By Karin Robinson
It's game time. The battle to restore American democracy is underway and Democrats have chosen former Vice President Joe Biden as their champion. In this weekly show, Democratic Party activist and expat voter Karin Robinson explores the politics, policies and personalities of the 2020 election.
Battle for the Soul
In this special bonus episode, 2 very exciting things happen! 1) Karin announces her new podcast, What Can You Do? This commute length podcast brings on experts in some of the biggest issues facing the world today - polarisation, the housing crisis, inequality, climate change - to get a quick briefing on the issue and point you to some practical things you can do to help. 2) Karin speaks to Edward-Isaac Dovere, political journalist for the Atlantic, about his "cracking" new book Battle for the Soul. They talk about how Pete Buttigieg got robbed of his post Iowa momentum, the tensions between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, how close Mike Bloomberg came to being the nominee before Warren decimated him in his first debate, and - of course - about how Democrats wound up choosing Joe Biden and the country wound up electing him. They discuss the anti-democracy turn of the Republican Party post-election and how big D Democrats should respond to it. And, they play a "greatest hits" version of the Gut Check Game, reacting to quotes and sayings from throughout the campaign.
July 02, 2021
In this final episode of Democratically: 2020, Karin explains the medical dramas that kept her away from podcasting for the first couple months of the Biden era, and talks to Political Director of Data for Progress Marcella Mulholland and former Republican strategist Marshall Manson about the American Rescue Act, the prospects for improving our political system, and the (surprisingly?) impressive start to the Biden Administration.
March 27, 2021
Terrorism Steals Our Joy
Karin speaks again to Matthew McGregor of Hope Not Hate to follow up their earlier conversation about the rise of the far right and discuss the President's complicity in directly inciting the mob that broke into the Capitol building. We discuss the second impeachment of Trump and how we are all living as victims of domestic terrorism. They also look forward to the inauguration and how the Biden administration can start to deal with these ongoing threats.
January 17, 2021
This week, Karin speaks to Julie Norman, a Lecturer in US Politics at University College London about the insurrection that led to Trump supporters taking over the Capitol Building on Wednesday night, and also about the Democrats winning two Senate seats in Georgia following Tuesday's election.
January 08, 2021
This week, Karin welcomes in the new year with a quick recap of the rollercoaster of horrors that was 2020, and also gives you a rundown of what you can expect in Tuesday's 2 Georgia Senate runoff races. Happy New Year to you and yours!
January 01, 2021
In a special Christmas themed episode of the podcast, Karin talks to Friend of the Pod Emma Burnell about what politically themed Christmas gifts they would both wish to give to the current President, the President-Elect, and the major players in the Democratic Primary. Happy holidays to you and yours!
December 26, 2020
The Elector Speaks
Karin speaks to Friend of the Pod Khary Penebaker, who was one of the 306 Electoral College members who cast their ballots for Joe Biden this week. He tells us about what the vibe was like in the room, how he drew a little heart over Kamala Harris' name, how he has dealt with death threats and "twisted logic" from Trump supporters, and much more.
December 18, 2020
"I'm So Done With 2020"
Karin catches up with writer and Friend of the Pod Skylar Baker Jordan to talk about Biden's cabinet nominees, including: * the controversial appointment of recently retired 4-star General Lloyd Austin as Defence Secretary, and why this presents a threat to the principle of a civilian-led military * Skylar's enthusiasm for Secretary of State nominee Anthony Blinken, and the respect it pays to the expertise of diplomacy * Karin's enthusiasm for Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin, who has played a leading role in moving financial policy into a more progressive direction. We also talked about the possibility that Pete Buttigieg might be offered a job as Ambassador for China, and the pros and cons of this option. And finally, we discussed the changing political nature of the American South, and whether it still makes sense to think of this area as a cohesive region given the changing demographics there. And, of course, we play the Gut Check Game!
December 12, 2020
Karin speaks to comedian and American Exchange podcast host Erich McElroy about the very different goings on in Trump's universe and Biden's universe. In Trump's world, long-shot hearings continue in a certainly futile attempt to overturn the results of the election, while general pardons are being considered for Trumps kids (and possibly Trump himself?). Meanwhile over in Biden's world, preparations have begun for an orderly inauguration and a bunch of highly qualified and competent people have been appointed to Cabinet posts. Plus: We play the Gut Check Game, reacting to some colourful facts and personal anecdotes about some of Biden's Cabinet appointees.
December 04, 2020
This recording captures the live online event that took place on Saturday, November 28th and features: * Stand up (or rather, sit-down) comedy from Erich McElroy * A presentation by Karin digging into the turnout and persuasion performance of Democrats in Georgia this year * A conversation between Emma and Karin about the major themes of (and future for) this podcast * A panel and Q&A facilitated by Emma and featuring Karin as well as: Data For Progress Deputy Director for Climate Marcella Mulholland, Political strategist and Mind of State podcast co-host Jonathan Kopp and Comedian Erich McElroy. Special thanks to Paddy Collins, author of the newsletter Because the Internet for moderating the session and identifying audience questions for the Q&A.
December 01, 2020
Live Event Today! A Democratically: 2020 Thanksgiving
Join us for a special, free live online event featuring many of your favourite Friends of the Pod, including: Emma Burnell, Political Journalist Marcela Mulholland, Deputy Director for Climate for Data for Progress Jonathan Kopp, Co-Host of the Mind of State Podcast Erich McElroy, stand up comic and host of the American Exchange Podcast The session will be moderated by Paddy Collins, author of the Newsletter Because the Internet. Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-democratically-2020-thanksgiving-tickets-129003515989?aff=Podcast
November 27, 2020
Bet On It.
Karin speaks to betting analyst William Kedjanyi about how the Georgia Senate runoffs, Trump's frightening (but not successful) attempt to overturn the election results, and much more. Don't forget to register for A Democratically: 2020 Thanksgiving - our free live event for podcast friends and fans happening on Saturday, November 28th: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-democratically-2020-thanksgiving-tickets-129003515989?aff=Podcast
November 20, 2020
Karin speaks to Alex Thier, a foreign policy specialist who served with President-Elect Biden in the Obama administration and is currently working to promote Democracy overseas. Alex first appeared on this podcast during the primary, when he made the case for Joe Biden to be the nominee. In this conversation, we discuss what a Biden administration will look like, the challenges the President-Elect faces at home and abroad, and how concerned we should be about Donald Trump's refusal to concede the race. And, of course, we play the Gut Check Game! EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Karin also announced on this podcast that she will be hosting a live online event, "Thanksgiving, Democratically" on Saturday November 28th from 6PM UK time (1PM EST). Mark your diaries now, and register at this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/a-democratically-2020-thanksgiving-tickets-129003515989?aff=Podcast
November 13, 2020
Karin takes a moment to celebrate Joe Biden's victory and reflect on the journey we've taken to get to this moment.
November 07, 2020
Karin is joined by Friend of the Pod and Partner at Brunswick Communications Marshall Manson to run through what happened in Tuesday's election and what it all means. Together they recap the outcome of the Presidential, Senate and House races, answer questions they've heard from their British friends, and play the Gut Check Game.
November 06, 2020
The End of the Beginning?
In this final pre-election episode of the podcast, Karin is joined by frequent guest and Friend of the Pod Emma Burnell to round up the state of the race right now, consider why we all feel so anxious and traumatised despite Democrats' clear lead in the polls, and weigh the concerns about voter suppression and election related violence. They play a version of the Gut Check Game based on confronting facts that either trigger our fears or give us hope. You can join Karin on election night (and beyond, until we have a result) for a live chat about the results with a crew of fellow podcast listeners and friends here: https://discord.gg/dDCN5ut
November 02, 2020
The Choice: Part 2
It's the final weekend before election day, and Karin gives us all a bit of a pep talk, urging everyone listening to do one more thing - one extra action in support of Democratic victory. Whether that be an extra phone bank, calling friends to make sure they've voted. Giving money to causes and candidates. Whatever it you can do, please do one more thing. After that, in the second part of this short series on the parallel lives of the two candidates, Karin is joined by the writer Skylar Baker Jorden to run through: 2008: The year Donald Trump was riding high on his newfound fame as the star of The Apprentice, and making a fortune off licensing agreements that reinvigorated his financial health. Meanwhile, Joe Biden made his second run at the Presidency, eventually dropping out and being chosen as Barack Obama's running mate and getting elected to the Vice Presidency. 2020: The year Donald Trump ran for reelection amidst a global pandemic, nationwide protests against racism, and economic calamity, and Joe Biden makes his third attempt at the Presidency and finally wins the nomination. (And don’t forget to join our election night live chat here: https://discord.gg/EyTdSQPf)
October 30, 2020
The Choice: Part 1
In the first of a 2 part series, Karin is joined by writer and Friend of the Pod Skylar Baker Jordan for a deep dive on the parallel lives of the two men who seek the Presidency. Focussing in pivotal years that we important in defining the lives of both men, Karin covers the live of Joseph Robinette Biden, Former Vice President, Senator for Delaware, grieving husband and father, 3 time Presidential candidate, and Man on a mission... Meanwhile, Skylar covers the live of Donald John Trump, scion of a New York real estate dynasty, "billionaire' property developer whose net worth is sometimes negative to the tune of millions, twice divorced father of 5 and President of the United States. In this episode, we look at: 1973: The year in which Biden is sworn in to the Senate from his sons' hospital bed and the year the Trump family is investigated for racial discrimination in housing. 1991: The year Biden Chairs the Judiciary committee hearing into the nomination of Clarence Thomas - prompting a national debate about sexual harassment in the workplace and the year Trump declares the first of his 6 bankruptcies, after the catastrophic failure of some his Atlantic City casino investments. Stay tuned for Part 2 which will be published on Friday, and look at the years 2008 and the present day.
October 26, 2020
Final Debate Watch: Dog Whistles & Foghorns
Karin speaks to psychoanalyst Betty Teng and political communications strategist Jonathan Kopp - the co hosts of the Mind of State Podcast - about the 2nd and final Presidential debate. To continue the conversation about the themes of this episode, check out the Mind of State Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mindofstatepod/
October 23, 2020
"Be More Shocked"
Karin speaks to Kyle Taylor, the founder of Fair Vote UK, about the ways that social media platform have changed our political debate. We discuss the way that platforms responded to the New York Post story relating to Joe Biden's son Hunter, and we try to consider what a better information ecosystem might look like.
October 19, 2020
There Is No Debate!
Karin catches up with Marcela Mulholland, Deputy Director of Climate for Data for Progress, about the Presidential Debate that didn't happen, what Joe Biden's climate policy actually is.
October 16, 2020
Reasons to be cheerful! 😀 (Reasons to worry! 😳)
This week, after a quick news roundup, Karin talks through the abundant reasons Democrats have to be cheerful and optimistic about the election so far, based on the current polling and based on the data we do have about early voting. But then, after a warning for those who don't want to hear it, she touches on a few things that might be sources of concern for Democrats.
October 12, 2020
VP Debate Watch: Mike Pence is Not a Robot
Karin recaps the Vice Presidential debate with regular guests Emma Burnell and Skylar Baker Jordan. The discuss their overall impressions of the debate, the careful road Kamala Harris has to navigate as a female debater, the unpopularity of Republican policies, the fly that landed on Mike Pence during the debate, and whether or not he is a cyborg. To donate to the Democratically Act Blue Fundraising page, click here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/democratically
October 09, 2020
Karin talks to Journalist and @TrumpsAlert creator James O'Malley about President being ill with Covid, the unreliable and contradictory information that the White House put out about the President's health, the high number of other Republican officials who have now tested positive for the virus, the impact this could have on Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearings and much more. Click here to donate to the Democratically 2020 election fund: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/democratically
October 05, 2020
Debate Watch 1: The WYSIWYG Presidency
Karin is joined by journalist John Stoehr, creator of the Editorial Board Newsletter, and political journalist Emma Burnell to recap the first Presidential debate and react to the news that the President and First Lady have both tested positive for Corona Virus.
October 02, 2020
WTF Happened in 2016?!
Karin talks to Political Scientist Seth Masket about his new book Learning from Loss: The Democrats 2016-2020. They discuss the different narratives Democrats used to explain their loss in 2016 and how that affected the 2020 Primary race. His findings show that electability and identity featured highly in people's calculations and that views on electability often coloured how Party leaders and activists thought about the selection of their nominee. She also briefly covers the news about Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, and the bombshell New York Times story unveiling 20 years worth of Trump's tax returns: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/09/27/us/donald-trump-taxes.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage Seth's book can be found here: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/learning-from-loss/84FBCDB9534B3F80C26C2CAE672951CE
September 28, 2020
Data. For Progress!
Karin speaks to Marcela Mulholland, Deputy Director of Climate at Data for Progress to get an update on what the state of polling says about the Presidential race, but also about how voters think about big issues like Climate change more broadly and what are the opportunities to move our politics in a more progressive direction. Obviously, we touch on the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the dire consequences that could have for the Supreme court, as well as the wider structural challenges that progressives face in what has become a very unequal and unfair political system. And we talk about the generational differences between idealistic younger voter (like Marcela) who are passionate about issues but may not align with a political party, and an older generation (like me?) who may see their politics more through a Party lens. THe Democratically: 2020 campaign fundraising page is now more than halfway to it's goal - please give if you can. The page is designed to funnel your money toward the most vital races: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/democratically
September 25, 2020
QAnon, Proud Boys, and Boogaloos
Karin speaks to Matthew McGregor from Hope Not Hate, a charity dedicated to combatting extremism, about the rise of far right groups and ideas in America. What is behind the spike in often racist and conspiracy laden right wing activism? How can and should we respond to it? What dangers do they represent in the run-up to the election and in the post election period, especially if the results are uncertain? Some of the resources that Matthew mentions in the episode can be found here: Researcher and Expert on US Extremism: https://twitter.com/MelissaRyan Anti-Defamation league: https://adl.org A Social Justice Think Tank Doing Research on Far Right Extremism: https://politicalresearch.org And as always - the best way to combat the far right is to make sure your voice is heard at the ballot box. For Americans Abroad: https://www.votefromabroad.org/ For Americans back home: https://www.vote.org/
September 18, 2020
Karin speaks to Roger King, host of the Cluster*uck podcast about why clustering has led to under-representation for Democrats, why all good liberals should pack up and move themselves to a red state and how to restore the lost art of talking to people you disagree with. We also discuss three big news stories of the week: Trump’s campaign is reportedly having cash troubles: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/07/us/politics/trump-election-campaign-fundraising.html https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/trump-spurns-traditional-debate-prep-first-faceoff-less-3-weeks-n1239605 The Bob Woodward book: Trump is on tape admitting that he deliberately underplayed the severity of the virus, saying "I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic." https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-election/woodward-tapes-trump-press-conference-today-coronavirus-b421204.html Trump’s Debate preparation: The first head to head presidential debate will take place on Tuesday the 29th of September, hosted by Fox News’ Chris Wallace. There are reports this week that Trump has not been doing any formal debate preparation: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/trump-spurns-traditional-debate-prep-first-faceoff-less-3-weeks-n1239605 And, of course - we play the Gut Check Game
September 11, 2020
Winners and Losers
Karin is joined by Emma Burnell to discuss the recent Atlantic Article exploring Trump's contempt for those who serve in uniform (why does he keep calling them "losers"?), Biden's steadily strong poll number nationally as well as the state by state perspective (whisper it, but increasingly Biden looks like a winner), and the Democrats' exceptionally strong fundraising in August ($384Million dollars!?). We also play the Gut Check Game, reacting to Trump's insistence he did not have a series of small strokes, Trump and BIden's visits to Kenosha Wisconsin and much more.
September 04, 2020
RNC Convention Watch
Karin speaks with Friend of the Pod and Partner at Brunswick Communications Marshall Manson about what happened at the RNC convention, how a typical Trump voter would view the week's actions, whether it was appropriate for the President to use the White House for this political event (spoiler: no, not at all), the structural failures and problems of US politics, and much much more. A couple articles recommended by Marshall to help understand the RNC from a conservative point of view can be found here: https://t.co/1Bgf7CG59n and here: https://www.thedailybeast.com/dont-fool-yourself-libs-trumps-show-is-a-yuge-success?ref=author
August 31, 2020
DNC Convention Watch! Wrap Up
Karin reflects on the week's worth of Convention, gives her reaction to Joe Biden’s acceptance speech and talks to Sanders Alternate Delegate David Wenk about his experiences in this most unconventional convention.
August 23, 2020
DNC Convention Watch! Day 4
Karin recaps the history making speech of VP nominee Kamala Harris, and the rousing call to action of former President Barack Obama, and grapples with her own emotions to the best of her ability.
August 20, 2020
DNC Convention Watch! Day 2
Karin is joined by DNC member Frank Leone and journalist and friend of the pod Skylar Baker-Jordan to recap night 1 of the Democratic National Convention, clarify how the DNC has had to adapt its rules for the virtual convention, and look forward to the second night’s programming.
August 18, 2020
DNC Convention Watch! Day 1
Karin previews the Democratic National Convention in the first of a daily series in which she'll recap the previous days speeches and look ahead to the next day's program. In this first episode, she reflects on the unique of a virtual convention, runs through the full week's schedule, and we hear from Friend of the Pod James O'Malley, who has a modest proposal for why he thinks Vice President Biden should make use of PowerPoint to give his speech -because everything is better with charts!
August 17, 2020
In the week Joe Biden announced California Senator Kamala Harris as his chosen running mate, Karin shares her feelings about the pick (unexpectedly excited!) and talks to Lucina Di Meco, a researcher leading the She Persisted Inititiative, about the special challenges of running as a woman in national politics.
August 14, 2020
How to Vote (by Mail)!
Karin talks to the Co-Chair of the Democrats Abroad UK Voter Registration team about how to vote by mail, how you can make sure you get your ballot in, what are the benefits and pitfalls of mail in voting, and why you shouldn't believe ANYTHING the President says about this safe, secure and convenient way to vote. Also: we cover the ongoing issues both Parties are having with firming up their convention plans, this week's primary elections in Missouri, Michigan and Kansas, and of course we play the Gut Check game reacting to some of the President's more outrageous lies about mail in voting.
August 07, 2020
Black Voters Matter
This week, Karin speaks to LaTosha Brown, Co-Founder of Black Voters Matter about the lessons we can all learn from the lives of Civil Rights heroes like John Lewis and CT Vivian, the importance of joy and celebration to running an effective movement, and whether Biden should choose an African American woman as his running mate.
July 31, 2020
Person! Woman! Man! Camera! TV!
Karin is joined by friend of the Pod Emma Burnell for a round up of the week's news. They discuss the life and legacy of the Congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis, Trump's attempt too militarise the streets of America's cities by deploying unidentified Federal agents against protestors (is this the authoritarian takeover we've been fearfully waiting for?), and we discuss Biden's durable lead in the polls. And of course, we play the Gut Check Game. Also, Karin announces the creation of the Democratically: 2020 Victory Fund - an chance to donate to the Biden campaign, the top Senate races, and the Flippable fund for state races all at once. Give here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/democratically
July 24, 2020
Show Me the Money!
This week, we explore political donation - who should you give to if your goal is to maximise progressive power? Chatting with Friend of the Pod and Chair of the Foreign Policy for America group Simon Clark, we explore the power of small donors, the role of different party and outside organisations in building a winning coalition, and how to figure out if your preferred candidate will spend your money well. We also cover Cal Cunningham's chances to pick up a Senate seat in North Carolina, and of course we play the Gut Check Game, testing our reactions to some of this week's headlines.
July 24, 2020
The Air War
This week, Karin talks to politcal ad makers Shannon Fitzgerald and Tim Lim of the Hooligans Agency about campaign ads. Campaigns spendvast sums of money on TV, radio and online advertising. But how effective are these ads at actually influencing voters? Why do political ads look so different than ads for products? And what techniques do the makers of these ads use to try and get their point across? We look at a selection of pro-Biden and pro-Trump ads to unpack the strategy of each, and how effectively they bring this strategy to life.
July 10, 2020
Karin is joined by friend of the pod and journalist Skylar Baker-Jordan to celebrate Hamilton day, and discuss everything from the Biden campaign's good fundraising quarter to Skylar's perspective as a Kentuckyan on Amy McGrath winning the Kentucky Senate primary. And we assess which states are currently swing states, where the Biden campaign should putting its resources, and which Democratic leaning states we should worry about losing if the race tightens, and which Republican leaning states we might pick up if the race gets even more favourable for Biden. Plus, we play the Gut Check game, reacting to quotes from the news. Stay tuned to the end for a surprise cameo from Karin's daughter seeking chocolate. Like you do.
July 03, 2020
The Hardy Report
Karin's interview with the Hardy Report podcast covers a range of issues, from Black Lives Matter to how Joe Biden is a pretty good listener to how Republicans are not operating in good faith. Before that, Karin also catches you up on some of the other big news of the week, including President Trump's failure to fill an arena in Tulsa Oklahoma, and the primary election battles between establishment and more progressive candidates in Kentucky and New York. You can hear more from the Hardy Report podcast here: https://anchor.fm/thehardyreport
June 26, 2020
No Pants Wetting!
This week, Karin is joined by Friend of the Pod Emma Burnell to talk about all the news that's fit to speak: Biden's surge in the polls and why Democrats still engage in pants wetting anxiety even when we're ahead. Trump campaign's push to have 4 instead of the usual 3 Presidential debates - should Biden accept this offer? The movement to Trump's nomination speech to Jacksonville Florida Trump's racially inflammatory rally planned for Tulsa, Oklahoma Two Supreme Court decisions this week that helped protect vulneerable communitieis - a ruling on LGBT workplace disicrimination and preventing the Trump administration from cancelling the DACA program for Dreamers And finally, following Amy Klobuchar's wiithdrawal from the VP nomination race and her statement that she thinks the nominee should be a person of colour, we run through a bunch of the VP options in this week's Gut Check Game
June 19, 2020
Defund the Police?
This week, Karin is joined by friend of the pod and Mid Atlantic podcast host Roifield Brown to talk about Black Lives Matter. Roifiled shares his personal experience of interacting with the police as a black man in the UK and the US, and they discuss the types of reform that might be effective in solving the problem of police violence.
June 12, 2020
This week Karin speaks to veteran Democratic campaigner Joe Trippi about his work for Alabama Senator Doug Jones' reelection campaigns, how to effectively run a digital and grassroots campaign in 2020, and of course about the widespread protests against police violence that have broken out around the country. We also take a moment to pay homage to some of the lives lost to police violence: remembering not just the deaths but also the lives of George Floyd Breonna Taylor Tamir Rice Philando Castille Sandra Bland And many more black American citizens who have been taken from us by the very people who were meant to protect them.
June 04, 2020
Trump V Twitter
This week, Karin speaks to Jiore Craig, a VP at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and expert on digital campaigning and online public sentiment. Together, they process the series of news events this week in which the President 1) had Twitter apply a fact check warning applied to his tweet spreading false fears about postal voting. 2) Retaliated against the platform by issuing un executive order of questionable legality and unclear impact 3) Then posted a tweet seeming to call for violence against protestors in Minnesota, which was restricted by Twitter under violence prevention rules. We explore what the Biden campaign should be doing to get its message out through all this chaos and confusion, and how they can build effective digital infrastructure for the campaign.
May 29, 2020
The State of the Race...
This week, Karin takes you through the current state of polling and democratic prospects at every level of the election, including the Presidency, the Senate, the House and state and local races. Friend of the Pod Emma Burnell joins as well to give her take on the races.
May 22, 2020
How to Beat Trump...
This week, Karin is joined by the Washington Post Columnist, political scientist, and author Brian Klaas to talk about how Donald Trump's poor response to COVID has driven a wedge between two key parts of Trump's electoral coalition - older voters now fearful of their health and business voters who just want to reopen business at all costs. They also discuss fears that Trump might reject the outcome of the election, concerns about voter suppression, and what the Federal prosecutors decision to drop charges former National Security Advisoor Mike Flynn had already pled guilty tells us about the politicisation of the Justice Department under Bill Barr. And finally, we play the Gut Check Game, reacting to advice for Democrats from various pundits and commentators about how to win the election.
May 15, 2020
Good News, Bad News
This week, Karin talks to Mark Pack, the President of the UK's Liberal Democrat Party, a writer commentator, communications advisor, and the author of the books Good News: What the Headlines Don't Tell Us and 101 Ways to Win an Election. They discuss the ways in which the media's decisions often misinform or confuse the public, the ways that election coverage is often driven by the wrong things, and what this all means for the race between Biden and Trump. We also play the Gut Check game, in which Mark responds to some headlines from today's US news and tells us what he would be wary of when reading each of the stories described.
May 08, 2020
Karin is joined by the American expat comedian Erich McElroy to discuss the news of the day, dig into the allegations made by former Biden staffer Tara Reade against the Vice President, and finally to make the best 60 second pitch they can for voting for Democratics, voting against Donald Trump, and voting for Joe Biden. They also play the Gut Check game...
May 01, 2020
The Common Good
The former Primarily: 2020 has now been renamed and relaunched. In the first episode of the new Democratically: 2020, We speak to journalist and Editorial Board founder John Stoehr about the Democrats' chances in November, Biden's strengths and weaknesses relative to Hillary Clinton in 2016, and the major theme that underpins so much of our politics - the divide in America between the traditions based on the common good (originating in the Northeast), limited democracy for the powerful (a more Southern tradition), and the idolisation of individual liberty (associated more with the midwest). Karin also does a lightening round of the Gut Check Game, offering quick answers to common questions about the election.
April 24, 2020
All the Feels..
This week, Karin talks to Psychoanalyst and co-host of the Mind of State podcast Betty Teng about the complicated psychology of campaigns during a time of pandemic. How can we recreate the value of face to face voter interactions when in person contact is not possible? Will the virus make people want to vote for conservative politicians out of fear? Will it make them value government services more? How can we guard against despair and disengagement? Plus, we play the Gut Check game, reacting to quotes about current political news stories such as the Wisconsin election outcome, the endorsements of Biden by Obama, Sanders and Warren, and the right wing protests against Corona related closures.
April 17, 2020
It's All Over But the Shouting!
This week, Joe Biden became the presumptive nominee, as his last remaining opponent - Senator Bernie Sanders - announed he would halt his campaign. Friend of the Pod Emma Burnell joins Karin to discuss the challenges Biden will face campaigning in the pandemic era, how we can protect the vote in November, Biden's (surprisingly?) resilient campaign, Senator Sanders' impact on Democratic politics and much more.
April 11, 2020
Milwaukee in... August?
This week, Karin catches up with Friends of the Pod Emma Burnell and Skylar Baker-Jordan about the latest primary news, including: The DNC Convention has been postponed until mid August, the Wisconsin primary is still taking place this Tuesday, despite the pandemic. And: Trump's approval rating seems to have gone up during the crisis, but his head to head polling against Biden has not improved - what does it all mean. PLus, we do a Gut Check Game using quotes from named and anonymous Sanders advisors as reported in a long Huffington Post article about the campaign's struggles and failures.
April 03, 2020
This week, Karin catches up with political modeller Rachel Bitecofer of the Nixkanen Center to find out how the Corona epidemic is likely to affect the election November, what Trump's strategy is to divide Democrats, whether Bernie Sanders still has a path to winning the nomination (spoiler alert: no.) and who Biden should pick as VP to give Democrats their best chance in November. We'll also play the Gut Check Game, testing our reactions to some of the possible scenarios that we might see in November. Will Trump cancel the elections outright? Will states fail to hold viable elections? Will Democrats retake the Senate?
March 27, 2020
This week, Karin pulls together a panel of people who originally supported a wide array of candidates to talk about the campaign ahead and the possibility of a Biden administration. She welcomes: Longstanding Biden supporter, and foreign policy specialist Alex Thier Former Mike Bloomberg supporter, former congressional candidate and gun reform activist Khary Penebaker Former Andrew Yang supporter and technologist, Chuck Smith, and Former Elizabeth Warren supporter and Ada's List Founder Merici Vinton
March 20, 2020
You Might Also Like...
This week, Karin is joined by free lance journalist and friend of the pod James O'Malley, to talk through the impact that the global COVID-19 pandemic will have on the election, the results in last Tuesdays vote, the prospects for Bernie Sanders to stage a comeback, and how Joe Biden win over his supporters if he does NOT stage a comeback. And finally: as the campaign winds to a close, there are so many other important races to be looking at. So Karin suggests some down-ballot Senate and Congressional candidates who you might also like if your preferred candidate is no longer in the Presidential race.
March 13, 2020
The Black Vote?
This week, Karin speaks to the noted playwright, novelist, critic and broadcaster Bonnie Greer about the relationship between African American voters and the Democratic Party. Bonnie recalls the days when she was teargassed at the 1968 Democratic convention and how her approach has changed since then. We talk about the meaning of the Jim Clyburn endorsement for Biden in South Carolina, and the Jesse Jackson endorsement of Bernie in Michigan. We discuss what held Kamala Harris and Cory Booker from earning more support from African American voters, and what a Biden cabinet might look like.,
March 10, 2020
The Party Decides?
This week Karin recaps the dramatic events of the past week, with Journalist and fervent Buttigieg supporter Skylar Baker-Jordan. They start by discussing Joe Biden's massive win on Super Tuesday, and then talk through the departure from the race of, respectively, Butttigieg, Klobuchar, Bloomberg and Warren. And, of course, they play the Gut Check Game
March 06, 2020
Who I am voting for...
In this episode Karin decides at long last who she will vote for on Tuesday. You need to listen to this one RIGHT to the end because it takes quite an unexpected journey of twists and turns. Karin explains how she thinks about each of the candidates in the race, how she has been torn between two particular candidates, both of whom she admires, and she makes her choice between them. Eventually!
March 01, 2020
The Case for... Mike Bloomberg
Karin speaks to gun control advocate, former Congressional candidate and friend of the Pod Khary Penebaker about his support for former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
February 28, 2020
The Case for... Pete Buttigieg
Today, Karin speaks to fellow US expat Beth Massa, who votes in Amsterdam but grew up in South Bend, Indiana - and is very excited to vote for South Bend's own Pete Buttigieg. Beth talks about why she thinks Mayor Pete is a brilliant and admirable leader with vast potential. She explains who her mom's enthusiasm for the young mayor first got her attention, and we talk about everything from the generational attitudes to politics to what it means to have LGBTQ+ representation in the presidential race.
February 24, 2020
Debate Watch 8: What Happened in Vegas?
This week, Karin and Emma recap the fiesty Primary debate held in Las Vegas Nevada on February 19th. This was the first debate for former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and possibly the last chance for candidates to make an impact before the field starts to narrow. Karin and Emma look forward to the Nevada primary coming up this Tuesday, assess the state of the race, and of course they play the Gut Check game with quotes heard in the debate.
February 21, 2020
The Case for... Bernie Sanders
This week, Karin speaks to Travis Mooney about why he strongly supports Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination. They talk about why Medicare for All makes people more free to choose their work and live their lives, about Travis's work organising Bernie canvassers to hitting the streets in London, and Bernie's relationship with the Democratic Party. We also play the Gut Check Game, testing our reactions to some Bernie quotes from throughout his career.
February 18, 2020
New Hampshire! Math!
In this episode, Karin catches us up on the fast moving events of the campaign following the New Hampshire primary. The field is now reduced to 8 candidates, and front runners are starting to emerge - meanwhile, Mike Bloomberg has not yet competed in any race. Karin runs through each candidates' chances. Karin also has a lot of feelings about the race, so she checks in with friend of the pod Betty Teng, who is a psychoanalyst and the host of the Mind of State podcast, about the pain of hopefulness. Also: although Andrew Yang has left the race, the Yang Gang made a big impact on the conversation about the future of work and life in America. So in this interview, recorded before the New Hampshire primary, Karin speaks to Chuck Smith about Yang's unique run for office, the meaning of Yang's "Math" slogan, and much more.
February 15, 2020
The Case for... Joe Biden
In the second of this series hearing from supporters of each candidate, Karin speaks to foreign policy expert and Scranton Pennsylvania native Alex Thier about why he strongly supports Joe Biden for the nomination.
February 10, 2020
In this special episode, Karin reports back on the Iowa caucuses to do a recap of the results from the first state to express a Presidential preference. She covers the debacle that was the failed election process, and runs through who won and who lost on the night. She also interviews friend of the pod James O'Malley from the ground in Iowa where he was enjoying the nerdiest trip in the world, attending as many candidate events as he can squeeze in.
February 07, 2020
Karin records a special mini-episode to update folks on the Iowa caucuses reporting failure.
February 04, 2020
The Case for... Elizabeth Warren
This week, Karin speaks with Matthew McGregor, the former head of the Obama campaign's digital rapid response team and current Campaigns Director for Hope Not Hate about why he supports Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. This is the first in a series of episodes speaking to some interesting people about why they support each of the Democratic candidates.
January 30, 2020
Who's Most Electable!?
This week, Karin checks in with Dr. Rachel Bitecofer of the Niskanen Center to find out what her political model has to tell us about the strengths and weaknesses of different candidates, whether impeachment is good for Donald Trump (spoiler - no it's not), why whoever is the nominee ought to pick Stacey Abrams as their VP, and much, much more. We also play the Gut Check game, testing our thoughts about each candidates' argument for their electability from last week's debate. In the news roundup, we also cover Bernie's improvement in the polls, the commencement of the Impeachment trial against President Trump, and much more.
January 24, 2020
Debate Watch 7! Warren V Sanders?
In a story of 2 halves, first Karin and Emma recap the last Democratic primary debate before the Iowa caucuses and discuss how it came across to them, then we check in with Kellan Terry from the social media listening company Brandwatch to see how it looked to the rest of the world. This debate featured the culmination of a running fight between Sanders and Warren about whether Sanders told Warren privately that he didn't think a woman could win. In the news roundup, Karin covers this story, plus the departure from the race of Cory Booker and Marianne Williamson and the Nancy Pelosi referring the articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial. So it's a busy week!
January 17, 2020
But... their emails!
This week, Karin speaks to Aimin Walsh, creator of the But Their Emails blog, about her project analysing all the emails sent by every Democratic candidate. We discuss the extent to which the candidates' personalities come through in their supporter communications, who emails the most (and least) often, how effective email is as a campaign tool, and how it has changed her view of the race. We also play an email themed version of the Gut Check game, and of course Karin does a News Roundup covering Julian Castro's endorsement of Elizabeth Warren, Tom Steyer's qualification for next week's debate, and the insane amount of money being spent by the 2 billionaire candidates.
January 11, 2020
In this special New Year's episode, Karin is joined by Friend of the Pod Emma Burnell to talk about how we can have healthy and constructive political behaviors this year. We also have a lot of news to cover, including the Q4 fundraising announcements, Julian Castro's departure from the race, Marianne Williamson firing all of her staff, and the (I suspect slim) possibility that Joe Biden might choose a Republican Vice Presidential running mate. Plus! We play a fun round of the Gut Check game, matching candidates with some New Year's resolutions.
January 03, 2020
Ask Me Anything! The Christmas Mailbag Edition
This week, Karin answers your questions - tackling some challenging issues like, who would make a good VP pick for each of the top candidates? What comes next if we lose in 2020? Are Democrats smart to hold back the impeachment referral from the Senate? Has the online vitriol crept into real life in the UK as it has in the US? How to organise overseas voters to get on the Dems Abroad Primary ballot?
December 27, 2019
Debate Watch 6! Impeachment! Christmas Treats!
This week, Karin is joined by journalist and Friend of the Pod Emma Burnell for yet another debate watch, this one taking place in the same week that the House voted to impeach Donald Trump. We discuss why we like it when Bernie gets funny, how excellent Amy Klobuchar's hair looks, the clash between Buttigieg and Warren on campaign funding, and much more.
December 20, 2019
This week, Karin looks at the UK elections, and Boris Johnson's "stonking majority" to try and understand what happened in the UK and whether there are any lessons to be learned for Democrats in terms of the challenge of running against Trump in November, and what kind of candidate the left should be nominating in an age of right wing populism such as Johnson seems to represent. She's joined by her colleague James Morris, MD of Edelman Public Affairs in London who talks us through what he learned about voters' mindset from conducting focus groups all over the country during this election.
December 13, 2019
This week, Karin speaks to Pat Rynard, Managing Editor of the Iowa Starting Line blog, about what is happening on the ground in this vital state. He'll give us a sense of what the candidate rallies and events feel like on the ground, why some candidates seem to be taking off there while others are slow to catch fire, and talk us through the pluses and minuses of having Iowa go first in the first place. Also this week, we'll cover the primary news, paying particular attention to the exit of Kamala Harris from the race, and asking where her supporters might go from here.
December 06, 2019
Don't Blame the Messenger!
This week, Karin speaks to Joseph Marks, a Doctoral Researcher in behavioural economics at University College London about his research showing what kind of people make compelling messengers. Joe explains the difference between hard messenger characteristics like status, dominance, attractiveness and competence, and softer messenger attributes like warmth, trustworthiness and charisma. And, he reveals to listeners the findings of his original research looking specifically at the 2020 Primary candidates - so do stay tuned for the 2nd half of the interview to findout which candidate is underperforming on competence, which one is seen by people as clearly the most attractive, and why the "best" messenger from this point of view is a person you might not have expected. Also this week, we play the Gut Check Game with testing some arguments the candidates themselves have made for why they are the right messenger for the moment, and of course we do a News Roundup covering the shift in the polls away from Elizabeth Warren, the Bloomberg's refusal to investigate Mike Bloomberg, and some new allegations of gender based workplace discrimination against Andrew Yang.
November 29, 2019
Debate Watch 5! (The Birthday Episode)
On the week that marks the 1 year anniversary of creating the podcast, Karin sits down with Journalist and longstanding friend of the pod Emma Burnell to recap the 5th Democratic Primary debate. We check in with some former guests throughout the episode sending their birthday wishes to the podcast. And, of course, in the News Roundup we cover this week's historic impeachment hearings and much more.
November 22, 2019
The Perfect Candidate!
This week, Karin is joined by comedian Erich McElroy, who helps her run through all the candidates currently in the race to pick the best attributes of each and assemble the theoretically best candidate available. In the News Roundup this week, Karin talks you through the first week fo the impeachment hearings in the House, the possible entry of Mike Bloomberg into the race and the certain entry of Deval Patrick, and she discusses the LA Time's misquote in a Pete Buttigieg interview.
November 15, 2019
Crystal Ball! One Year To Go...
One year out from election day in 2020, Karin catches up with Nicky Woolf, Editor of the New Statesman America to catch up on all the primary news, including: * This Tuesday's state and local elections, with big victories for Democrats in the Virginia State legislature and in the Kentucky Governor's race * Beto O'Rourke's departure from the race * Some troubling swing state polls for Democrats from the New York Times * The Liberty and Justice Dinner in Iowa, where all the candidates spoke. Also this week, Karin and Nicky gave their predictions for the race - who did we guess would win Iowa and New Hampshire, who did we think would win the primary and of course, the big one: Who will win the Presidency in one year's time. And finally, this week, Karin also answered a listener question about the electoral college.
November 08, 2019
The Facebook Fight! The Twitter Troll!
This week, Karin interviews digital and social media expert Mat Muir about the raging debate over Facebook's political ads policy. This week, a group of Facebook employees published an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg calling on him to reverse his policy of allowing false information in political ads, and setting out some suggestions for how they could better manage political ads on the platform. We talk through each of their suggestions and explore the legal and technical mine field of political ads on social media, including Twitter's decision to terminate political advertising on the platform altogether. In a fully packed news roundup this week, we also cover the House's vote to move forward on the impeachment inquiry, the upcoming local elections, and the court ruling ordering a new congressional map in North Carolina.
November 01, 2019
It's All About Turnout!
This week, Karin speaks to Alex Morgan, Executive Director of the Progressive Turnout Project, and gets some organiser training directly from Regional Field Director Alicia Stott. We get a sneak peek at how left leaning PACs are trying to combat Trump's $100Million cash on hand by getting organized early to get our voters to the polls. In the News Roundup, we also take a look at the current polls, recap the spat between Tulsi Gabbard and Hillary Clinton, roll our eyes at Republican House members storming a secure hearing room, and much more.
October 28, 2019
Debate Watch 4!
This week, Emma and Karin take a wine-filled tour through the 4th Democratic primary debate, exploring Warren’s new status as the joint front runner, whether Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer deserve their newfound slots on stage, what the impact of Sanders’ recent heart attack has been, and much, much more (including some random Buffy related fan girling at the very end).
October 17, 2019
Trump is the Worst
This week, Karin is joined by author, Sarah Churchwell in an attempt to pin down exactly why Donald Trump is unfit for office. Also this week, we play the Gut Check Game, checking in on our visceral reaction to some of the things Trump says, and of course there's a news roundup covering Warren's fundraising, Sanders' health and the updated polls.
October 11, 2019
This week, Karin speaks to Rachel Haltam-Irwin, about the DNC's grassroots recruitment initiative. Organizing Corps works to recruit and trin on the ground organizers across the country in advance of the 2020 election. Also, in this week's News Roundup, we've added a new segment to the podcast - Poll Watcher - in which we quickly round up the state of the polls over the week. We also cover Bernie Sanders heart pains, the Q3 fundraising numbers, Trump's attempt to collude with the Chinese government on camera from the front lawn of the White House, and much more.
October 04, 2019
BONUS: Inside Trump's Facebook Campaign
In this special bonus episode, Karin talks to journalist Judd Legum about his research into the wierd world of pro-trump activity on Facebook. He has discovers that a huge Facebook group with over a million followers recently began resharing pro-Trump content. And the owners of that page were based in... Ukraine. Listen to find out what happened when he actually was able to interview these guys. We also take a look this week at the dodgy Facebook ads being run by Donald Trump - and compare it with what's the major Democratic candidates are doing.
October 02, 2019
This week, Karin does an epic news roundup with Emma Burnell, discussing impeachment, the role of the Biden family in Ukraine, Elizabeth Warren't steady rise in the polls, COry Booker's fundraising gambit, Bill De Blasio's departure from the race, the LGBTQ forum, the Iowa Steak Fry and so much more! Warning, includes random Hamilton singing at intervals. And as always, we play the Gut Check Game - testing our reaction to quotes and comments from US politics over the past week.
September 27, 2019
For the global climate strike on Friday September 20th, organizers have been calling on workers to take 30 minutes off work to support the climate. To support the climate strike, therefore, the first 30 minutes of this podcast are dedicated to a discussion with Alyssa Gilbert, Head of Policy and Translation at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment focussed 9 useful actions you and I can take to help save the climate. Later on in the podcast, we look at the climate policies of some of the major candidates.
September 19, 2019
Debate Watch: Third Debate!
This week, Karin recaps the third Democratic Primary debate with lawyer and friend of the pod Asha Subas and journalist, Pod Delusion podcaster and Trumps Alerts bot creator James O'Malley.
September 14, 2019
Why can't we all just get along?
This week, Karin talks to Ali Goldsworthy, founder of the Depolarization Project, about why our politics has become so polarized and what we can do about it. Why can't we seem to talk to people from "the other side" anymore? Should we worry that the Democratic Party itself will be divided and polarized after a hard fought primary? Why is that that the data suggests liberals are actually the least likely to befriend people on the the other side? Why is it actually smart politics to exacerbate polarization? Also this week: A news roundup covering the Republican candidates running against Trump in the GOP primary, the exit of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz from the race, and more.
September 06, 2019
Report from the DNC...
This week, Karin speaks to Democrats Abroad Global Chair Julia Bryan about the DNC meeting in San Francisco last week. She also does a news roundup, covering the serveral candidates that have recently withdrawn from the race (Jay Inslee, Kirsten Gillibrand, Seth Moulton) and reflects on her observations from her vacation in Oregon and California.
August 30, 2019
Report from the Farm
Karin checks in from her vacation in Oregon to do a news roundup on Hickenlooper’s exit, the weakening economy and Trump’s apparent desire to buy Greenland (?). She also gives folks a bit of a pep talk on what is possible, wise and helpful in dealing with life in the Trump era.
August 17, 2019
Vote for Your Lives!
This week, in the wake of two devastating mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Karin talks to former Congressional Candidate, DNC member and gun violence survivor Khary Penebaker about why and how Democrats can get serious about ending gun violence in America.
August 08, 2019
Debate Watch: Round 2, Night 2
Emma and Karin watch the second night of Presidential debates. We discuss everything from Tulsi Gabbard's strange background in the anti-gay marriage movement to Cory Booker's potential as a TV talk show host to Joe Biden's technology flubs. And as always, we play the Gut Check game testing our reactions to this things said in the debate.
August 03, 2019
Debate Watch! Round Two: Day One
In the first of 2 episodes recapping the 2nd round of Democratic debates, Karin is joined by friend of the pod and frequent guest Emma Burnell. We discuss everything from Pete Buttigieg's military service to Bernie's finger wagging to Elizabeth Warren't school teacher aspirations. And of course we play the Gut Check game testing our reactions to some quotes spoken during the debate. The second of these two episodes will go live tomorrow - Saturday, August 3rd.
August 02, 2019
A New Statesman in America?
This week, Karin talks to Nicky Woolf, the Editor of the New Statesman America for a general round up on the state of the race covering everything from what it's like to explain American politics to British people to why no one seems to want to run for Senate. We discuss Robert Mueller's testimony in front of Congress this week and analyse the political implications for Democrats. And we play the Gut Check game - this week, Nicky told us what story he would assign out as editor for randomly selected names pulled out of the trusty Red Sox baseball cap.
July 26, 2019
Allies of the People?
This week, Karin explores the changing nature of the media landscape the Democratic candidates will be competing in. She speaks with Amy Bree Becker of the Department of Communications at Loyala University in Maryland about popular culture and news media, how Democrats can get their message heard over the Trumpian shouting, and what the media is doing right or wrong in covering politics in today's world. She also does a news round up covering Trump's racist attacks on female minority Congresswomen, Sander campaign staffers complaints on pay, the forthcoming Democratic debates, and Susan Collins' declining poll numbers.
July 19, 2019
Will Trump Win Reelection?
This week, Karin talks to the political forecaster Rachel Bitecofer, of the Wason Center for Public Policy in Virginia. Dr Bitecofer has developed a predictive model for US politics that was exceptionally accurate in the 2018 midterms, and she is going to tell us whether she thinks the Democratic candidate, whoever they might be, is favored to win in 2020. We'll talk about the rise of negative partisanship in America, which electoral strategy Democrats should be pursuing, and what her model says makes for a stronger or weaker candidate for the Party in this cycle. We also play the Gut Check Game, testing our reactions to some of the main media narratives around the race.
July 12, 2019
Independence Day for Immigrants?
This week, Karin is joined by Friend of the Pod Asha Subas to take a look at the politics and policy of immigration. Why does Trump think this is a winning issue for him when polls show Americans are mostly positive about immigrants? How can the Democratic candidates talk about this issue in a way that avoids polarising the country on it? What's actually in Julian Castro's and Beto O'Rourke's immigration plans? Also we play a version of the Gut Check game to check which candidate's July 4th barbecues we most want to attend.
July 05, 2019
This week we're watching and recapping the key takeaways from the first round of Democratic debates. Joining Karin on the panel is political journalist Emma Burnell and lawyer and immigration expert Asha Subas. Who broke out? Who went under? Were there winners and losers? Who was surprising? Inspiring? Authentic? Compelling? And who even managed to get heard at all?
June 29, 2019
Power to the People!
This week, we discuss the rise of populism - its different meanings, its origins and causes, whether Trump is a populist himself, and how the critique of global capitalism and concern about inequality fits into the populist conversation. Joining Karin are political sociologist Michael McQuarrie, and financial strategist Wen Wen Lindroth. Also this week: we play the Gut Check game reacting to candidates answers to a series of questions posed by the New York Times, and discuss the news of the week, including the ongoing mistreatment of children arrested at the border and Joe Biden's remark30 about working with Segregationists in the Senate.
June 29, 2019
This is What Democracy Looks Like!
Karin chats with the political scientist and Washington Post columnist Brian Klaas about the threat that Donald Trump and wider Republican voter rigging, voter suppression and election fraud presents to the future of America as a viable democracy. And on a lighter note (!), Karin explores the emotional tenor of the race by playing a special episode of the Gut Check game where she casts the candidates as family members in a fictional family reunion.
June 14, 2019
This week Karin talks to Marisa Kanof, National Field Director for Swing Left about Democratic prospects for retaking the Senate and holding the House in the 2020 elections.
June 07, 2019
This week's episode is a joint production between Primarily: 2020 and the Mid Atlantic podcast in which Karin chats with Mid Atlantic host Roifield Brown about the similarilities and difference between the politics of the US and the UK. Karin is a longstanding US expat based in the UK, Roifield is a UK expat based in the US. What did each of us learn about the politics of their home country from their host country, and vice versa? Why does it seem like the far right is on the rise in both countries and around the world?
May 31, 2019
This week, Emma and Karin have a free ranging conversation covering everything from the resignation of UK PM Theresa May to whether Democrats should be appearing on Fox News. But mostly, we were talking about this whole concept of electability - what does it even mean? Karin runs through her six definitions of what people might mean when they say a candidate is electable and we debate the relevance and usefulness of each. Plus, of course, we play the Gut Check Game. Warning - there's a bit more swearing than usual in this episode.
May 24, 2019
It's Not Just Alabama...
This week, Karin is joined by Mandu Reid, leader of the Women's Equality Party in the UK to talk about the worrying developments in Alabama and other states around the country where the a 40+ year effort by the right wing to overturn abortion rights is coming to a head as states move rapidly to pass sweeping bans on abortion. Why has this issue energized the right for so long? Why hasn't the broad pro-choice majority in America been able to stop it in its tracks or reverse it? And why are we seeing an increase in anti-abortion activism in other countries around the world, tied to the rise of far right populism. We also play the gut check game, and do a quick news roundup.
May 17, 2019
Knock Out Week!
This week, Karin is joined by the American comedian and host of the podcast Pod to Be an American, Erich McElroy. Together, Karin and Erich play a knock out game to explore how they might cut the overcrowded field down to size to end up with about half the number of candidates without sacrificing the quality of the field. We also play a round of the gut check game.
May 10, 2019
There Is No Planet B!
This week, Karin talks to Abby Smith, an engineer and renewable energy analyst about the urgency of climate change, the Green New Deal, and what we should expect from Democratic presidential candidates. We dig into the economics of carbon transformation and where the next generation of energy jobs will come from. And, of course, we play the Gut Check Game. We also catch up on the 4 newest candidates to enter the race: Eric Swalwell, Seth Moulton, Michael Bennet and Tim Ryan.
May 03, 2019
This week, Karin interviews Margo Miller, a friend and supporter of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, about the New York Senator's campaign. She also responds to Joe Biden's entry into the 2020 race, and of course we play the Gut Check game, this time responding to some candidate quotes from the She the People Forum and around the campaign trail.
April 26, 2019
This week, Karin checks in from her vacation to update on the release of the Mueller report and to debate the value of policy announcements versus storytelling at this point in the primary. Also, a quick news roundup.
April 19, 2019
This week we check in with Denise Baron, an organiser for Pete Buttigieg. Denice is coming to us direct from South Bend Indiana, where she's helping to prepare for Mayor Pete's big campaign launch event this Sunday. We talk about why the Mayor seems to be breaking through into the top tier of candidates, about his "gosh shucks" midwestern enthusiasm, about what it means to be a gay candidate and about why this kind of breakout success seems to be harder for female or minority candidates. We also play the Gut Check game, testing our reactions to some quotes tweeted or spoken by the candidates this week.
April 12, 2019
This week, Karin and Emma do an episode length version of the Gut Check game, testing how we feel about every single candidate who's in the race so far - all 19 of them. Phew. We also discuss the state of the race overall and what are the Democrats chances to defeat President Trump. Brace yourself - some of this is sobering.
April 05, 2019
This week, we take a look at rising inequality and its effect on our politics and our society. Karin talks to Adrian, Monck, a Managing Director and Head of Public Engagement at the World Economic Forum about why America, like many nations, is becoming less equal and what if anything we can do about it. We also discuss the criticism of WEF itself.
March 29, 2019
This week, we explore the question of whether there exists any genuine common ground between Trump resisting Republicans and Independents and Democratic voters hungry for change. Are we doomed to eternal disagreement and failures of consensus, or is there a way forward that allows for a broader coalition? Karin speaks to former Republican and current independent swing voter Marshall Manson to see if there is any common ground. Also this week, a revised version of the Gut Check game in which we are forced to choose between two names randomly drawn our of the hat. And a quick news roundup.
March 22, 2019
This week, Karin reports back from the 2 very different types of organizing meetings she attended this week and thinks through the difference between the work of a political organization trying to operate effectively and a campaign or movement trying to activate and excite. She also does a news roundup covering Beto O'Rourke's entry into the race and Congress's rebuke to Trump's emergency powers declaration. Plus, as always, we play the Gut Check game.
March 15, 2019
Build that Brand!
This week, Karin talks to strategic marketing consultant Rob Blackie about how to build an effective political brand, we talk about some of the more clever and innovative ads of the 2018 midterms and we reflect on how the 2020 candidates can create a distinctive and engaging political brand. Also, we do a recap of the week's news, including the announcements that Mike Bloomberg and Sherrod Brown will NOT be running, and the heated debate about Freshman Representative Ilhan Omar and allegations of anti-semitism.
March 08, 2019
This week, Karin talks to Betty Teng, co-host of the Mind of State podcast about the psychological aspects of running for office. Can you be mentally healthy and run for President? What does a toxic political environment such as the one we live in now do to the mental health of candidates and the electorate? How can we keep ourselves health in the midst of the deluge of hostility, toxicity, and partisan rancour? Also this week, Karin does a quick news roundup covering Elizabeth Warren's announcement that she won't hold high dollar fundraisers, Beto O'Rourke's decision, and Trump's terrible week - including Michael Cohen's House testimony and Trump's granting Jared and Ivanka security clearances over the objections of his own Chief of Staff.
March 01, 2019
That Berning Feeling
This week, Karin is joined again by political journalist Emma Burnell as they unpack their complicated feelings about a Bernie Sanders candidacy. Also, a news roundup including vote fraud in North Carolina, William Weld enters the Republican primary, and Elizabeth Warren unveils a Universal childcare policy.
February 22, 2019
Theories of Change...
This week, Karin talks to Women's Equality Party co-founder Catherine Mayer about how we create change within the political system, the structural inequalities embedded in the US political system, and how to use the available levers of power within that flawed structure. Also, we play the Gut Check game, testing out some slogans, quotes or policies being batted around on the campaign trail, and we recap the news including Amy Klobuchar's entry to the race, Elizabeth Warren's launch event and Donald Trump's unconstitutional declaration of emergency.
February 15, 2019
Embarrassment of Riches!
This week, Karin talks to the political journalist Emma Burnell to look at the race so far, which candidates have already stepped forward and who is yet to come. Karin and Emma played a new version of the Gut Check game in which they reacted to slogans, policies and straplines that have been heard on the campaign trail, and we also here from three Democrats who have already chosen a candidate about why they are supporting, respectively, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.
February 08, 2019
Vote for Women!
This week, Karin speaks with lawyer David Schleicher about his argument that in 2020 the Democrats should aim to nominate a female candidate. We dig into the role of misogyny in voter choice, the changing role of women in the Democratic coalition, and whether we can make structural changes to support female participation at all levels. We also do a news recap including Corey Booker's entry to the race, Kamala Harris's kickoff, the independent run of former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, the end of the government shutdown and more.
February 01, 2019
This week, Karin talks to pollster and strategist James Morris about how candidates should be using polls, what public polls actually mean at this point in the race, and how a candidate can put across their best case to voters (spoiler alert: policies, even great policies, are not how). We also recap the news of the week, including a couple new entrants into the primary race and one firm no announcement. Also, the President's close friend Roger Stone was arrested today. So that's a thing that happened. Plus, of course, we play the Gut Check game to test our reactions to some possible candidates.
January 25, 2019
This week we mark the 2 year anniversary of Trump's inauguration and of the Women's March by talking to Lan Wu, former Democrats Abroad UK Women's Caucus Co-Chair, about the lasting impact of the March and the growing role of women in the Democratic movement. Karin also recaps the main news of the week, including the entry of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand into the primary race, and we play a round of the Gut Check game in which a couple surprising - and one not so surprising - names come up.
January 18, 2019
Shutdowns and Startups
This week, Karin covers the ongoing government shut down and its severe implications for federal workers. She addresses her profound concerns about the President's flirtation with wanting to declare a state of emergency in order to force his preferred outcome, and we use Beto O'Rourke's dental visit as an opportunity to talk about how the media gets social media-led campaigning wrong. All this, plus a roundup of the primary news - and a certain former Presidential candidate's name finally comes up in the Gut Check game.
January 13, 2019
Can Capitalism Be Saved?
This week, Karin shares her 5 podcast promises for 2019, talks at length about Elizabeth Warren's core belief that American capitalism is currently failing to deliver shared prosperity to Americans, makes some predictions for the year ahead, and plays the Gut Check game.... Happy New Year and welcome to 2019!
January 04, 2019
One Nation Under God?
In this special Christmas themed episode, we speak to Rachel Burgin of Christians on the Left about the tradition of left leaning Christianity and the role for faith in a secular political movement such as the Democratic Party. Also: as always, we play the Gut Check game, testing our reaction to some randomly selected Democratic candidates. And we do a quick news roundup, this week covering the "Bernie v Beto" debate raging in the media, and the ongoing government shutdown.
December 28, 2018
This week, we speak with the brilliant Sarah Churchwell, Professor of Public Understanding of the Humanities at the School of Advanced Studies in London about the meaning of the American Dream, and the white nationalist origins of America First - these are 2 ideas that have been central to our understanding of American political and cultural life for a century and, as we'll see, they are very much informing our politics today. We also talk about a couple randomly selected prospective candidates in the Gut Check game, and do a news roundup on the looming government shutdown, Defense Secretary Mattis' resignation, and the Democratic debate plans for 2020. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family!
December 21, 2018
Nation of Immigrants?
This week, we catch up on the primary news - who's in? Who's out - and Karin reports on meeting Alabama Senator Doug Jones. Our special guest Asha Subas, an attorney and immigration expert, helps us understand the troubled recent and not so recent history of US immigration, and helps us think through what the Democrat's immigration policy should be. We also played the Gut Check game, testing our reactions to 3 candidates drawn at random.
December 14, 2018
In this special bonus episode, we interview Wisconsonite Scott Rogers to catch up on the troubling events in Wisconsin, where Republican legislators have been moving to strip powers from the newly elected Democratic Governor and Attorney General. Also, we play a game of Gut Check, testing Scott and Karin's immediate responses to potential Democratic nominees drawn randomly out of a hat. Trust us, this is actually fun.
December 06, 2018
How does this work?
This week, we look at three important news stories that are likely to define the 2020 election: The President's personal lawyer pleading guilty to lying about Trump's business relationships with Russia, GM is shutting down 5 plants costing thousands of American jobs, and border agents fired tear gas at migrants over the Mexican border. We also chat about the Mississippi special election for Senate. Our special guest this week is Frank Leone, a DNC Member from Virginia and a member of the Rules and Bylaws committee, who helps us understand the Byzantine and occasionally bizarre primary process.
November 30, 2018
In this first episode we talk about why it’s not too soon to start thinking about the 2020 primary, what we can learn from the way Democrats ran in the midterms, who’s actually even running at this point, and what can you be doing for progressive causes and candidates right now. There is no mention of Beto O’Rourke by name but... yeah, he’s in there to. ;)
November 23, 2018