• December 13, 2018

The 41 We Knew

Mary Kate is joined by her old friend, former Bush 41 speechwriter Ed McNally, for some great stories about their time writing for President George H.W. Bush. Listen as they reminisce about their first meeting with the new President and what he had to say about President Reagan’s oratory. The two speechwriters tell behind-the-scenes stories about writing stand-up comedy for him, working with him in his post-presidential years, and receiving handwritten notes from him throughout it all. Plus the time the two of them met Mikhail Gorbachev in a bar.
  • December 6, 2018


Steve Krupin, a former Obama speechwriter, picks the best tributes from the memorial service for Mary Kate’s former boss, the late President George H.W. Bush. Then Steve sits down with Kirsten Hughes, the chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party, and Ethan Corson, the executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party, to talk about what it’s like to be outnumbered in their states, how they won governor’s races anyway, and what those victories teach us about the truism that all politics is local.
  • November 26, 2018

Live from Montpelier, Part 2

Mary Kate continues her conversations on what Congress and the press can do to help end partisan gridlock — with former WH legislative affairs directors Dan Meyer (Bush 43) and Marc Short (Trump); former Democratic Congressman LF Payne; and Politico Playbook’s Daniel Lippman, and NPR’s Ron Elving. Plenty of real-life ideas for improving the atmosphere in DC — from campaign messaging for 2020, writing headlines and tweeting, setting the incoming Congress’s agenda, bringing back earmarks, even deciding where to eat lunch on Capitol Hill. Smart ideas from insiders who know.
  • November 25, 2018

Live from Montpelier – Part I

In a Bipodisan two-fer, Mary Kate interviews VIPs interested in ending partisan gridlock at a Miller Center conference at the unexpectedly hip home of James Madison. Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin outlines the decline of political parties and rise of ideological “rock stars.” She argues that the loss of pay-as-you-go rules is driving polarization, and gives her prediction for the first bill to be introduced in the new Democratic House. Then UVA Professor Jennifer Lawless and Hoover Institution Fellow and Stanford Professor David Brady talk about surprising polling on whom you’d want your child to marry, and whether there’s room for a third party in America. The three discuss current ideas for reform: redistricting, ranked voting primaries, open primaries, and bringing back earmarks. Plus a favorite clip from SNL. Stay tuned for even more great ideas next week.
  • November 9, 2018

Midterm Mania

Mary Kate and Steve Krupin, a former Obama speechwriter, tell fascinating behind-the-scenes stories from past election nights as former campaign staffers. The two writers forgo any sort of “quant” election analysis and instead review the President’s wild ride of a press conference the morning after the midterms; give their take on the biggest election results; and finally, share a few of the most inspiring — and most ridiculous — campaign ads of the midterms.
  • October 26, 2018

Burning Down the House

Mary Kate is joined by Steve Krupin, former speechwriter for President Obama, for a smart discussion about this week's attempted bombings and the blazing-hot political rhetoric leading up to the midterms. After jumping from Cicero to Nixon to Trump, the two move on to interview Stephen Hawkins of More in Common, which just published a report on tribalism in America. Learn about the seven tribes in American politics and why the largest one — the Exhausted Majority — is afraid to speak freely. Hear Hawkins’ take on his favorite hidden gem in the report, before all three swap ideas for lowering the heat in politics these days — from tech companies to nonprofits to parents. Plus what’s making Steve and Mary Kate hopeful in an especially difficult week.
  • September 14, 2018

No Partisan Witch Hunts!

Chris Lu (Mary Kate’s fellow Senior Fellow at the Miller Center and a big cheese in the Obama Administration) joins Bipodisan this week in a special Hurricane edition from Chatter Bar. The two analyze the President’s “A++” and “unsung success” tweets, his remarks on 9/11, and their four-legged tip for personalizing the First Family. Then the two interview Elise Bean and Justin Rood of the bipartisan Oversight Boot Camp on Capitol Hill, which trains staffers from both parties in both the House and Senate to run committee investigations to be something other than Partisan Witch Hunts between the two parties. Plus, the bromance between 44 and Senator Coburn, happy hours for staffers, and fake scandals.
  • September 10, 2018

Speeches, Eulogies, Statements, and One Particular Op-Ed

Kyle O’Connor, former speechwriter for President Obama, joins Mary Kate this week to share stories about what it’s like to be young speechwriters at the White House, and which college experience — other than drinking heavily — best prepared them for the job. The two compare watching the McCain funeral on YouTube (Kyle) and in audience at the National Cathedral (Mary Kate), pick their favorite eulogies, and analyze the opening statements at the Kavanaugh hearings. Spoiler alert: like everyone else in Washington, they deny writing the anonymous New York Times Op-Ed. Unlike everyone else in Washington, they have some interesting takes on the whodunnit.
  • August 31, 2018

Riding the Pink Wave

Bipodisan heads to the campus of George Washington University this week, to hear from four former candidates for office from both sides of the aisle. All of them come from very different walks of life and are different ages — and all happen to be fascinating women. In front of a packed house, listen as they talk about what it was like to run for office, the obstacles they overcame, and some of the crazy comments they got from voters. Warning: listening might make you want to run for office, too.
  • August 10, 2018

Racism and Resilience in Charlottesville

Bill Antholis, longtime Charlottesville resident and head of UVA’s Miller Center, gives a first-hand account of being yards away from the racial and anti-semitic violence last summer, his views on removing the statues that have stood within blocks of his home, and what young people can learn from what’s known as A12, or August 12th, 2017. Has Charlottesville become a microcosm of the polarization throughout our society? And if so, what exactly does community resilience in Charlottesville — and in America — look like going forward? The answers lie in the kinds of conversations we all should be having with each other.