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Power Play


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Power Play is POLITICO's new weekly transatlantic podcast hosted by renowned British journalist Anne McElvoy. It takes listeners inside the minds of those who wield power to better understand the choices they face. The show features guests at the top of their fields in government, business, civil society and more  accompanied by the expert analysis of journalists across POLITICO's newsrooms globally, giving listeners the inside take on the most significant issues raised by the guest, as well as the implications. Read our show notes here:

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189 Episodes
Fresh from his landslide victory, Britain’s new Prime Minister, Keir Starmer, has flown to Washington to join other leaders of NATO countries as they meet for the alliance’s 75th anniversary summit.As the war in Ukraine takes another ugly turn following a week of heavy Russian bombardment, can NATO turn the tide of the losses? Host Anne McElvoy talks to General Patrick Sanders, who has recently left his role as head of the British Army, about the challenges facing NATO, why the UK needs to increase its defense budget and the new government's proposed defense pact with the EU.They also discuss his proposal for military service, which caused a storm earlier in the year and at the recent general election, as well as mental health in the military. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
It's all change in the U.K. Labour's historic landslide election victory beckons a different kind of leadership for Britain on the world stage after 14 years of Conservative rule.Keir Starmer, who stepped into his new job as PM, will have little time to define his approach to the wars in Ukraine, the Middle East and contend with a more assertive China. Host Anne McElvoy talks to Jonathan Powell, who was Tony Blair's long-serving chief of staff in Downing Street and former diplomat, about how the new prime minister is likely to forge key relationships around the world.She's also joined by POLITICO's editor-at-large in Washington, Matt Kaminksi and POLITICO Europe’s editor-in-chief, Jamil Anderlini to discuss what Starmer’s victory means for the U.K's European and transatlantic relations. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
The recent shift to the right in the European Parliament election doesn't bode well for the continent's dwindling band of social democratic leaders, one of the most prominent of whom, former Finnish PM Sanna Marin, was shown the door by voters last year.Finland is a country of renewed prominence due to its proximity to Putin's Russia — which led Marin to apply to join NATO, ending decades of Finnish neutrality. Host Anne McElvoy talks to Marin about Putin’s war in Ukraine, her warning that Europe needs to do more to meet the challenges posed by big tech, and why the continent needs more female leaders. Marin also leaves the door open to returning to elected politics, with a "never say never" mantra.The conversation was recorded in front of a live audience at the recent Copenhagen Democracy Summit, which took place before the European election. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
Election fever is gripping both sides of the North Atlantic. As Britain heads into the final weeks of a long election campaign, French voters face a snap parliamentary election. The Biden-Trump race for the White House draws ever closer. One man who knows about how to run a campaign is Jim Messina — known in Washington as "the fixer."Messina is the mastermind behind President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012 and David Cameron's surprise victory for Britain's Conservatives in 2015. In this week's edition, host Anne McElvoy asks him what advice he would give to President Biden as he prepares for the first televised debate with Donald Trump next week — and to Rishi Sunak, who's leading the Conservatives to what may be an historic defeat in the U.K.Messina says parties on both sides of the pond need to "shut up and listen to voters" about their concerns on immigration and the economy. "Voters are so much smarter than anyone gives them credit for," he tells McElvoy. "If you have bad ingredients, you're not gonna make a perfect cake," he adds — saying that a disciplined campaign can only achieve so much. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
It takes a brave — some may say reckless — leader to call a general election when trailing in the polls by 20 percent.With three weeks to go to polling day on July 4, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s gamble looks like it will backfire, possibly spectacularly so, with perilous consequences for the country's oldest political party, the Conservatives. For one of the most powerful members of his Cabinet, the Chancellor — Britain's top finance minister — Jeremy Hunt, it means a fight for his political life.Host Anne McElvoy joins him on the campaign trail in his Surrey constituency, a place which used to be rock solid territory for the Conservatives. Hunt concedes that voters feel "battered" by the cost of living crisis and "quite understandably hold the guys at the top to account."Anne is also joined by POLITICO's deputy U.K. editor Rosa Prince for her reflections on the state of the campaign and Hunt's warning that a vote for Nigel Farage's Reform UK party could mean an "even bigger majority for Labour." Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
The conviction of Donald Trump in a criminal trial in New York has electrified the race for the White House. But will it make a difference to how the arguments will play out in the campaign — especially on what the contest means for the rest of the world?K.T. McFarland is a leading supporter of Trump’s campaign, a MAGA Republican who served as his deputy national security adviser. She’s an influential voice on defense and foreign policy in Republican circles. Host Anne McElvoy talks to McFarland about how she thinks Trump could resolve the war in Ukraine and his plans to bring Putin's regime to its knees by weaponizing the price of oil.A veteran of the first Reagan administration, McFarland reflects on the former president’s legacy 20 years after his death and the state of the Atlantic alliance 80 years on since the D-Day landings in Normandy. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
Ahead of the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, host Anne McElvoy asks Jane Hartley, United States ambassador to the United Kingdom, about the future of the transatlantic "special relationship."Hartley discussed the future of U.S.-U.K. relations in light of the International Criminal Court seeking an arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; revealed her surprise at the snap U.K. election called for July 4; and as a close ally of President Biden, explains why his age is an asset, not a problem.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
Host Anne McElvoy talks to Leonid Volkov, who was Alexei Navalny's long-serving chief of staff and campaign manager, about his mission to provide a democratic alternative to Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime in the Kremlin. They spoke on the stage at the Copenhagen Democracy Summit.The sudden death of Navalny, the most prominent opposition leader in Russia, sent shockwaves around the world earlier this year. He died in suspicious circumstances while being held in an arctic prison colony. Many campaigners, including his widow and closest associates, will not rest until they get answers about what happened. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
This week's edition of Power Play comes from the Copenhagen Democracy Summit, where host Anne McElvoy talks to President Zelenskyy’s closest aide, Andriy Yermak, and former NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. As Russian forces advance on Kharkiv, delays in weapons deliveries from the U.S. and Europe are proving costly. Now the war has reached a critical moment for Zelenskyy's leadership — and Ukraine. They discuss its ability to withstand Russia's biggest attack yet, a new plan to accelerate NATO membership — and whether security guarantees from the West can bolster the embattled country's future security.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
Among the business leaders, philanthropists and other luminaries attending this year's Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles are politicians — looking to set the record straight, with an eye to future opportunities.Power Play host Anne McElvoy joined the Beverly Hills crowd — and talked to Kevin McCarthy, the first Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives to be ousted during a legislative session. McCarthy reflects on his dramatic downfall and lauds the prospect of Donald Trump's return to the White House.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
Elbridge Colby is a hot pick to be Donald Trump's national security adviser if the former president returns to the White House next year. It's a role which holds huge sway over America's position on the world stage.An influential voice in foreign policy circles in Washington, Colby leads the Marathon Initiative, a conservative think tank grappling with how America confronts an increasingly assertive China — a subject that is testing both Democrats and Republicans. In this week's edition of Power Play, host Anne McElvoy talks to Colby, who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Trump administration, about U.S. strategy towards China, Russia and Europe — and whether America can rely on its traditional allies. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
"America will always defend democracy in its hour of need. We tell our allies: we will stand with you. We tell our adversaries: don’t mess with us." The words of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer struck a rare note of bipartisanship as Congress finally approved a multi-billion dollar package of support to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.  For America’s allies, there was a collective sigh of relief. No more so than at the British Embassy in Washington, where host Anne McElvoy presents this week's special episode of Power Play. She talks to the outgoing ambassador, Karen Pierce, about whether the so-called "special relationship" will endure, despite the potential changes of government in Washington and London later this year and the spectre of war around the globe.Anne is also joined by John Harris, POLITICO's global editor-in-chief, to mark a weekend of political showmanship and intrigue culminating in the annual White House Correspondents' dinner. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
How will responses to the confrontation between Israel, its allies and Iran redefine the line that divides Donald Trump and Joe Biden?Host Anne McElvoy talks to Kim Darroch, the former British ambassador to Washington and former U.K. national security adviser, about the scenarios facing President Biden and what Trump might do if he returns to office. They also discuss the options available to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in responding to Iran's failed attack.They are joined by Nahal Toosi, POLITICO’s senior foreign affairs correspondent in Washington, who has been reporting on this week's dramatic developments. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
This week marked the grim six-month milestone since the Hamas terror attack on Israel and the ensuing counter-attack on Gaza, which has led to a mounting death toll and a humanitarian crisis that has divided world opinion.While President Joe Biden's White House struggles to help end the bloodshed, what would his opponent — Donald Trump — do differently if he were voted into office later this year?  Host Anne McElvoy talks to the Heritage Foundation's Robert Greenway, who knows more than most about Trump’s approach to the Middle East as the architect of the Abraham Accords — and may well be part of his inner team if the former president returns to power in November. As a key adviser in the previous administration, Greenway discusses how a second Trump presidency would deal with the Middle East, Iran, Russia and China.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
In the wake of a devastating Islamist terror attack in Moscow, the dark arts of spreading disinformation are again in focus as Russia’s President Vladmir Putin pins blame for the assault on Ukraine.As a widening array of countries and malign actors spread fake news and analysis, real life consequences are all too clear. How can democracies like the United States and its allies confront information warfare from their adversaries in the era of artificial intelligence?Host Anne McElvoy talks to James Rubin, who leads the Global Engagement Center within the U.S. State Department. Reporting to Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, his job is to disentangle propaganda and disinformation targeting the United States and its allies around the world.Power Play will return after the Easter break with the next edition on April 11. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
With the specter of a famine and a possible ground incursion of Rafah looming, Israel's allies are fretting. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned of an impending catastrophe in Gaza. Yet Benjamin Netanyahu says “no international pressure will stop Israel” from achieving its war aims. The wars in the Middle East and Ukraine and uncertainty about who will be calling the shots in the White House next year are testing European foreign ministers — and those vying for their jobs. Nowhere more so than in Britain’s Labour party, which is under closer scrutiny as it looks likely to form the next U.K. government.Host Anne McElvoy talks to Labour's David Lammy about the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine, cultivating friendships across the aisle in Washington and paying tribute to Margaret Thatcher. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
Now that Donald Trump is all but certain to lead his party into November’s presidential election in the U.S., it’s make up your mind time for Republicans – are they with him or not? One of them is a big gun in Floridan politics, the Mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez. Suarez earned a national profile by briefly entering the race for the White House last year before dropping out as the Trump bandwagon rumbled on. He’s gained wider attention for his efforts to lure companies to Miami, with an eye on turning the city into a crytpo hub and the next Silicon Valley. In this week's episode, host Anne McElvoy sits down with the mayor in his waterfront offices in Miami. They discuss his recent endorsement of Donald Trump, the changing character of the Republican Party and the crisis on America's Southern border. Suarez also responds to allegations of impropriety in his administration. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
From Maine to California, Super Tuesday is the biggest date in the calendar for the United States primary election — a third of delegates for the Republican and Democratic conventions have been chosen. While Donald Trump didn’t quite manage a clean sweep, the former president looks all but certain to face Joe Biden in November — now that the only other contender for the Republican crown, Nikki Haley, has pulled out. As President Biden makes his final State of the Union address before the election, it’s shaping up to be an epic rematch of 2020 ... with even higher stakes at home and abroad. From Washington, host Anne McElvoy brings together two of POLITICO's finest minds on the state of play in this year's race for the White House. She's joined by John Harris, global editor-in-chief and co-founder of POLITICO, who's observed many Super Tuesdays; and Josh Gerstein, senior legal affairs reporter, who's following the race being played out in the courts. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
As European leaders gathered in Paris this week, there was a sense of foreboding about the war in Ukraine, and the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is a further reminder of how far the Kremlin will go to suppress its foes.Nowhere is the threat posed by Russia felt more acutely than on Europe’s Eastern frontier — and especially in Estonia, home to a significant ethnic Russian population.  In this episode, host Anne McElvoy talks to Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas about the war in Ukraine, as it enters its third year, her campaign to be NATO’s next secretary-general and how she feels about being on Putin's "wanted" list.Kallas also responds to suggestions that Western allies could send troops to Ukraine — and described how seriously she takes Donald Trump’s threat not to defend NATO countries who don't pay up on defense. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
From the Munich Security Conference, host Anne McElvoy speaks to U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Celeste Wallander, U.S. assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs.News of the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny set the tone for the conference, where securocrats and world leaders gathered to discuss the mounting crises facing decision-makers.Our guests discuss how America and its allies should deal with pressing conflicts — from Ukraine's stalemate to the war in Gaza, and the specter of a possible Donald Trump return. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
Comments (5)

Khalid Shamlan

Wow. I've listen to many extreme zionests but this man is not only extremist but a liar who is trying to twist the history. I am happy to see someone like him to lead a failing false state. He will take it down the drainage. If he claims that Jews own the land because they have been there 2500 years ago then American Indians should rule USA. Global Translation does not respect us, the audience, by bringing someone like him.

Jun 5th

Michael Kattirtzis

X. D M

Mar 18th


Hugh get trumps cock out of your ass. Might make you more objectice. Or consider that lobotomy.

Apr 4th


this is man is so gross

Mar 12th

Alison Foley Arens

in? jnlo llnnnnnnnn

Feb 20th