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Politics & Polls #40: The 115th Congress with Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.)
April 20, 2017 11:14 AM PDT
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From Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election to the looming federal budget negotiations, the 115th U.S. Congress currently has a full plate. What other challenges might today’s Congress face in the months ahead?
In this episode of Politics & Polls, Professor Sam Wang interviews Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ) about what’s next for the Affordable Care Act and how Rep. Lance has been handling recent (and sometimes contentious) Town Hall meetings. 

A key “moderate conservative” in the Republican caucus, Rep. Lance shared his views about maintaining key payments to keep health care insurers afloat. He also talked about what it would take for him to approve an independent investigative committee to look into Russia’s role in the 2016 election and Donald Trump's taxes.
Rep. Lance is a graduate alumnus of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2008 and re-elected to a fifth term in November 2016 to represent New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District. Lance previously served on the House Financial Services Committee and is now on the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which focuses on national energy and environmental policy, health and health facilities, interstate and foreign commerce, consumer affairs and consumer protection, and travel and tourism.
Prior to being elected to Congress, Rep. Lance served as a member of the New Jersey State Senate beginning in 2002, and held the position of minority leader of the Senate from 2004 to 2008. He is the third generation of his family to serve in the New Jersey State Legislature, following his great-uncle, H. Kiefer Lance, and his father, Wesley L. Lance. In Politics & Polls, he reflects on the transition from state politics to the national scene.

Politics & Polls #39: National Security with Gen. David Petraeus
April 13, 2017 10:43 AM PDT
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Last week, a chemical weapons attack killed dozens of Syrians, prompting President Donald Trump to launch 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on a Syrian airbase. Meanwhile, concern about North Korea’s nuclear arsenal builds, with satellite images hinting at another detonation test.

Plus, there are ongoing national security issues: The scandal with Russian intervention in the 2016 election has loomed large over each decision the Trump administration makes in international relations, while President Trump’s Twitter habits and attacks on the intelligence community have generated tension in Washington.

How will such emerging and continued threats endanger national security?

Gen. David Petraeus (U.S. Army Ret.) joins Politics & Polls this week to discuss the national security challenges facing the Trump administration.

Gen. Petraeus is chairman of the KKR Global Institute. Prior to joining KKR, Gen. Petraeus served for more than 37 years in the U.S. military, including command of coalition forces in Iraq, command of U.S. Central Command, and command of coalition forces in Afghanistan.

Following his service in the military, Gen. Petraeus served as the director of the CIA. He graduated with distinction from the U.S. Military Academy and subsequently earned his MPA and Ph.D. degrees in international relations from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Politics & Polls #38: Unraveling the ‘Trump-Russia Saga’
April 06, 2017 07:59 AM PDT
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As the investigation into Russia’s interference with the 2016 U.S. election continues, President Donald Trump continues to call the story “fake news,” “phony,” and “a total scam,” mostly by way of Twitter. He also continues to try to change the conversation by making groundless allegations, particularly his claim that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

What do we know for certain about Trump’s connection to Russia? And what else might be revealed as the Senate and House intelligence committees continue their investigations?

To better unravel this ongoing news story, Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang interview Sarah Kendzior, a St. Louis, Mo.-based commentator who writes about politics, the economy and media. The crux of the conversation stems from Kendzior’s recent article, “At long last, a forum where Trump cannot escape the truth.”

Kendzior is currently a columnist for the Globe and Mail, where she focuses on U.S. politics. She also is the U.S. correspondent for De Correspondent, a Dutch news outlet. Previously, Kendzior was an op-ed columnist for Al Jazeera English, where she wrote about exploitation, particularly in higher education, the diminishing opportunities of America’s youth and gentrification. She also has covered internet privacy, political repression and how the media shape public perception.

Politics & Polls #37: On the Same Team? Trump’s Dynamics with Congress
March 29, 2017 07:57 PM PDT
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Shortly after the bill to replace the Affordable Care Act was pulled, President Trump called The Washington Post’s Robert Costa to discuss what happened. The President had a “defiant and even-tempered tone," says Costa.

The defeat in the House introduced Trump to the realities of the legislative process and Congress' factions. How will Mitch McConnell fare in securing the Senate votes needed to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court? What can these events tell us about Trump’s evolving relationship with and influence over Congress?

Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang interview Robert Costa for the latest episode of Politics & Polls. Costa is a national political reporter at The Washington Post and a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.

Politics & Polls #36: Do Science and Facts Matter in the Trump Administration?
March 22, 2017 01:41 PM PDT
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President Trump’s budget blueprint proposes deep cuts to research at the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency. What lies ahead for scientific expertise and evidence-based policymaking? Are facts, evidence and truth under siege by the new administration?

In this episode of Politics & Polls, professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang interview Rush D. Holt about the current state of science in the U.S., from public opinion to its role in government decision-making.

Holt, Ph.D., is chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society, and executive publisher of the Science family of journals. As a physicist and a former long-time member of the U.S. House of Representatives for New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District, Holt draws on his experiences to help researchers bridge the gap between science and politics.

Politics & Polls #35: The Future of Conservatism in a Trump Era
March 16, 2017 10:12 AM PDT
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The election of President Donald Trump has challenged the political machine of conservativism. Now, many on the right are grappling with how to make sense of “Trumpism” and whether it fits into the conservative movement that’s been developing over the past few decades.

A new policy and political journal, “American Affairs,” aims to intellectualize the Trumpism movement as it unfolds. The publication is led by Julius Krein, a 2008 Harvard University graduate, who joins professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang on this episode of Politics & Polls.

Krein is an American political writer and the founding editor of American Affairs. He first went into a career in finance, working for several firms, including Bank of America and the Blackstone Group, before leaving finance to found and edit American Affairs.

Politics & Polls #34: How Normal is the Trump Presidency?
March 09, 2017 06:55 AM PST
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The start of Donald Trump’s presidency has been anything but predictable. So far, his first 100 days in office have been filled with a lot of heat, noise — and executive orders.

But is this that abnormal? Or is it par for the course? Where do we draw the line between what is unprecedented, and what we’ve seen before?

Professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang discuss these questions — which are based on a recent article in The Upshot, a column for The New York Times— in this episode.

Politics & Polls #33: Trade in a Trumpian World
March 02, 2017 06:11 AM PST
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President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to withdraw from the negotiating process of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and has vowed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Both moves signal to foreign nations that the United States may have a very different outlook on international trade under President Trump.

In this episode of Politics & Polls, professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang interview (Ret.) Amb. Michael B.G. Froman ’85 about his outlook for international trade in a ‘Trumpian World.’

Amb. Froman served in President Obama’s cabinet as the U.S. Trade Representative from June 2013 to January 2017. There, he worked to open global markets for U.S. goods and services, enforce America’s rights in the global trading system and foster development through trade.

Politics & Polls #32: Peace in the Middle East?
February 23, 2017 05:57 AM PST
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Almost every U.S. president has struggled to broker peace agreements in the Middle East, especially among Israel and Palestine. For many, the possibility of a peace agreement seems dire, with a two-state solution that seems to be fleeting. But what can we expect to see from President Donald Trump?

To unravel these complex issues, Amb. Daniel Kurtzer joins this episode of Politics & Polls with co-hosts Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang.

Kurtzer is the S. Daniel Abraham Visiting Professor in Middle Eastern Policy Studies at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Following a 29-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, Kurtzer retired in 2005 with the rank of career-minister. From 2001 to 2005, he served as the U.S. ambassador to Israel and, from 1997 to 2001, he served as U.S. ambassador to Egypt.

Politics & Polls #31: The Cognitive Science of ‘Trumpology’
February 16, 2017 01:12 PM PST

Donald Trump’s presidency has evoked strong emotional and psychological responses from both the public and the president himself, raising issues not often brought forth in public policy and governance.

Many, including members of the media, are trying to make sense of this complicated web of anger, passion, rationality and irrationality. Among those reporters is Jesse Singal of New York Magazine, who is bringing the social sciences into the news amid an often-heated environment.

In this episode of Politics & Polls, professors Julian Zelizer and Sam Wang interview Singal and discuss, among other topics, his recent articles on fear among conservatives and how the “contact hypothesis” — when members from different groups interact — can diminish prejudice and hatred.

Jesse Singal is a writer-at-large at New York Magazine, where, among other things, he covers social science, politics and weird internet subcultures. He’s an alumnus of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

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