their hats into the Democratic race. Will it spark a Deval-ution or fail to bloom? Pete Buttigieg surges in Iowa but is starting to take fire from Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren. Will the hits stick, and what does it mean for the young mayor? Lastly, the Hacks take listeners’ questions on how Trump may affect down-ballot races, the potential power of a unity ticket, and why TV ads matter.
November 5, 2019
The Hacks are back this week to talk through the latest: The famed Liberty and Justice Dinner (formerly known as the Jefferson-Jackson) wrapped last Friday in Iowa: Who stood out, what does it mean, and how much will it shake up the race? Poll-a-palooza: Why do Axe and Murphy dub the slew of new polls in early swing states a “wake-up call” for Dems? State of the Senate: a growing number of Republican senators consider acknowledging Trump's misdeeds with Ukraine—but does it matter? …And we raise our glasses to Beto O’Rourke for a hard-fought bid for the nomination. The Hacks close with listeners’ mailbag questions on why internal polls matter and the potential impact of a third-party candidate on the race.
October 29, 2019
This week, the Hacks talk politics of al-Baghdadi: did Trump overplay the death of the ISIS leader? Will Trump benefit, and will it last? The timing of Nancy Pelosi's impeachment decision strikes Axe and Murphy as peculiar: Why now? What does it mean for 2020? Joe Biden's new 60 Minutes interview featured the side of Biden everyone's been waiting for. Is the former Veep's 'Candidate Protection Program' turning over a new leaf? Plus, the Hacks talk Nate Silver's new FiveThirtyEight story on whether or not Democrats really want a new candidate, the politics of Biden's PAC reversal, and the upcoming Law and Justice (formerly known as the Jefferson-Jackson) dinner in Iowa, the event that was considered a launchpad for President Obama. The Hacks wrap by answering listeners' questions on whether or not Murphy can be convinced to vote for Liz Warren, and whether it's better to be leading in national polls or gaining in statewide polls.
October 22, 2019
This week, the Hacks dive into:    The state of the Senate Republicans: Is Mitt Romney — aka Pierre Delecto — a lone detractor of harbinger of what’s to come? Plus, Lindsay Graham tells Axios that evidence of a true quid pro quo could change his mind on impeachment, and new data spells potential trouble for some senators up for re-election in 2020.    It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for Elizabeth Warren as she continues to be pressed for details on her Medicare for All plan. She’s promised a roadmap in the coming weeks, but could the delay cause problems for the newly-minted frontrunner?    New polling from Iowa is in: will Buttigieg’s bump overcome any growing pains for his campaign?    And Sen. Cory Booker joins the Hacks, who ask if for his his take on Warren’s new education plan, why his poll numbers seem to be lagging in Iowa, and whether or not he seems himself as a good alternative to Biden.    And the mail bag returns with answers to why healthcare suddenly seems to be the Democrats’ downfall, if Trump’s social media war chest can overcome his unpopularity, and which if any Democratic candidate has the potential to draw from Biden’s strong support from African-American voters.
October 16, 2019
The fourth Democratic presidential debate is behind us and the hacks are here to break it all down.  All eyes are on Liz Warren as she gets frontrunner treatment for the very first time: how did she fare?  Buttigieg bites back: is this a turning point for the South Bend mayor?  Biden becomes background: can his candidacy sustain steam? Amy Klobuchar brought her A-game: but is this too little, too late?  What’s not working with Cory Booker?  ...And much more.
October 9, 2019
The Hacks are back from their jaunt to Austin and itching to dig into the latest. Hill Republicans and Democrats alike are in a tizzy over Trump’s call to pull troops out of Syria – but will the move resonate with his voting base? Meanwhile the impeachment inquiry has some congressional Republicans wondering if it's time to revolt and bolt. The great John Heilemann joins Axe and Murphy to share intel from the ground in Iowa and lets us in on who he thinks is the dark horse to watch. And finally, the Hacks dive into the mailbag and take listeners’ questions on whether David would trade Obama’s second term for Trump, whether or not Trump has lost Fox News, and impeachment’s potential impact on House and Senate races.
September 30, 2019
The Hacks reunite LIVE at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, TX. This time, they’re joined by super-hack Karl Rove — former Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush — to break down all the latest on the impeachment inquiry, alleged Trump transgressions, the 2020 race, and more.
September 24, 2019
From whistleblowers to whistlestops, Axe and Murphy are chewing over the latest call for impeachment, Rep. Joe Kennedy, and new polling out of Iowa. Mayor Pete Buttigieg joins the show from his Not-the-Straight-Talk-Express bus tour of Iowa to give his take on impeachment, what he hears from voters out on the trail, and what sets him apart from the other candidates. In the mailbag, the hacks are talking brokered conventions, young voters, and advice for New Hampshire Never-Trumpers.
September 16, 2019
The Hacks are back after a Democratic debate with no shortage of talking points: Castro put Biden on blast, Betsy from Oklahoma ditched the cap and gown, and Beto brought the passion on guns. Axe and Murphy also touch on the escalating tensions with Iran over the bombing of a Saudi oil refinery and the latest accusations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Senator Amy Klobuchar joins the show to talk about her role in the Kavanaugh hearings and the path forward for her Presidential candidacy. We wrap up with a supersized mailbag with listener questions about the races for the Senate, Biden and the black vote, Mike’s post-Trump journey, and more.
September 16, 2019
The Hacks are back after a Democratic debate with no shortage of talking points: Castro put Biden on blast, Betsy from Oklahoma ditched the cap and gown, and Beto brought the passion on guns. Axe and Murphy also touch on the escalating tensions with Iran over the bombing of a Saudi oil refinery and the latest accusations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Senator Amy Klobuchar joins the show to talk about her role in the Kavanaugh hearings and the path forward for her Presidential candidacy. We wrap up with a supersized mailbag with listener questions about the races for the Senate, Biden and the black vote, Mike’s post-Trump journey, and more.
September 11, 2019
The Hacks are back in the run-up to Thursday’s debate. And the stage in Houston will be packed with TEN candidates—so what does each need to do in order to stand out? In order to keep the cash flowing? In order to maintain top-tier status? In order to avoid getting swallowed-up? Murph and Axe belly-up to the bar and sort through what each campaign’s hacks must be thinking right about now.
September 3, 2019
In this week’s episode, Biden flubs the details, but will it ever cross the line with voters? Axe and Murphy also take stock of the rest of the field ahead of the next Democratic debate, what's next for the candidates who didn't make the stage, and Trump's half-hearted hurricane watch. Guest hack Mark McKinnon joins the show to talk about Warren's worries with white working-class and black voters, his affinity for Mayor Pete, and redemption for Beto in Texas. Plus, the hacks hand out a bit of political travel advice for political junkies.
August 27, 2019
Axe is back from his stint in the cornfields of Iowa armed with new intel to break down with Murphy. But first – the hacks talk Trump’s erratic behavior at the G7 summit, size up Trump’s new primary challenge from former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, pose a theory as to why the governors in the Democratic race have yet to break through, and unpack Axe’s Iowa interviews with the leading presidential candidates. The hacks later dive into the mailbag and answer listener questions on Democratic strategy, to what extent early national polls really matter, and which brews the hacks themselves take on tap.
August 20, 2019
Axe has returned from his secret mission and is reunited with Murphy as they hash through Trump’s latest poll numbers and his frustration with Fox News. The first Biden TV ad has dropped in Iowa, but does he have what it takes to go the distance? And Anthony Scaramucci joins the Hacks—he’s back in the President’s crosshairs after voicing his opposition to him, and fills us in on his plan to “beat the bully.” He even makes a bit of news on his next steps. Finally the hacks field questions from the mailbag on Iowa’s status as “first in the nation,” and the search for some new and novel ways to campaign against Trump.
August 13, 2019
In this week’s episode, Democratic strategist and guest host Paul Begala joins Murphy on the mic to take stock of this week’s news. The hacks talk Jeffrey Epstein’s sudden death and the rise of conspiracy theories in politics, how Biden could benefit from leaning into his gaffes, and assess the Democratic candidates’ standings in the race. Guest hack and former White House Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri joins the show to share who she thinks has broken through in the Democratic field and her biggest fear for the Democratic Party in 2020. Lastly, the hacks dive into the mailbag and answer listeners’ questions on whether or not Barack Obama could beat Trump, Joaquin Castro taking heat for tweeting names of Trump donors, and the best lane for Mayor Pete in the Democratic race.
August 7, 2019
After the country was jolted yet again by mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, the hacks huddle up to talk about the how the President responded, what we should expect from a "Consoler in Chief," and how some Democratic candidates may set themselves apart as they respond to the tragedies. Former Congressman Steve Israel joins the show to talk about the realities of gun politics, why he hopes this time will be different, as well as his views on the state of the race. Lastly, David and Mike take some questions about "The Loudest Voice," a possible conservative third party, and the politics of health care.
August 1, 2019
In this week's episode, the Hacks huddle in Detroit in the wake of the second round of Democratic debates. Axe and Murphy share their takes on the Biden-Harris rematch, discuss the progressive-moderate party divide, highlight Warren and Booker's strong performances, and gauge the impact this round will have on the candidates moving forward. The Hacks also break down the memorable moments: Gabbard takes aim at Harris, Bernie brings the fight, Biden bites back, and a handful of one percenters – Delaney, Bullock, Bennet, and Inslee – make themselves heard.
July 23, 2019
This week, Axe and Murphy question whether Bob Mueller’s testimony will have any bearing on the race. Then, we’ll preview the Hunger Games, also known as the second round of Democratic debates. It's do or die for candidates stuck at 1%. And, we'll talk to one of those 1 percenters -- Colorado Senator Michael Bennet -- about how he plans to break through and keep the party from "going off a cliff." Plus, we dive into the mailbag to answer questions about the electoral college and whether the Democrats should be doing more to push back against Trump.
July 15, 2019
In this week’s episode, Axe and Murphy talk Trump’s strategy behind attacking the progressive freshmen House members, how the latest poll numbers spell potential for Kamala Harris, and whether Pete Buttigieg's coolheaded approach will help or hurt him in the race. Howard Wolfson, former deputy mayor of New York City, joins the show to talk about Michael Bloomberg's decision not to run and what role a third party candidate might play in a general election. Axe and Murphy dive to the mailbag to answer questions about Andrew Yang, Biden's staff, and the art of the post-primary pivot. During "Last Call," both hacks name the candidate they think should drop out of the race sooner rather than later.
July 9, 2019
This week, the hacks make sense of the newly announced fundraising numbers, talk Biden’s attempt to relaunch, discuss the political impact of Trump’s flip on the census question, and share their thoughts on Mitch McConnell’s new Senate challenger. Guest hack Jon Favreau of Pod Save America joins the show to talk about billionaire Tom Steyer throwing his hat into the race, the Democratic landscape in a post-debate world, and the rise of left-wing media. Axe and Murphy dive into the mailbag and answer submitted listener questions about what Mayor Pete should do with his impressive fundraising haul and whether or not Trump will participate in the general election debates.
July 2, 2019
This week, the hacks throw on their strategists’ caps and discuss how they would manage the leading campaigns in the wake of the first debates. Axe and Murphy also break down the slew of post-debate polling, talk Trump’s trip to North Korea, and discuss whether there’s a lane for a more moderate candidate should Biden’s support continues to slip. Guest hack Julián Castro, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Democratic presidential candidate, joins the show to talk about his standout debate performance, his immigration plan, and what’s next for the campaign. Lastly, the hacks reach into the mailbag and answer listener questions about a Murphy's post-debate advice for Warren, Axe’s take on former Obama staffers working the race, and what Amy Klobuchar needs to do to break through.
June 28, 2019
The first round of debates is in the books. Who helped themselves the most and who's spending their weekend doing damage control? In this bonus episode of Hacks on Tap, Axe and Murphy parse through the winners and losers of the first round of Democratic primary debates. The hacks break down the most memorable moments: Kamala Harris' exchange with Joe Biden, Buttigieg's answer on the South Bend police shooting, Warren's performance as the solo frontrunner onstage night one, Booker's response on gun control, and Castro's potential breakout moment.
June 25, 2019
The hacks talk Biden and Buttigieg’s tough week with race relations [2:52], escalating tensions with Iran [14:48], and preview this week’s Democratic debates [20:14]. Guest hack Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, joins to talk about how each campaign will hope to win the spin game [31:53]. David and Mike also dig into the mail bag , taking listeners’ questions on the electoral college, the relative advantages of the Democratic primary system, and which 2020 Democratic campaign they’d least like to helm [45:17].
June 18, 2019
This week the hacks talk about President Trump's interview on ABC [1:11], Trump's latest polling prospects [6:20], who was helped and who was hurt by the Democratic debate lottery [14:40], and guest hack David Plouffe joins the show to talk about why Democrats aren't paying more attention to digital advertising while Trump goes all in [18:58]. Finally the hacks open up the mailbag to take a few questions from listeners about bullying, Never-Trumpers, and the importance of the early primary states [33:49].
June 11, 2019
In the inaugural episode of Hacks on Tap, the hacks discuss the latest Democratic poll out of Iowa [1:30], the perils of being frontrunner [6:48], Biden's flip on the Hyde Amendment [10:30], the challenges facing female candidates with guest hack Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan [20:48], Elizabeth Warren's rise [33:02], and Trumps tariff turmoil [35:29].
June 6, 2019
Throughout the 2020 presidential campaign, battle-tested operatives will be sitting on bar stools along the trail, sharing war stories and unique, sometimes uproarious cuts on the latest developments. Hacks on Tap is your invitation to join two of the best. Campaign veterans Axelrod and Murphy will take listeners deep inside the top level of American politics. These seasoned pros have seen it all: the peaks and valleys, the pressure-cooker moments, the huge breaks and the horrible calamities no one saw coming. Who better to narrate this momentous race? So pull up a stool and join us every Tuesday afternoon starting on June 11th!
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