By Mary Kate Cary
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Since the 2016 election, there have been more than 1,600 political podcasts launched in the United States. Almost all of them feature Democrats talking to Democrats and Republicans talking with Republicans. Isn’t it time for a podcast in which the other side talks back? Welcome to“Bipodisan,” with former White House speechwriter Mary Kate Cary, because it's time for a podcast in which opposites respectfully talk, not shout, about the issues dividing America!
||CleanThe Buck Stops Here||The Big Game is this weekend, and if you’re like us, you’ve noticed the increasing politicization of sports. Ever wonder why some sports leagues are more political than others? We asked Arvind Gopalratnam, Vice President of the Milwaukee Bucks, how the NBA’s teams and owners are navigating the tough political climate these days. He shares great tips for listeners — and gives examples of NBA players using their platforms in ways that help solve the problem. Plus: Arvind explains why star point guard Malcolm Brogdon’s nickname is The President.||2/1/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhat’s the Next Step?||Steve and Mary Kate bring in two experts (one from the left, one from the right) on the First Step Act, the most significant criminal justice reform legislation to be enacted in decades. Sakira Cook, Senior Counsel for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, explains what the law will actually do and which states are out in front on future reforms. Then Holly Harris, director of the Justice Action Network (once described as having "all the attributes of a Southern belle packing heat,”) describes how a remarkable coalition came together from both sides to get the bill over the finish line. Bonus: Holly’s tips for other groups pushing bipartisan progress on other big issues.||1/24/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe 41 We Knew||Mary Kate is joined by her old friend, former Bush 41 speechwriter Ed McNally, for some great stories about their time writing for President George H.W. Bush. Listen as they reminisce about their first meeting with the new President and what he had to say about President Reagan’s oratory. The two speechwriters tell behind-the-scenes stories about writing stand-up comedy for him, working with him in his post-presidential years, and receiving handwritten notes from him throughout it all. Plus the time the two of them met Mikhail Gorbachev in a bar.||12/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanOutnumbered||Steve Krupin, a former Obama speechwriter, picks the best tributes from the memorial service for Mary Kate’s former boss, the late President George H.W. Bush. Then Steve sits down with Kirsten Hughes, the chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party, and Ethan Corson, the executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party, to talk about what it’s like to be outnumbered in their states, how they won governor’s races anyway, and what those victories teach us about the truism that all politics is local.||12/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLive from Montpelier, Part 2||Mary Kate continues her conversations on what Congress and the press can do to help end partisan gridlock — with former WH legislative affairs directors Dan Meyer (Bush 43) and Marc Short (Trump); former Democratic Congressman LF Payne; and Politico Playbook’s Daniel Lippman, and NPR’s Ron Elving. Plenty of real-life ideas for improving the atmosphere in DC — from campaign messaging for 2020, writing headlines and tweeting, setting the incoming Congress’s agenda, bringing back earmarks, even deciding where to eat lunch on Capitol Hill. Smart ideas from insiders who know.||11/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLive from Montpelier - Part I||In a Bipodisan two-fer, Mary Kate interviews VIPs interested in ending partisan gridlock at a Miller Center conference at the unexpectedly hip home of James Madison. Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin outlines the decline of political parties and rise of ideological “rock stars.” She argues that the loss of pay-as-you-go rules is driving polarization, and gives her prediction for the first bill to be introduced in the new Democratic House. Then UVA Professor Jennifer Lawless and Hoover Institution Fellow and Stanford Professor David Brady talk about surprising polling on whom you’d want your child to marry, and whether there’s room for a third party in America. The three discuss current ideas for reform: redistricting, ranked voting primaries, open primaries, and bringing back earmarks. Plus a favorite clip from SNL. Stay tuned for even more great ideas next week.||11/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMidterm Mania||Mary Kate and Steve Krupin, a former Obama speechwriter, tell fascinating behind-the-scenes stories from past election nights as former campaign staffers. The two writers forgo any sort of “quant” election analysis and instead review the President’s wild ride of a press conference the morning after the midterms; give their take on the biggest election results; and finally, share a few of the most inspiring — and most ridiculous — campaign ads of the midterms.||11/8/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBurning Down the House||Mary Kate is joined by Steve Krupin, former speechwriter for President Obama, for a smart discussion about this week's attempted bombings and the blazing-hot political rhetoric leading up to the midterms. After jumping from Cicero to Nixon to Trump, the two move on to interview Stephen Hawkins of More in Common, which just published a report on tribalism in America. Learn about the seven tribes in American politics and why the largest one — the Exhausted Majority — is afraid to speak freely. Hear Hawkins’ take on his favorite hidden gem in the report, before all three swap ideas for lowering the heat in politics these days — from tech companies to nonprofits to parents. Plus what’s making Steve and Mary Kate hopeful in an especially difficult week.||10/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanNo Partisan Witch Hunts!||Chris Lu (Mary Kate’s fellow Senior Fellow at the Miller Center and a big cheese in the Obama Administration) joins Bipodisan this week in a special Hurricane edition from Chatter Bar. The two analyze the President’s “A++” and “unsung success” tweets, his remarks on 9/11, and their four-legged tip for personalizing the First Family. Then the two interview Elise Bean and Justin Rood of the bipartisan Oversight Boot Camp on Capitol Hill, which trains staffers from both parties in both the House and Senate to run committee investigations to be something other than Partisan Witch Hunts between the two parties. Plus, the bromance between 44 and Senator Coburn, happy hours for staffers, and fake scandals.||9/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSpeeches, Eulogies, Statements, and One Particular Op-Ed||Kyle O’Connor, former speechwriter for President Obama, joins Mary Kate this week to share stories about what it’s like to be young speechwriters at the White House, and which college experience — other than drinking heavily — best prepared them for the job. The two compare watching the McCain funeral on YouTube (Kyle) and in audience at the National Cathedral (Mary Kate), pick their favorite eulogies, and analyze the opening statements at the Kavanaugh hearings. Spoiler alert: like everyone else in Washington, they deny writing the anonymous New York Times Op-Ed. Unlike everyone else in Washington, they have some interesting takes on the whodunnit.||9/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRiding the Pink Wave||Bipodisan heads to the campus of George Washington University this week, to hear from four former candidates for office from both sides of the aisle. All of them come from very different walks of life and are different ages — and all happen to be fascinating women. In front of a packed house, listen as they talk about what it was like to run for office, the obstacles they overcame, and some of the crazy comments they got from voters. Warning: listening might make you want to run for office, too.||8/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRacism and Resilience in Charlottesville||Bill Antholis, longtime Charlottesville resident and head of UVA’s Miller Center, gives a first-hand account of being yards away from the racial and anti-semitic violence last summer, his views on removing the statues that have stood within blocks of his home, and what young people can learn from what’s known as A12, or August 12th, 2017. Has Charlottesville become a microcosm of the polarization throughout our society? And if so, what exactly does community resilience in Charlottesville — and in America — look like going forward? The answers lie in the kinds of conversations we all should be having with each other.||8/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanStraight, No Chaser||It’s August in Washington, and it seems all the D’s and R’s are on vacation. No worries: over at the bar at Chatter, Mary Kate sits down with her friend Jonathan Allen — not a partisan but a straight-down-the-middle ace reporter for NBC News — to hear what it was like to be in the room with President Trump, Kim Jung Un, Vladimir Putin, AND among the crowd at the Trump rally in Tampa. He also gives his straight take on Kavanaugh, the Koch brothers, and the midterms. Jon’s the co-author of a New York Times #1 best-seller about the 2016 race, and he offers up what 2020 presidential contenders on both sides of the aisle could learn about messaging, data analytics, and demographics in 2016. (See if you can guess the two words HRC thought would never come out of her mouth — but did.) Plus ending gridlock, and being hopeful.||8/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAnd Now For Something Completely Different||Hear left and right discuss the hottest news — Justice Kennedy’s retirement, the travel ban, the Janus decision, the Red Hen Incident, and Maxine Waters’ heated rhetoric — all without yelling, screaming, slapping or punching? Bipodisan is the ONLY place to get a civil conversation on this week’s issues. Plus Mary Kate reports on the newest member of President Bush 41’s team, Jean talks about her fave new comedienne, and Paul relays a surprising story about a CNN reporter amidst a Trump rally.||6/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDouble Play||On this week’s episode of Bipodisan, Paul, Jean, and Moe stay in the dugout at Chatter Bar and Grill and talk about the outrage machine’s reaction on both sides to the Trump-Kim handshake in Singapore, the argument for being hopeful on North Korea, and the scene from the baseball flick Bull Durham that best captures Donald Trump’s style (hint: it involves a bull). Meanwhile, Mary Kate heads to Nationals Stadium and steps up to the plate as a roving reporter, interviewing Members of Congress at the annual Congressional Baseball Game about how to have more civil conversations and build bipartisanship. Plus, why singing Capitol Hill cops, local political engagement, the World Cup, and a gracious moment from a high school pitcher are making us hopeful.||6/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Power of the Purse||This week on Bipodisan, Moe is back, Paul is away and Mary Kate and Jean are crunchy. The gang of three finds bipartisan agreement on letting small-business owners bake cake, and on allowing the power of the marketplace – not the government – to send messages to merchants on culture or morality. Mary Kate then boldly leads the group to the “third rail” of politics: Social Security (and its insolvency). When it comes to entitlements, the hosts are worried – about the public purse and the leaders who control it. They wonder whether retiring Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz will run for president on a fiscally conservative platform of entitlement reform, and then discuss the pros and cons of non-traditional political candidates.||6/7/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanLead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way||After an opening icebreaker of remembering the first films they saw in a movie theater — you’ll learn which co-host was shouting out Latin translations of “The Exorcist" during its second run and which one rode his bike nine miles to see Star Wars — Paul, Mary Kate and Jean dive into the immigration debate after getting reports from high school and college campuses from the interns. Then Jean poses a great question: is corporate America leading or reflecting public opinion? Between this week’s news on the NFL, Starbucks, and ABC’s “Roseanne” the three co-hosts - minus Moe for another week - agree to disagree on whether Corporate America is reaffirming or reacting to pop culture. But not before opining on whether Lebron or M.J. is the best ever, whether conservative kids should go to liberal colleges, and which of them should open a tea shop, a bar, and a bait and tackle operation. You might be surprised.||5/31/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanI Hear "Donut"||Weighing in on the great Laurel v Yanny debate, Paul sides with Charles Barkley before he, Jean, and Mary Kate launch into a spirited discussion of the President’s Tweet-call to open a Justice Department investigation of the Justice Department investigation. The group then reflects on the life of former JFK, LBJ, and RFK speechwriting legend Dick Goodwin, other writers that inspired them to enter the profession (hint: one rhymes with "Meggy Roonan"), and the things they love and hate most about speechwriting. Plus, in a special Royal Wedding edition of What’s Making Us Hopeful This Week, the Podners discuss the cellist, the sermon, and the transatlantic symbolism but, in Moe’s absence, fail to talk about the dress.||5/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFrom Royals to Royalties||This week on Bipodisan, Paul is outnumbered both in gender and party affiliation by Mary Kate and Jean. The group pays homage to women by discussing the latest in the #MeToo movement, including justice for women and possible come-backs for the men whose careers have been cratered by recent exposure of their behavior. As their conversation evolves, intern Taylor chimes in with her 18-year-old perspective on the treatment of women in modern society. Parallels are drawn, perspective is sought and Mary Kate and Jean both share stories of their own professional experience as women in “The Swamp” of Washington, D.C. The group finds important common ground and wraps the show with lighter topics of royal weddings and the things that are giving them hope.||5/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhere Does This Leave Us?||This week’s Bipodisan goes international with Canadian columnist Andrew Cohen, who talks with Mary Kate, Paul and Jean “aboot” New York attorneys (Giuliani and Schneiderman), #MeToo and Iran. The four writers’ thoughtful discussion about the Iran nuclear deal is rivaled only by their searing commentary on whether to use two spaces or just one after a period. Listen to the end to hear why baseball practice, commencement speeches, libraries and a very special family reunion are making this politically diverse group hopeful.||5/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Reaction, and the Reaction to the Reaction||This week, Paul, Mary Kate, Jean and Moe (who is a shadow of his former self) name their first and favorite concerts, then talk about the backlash to the WH Correspondents Dinner — and what Dana Carvey and Alec Baldwin don’t have in common. They also discuss Donald Trump’s chances of winning the Nobel Peace Prize, and predict whether North Korea will imitate Lucy pulling the nuclear football away from Charlie Brown. All six —including the two interns — announce what they are most looking forward to this summer, and then of course, What’s Making Us Hopeful This Week.||5/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanComfortably Numb||With Moe away in Los Angeles this week, Mary Kate, Paul, and Jean welcome back old friend Robert Schlesinger. Reacting to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s quote that Democrats should not talk about impeachment, the gang takes on the impeachment chatter happening among R’s and D’s while cautioning that we should not pre-judge the findings of Robert Mueller’s investigation of President Trump. The group also discusses the ethics woes of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, before launching into a spirited debate on climate change. In What’s Making Us Hopeful this week, Jean is feeling French, Robert reveals his Jets love, Paul totally cheats, and Mary Kate sends warm wishes to her favorite former President. Also, the panelists may or may not be under the influence of bourbon.||4/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Silver Fox and The Donald||In this week’s episode, Paul is away so Mary Kate, Moe and Jean welcome former Obama communications guru Jose Aristimuño to Chatter. They share stories about Barbara Bush you probably haven’t heard before Moe sings a sweet solo in honor of the late First Lady. Moe "gets his sexy back” while Jean blows everyone’s mind by revealing what Donald Trump and Barbara Bush have in common. The group rates the Comey interview on a scale of 1 to 10, and Jose and Moe discuss Hillary’s "deeply flawed candidacy." Plus What’s Making Us Hopeful This Week, including Moe celebrating his mother’s 85th birthday with her -- in Las Vegas!||4/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanKings of the Hill||It’s All Things Capitol Hill this week on Bipodisan: Mary Kate Cary and Jean Card (R's) lament the retirement of Speaker Ryan, while Paul Orzulak and Robert Schlesinger (D) wonder about the timing of the announcement. All four agree on the cringe-worthiness of some of the questions posed to the founder of “The Facebook" in the hearings, and on some reasonable measures that could be taken to protect users’ privacy. Plus their reaction to reports of a profane tirade in a local grocery store by The Mystery Congressman.||4/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSpeeches, Poetry and Jokes||This week’s episode comes from the Windy City, where Paul and Mary Kate take a break from politics to interview former Obama speechwriter David Litt and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. For the 50th anniversary of his death this week, the four talk about what exactly made Martin Luther King Jr.’s oratory so unique. Then the three speechwriters and a poet give listeners tips on getting rid of writer’s block and finding inspiration; David talks about writing comedy at Funny or Die; and Robert tells the World’s Most Profound Joke.||4/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Kids Are Alright||Paul Orzulak’s away on spring break this week with his family, so Mary Kate Cary, Moe Vela, Jean Card and guest Robert Schlesinger are goin' mobile with Bipodisan. In front of a live studio audience of high schoolers, the two Democrats and two Republicans give their take on the March for Our Lives and the Facebook data mining story — and then take great questions from the students. What advice would you give young people facing political polarization in just about every conversation? Tune in for ours.||3/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMarch Madness — in DC||Moe Vela (D) and Jean Card (R) are back by popular demand to join Paul and Mary Kate as they discuss the Pennsylvania special election, Rex Tillerson’s departure, and Hillary Clinton’s latest pronouncements — as well as some below-the-radar news no one’s paying attention to in all the craziness. Plus What’s Making Us Hopeful, in a March Madness kind of way.||3/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAre You Out of Your Mind?!||Paul Orzulak (D) and Mary Kate Cary (R) put their civil discourse to the test by discussing this week’s news — steel tariffs, Kushner’s status, and Nunberg’s media tour — all with a mindfulness expert listening in. Laurie Cameron, a communications and leadership development expert — and soon-to-be bestselling author -- dissects our conversation and gives advice for having open, curious and mindful conversations when people really, really disagree with you.||3/8/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanOscar Speeches: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly||Do you watch the Super Bowl for the ads and the Oscars for the speeches? We do. Listen in as four movie-loving speechwriters replay their favorite and not-so-favorite Oscar acceptance speeches, with oratorical do’s and don’ts for this year’s winners. Join co-host Paul Orzulak (President Clinton), co-host Mary Kate Cary (President HW Bush) and guests Kate Childs Graham (West Wing Writers) and former Washington Post film critic Desson Thomson (State Department) as they also preview the politics surrounding the 2018 Academy Awards. Plus What’s Making Us Hopeful This Week.||3/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanA Cease Fire in the Gun Wars||In the week after the Parkland, Florida school shooting, co-hosts and former White House speechwriters Paul Orzulak (Clinton) and Mary Kate Cary (Bush 41) get away from the fighting in Washington and attempt to do something very few others are doing: talk about possible solutions to the epidemic of gun violence that are both practical and constitutional — and on which maybe, just maybe, reasonable people might agree. Hear an idea you like? An expert tells listeners what works and what doesn’t when citizens talk to members of Congress. Plus what’s making us hopeful this week.||2/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanNot the Valentine’s Day Conversation We Wanted||Former George W. Bush Administration speechwriter Jean Card and long-time Obama White House speechwriter Terry Szuplat join Paul Orzulak and Mary Kate Cary to discuss the controversy surrounding the resignation of White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter. As our panelists wondered aloud why neither the White House nor Congressional leaders seemed willing to condemn domestic violence, naturally, the President and top GOP leaders did precisely that by the time this episode was posted. The panel also shares personal stories about security clearances, what the other side is missing here, and answers the question: What exactly does the staff secretary do? Plus, What’s Making Us Hopeful This Week, including something that hasn’t happened in Virginia since 1982.||2/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanI Can See Mexico From My Porch||Co-hosts Paul Orzulak (Democratic speechwriter for President Bill Clinton) and Mary Kate Cary (Republican speechwriter for President George HW Bush) talk about immigration with Jean Card (former speechwriter in the George W Bush administration) and Moe Vela (senior advisor to Vice Presidents Gore and Biden). What Democrats and Republicans are not hearing in the immigration debate, how each party could better reach voters on the other side, and what Dreamers have to do with Legally Blonde. Plus: What’s making us hopeful this week.||2/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanIt’s Time to Give Civility a Chance||Since the 2016 election, there have been more than 1,600 political podcasts launched in the United States. Almost all of them feature Democrats talking to Democrats and Republicans talking with Republicans. Isn’t it time for a podcast in which the other side talks back? In this premiere episode of “Bipodisan,” co-hosts and fellow former White House speechwriters Paul Orzulak (D) and Mary Kate Cary (R) discuss why they believe it’s time for a podcast in which opposites respectfully talk, not shout, about the issues dividing America – and how they intend to change each other’s mind (and yours).||1/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
Finally a platform for engaging and constructive, bipartisan conversation! Bravo!
Bravo for "Bipodisan."
Great insights, great rapport, and a great service at this moment in our history.
Love the thought of not listening to people trying to talk over each other.