Impolitic with John Heilemann

Audacy | Puck

  • 1 hour 11 minutes
    Tim Miller & Stuart Stevens: Trump Can’t Change & Vance Won’t Fly

    John is joined by two veteran G.O.P. operatives turned #NeverTrump stalwarts—Mitt Romney's 2012 chief strategist, Stuart Stevens, and The Bulwark's Tim Miller—to discuss the opening night of the Republican National Convention and the extraordinary weekend that preceded it, when an assassin’s bullet nearly claimed Donald Trump’s life. Tim and Stuart assess Trump’s subdued entrance and rapturous reception in the convention hall, his choice of J.D. Vance as his running mate, and the possibility he might emerge as a less incendiary, more unifying figure (which they deem close to nil). And they offer dramatically divergent points of view on whether Democrats should dump or double down on Joe Biden.

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    16 July 2024, 3:51 pm
  • 1 hour 1 minute
    James Carville’s Case For Reshuffling The Democratic Deck

    John is joined by James Carville, the most celebrated political strategist of the modern era—and one of the earliest and loudest influential Democrats to argue that voters’ doubts about Joe Biden’s capacity to serve well into his eighties could be his undoing. James explains his conviction that, despite Biden’s determination to stay in the race, he'll almost certainly have no choice but to drop out; why asking an electorate hungry for change and a champion who embodies the future to swallow a status quo candidate who embodies the past was unwise from the jump; and how a wide-open, multi-candidate bake-off showcasing his party’s deep bench of young talent—and presided over by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton—could be the cure for what ails Democrats (and rid us all of Trump in the bargain). 

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    12 July 2024, 5:10 pm
  • 1 hour 8 minutes
    Labour’s Landslide, Macron’s Muddle, & Europe’s Biden Bedwetting

    John is joined by Jonathan Freedland—Guardian columnist, BBC radio presenter, cohost of the podcast Unholy: Two Jews on the News, and author of the best-selling book The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World—for a tour d’horizon of political news in Europe and the U.S. as seen from across the pond. Jonny explains the electoral landslide last week that put Labour back in power in the U.K. for the first time in 14 years, why the French election a few days later produced such a muddle (and why so many, including Emmanuel Macron, are celebrating anyway), and how the European political-diplomatic establishment is panicking over Joe Biden’s debate debacle almost as much as Democratic donors and elected officials.

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    9 July 2024, 7:00 am
  • 1 hour 12 minutes
    Steven Brill on SCOTUS & Social Media As Truth-Destroyer

    John is joined by Steven Brill — founder of The American Lawyer, Court TV, and NewsGuard, and author of the new book The Death Of Truth — for a deep dive into the morass of fake news online. Steve discusses how and why the major social media platforms have turned into toxic, conspiracy-theory-spreading cesspools, and what might be done to fix it. He also assesses the Supreme Court’s landmark decision this week on presidential immunity, the debasement of the court by Justices Alito and Thomas (both of whom Brill first met as fellow students at Yale Law School), and how SCOTUS has lost much of its legitimacy with the public in the past two decades.

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    5 July 2024, 7:00 am
  • 1 hour 6 minutes
    Should He Stay or Should He Go (Joe Biden, That Is)?

    John is joined by the renowned political strategists David Axelrod and Mike Murphy to discuss the fallout from Joe Biden’s debate disaster, starting with the movement among Democrats to persuade Biden to bow out and let his party choose a new nominee to face Donald Trump this fall. What would an open convention look like? If Biden bails, would Kamala Harris be his inevitable replacement? And if Biden stays in, what should he do—what can he do—to recover? Axe and Murphy have the answers.

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    2 July 2024, 3:13 pm
  • 54 minutes 32 seconds
    Puck Superfriends Break Down Biden’s Debate Breakdown

    John is joined by his colleagues Dylan Byers and Peter Hamby in the immediate aftermath of the first (and maybe only) 2024 presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. The three Puck political-media superfriends asses Biden's botched performance and the freakout among Democratic officials, strategists, and donors in reaction to it; analyze Trump’s calm and composed (by his standards) turn on the debate stage; and speculate on whether the suddenly ardent and increasingly public strategizing among elite Dems about how to get Biden to drop out of the race — for the good of both the party and the country.

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    28 June 2024, 8:10 am
  • 1 hour 13 minutes
    Stevie Van Zandt’s Excellent Adventures On & Off E Street

    John is joined by the legendary guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, and all around rock-and-roll legend Steve Van Zandt, equally famous for his roles as Bruce Springsteen’s longtime sidekick and as Silvio Dante in The Sopranos. In their freewheeling conversation, Stevie reflects on how his remarkable, up-and-down, 60-year career as a musician, actor, and activist has, time and again, placed him at or near the center of modern culture — and how his proudest achievement to this day is the unlikely, ultimately heroic part he played in freeing Nelson Mandela.

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    25 June 2024, 7:00 am
  • 54 minutes 55 seconds
    Biden Campaign Chief to Dem Bedwetters: Stop Worrying & Get To Work

    John is joined by Jen O’Malley Dillon—the legendary Democratic field organizer for Al Gore, Jon Edwards, and Barack Obama, manager of Joe Biden’s general-election campaign in 2020, and deputy chief of staff in Biden's White House from 2021 to 2023—in her first extended, on-the-record interview since taking over as chair of his reelection effort. The two discuss next week’s debate, the state of the presidential race, Team Biden’s battleground-state strategy, and the nagging questions around the president’s age and fitness for office. Jen also addresses the anxieties of the myriad Nervous Nellies in her party and pledges, “Joe Biden is going to win.”

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    21 June 2024, 7:00 am
  • 1 hour 6 minutes
    Reassessing the Kitchen Confidential Era & The Perils of Chef Stardom

    John is joined by the legendary restaurateur Danny Meyer—whose Union Square Hospitality Group has built a fine-dining empire in New York City (Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Manhatta, Ci Siamo, and more) and spawned the multinational fast-casual juggernaut Shake Shack—to mourn the shocking, bewildering loss of a mutual friend, the fast-rising culinary superstar Jamal James Kent, at just 45. Danny also reflects on what has and hasn’t changed in restaurant culture since the heyday of bad boy celebrity chefs, the extent to which the industry has recovered from the pandemic, and the crucial differences between mere service and genuine hospitality.

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    18 June 2024, 7:00 am
  • 1 hour 14 minutes
    Apple's A.I. Embrace & Elon's Tantrum

    John is joined by Kara Swisher—celebrated chronicler of the titans of tech, host of the podcast On With Kara Swisher and cohost of the Pivot podcast with Scott Galloway, and author of the best-selling memoir Burn Book—to discuss Apple's embrace of A.I., Elon Musk's broadsides against the company, and Silicon Valley's newfound enthusiasm for Donald Trump. Then renowned political scribe and Primary Colors author Joe Klein stops by to mourn the passing of his and John's friend and former colleague, Howard Fineman.

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    14 June 2024, 7:00 am
  • 42 minutes 39 seconds
    George to Media: Stop Normalizing Trump

    John is joined by ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos—co-anchor of Good Morning America, host of This Week, and author of the recently published New York Times No. 1 best-seller, The Situation Room—to discuss their industry’s ongoing failure to cover Donald Trump, the GOP, and this political moment for what they are: radically abnormal. George also reflects on his time in the White House, the similarities (and differences) between Trump and Bill Clinton, and how transcendental meditation “saved my life.”

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    11 June 2024, 7:00 am
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