The Gist

The Consultants of Yore Weigh in on 2020

Donald Trump has taken electoral politics into unmarked territory—but the political consultants of past campaigns are still worth hearing out.


Episode Notes

On The Gist, billionaire Tom Steyer didn’t qualify for this round of Democratic debates, but he’s bought a lot of CNN ad space to make up for it.

In the interview, political consultants David Axelrod and Mike Murphy have spent years advising politicians on the best ways to run campaigns—Axelrod with Barack Obama and Murphy with candidates like John McCain and Mitt Romney. Now they’ve come together on a new podcast, Hacks on Tap, to talk through how the political machine actually runs, the Democratic debates, and what Trump’s prospects look like in 2020.

In the Spiel, among the septuagenarian presidential candidates, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are the only ones with all their marbles.

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Podcast production by Pierre Bienaimé and Daniel Schroeder.


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  • Mike Pesca hosted Slate’s daily podcast The Gist from 2014 - 2021.