Speakeasy with John Harwood
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CNBC’s John Harwood sits down with political decision-makers in their favorite hangouts for relaxed, in-depth conversations revealing who they are and what drives them.
||CleanGovernor Larry Hogan||Until very recently, no one thought of Larry Hogan as a candidate for president. His first two campaigns for office ended in defeat. In 2014 he won the Maryland governorship at age 58 - and within months received a diagnosis of Stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Four years later, re-elected and cancer-free, the Hogan has turned into a focus of 2020 attention. Dissident members of the GOP, searching for someone to challenge President Trump’s renomination, have turned to him for two reasons. The stout, personable Republican - who this summer will become chairman of the National Governor’s Association - wields immense popularity even in a strongly-Democratic state. And he carries a resonant family legacy of political fortitude. On the House Judiciary Committee in 1974, Rep. Lawrence Hogan Sr. became the only GOP member to vote for all three articles of impeachment against Republican President Richard Nixon. Hogan sat down with me at McGarvey’s, an Annapolis bar near his gubernatorial office, to discuss his concerns about Trump and the possibility he’ll launch a campaign against the incumbent. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produced by: Mary Catherine Wellons & Pat Anastasi Edited by: Geoff Dills||3/1/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRep. Maxine Waters||As the House Democratic majority begins wielding power, Rep. Maxine Waters of California is among its tallest lightning rods. In her three decades on Capitol Hill, she has built a reputation for fiery advocacy on behalf of her constituents in a majority-minority Los Angeles district of below-average incomes. Now she will conduct oversight of the titans of Wall Street. The House Financial Services panel - once considered a “juice committee” for its ability to deliver big donations to members - has the first African-American, and the first woman, to wield the gavel of the chair. For years, Waters has clashed energetically with the Republican right, which has made her a target on ideological and ethical grounds. But for all her high-volume rhetoric, Republican lawmakers credit her as a trustworthy colleague with a practical streak that can, at times, produce bipartisan cooperation. A wary business community hopes it can work with her in the same way. Waters, 80, sat down with me in her office on Capitol Hill to discuss her reputation, her legislative agenda, and her determination to unearth the financial secrets of Donald Trump – the president who likes to deride her as a “low-IQ” adversary. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produced by: Mary Catherine Wellons & Pat Anastasi Edited by: Shari Rosen & Geoff Dills||2/1/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRep. John Delaney||John Delaney leaves Congress in a few days, but not in defeat like so many of his colleagues. The wealthy former financial executive is leaving to ramp up his campaign for president. Yes, you read that correctly. The outgoing representative from Maryland’s Sixth House District seeks the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Delaney has been the one and only declared Democratic candidate for the last 17 months. After just four years on Capitol Hill, Delaney launched his bid in July 2017 in hopes of overcoming his absence of any national base or profile whatsoever. It hasn’t worked yet; despite frequent visits, Delaney received his 1% support among Iowa Democrats in a recent Des Moines Register poll. Yet Delaney offers the brains and savvy that took him from a blue-collar upbringing to becoming the youngest CEO on the New York Stock Exchange in 1995. Now 55, he also brings a checkbook that permits him to finance his campaign at least through the earliest 2020 contests. He brands himself a practical problem-solver, capable of bringing both parties together to deliver on progressive goals such as universal health care and reductions in the carbon emissions that cause climate change. Delaney sat down with CNBC Editor-at-Large John Harwood in Chevy Chase, MD at Mei-Wah, an Asian restaurant near the offices of the finance firm for mid-sized businesses he ran before first running for Congress in 2012. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produced by: Mary Catherine Wellons & Pat Anastasi Edited by: Shari Rosen & Geoff Dills||12/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSen. Sherrod Brown||Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio holds an unusual distinction in the 2018 mid-campaign for Congress. He is a Democrat seeking re-election in a state President Trump carried easily two years ago. But unlike several colleagues in the same situation, the raspy-voiced populist has moved far ahead of Republican challenger Jim Renacci in polls assessing his bid for a third term. If he wins and Democrats manage to recapture the Senate, Brown stands to chair the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee – a worrisome prospect for Wall Street. An avid baseball fan, Brown sat down with CNBC Editor-at-Large John Harwood at the stadium in Columbus that is home to the AAA farm team for the Cleveland Indians. In an interview that followed the mailing of pipe bombs to prominent Democrats but preceded the mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue, they discussed the nation’s political climate, the Democratic economic agenda, his sometime-partnership with President Trump, and the possibility that he might soon challenge Trump for the White House. (Note: Recorded on Friday, October 26) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produced by: Mary Catherine Wellons & Pat Anastasi Edited by: Shari Rosen & Geoff Dills||11/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanJohn Legend||At age 39, John Legend has carved a major role in American culture. He has found success as a singer, songwriter and actor with hits like “Ordinary People” and “All of Me” and in movies such as Selma and LaLa land. He is one of just 15 entertainers to win individual Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. Born John Stephens into a blue-collar family in Springfield, Ohio, Legend studied English at the University of Pennsylvania and worked for a global business consulting firm. While building his music career since then, Legend has become unusually informed about, and active in, American politics. He sat down with editor-at-large John Harwood during a political swing to promote Stacey Abrams, the African-American woman running for governor of Georgia, and the Florida ballot initiative Amendment Four to restore voting rights for felons who’ve completed their sentences. Over drinks at The Abbey, an Orlando entertainment venue, they discussed criminal justice reform, Democratic presidential politics and the Twitter fights he and his wife Chrissy Teigen have waged with President Trump. Visit https://cnbc.com/speakeasy to see more from John Harwood’s interview with John Legend. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produced by: Mary Catherine Wellons & Pat Anastasi Edited by: Shari Rosen & Geoff Dills||10/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRep. Steve Stivers||Congressman Steve Stivers may have the toughest job in politics right now. As Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Campaign, Stivers is fighting to protect the House Republican majority against the blue wave that Donald Trump’s presidency has set off. He’s trying to pull it off with a three-part formula - peace, prosperity and Pelosi. Over a few slices of pizza in his home state of Ohio, Stivers discusses his party’s strategy heading into midterms. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produced by: Mary Catherine Wellons & Pat Anastasi Edited by: Shari Rosen & Geoff Dills||8/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanElizabeth Warren||Elizabeth Warren, the unlikely politician who won a Senate seat as a champion of economically-struggling families, has emerged as a leading prospective candidate for her party’s 2020 presidential nomination. Raised in Oklahoma on what she calls “the jagged edge of the middle class,” she rose to teach at Harvard Law School before entering elective office in 2013 at age 63. Heavily-favored to win a second-term from Massachusetts voters in November, she sat down with me at a café in Pittsfield on July 22, 2018 to talk about President Trump, the economy and the path forward for Democrats. What follows is a lightly-edited version of our conversation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produced by: Pat Anastasi Edited by: Shari Rosen & Geoff Dills||7/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanVicente Fox||Vicente Fox, the 55th president of Mexico, has become one of the most flamboyant international critics of U.S. President Donald Trump. At age 75, a dozen years removed from his time in office, Fox has used profanity and humor to defend Mexicans from Trump’s attacks and rebut the American’s contention that he can force Mexico to finance a border wall separating the two countries. He sat down with me to discuss his role, and North America’s economic future, after delivering a speech to the eMerge conference gathering international business leaders in Miami on April 23th, 2018. What follows is a lightly edited version of our conversation. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produced by: Mary Catherine Wellons & Pat Anastasi Edited by: Shari Rosen & Geoff Dills||4/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanStephanie Schriock, EMILY’s List President||A central force behind this year’s mid-term election campaign is neither a political party nor a candidate. It is EMILY’s List, which for the last three decades had worked to assist Democratic women in politics. Originally organized around fund-raising – EMILY is an acronym for Early Money Is Like Yeast – the group now recruits and trains as well as finances women candidates. Its only litmus-test issue is support for abortion rights. What makes the organization loom so large in 2018 is the combination of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 defeat and Donald Trump’s provocations from the White House. More than 300 women – a record number - are now running for Congress. Thousands more have stepped forward for offices at all levels of government. That the emergent Me-Too movement has also propelled women into the 2018 arena adds a special irony. Before becoming president of EMILY’S List, Stephanie Schriock managed the winning 2008 Senate campaign of Al Franken – whose resignation last year made him the highest-profile Democratic victim of that movement. I talked to Schriock about prospects for women fueling a Democratic takeover of Congress inside the EMILY’S List headquarters in downtown Washington, DC. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produced by: Mary Catherine Wellons & Pat Anastasi Edited by: Shari Rosen & Geoff Dills||4/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanPennsylvania's Special Election: The Power of Trumpism & The Backlash Against It||In this episode, Speakeasy goes on the road - to Southwest Pennsylvania ahead of the March 13 special election in the state's 18th Congressional district. We spent a couple of days watching the candidates, listening to the ads, and talking to voters in a district that Donald Trump won by a landslide two years ago. This special election tests three big questions we dig into over the course of the podcast: 1) Can tax-cuts help the Republican majority in Congress turn back the Democratic tide? 2) Can Democrats compete in Republican districts they need to recapture the House? 3) And can President Donald Trump rally his blue-collar base behind his party in November? Even though Pennsylvania will have new Congressional district lines by November, the PA-18 race provides an early measure of crucial factors in the fight for Congress. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produced by: Mary Catherine Wellons & Pat Anastasi Edited by: Shari Rosen & Geoff Dills||3/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSenator Jeff Flake||When Jeff Flake of Arizona announced his retirement from the Senate last fall, he become one of the strongest Republican critics of President Trump. “I rise today to say, ‘Enough,’ he told his colleagues, ripping the president of his party for policies and behavior he called “dangerous to a democracy.” Last month, Flake delivered a second Senate floor speech likening Trump’s words to those of 20th century Russian dictator Josef Stalin. As he leaves his Senate seat, he has pointedly declined to rule out challenging Trump by running for president himself. Yet he has not waged an all-out assault on the president’s agenda. He joined fellow Republicans in delivering Trump’s greatest victory so far, backing the $1.5-trillion tax cut despite his own expressed concerns about budget deficits. We met in his office – that doubles as his living quarters when he’s in Washington – to discuss his approach to challenging this White House, and his future plans. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produced by: Mary Catherine Wellons & Pat Anastasi Edited by: Shari Rosen & Geoff Dills||2/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBill Kristol||Before Donald Trump came along, Bill Kristol exemplified virtually all the leading elements of the modern Republican Party. After watching his father help found the neo-conservative movement, he joined the Reagan Administration as an aide to Education Secretary William Bennett, a leading figure on the cultural right. Later he pressed President George H.W. Bush from the right on taxes and other issues as chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle. In 1993, at the newly-minted Project for the Republican Future, he helped direct the party’s successful effort to block President Bill Clinton’s health-care plan. He launched the conservative magazine The Weekly Standard and became a commentator for Fox News. He staunchly backed President George W. Bush’s Iraq War and promoted Sarah Palin for the vice presidency in 2008. Now, at 65, Kristol has made a radical break. Alarmed at Trump’s policies and his methods, he has become a leading voice of Republican opposition. That has damaged old friendships and made new ones; Kristol now offers analysis on MSNBC. He is re-examining old assumptions about fellow conservatives and Republicans – and contemplating new possibilities for progress in the political center. We talked over beers at the Mayflower Hotel near the White House – the same hotel where he and others decided a quarter-century ago to launch the magazine he still serves as Editor-at-Large. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produced by: Mary Catherine Wellons & Pat Anastasi Edited by: Shari Rosen & Geoff Dills||1/25/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSenator Mark Warner||John Harwood talks with Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, a Democrat suddenly back in the national spotlight as he helps lead the Senate’s Trump-Russia investigation. Once considered a presidential contender, Warner could be back in the mix for his party’s 2020 nomination. They discuss his belief that the notorious “dossier” hasn’t yet been disproven, that Trump campaign contacts with Russia turned out to be far more numerous than expected, and that firing Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller would provoke a constitutional crisis and political disaster for the president. He condemned GOP tax proposals as the worst legislation he’s ever seen, and talks of new proposals for a 21st century economy that could represent a White House platform. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produced by: Mary Catherine Wellons & Pat Anastasi Edited by: Shari Rosen & Geoff Dills||12/19/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanGary Cohn||John Harwood interviews Gary Cohn, top White House economic adviser. Cohn discusses a range of topics including the Republican push for tax cuts - and complaints that the benefits will go to the rich. The interview was recorded on November 7, 2017 at American University, where Cohn went to college. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produced by: Mary Catherine Wellons & Pat Anastasi Edited by: Shari Rosen & Geoff Dills||11/29/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanSenator Lamar Alexander||A conversation with Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican point man for the bipartisan effort to stabilize Obamacare, in Nashville’s songwriting mecca, The Bluebird Cafe. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ Produced by: Mary Catherine Wellons & Pat Anastasi Edited by: Shari Rosen & Geoff Dills||11/20/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanIntroducing “Speakeasy with John Harwood”||CNBC’s John Harwood has been covering Washington politics for more than 30 years, reporting on the people in the White House and Congress who make decisions affecting our lives. In his “Speakeasy” podcast, Harwood brings those conversations to life in diners and bars, Capitol offices, and even hits the road to meet with political players in their home towns.||11/17/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
These are great interviews. More of them, and longer please!
Engaging interviews with fascinating leaders
Loving these interviews - they are a perfect mix of in depth content and informal banter. I always come away feeling like I know the person John is speaking with - a rare feeling in the political media which is often stiff and impersonal. Thank you John!