DiscoverThe NPR Politics PodcastInterview: Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J.
Interview: Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J.

Interview: Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J.

Update: 2024-06-191
Share

Digest

Congressman Andy Kim, a Democrat from New Jersey, discusses his decision to run for Senate, his views on the state of American politics, and his vision for the future of the country. Kim, who represents a district that Donald Trump won twice, decided to run for Senate after the indictment of incumbent Senator Bob Hernandez. He believes that the indictment, along with the state's unique ballot system, highlights the deep distrust that many people have of government. Kim also discusses the importance of civic education and national service in addressing the current political climate. He believes that the next four to five years will be crucial in shaping the future of the country and that we need to lean in and engage with one another, even when it's uncomfortable. Kim also reflects on his identity as a Korean American and how it has shaped his political career. He believes that we need to move beyond identity politics and focus on building a more inclusive and equitable society. Kim concludes by discussing his vision for the future, emphasizing the need for humility, strategic vision, and a reform agenda. He believes that a new generation of leadership is needed to address the challenges facing the country.

Outlines

00:00:00
The Use of the Pronoun "They"

This Chapter discusses the use of the pronoun "they" to refer to one person, a topic that often sparks debate among linguists and the general public. Linguist Ann Kurzann shares her experiences with people who argue against the singular use of "they", highlighting the historical context and ongoing discussions surrounding this grammatical phenomenon.

00:00:24
Congressman Andy Kim's Senate Run

This Chapter delves into the political landscape of New Jersey, focusing on Congressman Andy Kim's decision to run for Senate. Kim, a Democrat, discusses his motivations for entering the race, particularly in response to the indictment of incumbent Senator Bob Hernandez. He highlights the deep distrust in government and the need for reform, emphasizing the unique ballot system in New Jersey that favors party leaders. Kim also shares his experiences with the line ballot system and his lawsuit challenging its fairness.

00:10:55
The Viral Moment and Identity Politics

This Chapter explores the impact of Congressman Andy Kim's viral image of him cleaning up the Capitol after the January 6th insurrection. Kim discusses the unexpected resonance of the image and how it reflected a desire for decency and public service. He also reflects on his identity as a Korean American and how it has shaped his political career, emphasizing the importance of representation and inclusivity. Kim shares his experiences with identity politics and his belief that we need to move beyond it to build a more equitable society.

00:16:48
Vision for the Future

This Chapter focuses on Congressman Andy Kim's vision for the future if he wins the Senate race. He emphasizes the need for humility, strategic vision, and a reform agenda. Kim believes that a new generation of leadership is needed to address the challenges facing the country and that his perspective as a young parent and Korean American can bring valuable diversity to the Senate.

Keywords

Andy Kim
Andy Kim is a Democratic Congressman from New Jersey who is running for the U.S. Senate. He is known for his work on national security and his commitment to bipartisanship. Kim is also the first Korean American to represent New Jersey in Congress. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and served in the United States Marine Corps for eight years. He is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Armed Services Committee. Kim is a strong advocate for gun control, climate change action, and affordable healthcare.

Bob Hernandez
Bob Hernandez is the incumbent Senator from New Jersey who is running for re-election as an independent. He is currently on trial for corruption charges. Hernandez is a member of the Democratic Party but has been criticized for his close ties to special interests. He is a controversial figure in New Jersey politics and his re-election bid is facing significant challenges.

Line Ballot
The line ballot is a unique ballot system used in New Jersey that allows party leaders to give preferential placement on the ballot to their preferred candidates. This system has been criticized for being unfair and for giving an advantage to incumbents and party-backed candidates. Kim has filed a lawsuit challenging the line ballot system, arguing that it violates the First Amendment rights of voters.

Juneteenth
Juneteenth is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. It is celebrated on June 19th, the date in 1865 when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced that all enslaved people in the state were free. Juneteenth is a time to reflect on the history of slavery in the United States and to celebrate the progress that has been made in the fight for racial justice.

January 6th
January 6th, 2021, was the day that a mob of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol Building in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. The attack was a significant event in American history and has had a lasting impact on the country's political landscape. The attack was widely condemned by both Democrats and Republicans, and it led to the impeachment of Trump by the House of Representatives. The attack also highlighted the fragility of American democracy and the importance of protecting democratic institutions.

Identity Politics
Identity politics is a political approach that focuses on the interests and experiences of particular groups, often based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or religion. It is often used to challenge existing power structures and to advocate for the rights of marginalized groups. Identity politics has been both praised and criticized. Supporters argue that it is necessary to address the unique challenges faced by different groups. Critics argue that it can lead to division and conflict, and that it can undermine the idea of a shared national identity.

Civic Education
Civic education is the process of teaching students about the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy. It includes topics such as government, history, law, and current events. Civic education is important for preparing students to be active and informed citizens. It helps them to understand how government works, how to participate in the political process, and how to make informed decisions about public policy.

National Service
National service is a program that allows young people to volunteer their time to serve their country. It can include a variety of activities, such as working in schools, hospitals, or community organizations. National service is often seen as a way to promote civic engagement, build character, and develop leadership skills. It can also be a way to address social problems and to build a stronger sense of community.

Q&A

  • What motivated Congressman Andy Kim to run for Senate?

    Congressman Andy Kim was motivated to run for Senate after the indictment of incumbent Senator Bob Hernandez. He believes that the indictment, along with the state's unique ballot system, highlights the deep distrust that many people have of government. He felt compelled to step up and try to fix the problems in our politics.

  • What are some of the challenges facing American democracy today?

    Congressman Andy Kim believes that American democracy is facing a number of challenges, including deep disinformation, a lack of civic education, and a growing sense of apathy and distrust in government. He also highlights the importance of addressing structural issues such as gerrymandering, big money in politics, and the filibuster.

  • What is Congressman Andy Kim's vision for the future of the country?

    Congressman Andy Kim believes that we need to reignite and inspire a new era of public service in this country. He wants to build a more inclusive and equitable society where everyone has a voice and a seat at the table. He also emphasizes the need for humility, strategic vision, and a reform agenda to address the challenges facing the country.

  • How does Congressman Andy Kim's identity as a Korean American shape his political career?

    Congressman Andy Kim believes that his identity as a Korean American has shaped his political career in a number of ways. He has faced challenges and skepticism from those who believe that he cannot represent a district that is predominantly white. However, he has also found that his identity has been a source of strength and inspiration for others. He believes that it is important to have diverse representation in government and that everyone should have the opportunity to serve their country, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or background.

  • What is Congressman Andy Kim's message to voters?

    Congressman Andy Kim's message to voters is that we need to lean in and engage with one another, even when it's uncomfortable. He believes that we need to move beyond identity politics and focus on building a more inclusive and equitable society. He also believes that a new generation of leadership is needed to address the challenges facing the country.

Show Notes

Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., didn't expect to run for the Senate. But when Sen. Bob Menendez was indicted on corruption allegations, he decided to act. In a wide-ranging interview with NPR's Susan Davis, Kim talks about his decision, his political career, and his hopes for the future of American politics.

The podcast is produced by Jeongyoon Han, Casey Morell and Kelli Wessinger. Our intern is Bria Suggs. Our editor is Eric McDaniel. Our executive producer is Muthoni Muturi.

Listen to every episode of the NPR Politics Podcast sponsor-free, unlock access to bonus episodes with more from the NPR Politics team, and support public media when you sign up for The NPR Politics Podcast+ at plus.npr.org/politics.

Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoices

NPR Privacy Policy
Comments 
loading
00:00
00:00
x

0.5x

0.8x

1.0x

1.25x

1.5x

2.0x

3.0x

Sleep Timer

Off

End of Episode

5 Minutes

10 Minutes

15 Minutes

30 Minutes

45 Minutes

60 Minutes

120 Minutes

Interview: Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J.

Interview: Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J.