Politics Weekly America
Politics Weekly America
About Politics Weekly America
Every Friday, Guardian columnist and former Washington correspondent, Jonathan Freedland, invites experts to help analyse the latest in American politics. From politicians to journalists covering the White House and beyond, Jonathan and his guests give listeners behind the scenes access to how the American political machine works.
Twenty years ago, as George Bush and Tony Blair advocated the need to invade Iraq, Jonathan Freedland and Peter Beinart were on opposite sides of the argument. This week, Peter tells Jonathan why he now regrets supporting the war
This week marks one year since Russian troops invaded Ukraine, and for the first time since the war began, Joe Biden landed in Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian president, Volodymr Zelenskiy, in what some are calling one of the most important trips by a US president since the end of the cold war. This week, Joan E Greve speaks to Susan Glasser of the New Yorker about the significance of Biden’s trip to Europe and why Republicans at home are criticising him for it
This week, Jonathan Freedland and Julian Borger look into why a story about spy balloons launched by China quickly led to the White House having to deny the existence of aliens, and how communication on this could further deepen the wedge between the US and China
Last weekend, members of the Democratic National Committee voted through a plan to reshuffle the party’s presidential primary calendar, meaning voters in South Carolina will pick their candidate first, bumping Iowa and New Hampshire off top spot. This was done at the behest of Joe Biden. So why did he want to shake things up? Jonathan Freedland is joined by Adam Gabbatt, Holly Ramer in New Hampshire and Joseph Bustos in South Carolina to discuss the ramifications of messing with political tradition
While attending the funeral of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old man beaten to death by police in Memphis, Tennessee, this week, Kamala Harris called on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which passed in the House in 2021 but failed in the Senate. Jonathan Freedland speaks to Dr David Thomas, of Florida Gulf Coast University, about why lawmakers find police reform a difficult issue to legislate on
Two weeks ago, the congresswoman Katie Porter announced she was running to be one of California’s two senators, despite the fact that the incumbent, Dianne Feinstein, has yet to say she is retiring. After the presidential primary, California is expected to be the most interesting race in 2024. Jonathan Freedland and Tal Kopan of the Boston Globe discuss which way the largely blue state could vote
Last week, the US attorney general, Merrick Garland, appointed a special counsel to investigate how several batches of classified documents were reportedly found at locations linked to President Biden. This week, Jonathan Freedland speaks to Ankush Khardori, who worked in the US Department of Justice from 2016 to 2020, about what the outcome to this investigation may be
Last week, the much-talked-about George Santos, of Long Island, New York, was sworn into office. The Democrats and even some Republicans think he should have resigned after he admitted to lying about a lot of things during his campaign. So who is the real George Santos? How likely is it that he’ll see out his full term in office? And does his success tell us more about the state of US politics than it does an individual’s misgivings? Jonathan Freedland and Will Bredderman of the Daily Beast discuss the man behind the lies
Everyone knew that this week was going to be tough for Kevin McCarthy, but not even Democrats could have hoped for such a humiliating few days for the Republican nominee to be speaker of the House of Representatives. Jonathan Freedland and Lauren Gambino discuss what unfolded on Capitol Hill
Politics Weekly America is taking a break. So this week, Jonathan Freedland revisits the conversation he had in July, with writer for The Atlantic, Jennifer Senior, about the former White House chief strategist under Donald Trump, Steve Bannon
On Monday, the House January 6 select committee held its final meeting, voting to formally adopt the report it had been working on for the last 18 months, referring the former president and some of his top advisers to the justice department for efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Jonathan Freedland speaks to Hugo Lowell about what the committee found and what is likely to happen next
As 2022 draws to a close, Jonathan Freedland speaks to Simon Rosenberg and Sarah Longwell about their predictions for how US politics will shake out in 2023. Can the Democrats capitalise on a weary electorate, can the Republicans finally get rid of the spectre of Donald Trump, and who will announce their intention to run in 2024?
Raphael Warnock was re-elected to represent Georgia in the US Senate for the next six years. Jonathan Freedland speaks to Molly Reynolds of the Brookings Institution about the significance for Democrats of having an absolute majority in the upper chamber of Congress, rather than a 50/50 split
On 14 December it will be 10 years since the Sandy Hook elementary school mass shooting, when a 20-year-old killed 20 children aged six and seven, as well as six adults. The Guardian’s Joan E Greve travelled to Newtown, Connecticut to speak with Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden of Sandy Hook Promise, the parents of Dylan and Daniel, who were killed that day. She meets teenagers from the Junior Newtown Action Alliance, who now go through terrifying lockdown drills as preparation for another shooting, who want to see more change in gun legislation. She also speaks with Senator Chris Murphy, who helped draft the first significant gun control policy in the US in 30 years this year. Together they discuss what more could and should be done to stop such tragedies
There was no red wave, but come January next year, the Republicans will officially be in control of the House of Representatives. What will they do? Who will be in charge? Will they hold together or fall apart? Jonathan Freedland puts these questions and more to Marianna Sotomayor of The Washington Post. The pair also discuss the legacy of the outgoing Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi
Donald Trump has announced his third run for president, and not all Republicans are happy about it. Not only have there been a string of midterm losses by candidates he handpicked and supported – but in the background, federal and state authorities are investigating Trump’s personal, political and financial conduct. This week, Jonathan Freedland speaks to the political columnist Jonathan Martin of Politico and unpacks how the Republican party can finally break away from Trump’s legacy
Republicans will be wondering how polling got it so wrong. As John Fetterman wins that all-important Pennsylvania seat and Democrats keeps more seats in the House than expected, it is clear the former president doesn’t have the pull analysts once thought. Donald Trump faces another problem, a party rival in Florida king, Ron DeSantis. Jonathan Freedland is joined by Lauren Gambino, Tara Setmayer and David Shor to discuss the ramifications for Washington and beyond of what the votes are telling us
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