Transcripts (5)

The Joe Biden experience

The Ezra Klein Show

  • 32 views
  • 18 days ago
  • 01:10:42

Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the United States. And — counting the votes of people, not just land — it won’t be close. If current trends hold, Biden will see a larger popular vote margin than Hillary Clinton in 2016, Barack Obama in 2012, or George W. Bush in 2004.  Commentary over the past few days has focused on the man he beat, and the incompetent coup being attempted in plain sight. But I want to focus on Biden, who is one of the more misunderstood figures in American politics — including, at times, by me.  Biden has been in national politics for almost five decades. And so, people tend to understand the era of Joe Biden they encountered first — the centrist Senate dealmaker, or the overconfident foreign policy hand, or the meme-able vice president, or the grieving, grave father. But Biden, more so than most politicians, changes. And it’s how he changes, and why, that’s key to understanding his campaign, and his likely presidency.  Evan Osnos is a staff writer at the New Yorker and the author of Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now, a sharp biography of the next president. Osnos and I discuss:  The mystery of Joe Biden’s first political campaign Why the Joe Biden who entered the Senate in 1980 is such a radically different person than the Joe Biden who ran for president in 2020  What the Senate taught Biden Biden’s ideological flexibility, and the theory of politics that drives it The differences between Biden’s three presidential campaigns -- and what they reveal about how he’s grown The way Biden views disagreement, and why that’s so central to his understanding of politics  How Biden’s relationship with Barack Obama changed his approach to governance The similarities — and differences — between how Obama and Biden think about politics  Why Biden is “the perfect weathervane for where the center of the Democratic party is.”  Biden’s relationship with Mitch McConnell How Biden thinks about foreign policy Why Biden has become more skeptical about the use of American military might in the last decade  And much more. Book recommendations: Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman The Field of Blood by Joanne B. Freeman The Ideas That Made America by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen  Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Chris Hayes and I process this wild election

The Ezra Klein Show

  • 22 views
  • 21 days ago
  • 01:07:49

This is not the post-election breakdown I expected to have today, but it's definitely the one that I needed. Chris Hayes is the host of the MSNBC primetime show, “All In," and the podcast "Why is this Happening? With Chris Hayes." He's also one of the most insightful political analysts I know. We discuss the purpose of polling, the problems of polling-driven coverage, the epistemic fog of the results, the strategy behind Trump's inroads with Latino voters, how Democrats might have won the presidency but lost democracy, what happens if Trump refuses to accept the election results, and much more. More than anything else, this conversation has helped me make sense of everything that's happened in the last 24 hours. I think it will do the same for you. References: "How Democrats Lost the Cuban Vote and Jeopardized Their Future in Florida." by Noah Lanard, Mother Jones Chris's podcast on "Understanding the 'Latino Vote' with Chuck Rocha" Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Stacey Abrams on minority rule, voting rights, and the future of democracy

The Ezra Klein Show

  • 16 views
  • 23 days ago
  • 01:13:02

We’re one day away from the election, though who-knows-how-many days from finding out who won it. But there’s more at stake than whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden will be our next president.  There is a fight behind the fight, a battle that will decide all the others. America is not a democracy, and Republicans want to keep it that way. America is not a democracy, and Democrats — at least some Democrats — want to make it more of one.  Democracy has, in particular, become Stacey Abrams’ animating mission. In 2018, Abrams lost the George gubernatorial race by a razor-thin margin amidst rampant voter suppression. Since then, as the founder of Fair Fight, she’s turned her attention to the deeper fight, the one that sets the rules under which elections like her plays out. In her recent book, Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America, Abrams makes the case that the fight over democracy is the central question of our politics right now with more power and clarity than any other politician I’ve heard.  In my view, Abrams is right. And so she’s exactly the person to hear from on the eve of the election. We discuss the GOP’s turn against “rank democracy,” the role of demographic change, how Republicans have cemented minority rule across America political institutions, why we potentially face a “doom loop of democracy,” the changing face of voter suppression in the 21st century, what a system that actually wanted people to vote would look like, why democracy and economic equality are inextricably linked, and much more. One thing to note in this conversation: You won't hear Trump's name all that much. It's the Republican Party, not just Trump, that has turned against democracy, and that is implementing the turn against democracy. And it's the Democratic Party, not just Joe Biden, that will have to decide whether democracy is worth protecting, and achieving. Democracy is on the ballot in 2020 and beyond, but it's not just on the presidential voting line. References: "The fight is for democracy." Ezra Klein, Vox The Dictator's Learning Curve by William Dobson My previous EK Show conversation with Abrams Book recommendations: Ida by Paula Giddings  Charged by Emily Bazelon  The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Nate Silver on why 2020 isn't 2016

The Ezra Klein Show

  • 6 views
  • 27 days ago
  • 01:14:12

As you may have heard, there's a pretty important election coming up. That means it's time to bring back the one and only Nate Silver.  Silver, the founder and editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight, boasts one of the best election forecasting records of any analyst in the last 15 years. His forecasting models successfully predicted the outcomes in 49 of the 50 states in the 2008 US presidential election and all 50 states in 2012. And in 2016, Silver’s FiveThirtyEight gave Donald Trump a 28 percent chance of victory — a significantly higher percentage than virtually any other prominent analyst at the time. He knows what he’s talking about, and it shows in this conversation. We discuss:  What went wrong with the polls in 2016 — and whether pollsters today have corrected for those mistakes  Why a 2016-sized polling error in 2020 would still hand Joe Biden the election Why the 2020 race has been so incredibly steady despite a global pandemic, an economic crisis, and the biggest national protest movement in US history  The possibility of a Biden landslide   The not-so-small chance that Biden could win Texas and Georgia  The massive Republican advantage in the Senate, House, and Electoral College — and how that affects our national politics  Why the Senate would still advantage Republicans, even if Democrats added five blue states.  Whether the Bernie Sanders left took the wrong lessons from 2016  Why Biden’s unorthodox 2020 campaign strategy has been so successful  Whether Sanders would be doing just as well against Trump as Biden is doing  How a more generic, non-Trump Republican would be faring against Biden  Why Silver is generally optimistic that we will avoid an electoral crisis on November 3  And much more. References: “How FiveThirtyEight’s 2020 Presidential Forecast Works — And What’s Different Because Of COVID-19." Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight "The Senate’s Rural Skew Makes It Very Hard For Democrats To Win The Supreme Court." Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight Let the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College by Jesse Wegman "Toby Ord on existential risk, Donald Trump, and thinking in probabilities." The Ezra Klein Show "The Real Story of 2016" by Nate Silver Book recommendations: The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom The Precipice by Toby Ord   Credits: Producer/Audio engineer - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Sarah Kliff grades Biden and Trump's health care plans

The Ezra Klein Show

  • 7 views
  • about 1 month ago
  • 01:21:00

There are few issues on which the stakes in this election are quite as stark as on health care. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden plans to pass (and Democrats largely support) a massive health care expansion that could result in 25 million additional individuals gaining health insurance. The Trump administration, as we speak, is pushing to get the Supreme Court to kill the Affordable Care Act, which would strip at least 20 million Americans of health care coverage.    There's no one I'd rather have on to discuss these issues than Sarah Kliff. Kliff is an investigative reporter for the New York Times focusing on health care policy, and my former colleague at the Washington Post and Vox where we co-hosted The Weeds alongside Matt Yglesias. She's one of the most clear, incisive health care policy analysts in media today and a longtime friend, which made this conversation a pleasure. We discuss:  The legacy of Obamacare 10 years later Why the fiercely fought over “individual mandate” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be  What Biden’s health care plan would actually do — and where it falls short  Whether a Biden administration would be able to pass massive health care reform — and why it might still have a chance even if the filibuster remains intact  The ongoing Supreme Court case to dismantle Obamacare  Whether Donald Trump has a secret health care plan to protect those with preexisting conditions (spoiler: he doesn’t)  The hollow state of Republican health care policy  The academic literature showing that health insurance is literally a matter of life and death  Which social investments would have the largest impact on people’s health (hint: it’s probably not expanding insurance)    And much more References: "If Trump wins, 20 million people could lose health insurance. If Biden wins, 25 million could gain it." by Dylan Scott, Vox “Obamacare Turns 10. Here’s a Look at What Works and Doesn’t.” by Sarah Kliff, et al. New York Times "The I.R.S. Sent a Letter to 3.9 Million People. It Saved Some of Their Lives." by Sarah Kliff, New York Times "Republicans Killed the Obamacare Mandate. New Data Shows It Didn’t Really Matter." by Sarah Kliff, New York Times "Without Ginsburg, Supreme Court Could Rule Three Ways on Obamacare" by Sarah Kliff and Margot Sanger-Katz, New York Times Book recommendations: The Healing of America by TR Reid  And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts  Dreamland by Sam Quinones  I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen Credits: Producer/Audio wizard - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. New to the show? Want to check out Ezra’s favorite episodes? Check out the Ezra Klein Show beginner’s guide (http://bit.ly/EKSbeginhere) Want to contact the show? Reach out at ezrakleinshow@vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices