Ep. 482 — Amb. Marie YovanovitchThe Axe Files with David Axelrod
Growing up the child of Eastern European and German immigrants, former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch strived to fit in. Learning to navigate other cultures ultimately proved useful during her 33 years in the Foreign Service. In 2019, her diplomatic career ended after a months-long smear campaign led to her recall from Ukraine by then-President Trump. She joined David to talk about lessons learned from her parents, the on-going Russian invasion of Ukraine, her take on Putin’s mindset, what it was like being attacked by a sitting president and her new book, “Lessons from the Edge.”
Mar 24, 2022
Ep. 481 — Erin Burnett The Axe Files with David Axelrod
CNN anchor Erin Burnett grew up on a farm in a small town in eastern Maryland, but her career has taken her around the world, covering major events from the Arab Spring in Cairo to the Bataclan shooting in Paris. She talked with David about how a letter to a stranger helped her get her start in journalism, her relationship with former President Trump, joining CNN at an unpropitious time, and her recent reporting from Ukraine.
Mar 17, 2022
Ep. 480 — Frank Bruni The Axe Files with David Axelrod
One morning in 2017, journalist Frank Bruni woke up to altered vision— he had lost sight in his right eye during the night. As he grappled with this new reality, he began reevaluating his expectations, priorities, and outlook on life. He joined David to talk about how his lost eyesight taught him to approach others with empathy and savor meaningful moments, his thoughts on the politicization of Covid-19 and how President Biden is doing so far, and his new book, “The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found.”
Mar 10, 2022
Best of The Axe Files: Justice Sonia Sotomayor The Axe Files with David Axelrod
With the recent nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson, who, if confirmed, would be the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court, we revisit a conversation with another history maker, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She joined David in November 2018 to discuss her remarkable personal journey from the Bronx to the highest court in the land, how her background as a prosecutor and district judge helped to inform her perspective, the shifting dynamics on the Supreme Court, and more.
Mar 3, 2022
Ep. 479 — Bianna Golodryga The Axe Files with David Axelrod
Growing up in Texas, Bianna Golodryga begged her immigrant parents to avoid speaking Russian in front of her friends for fear of not fitting in. She soon came to appreciate her background, becoming fluent in Russian and pursuing a degree in Russian/East European and Eurasian studies. Bianna, now a CNN senior global affairs analyst, joined David to discuss how watching CNBC with her father led to a career in journalism, the rapidly evolving Ukraine-Russia crisis, and how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s views have changed in recent years.
Feb 24, 2022
Ep. 478 — Lotfullah Najafizada The Axe Files with David Axelrod
When he was 5 years old, Afghan journalist Lotfullah Najafizada watched as rockets landed in his front yard. He and his family moved around the country to escape conflict, but after the fall of the Taliban following 9/11, a new sense of calm—and a burgeoning media landscape—emerged. Lotfullah became the director of TOLOnews, the country’s most-watched station. He joined David to talk about the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, engaging in peace talks with the Taliban, America’s successes and failures in the country, and what he wants people to know about the colleagues he has lost to violence.
Feb 17, 2022
Ep. 477 — Sen. Jon Tester The Axe Files with David Axelrod
More than 100 years ago, Sen. Jon Tester’s grandfather arrived in Montana, where he homesteaded a vast stretch of farmland. Sen. Tester still makes time to farm that land today, saying his tractor doesn’t care if he’s a US Senator. He joined David to talk about how farming helps him keep perspective when he’s working in Washington, why addressing climate change is imperative to the agriculture industry, his thoughts on political polarization and the filibuster, and why Democrats are losing in rural America.
Feb 10, 2022
Ep. 476 — Ian Bremmer The Axe Files with David Axelrod
In 1998, Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer made a name for himself when he successfully predicted the collapse of the Russian ruble. Since then, Bremmer has turned offering his political science insights into a successful business, helping companies understand geopolitical risk as they shape their global strategies. Bremmer joined David to talk about his rise from Chelsea, Massachusetts to Wall Street, what he believes could happen with the Russia-Ukraine conflict, China, the risks of the US stepping back from global leadership, and why a looming Constitutional crisis is not enough to create real change in America.
Feb 3, 2022
Ep. 475 — Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown The Axe Files with David Axelrod
The Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown grew up the son of a minister in an industrial Scottish town before ascending the ranks of Britain’s Labour Party to eventually serve as Prime Minister. Since leaving office, The Rt. Hon. Brown has focused on social justice, most recently speaking out on the shortfalls in the international response to Covid-19. He joined David to talk about his concerns over increased nationalism in Europe and around the globe, how he views the United States’ role in world affairs, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and how almost losing his eye sight led to a career in politics.
Jan 27, 2022
Ep. 474 — Amb. Andrew Young The Axe Files with David Axelrod
After graduating from college, Andrew Young had a moment of extreme clarity while standing at the top of a mountain. He suddenly realized that “everything has a purpose,” and he proceeded to channel that purpose in his work as a civil rights leader and confidant to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as a politician, and while representing the United States on the world stage as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He joined David to reflect on his life and career, the legacy of Dr. King, the current debate over voting rights, and the state of politics in America.
Jan 20, 2022