Washington Dreaming: The 2016 Presidential Electio

Washington Dreaming: The 2016 Presidential Electio


Pidgin presents your ultimate road-to-the-White House podcast. The show features commentary and insight from John Lawrence, former Chief of Staff to House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. And folks, believe us when we tell you, after a distinguished 30-plus year career on Capitol Hill, there is no-one inside or outside the Beltway who knows more about US politics than John Lawrence. He is joined by political commentator and author Tim Dunlop for a full-on discussion of the agony, ecstasy and absurdity of the 2016 US Presidential Election.


Trump is the nominee.  We repeat.  Trump is the nominee  

They said he would never make it -- nearly all of us said he wouldn't make it -- but he made it.  Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party and will contest the 2016 Presidential election, barring the unforeseen, against Hillary Rodham Clinton.  In this episode, Tim and John talk about how, on paper, Donald Trump is a truly awful candidate, with polling negatives that would turn the hair of the average Republican psephologist ghostly white.  Or maybe orange. But they also consider how this is a year unlike any other and so all bets are off.  This is a fascinating discussion of a situation and that almost no-one saw coming.

The Acela Primaries  

This week we discuss the so-called Acela Primaries, where voting in the Northeastern States of Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut and Rhode Island pretty much confirmed what we have been saying for a while now: that this is shaking out to be a pretty convincing win for Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side and Donald Trump on the Republican side. So instead of beginning in earnest all the spec about what Trump v Clinton will be like, we take the opportunity to talk about a couple of the down-ticket races that are likely to be important, not just in who controls the Senate, but in terms of assessing the likelhood that Bernie Sanders can turn his Presidential campaign into an ongoing progressive movement.

The Wisconsin Primary  

With the Wisconsin primary done and dusted, something strange is happening in the race for the White House.  Democrat Bernie Sanders has momentum but is unlikely to win the nomination.  Republican Donald Trump has lost momentum but still looks like to dominate the vote count going into the Convention.  In this episode, Tim and John discuss the dilemmas each side is faced with as the day of reckoning draws closer.  It is all building to an epic battle in the next big primary, New York.

Bonus Episode: Interview with Guardian Columnist, Jason Wilson  

In this bonus episode, Tim Dunlop talks with Australian writer Jason Wilson.  Jason is a columnist with The Guardian and was the first member of the media on the scene when a militia took over the Wildlife Reserve in Malheur, Eastern Oregon, on January 2, 2016. Jason has written extensively on the roots of rightwing politics, and in this discussion, he talks about the way in which Donald Trump reflects a certain strand of American rightwing politics.  It is an interesitng, if sobering, dissection of what Jason calls "a dangerous moment in American politics."

The Other Super Tuesday  

IN this episode, Tim and John discuss the aftermath of the latest round of primary voting that happened on Tuesday this week.  As well pretty much agreeing on the fact that the nominees are likely to be Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, they discuss a number of other matters, including: Trump and violence; the prospect of a contested Republican Convention; the unctuousness of Cruz; and the no-longer-thereness of Marco Rubio. 

They also give some attention President Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court and his chances of getting a hearing from the Republican's in Congress. And they also talk about Elizabeth Warren and whether she has a role to play from here on in.

It's an informative, action packed show....

Oh, what a Super Tuesday  

In today's episode Tim and John unpack the outcomes of the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses.

Could this get any more interesting?  

They talk about the fact that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are looking very likely to be their party's nominees, and they talk about what a Hillary v Donald Presidential election would look like.  

There is also some interesting discussion of what this all means for the Republican Party and what role Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz may yet play in proceedings. All in all, an action-packed show suitable for the biggest political tragics and for the less-obsessed who just want to know what is going on in the contest for the most powerful elected position in the world.

Judgement Day: The Death of Justice Antonin Scalia  

A bonus episode of Washington Dreaming occassioned by the sudden death of controversial Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia.  

Tim and John discuss Scalia's legacy and what his death means, not just for the Presidential election, but also for elections in the House and the Senate. Scalia's death during an election year brings into sharp focus the ongoing polarisation of the US political process.

New Hampshire Rewards the Anti-Establishment  

The first primary of the season is done and dusted and the anti-establishment candidates are in the ascendent. Or are they?  

Yes they are, but it is more complicated than that. There is still the little matter of delegates and super delegates and particularly on the Democratic side, this is a big deal.

This goes to the heart of the whole establishment versus anti-establishment issue and John and Tim lay it out. 

Some real numbers at last, but are we any the wiser?  

In this episode, Tim and John rejoice in some actual results, thanks to the Iowa caucuses.  They pick over who finished where and why and discuss matters that aren’t getting a lot of mainstream attention, particularly the advantage Hillary Clinton has in collecting so-called “super delegates”.  They also turn their attention to upcoming primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina.  It’s a short, sharp episode that you won’t want to miss.

Ready for Iowa  

In this episode of Washington Dreaming, host Tim Dunlop, and regular guest John Lawrence -- the former Chief of Staff to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- discuss the upcoming Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries.

Leading the agenda are Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

For more information and previous episodes of the show, visit pidgin.net.au

State of the Union  

From Pidgin's Washington D.C. studio, special guest host Tanya Smith and John Lawrence disucss President Obama's final State of the Union, the role of the Vice President and who might be running in 2016 to become the VP. 

Check out more Washington Dreaming at pidgin.net.au or on iTunes

Why are we talking about Donald Trump?  

In this episode, John and Tim spend some time picking apart the Donald Trump phenomena. They consider the way he has become irresistible for the media and discuss the reality of his electoral chances. Basically, they conclude, Trump is blitzing the field now but will have real trouble putting together a coalition of voters to get him up in a general election. They also consider how Trump will react if he doesn’t get the nomination.

John and Tim also discuss Ted Cruz’s consolidation of second place. They consider the idea that Cruz’s problems aren’t that different from Trump’s: if he actually gets the nomination, how does he reach out to anyone beyond the rusted-on conservative base?

The guys also look at Hillary’s arguably “brave” approach to gun control and the way she has been willing to spend some capital in prosecuting her views on this matter. But this is Hillary, and you can’t help but feel the moral position has been calculated to the nth degree.

Finally, our interlocutors discuss the Paris Climate Summit agreement (COP21) and how the candidates have reacted to that.

This is our last show for the year, but we will be back bright and early in the New Year, with the first of the primaries looming large.

The Candidates and Paris  

In this episode John and Tim discuss the way in which the candidates for the 2016 Presidential election responded to the unconscionable attacks in Paris, attacks for which Islamic State has claimed responsibility.



One Year to the Day  

Welcome to the first installment of Pidgin Podcast’s new series, Washington Dreaming: The 2016 Presidential Election.  Every two weeks or so, John Lawrence -- the former Chief of Staff to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- is going to give his assessment of how the race is unfolding. After more than 30 years on Capitol Hill, often right at the heart of power, there is simply no-one better qualified to make sense of this unique process.

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