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Politics War Room with James Carville & Al Hunt
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Politics War Room with James Carville & Al Hunt

Author: Politicon

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Master political strategist James Carville and revered journalist Al Hunt convenes a war room each week to discuss the battle for the soul of the nation!  Join them as they gather the sharpest minds from across the country to see who has the most compelling case for the American people on the issues that matter most.
59 Episodes
James and Al are joined by two political giants from critical swing states - Senator Bob Casey ( of Pennsylvania and Governor Gretchen Whitmer ( of Michigan - to discuss the situation on the ground with only a few days to go until the election.   Which counties are make or break for Biden?  Will he be able to flip both states and expand the map?  And perhaps most importantly, when will we know either way?   Listen and find out what the War Room predicts for November 3rd!  Gov. Whitmer’s article ‘The Plot to Kidnap Me’ ( in The Atlantic ( Register for the FREE Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Live Event (   Thursday 29 Oct at 7:00 ET - James and Al will be talking to David Shribman live at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Election 2020 Online Town Meeting. Email your questions to James and Al at  POLITICSWARROOM@GMAIL.COM (mailto:POLITICSWARROOM@GMAIL.COM)   or tweet them to @POLITICON (   THIS WEEK’S SPONSORS: HYDRANT  Hydrant - Where water meets wellness - we’ve got a special deal for our listeners to SAVE 25% OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER: Go to or enter our promo code warroom (that’s all one word) at checkout.  STEADYMD  SteadyMD is now accepting members of all ages, in all 50 states. Go to to take the free quiz and see which doctor is a perfect fit for you. THE GREAT COURSES PLUS  Start your journey with The Great Courses Plus today, your future self will thank you! Sign up with our special url: ( and get a full month of unlimited access - for free!
Sarah Silverman ( is excited about the Biden campaign, but worries that we are losing the cause of progress to our cultural divisions. Meanwhile election day is only 2 weeks away, and over 41 million voters have already cast their ballots.  Michael McDonald ( of the United States Elections Project ( goes over how things look.  And so far, the early voting seems to indicate a groundbreaking year for Democrats, but in election season, anything can happen.  Can we look forward to normalcy after November 3rd?  LISTEN TO THE SARAH SILVERMAN PODCAST ( EMAIL YOUR QUESTIONS TO JAMES AND AL POLITICSWARROOM@GMAIL.COM (mailto:POLITICSWARROOM@GMAIL.COM)   OR TWEET THEM TO @POLITICON ( THIS WEEKS SPONSORS: STEADYMD  (00:12:27) SteadyMD is now accepting members of all ages, in all 50 states. go to to TAKE THE FREE QUIZ AND SEE WHICH DOCTOR IS A PERFECT FIT FOR YOU.  BLINKIST  (00:37:41) Right now, for a limited time Blinkist has a special offer just for our listeners:  Go to to TRY IT FREE FOR 7 DAYS AND SAVE 25% OFF YOUR NEW SUBSCRIPTION. THE GREAT COURSES PLUS  (00:58:41) Start your journey with The Great Courses Plus today, your future self will thank you! Sign up with our special url: ( when you go there, YOU’LL GET A FULL MONTH OF UNLIMITED ACCESS- FOR FREE
With only weeks to go, gigantic sums of campaign cash have washed over the electoral landscape, but when the country is this polarized does money still talk?  James and Al are starting to become optimistic about a Biden election, and think this might be his chance to expand the map.  University of Houston’s Dr. Richard Murray ( reviews the possibility of flipping reliably red states, while Founder and President of Democracy 21 ( Fred Wertheimer ( discusses the role of cash in 2020 strategy and where it comes from.  After listening to them, do you think this is the year that the Democrats shock in the south? EMAIL YOUR QUESTIONS FOR JAMES AND AL AT  POLITICSWARROOM@GMAIL.COM  (mailto:POLITICSWARROOM@GMAIL.COM ) OR TWEET THEM TO @POLITICON (   THEY WILL DO THEIR BEST TO ANSWER THEM ON NEXT WEEK'S EPISODE! WE THANK THIS WEEKS SPONSORS: BLINKIST (00:12:17) Right now, for a limited time Blinkist has a special offer just for our listeners:  Go to http://www.BLINKIST.COM/WARROOM to try it FREE for 7 days AND save 25 percent off your new subscription. FOUR SIGMATIC  (00:33:50) We've worked out an EXCLUSIVE offer with Four Sigmatic on their best-selling Mushroom Coffee: Get up to 40% off plus Free Shipping on Mushroom Coffee bundles.  Go to http://www.FOURSIGMATIC.COM/WARROOM This offer is ONLY for Politics War Room listeners and is not available on their regular website. MAGIC SPOON (00:53:34) Go to http://www.MAGICSPOON.COM/WARROOM to grab a variety pack and try it today! And be sure to use our promo code WARROOM at checkout to get free shipping. TIMELINE: 00:00 - Intro 03:00 - Liberty vs. Democracy 06:15 - The stain on Amy Coney Barrett 11:00 - Remembering Roberta McCain 15:15 - Taking Texas 17:00 - The real demographics 20:30 - An outstanding gerrymander 23:00 - The Texas Republican dilemma 27:30 - The most interesting county in the US 30:00 - Election bellwethers 36:45 - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Money 40:00 - Unprecedented cash flow 44:30 - Shining a light on dark money 48:45 - The fight for the courts 55:30 - Listener Q&A
Subscribe today: If Joe Biden wins in November, Kamala Harris would become Vice President after one of the most consequential and tumultuous elections in American history.  Already a rising leader in the Democratic party, Harris would be the most significant player to help Biden manage a country in crisis, and a frontrunner to lead the ticket in 2024 should Biden not seek re-election. Kamala: Next in Line goes inside the cross-cultural journey that led Harris from her humble roots to become the first African-American woman to represent California in the Senate and now the first African-American woman to be the Vice Presidential nominee for a major party. From Oakland to Howard University, California to Washington DC, experience her story as it has never been told before. This is an intimate and immersive dive into who Kamala is, what her critics say about her, and how she arrived at this moment.   Hosted by MSNBC’s Joy Reid, the show features exclusive interviews with those who know her best, painting a picture of a woman who has fought her way to the top at every turn.
The President and his team have been infected with the Coronavirus, giving new significance to the phrase October Surprise.  But even though James and Al think an electoral blow out is coming, it’s too early for Democrats to get comfortable— there are too many threats.  Guest Professor Kathleen Belew ( details the rise of white supremacist movements and their plans for overthrowing the United States, while former DOJ Fraud Section Chief Andrew Weissmann ( tells us that Bill Barr has downplayed the foreign plans to affect our elections.  Is our country at risk once again? TWEET YOUR QUESTIONS FOR JAMES AND AL TO @POLITICON ( AND THEY WILL ANSWER THEM ON NEXT WEEK'S EPISODE! Latest Books By Our Guests: Kathleen Belew: Bring the War Home ( Andrew Weissmann: Where Law Ends ( THIS WEEKS SPONSORS: HYDRANT (00:16:40:16) We’ve got a special deal for our listeners to save 25% off your first order:  Go to  or enter our promo code WARROOM at checkout. MAGIC SPOON (00:40.25.14) Go to to grab a variety pack and try it today! And be sure to use our promo code WARROOM at checkout to get free shipping. STEADY MD ( Go to to take the FREE quiz and see which doctor is a perfect fit for you.  TIMELINE: 00:00 - Intro 01:30 - One incredibly long week 04:00 - Disease in the White House 08:00 - House and Senate predictions 11:45 - Crunching the voting numbers 19:00 - The hidden threat of white supremacy 23:30 - Pent-up frustation 29:30 - Oklahoma as a flash point 34:00 - The post-war bump in hate 38:30 - The banality of evil 42:30 - Bob Mueller’s failures 47:15 - Republican law and order 54:45 - Why did you lie to Congress? 1:00:45 - The Dunham investigation 1:08:00 - Audience Q&A
The first presidential debate is over and James and Al declare Joe Biden the clear winner. Following favorable post-debate coverage across the platforms, and with mail-in ballot use breaking records and banking Democratic votes, it’s not looking good for President Trump.  Ben Ginsburg wonders whether he's running effectively as an incumbent or if the party will collapse after he leaves office.  Meanwhile Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman ( questions recent Democratic strategy in the Ohio battleground and whether the Biden campaign is repeating Hillary’s mistakes in misunderstanding the electorate there. Email your questions for James and Al to ( and they will answer them on next week's episode! This episode is brought to you by Magic Spoon cereal.    Magic Spoon tastes amazing.  It’s honestly too good to be true.   0 sugar, 11 grams of protein, and only 3 net carbs, It’s keto-friendly, gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, low carb, and GMO-free. Go to and use the code WARROOM for free shipping. Show Notes: 00:00 - Intro 01:00 - Less of a mess than you think 03:45 - Biden toughs it out 08:15 - The Great Divider 12:00 - No pardon without an admission of guilt 14:30 - New York's finest prosecutors 20:30 - The Ohio playbook 26:00 - The persuasion zones 28:30 - A post-industrial state 30:00 - Campaigning like there's no pandemic 35:00 - Buckeye Republicans 42:45 - The truth about ballot fraud 46:15 - A former strategy for the right 48:00 - The future of a party in distress 53:30 - The role of poll watchers
With the election only 6 weeks away and Democrats confronted with a surprise conservative Supreme Court nomination, worries are rising about the strength of Biden’s candidacy.  Senator Cory Booker ( has some reassuring words for the concerned, tells us about the equalizing power of baby bonds, and the feeling that this election is a moral moment for the nation.  Meanwhile, Sean McElwee ( discusses the difficulties of uniting the left, and his belief that progressives will unite behind Biden in November.
A major contributing factor to Trump's success in 2016 was his love-hate relationship with the mainstream media. Whether it was giving the then-candidate a disproportionate amount of free press, or an unwillingness to be critical in a misguided attempt to appear balanced, news agencies everywhere unwittingly aided and abetted the President's rise to power. Now journalist James Fallows ( argues they have neither learned their lesson nor are they willing to be held accountable for their irresponsible behavior. Also, author Deborah Fallows ( suggests that in remaining hyper-focused on the "sport" of national politics, little attention is ever given to the real needs and interests of communities outside urban coastal areas.
Whether you’re convinced that nothing stands between Trump and another four years in the White House, or you manage to keep faith in the hope Biden’s campaign provides, it behooves all of us to be fully prepared as to what might happen once the vote counts come in on Election Night. United Nations Foundation vice chair and former U.S. Senator Timothy E. Wirth ( shines a light on all kinds of clandestine efforts the President might pursue in order to obfuscate or nullify a Democratic victory. But as the nation focuses on the election, Los Angeles Time Joseph Serna ( reminds us that the threat of climate change creates all kinds of future problems, not the least of which have  been manifested by the recent California wildfires.
While Trump's outrageous behavior may still shock some, there are plenty of the most savvy and seasoned political veterans who see him for what he really is: a desperate charlatan who is capable of anything. Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft president Andrew Bacevich ( is even able to look forward, beyond this dark period, to the larger issues America faces as a global player. Dr. Michael P. McDonald ( , professor of political science at the University of Florida, predicts a brighter future for Democrats. And Texas Democratic Party consultant Billy Begala ( enjoys a hearty laugh at the recent follies of Trump supporters in his state.
Any opponent of Donald Trump has their work cut out for them, as his use of disinformation, dishonesty and disorder are unprecedented. So the U.S. representative from Pennsylvania's 17th congressional district Conor Lamb ( fully understands the rough road ahead for Vice President Biden over the next few months. Yet Lamb also is keenly aware of the candidate's realist perspective, and just how useful that will be for campaigning in the part of his state often referred as "Trump country." Plus Dr. Rashawn Ray ( , a David M. Rubenstein Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution and Professor of Sociology and Executive Director of the Lab for Applied Social Science Research at the University of Maryland, College Park lends his considerable expertise to the conversation on what should be done in the wake of the protests throughout the nation.
Charlie Cook ( of the Cook Political Report ( handicaps the Presidential race coming out of the conventions as Biden's lead stays consistent. UNC Professor ( Dr. Rick Luettich ( shares his expertise on hurricanes heading into storm season. James and Al react to the conclusion of the Republican National Convention at the White House as a truly bizarre experience.
Senator Jeff Flake ( separates Conservatism from Trumpism seeking to reclaim the soul of the Republican Party while Wall Street Journal Executive Washington Editor Gerald F Seib ( examines Reagan as the precursor to Trump in his new book 'We Should Have Seen It Coming: FROM REAGAN TO TRUMP–A FRONT-ROW SEAT TO A POLITICAL REVOLUTION. ( ' Meanwile, James Carville pursues discussion with both guests on the concept that the base of the Republican party is preoccupied by racial resentment laying the foundation for Donald Trump to capitalize on this by speaking directly to the issue where others would not, and he was, in turn, embraced by Republican voters.
Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, reflects on the Committee’s bipartisan report on Russia's interference in our elections, the US Government's response to prevent a repeat of 2016 this November, the details of Steve Bannon's indictment representative of the Trump Administration's serial corruption, and a recap of the Democratic National Convention.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn champions the House bill to save the Post Office securing American's right to vote-by-mail. The Democratic Congressman from South Carolina discusses the races in his home state, Biden's strong pick of Kamala Harris as his running mate, and Michelle Obama's speech at the DNC. James and Al truly wish they were in Milwaukee, and dissect the latest revelations from the Senate Intelligence Committee which point to mounting evidence of collusion.
COVID-19 has changed the landscape of American politics in countless ways. The logistics of the November election leave a lot of questions lingering in the air. However, the chair of the Democratic Party for the state of Wisconsin Ben Wikler ( has plans laid out, not only for the national convention, but also for addressing voter suppression and Trump's dismantling of the United State Postal Service. Senior Vice President of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Dan Mathews ( also underlines the  the troubling inadequacies in how the country treats its aging population while discussing his unique relationship with his schizophrenic mother, as detailed in his new book "Like Crazy: Life with My Mother and Her Invisible Friends."
The specter of 2016 still looms in the minds of Democrats everywhere, creating no small amount of fear and uncertainty about what might happen come November. But while caution may prove prudent, there is no denying that there are stark differences between four years ago and today. Hart Research Associates president Geoff Garin ( outlines key polling numbers explaining a likely turn away from Trump in the coming months. And nowhere is that resentment towards the current status quo felt more than among America's beaten and broken middle class, whom New York Times economics reporter Jim Tankersley ( explores the plight of in his new book "The Riches of the Land."
With all eyes on Trump v. Biden , it can be easy to forget that there's a lot more at stake this November than just the presidency. Even congressional races may finally be getting the attention they deserve. But National Democratic Redistricting Committee president Kelly Burton ( and Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee preside Jessica Post ( argue that the real work is far more granular, down at the local legislative level. And the world of political scandal, journalist Seth A. Richardson ( (The Cleveland Plain Dealer) highlights one of the most staggering examples of graft in American history, involving an energy company, a wide array of figures at the heart of Ohio politics, and $60 million in bribes.
Much of the blame for the sad state of affairs the United States is facing gets heaped at the feet of Donald J. Trump. But while a fair amount of guilt should be borne by his contemporary enablers, there has also been a clear path over the last 50 years that has led the Republican party towards the existential darkness the president is now dragging them into. Bradlee Professor of Government & the Press at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Thomas Patterson ( and Julian Zelizer ( , the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton School of Public & International Affairs, pinpoint the key players in this grand decline, including Nixon, Cohn, Reagan and Gingrich.
While the coronavirus creates chaos and uncertainty in every sector, there are few things as vital to both the immediate and distant future of the United States as the country's education system. And its importance is matched only by the complexity involved in starting the school year safely in a few months. As West Des Moines Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Lisa Remy ( points out, every school is different, and no one plan will suffice for all of the nearly 13,000 school districts throughout the country. And on the topic of learning, author Ben Sheehan ( ("OMG WTF Does The Constitution Actually Say?") laments the lack of civic education and what that means for the future of American democracy.
Comments (8)


if you guy could have someone from every state to explain their state like the Dr. did Texas, you could make all of us smarter!!! Great Show!!!!!

Oct 20th


Listening from New Zealand. Fantastic! Heard of Hames Carville who is brilliant. But Al Hunt is brilliant too. Great guests and great granular insight that you don’t get with cable news.

Oct 12th

Helena Davis

Just signed up - looking forward to listening!

Oct 8th

S. Tram Arts

Love you guys!

Sep 10th
Reply (1)

Yasmine C

Well wasn't that brave of him? He's always been known to be courageous, you know. They used to call him the Lion of the Senate. He was the bravest of the bunch, a scared mouse among blind mice.

Aug 29th

Jeannie Bremer

Such an outstanding show. Really interesting discussion

Jul 24th

Yasmine C

I bet it's mostly madness.

Jun 23rd
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