Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, like Donald Trump, recognized that politics is war. John Sedgwick, author of War of Two, the best selling book about the famous duel between one of our Founding Fathers and our third Vice President, tells Jim of many parallels between the current shoot-out for the White House and the political clash that claimed Hamilton’s life.
Jim Lindsay focuses on the relationship between foreign policy and domestic political considerations at the Council on Foreign Relations. He surveys the candidates, considers the domestic political fall-out from Obama’s Iran deal and the failed policies in Syria, and tells Jim it is early days to predict whether these factors will affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
Projecting a sour, almost misanthropic, personality, Andrew Cuomo, who aspires to the presidency, has enjoyed a 35-year political career, tarnished by episodes of raw ambition, betrayal of friends, and punishment of enemies. Writer Michael Shnayerson, author of the best selling unauthorized biography, The Contender, tells Jim Zirin why, in his view, our Governor Cuomo is a flawed tragic hero.
Lyndon Johnson was a President who knew how to get things
done. During the five years of his Presidency, he pushed through
a reluctant Congress hundreds more legislative initiatives than
most Presidents accomplish in eight. His top domestic aide,
Joe Califano, tells Jim Zirin how he did it.
An outspoken centrist in the U.S. Senate for 18 years, Olympia Snowe overruled her pro-choice convictions and voted to confirm Alito and Roberts. Later, she also voted to confirm Sotomayor and Kagan. Hear her tell Jim why she left office, although her re-election was certain, and how she now proposes to end the dysfunction in Congress.
Bob Herbert left the New York Times almost four years ago where he was a top Op-Ed columnist. He has written a best-selling book about 21st century America in which he sees that LBJ’s “ Great Society” has become a hollow promise, and tells Jim he imagines a greater nation.
The United States Senate now holds a narrow Democratic majority. On November 4, Americans will elect 36 senators for seats occupied by 21 Democrats and 15 Republicans. To gain control of the Senate, the GOP needs six seats, and must defeat more than two incumbents. Will they do it? Veteran political analyst Doug Schoen tells Jim that there is one central issue transcending each campaign—President Obama’s declining popularity.
The Fiscal Cliff bill may have saved us from the brink, but there is trouble ahead as we approach the “March madness” of raising the debt ceiling, approving the budget and dealing with the mandatory spending cuts known as the sequester. Investment banker Peter Solomon tells Jim how things will likely play out with a new Treasury Secretary and a deeply divided Congress.
Leading Mayoral candidates Quinn, deBlasio, Thompson and Liu all want to throttle the NYPD with an Inspector General and a curtailed stop and frisk. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly thinks the candidates’ policing strategies will make the City less safe. He tells Jim that stop and frisk saves lives, and the NYPD already has amply sufficient oversight and regulation.
The biographer of Speaker Thomas B. Reed tells about the Gilded Age in America from 1870-1893, a time of dysfunctional government and deep partisan divide over such issues as international trade, monetary policy and foreign wars. Sound familiar? Reed, a staunch Republican from Maine, ungummed the government and broke the logjam.
The distinguished author tells us what we can learn from Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President. Though a man of few words, Coolidge believed in less government, balanced budgets, lower taxes and a climate friendly to business. Unemployment averaged 3.3 per cent. Yet, in the vortex of the Great Depression and the New Deal which followed, his legacy has all but disappeared.
The Democratic political strategist talks about the way forward for Obama as he faces a Republican House and a Senate where Democrats cling to a razor-thin majority.
Attorney General Gonzales was forced out over his role in the firing of eight United States Attorneys. Was it all because of the tell-tale emails? Get the inside from Special Watergate prosecutor Ben-Veniste.
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