Created with Sketch.
31 minutes | 12 days ago
Joe Biden's Boston Roots
Quick: if you hear the name “Joe Biden,” what places spring to mind? Delaware, for obvious reasons. Scranton, probably, along with the requisite dose of earthy Irish-American wisdom. But Boston should, too. The president elect didn’t grow up in this area, but some of Boston’s top political power brokers helped shape and guide his career — which was also defined, for years, by an embarrassing presidential setback inflicted by the campaign of one Mike Dukakis back in 1987. In this episode of the Scrum, Adam Reilly talks through Biden’s #bospoli and #mapoli connections with Boston Globe op-ed columnist Scot Lehigh. First, though, Peter Kadzis sizes up Biden’s performance during one of the most bizarre political transitions in American history — and what the coming months have in store for a deeply conflicted Democratic Party.
32 minutes | a month ago
Election 2020: The Night(s) Before And The Morning After
If you’ve been around long enough, you still think of presidential elections as efficient events that provide clear answers in a finite period of time, exceptions to the rule notwithstanding ([cough] 2000 [cough]). But the 2020 election may shatter that romantic ideal once and for all — and when the dust settles and the results are in, whenever that is and whatever they are, we’ll still be facing huge questions about the future of American democracy. Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly talk about what we’ll be grappling with after the presidency is decided, and how to get from here to there without losing our minds, with help from four Scrum favorites: Sue O’Connell, Joan Vennochi, Wilnelia Rivera, and Yawu Miller.
31 minutes | a month ago
The Electoral College: What Is It Good For?
You already know that the Electoral College lets candidates win the presidency while losing the popular vote (Donald Trump in 2016 springs to mind). But you might *not* know about the long history of failed attempts to reform or eliminate the institution — or how little guidance the Electoral College actually would actually provide in a close, hotly contested election like the one we’re currently having. Spend a half hour with this Scrum, though — in which Peter Kadzis chats with Harvard’s Alex Keyssar, author of the new book “Why Do We Still Have The Electoral College?” — and you’ll gain that knowledge and more. (Warning: you may also be significantly more anxious about what the coming weeks may bring.)
38 minutes | a month ago
Kevin O'Connor's Pitch To Non-Republicans
If you haven’t paid close attention to the US Senate race between Ed Markey, the Democratic incumbent, and Kevin O’Connor, the Republican challenger, you might assume O’Connor is coming from the same place as the Massachusetts GOP: staunchly pro-Trump, and steadfastly opposed to all things Democratic. And if you have assumed that, O’Connor’s own messaging could be one reason why. As it turns out, though, O’Connor’s political identity and philosophy are more nuanced than you might expect. In this episode of the Scrum, O’Connor makes his case to the unenrolled and Democratic voters whose support he’ll need to beat Markey in November — offering, in the process, some unexpected biographical details and assessments of Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. After Adam and O’Connor talk, Peter Kadzis weighs in with his assessment of O’Connor’s pitch.
39 minutes | 2 months ago
Lessons From Lincoln For The Age Of Trump — Plus, What The Mass. Senate Debate Says About The Mass. GOP
In the wake of the first and only debate between Democratic US Senator Ed Markey and Republican challenger Kevin O’Connor, Peter Kadzis flashes back to the Kennedy-Romney race and sizes up the trajectory of the Mass. Republican Party in the quarter century hence. (He and Adam Reilly also take stock of O’Connor’s candidacy and political future.) Then it’s on to a Kadzis convo with presidential historian Ted Widmer, whose new book — Lincoln On The Verge: Thirteen Days To Washington — offers an instructive portrait of the nation in another moment of crisis.
37 minutes | 2 months ago
Storm Clouds: Aleksandar Hemon On Yugoslavia Then And The US Now
When war broke out in his hometown of Sarajevo, Aleksandar Hemon turned what was supposed to be a brief stay in Chicago into an entirely new life — and went on to become a National Book Award finalist, a regular contributor to the New Yorker, and a professor at Princeton University. Now, though, Hemon has also become a political Cassandra, warning in stark terms that he sees the US sliding toward an outbreak of political violence akin to the eruptions that destroyed Yugoslavia. In this episode, Adam Reilly talks with Hemon about the parallels he sees between Yugoslavia then and the US today. First, though, Peter Kadzis ponders Andrea Campbell’s newly announced candidacy for mayor of Boston, and how the politics of racial and ethnic identity will play out as Campell and Michelle Wu vie to become Boston’s first mayor of color.
28 minutes | 2 months ago
Wu For 2021: A GBH-MassINC Poll Sets The Stage For The Mayoral Race
Right now, the 2021 Boston mayor’s race has one (1) official candidate: at-large city councilor Michelle Wu, who made things official last week after months of speculation — and after the incumbent, Marty Walsh, gave her campaign an unconventional “soft launch” of his own. So how does Wu stack up against Walsh (if he runs) — and her fellow city councilor Andrea Campbell (ditto)? And what are the big takeaways from a new GBH News / MassINC poll on the state of the race and the issues on Boston voters’ minds? Peter Kadzis, Adam Reilly, and Saraya Wintersmith talk it through.
21 minutes | 3 months ago
#MAPrimary 2020: The Exit Interview
What to make of this week’s primary election? On the one hand, a slew of incumbent Democrats had credible challengers — which suggests an era of intra-party stasis and timidity has finally come to a close. Then again…those challengers all lost. So maybe incumbency still has some advantages? In this, the first Scrum of the GBH era, Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly kick it around with Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi — along with Joe Kennedy’s future and whether the drama in #mapoli is done for the year (spoiler: it isn’t).
41 minutes | 3 months ago
Dr. Robbie Goldstein Makes His Case For MA8, Plus - Kadzis On The Surreal, Socially Distant DNC
After a brief hiatus, the Scrum returns with a pre-election conversation with Dr. Robbie Goldstein, the MGH physician who's challenging Congressman Stephen Lynch in the Eighth District Democratic primary. First, though, Peter Kadzis offers some instant reaction to the strange, socially distant event that was the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Can't get enough of local and national politics? Subscribe to The Scrum, WGBH News' politics podcast, with Adam Reilly, Peter Kadzis, and an ever-expanding roster of guests. SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts Stitcher Spotify Castbox Overcast
39 minutes | 4 months ago
Things Are Getting Competitive In Western Massachusetts -- Plus, Kadzis On The State Legislature's Looming Extension
What’s going on in Western Mass? In the past few weeks, the Massachusetts 1st Congressional District race between longtime incumbent Rep. Richard Neal and Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse has started to get competitive. Carrie Saldo, recent host of Connecting Points on WGBY in Springfield, and Matt Szafranski of Western Mass Politics and Insight, talk Adam Reilly through just how interesting the race has become, despite -- or maybe because of -- the challenges presented by campaigning in the middle of a pandemic. But first, Peter Kadzis and Reilly give a status update on the state legislature, where it's looking like lawmakers may not get that summer off during an election year after all.
32 minutes | 4 months ago
Why The 2020 Presidential Polls Aren't Like Their Ugly 2016 Cousins — Plus, Walsh Vs. Wu, Round 1
How does President Trump explain away his bad poll numbers? Pretty much the same way he deals with anything else negative: he insists they’re not real. What happened in 2016 makes it harder to push back at this than it might be; after all, nearly everyone thought Hillary Clinton was a lock, but it turned out she wasn’t. Still, according to #mapoli pollster extraordinaire Steve Koczela, this year’s presidential-polling model is a significant upgrade from its recent predecessor. He gives Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly a layperson’s guide, and also offers some thoughts on what it’s like to be a military veteran watching the nation struggle to meet the challenge of COVID. First, though, Kadzis and Reilly size up a broadcast dust-up featuring Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and At-Large City Councilor Michelle Wu, who’s widely considered a likely mayoral challenger.
24 minutes | 5 months ago
The Scrum Sizes Up The 2020 New England Muzzles
For more than two decades — first at the Boston Phoenix, and now at WGBH News — Dan Kennedy’s New England Muzzle Awards have chronicled threats to the First Amendment and freedom of expression in our fair region. But reading the 2020 Muzzles (as you should!) is one thing; hearing Dan talk about the worst of the worst with Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly is something else entirely. In this episode of the Scrum, the trio talks through the past year’s lowlights, which involve the Milton Public Schools, the Baker Administration, and Harvard University.
32 minutes | 5 months ago
“Systemic Cures For Systemic Problems”: Ricardo Arroyo's M.O. For Fighting Racism In Boston
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s designation of racism as a Boston public-heath crisis this month garnered plenty of headlines. But three months ago, Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo offered a similar assessment — and proposed the creation of an independent racial-equity office he said could start working to alleviate the problem. On the heels of Walsh’s announcement, Arroyo offers his take on what the mayor is getting right when it comes to race (and COVID) and what he’s getting wrong. Arroyo also weighs in on Boston Police Commissioner William Gross’s surprise visit with US Attorney General Bill Barr. First, though, Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly talk about Gross’s confab, the Boston Police Department’s troubling penchant for stopping drivers of color, and Governor Charlie Baker’s push for a system that can license — and de-license — police officers across the state, which might include some new earning opportunities that strike critics as ill conceived.
26 minutes | 6 months ago
Can Marty Walsh's Boston Lead The Fight Against Racism?
Like Governor Charlie Baker, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has been consistently supportive of the recent protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd last month. While he’s condemned violence and destructive behavior, Walsh has also backed the protesters’ right to make their voices heard, even during the COVID pandemic, and he’s made it very clear he’s sympathetic to their cause. But recently he went further, pledging to make Boston a national leader when it comes to racial reconciliation and justice. It is — to put it mildly — an ambitious goal. But what would pursuing and attaining it actually mean? And what are the political risks if Boston voters decide Walsh can’t deliver on his promise? Adam Reilly and Peter Kadzis talk it over with Yawu Miller, the senior editor of the Bay State Banner.
21 minutes | 6 months ago
As Protests Spread, Pondering The Politics Of Policing
It’s an incredibly daunting moment: we’ve got an international pandemic, anti-police brutality protests sweeping the nation, and a president eager to use the US military against US citizens. Against that backdrop, Peter Kadzis has some thoughts about the problems plaguing law enforcement and how they could be addressed moving forward.
29 minutes | 6 months ago
Jim Aloisi Talks Transit And Heirloom Italian Cuisine
Getting people to ride the T as the COVID crisis fades won’t be easy. A Suffolk U. / WGBH News / Boston Globe poll showed that 25 percent of Massachusetts residents won’t be comfortable taking public transit even if there’s an effective vaccine, and right now that’s a distant possibility at best. So how can the T get back on track as we head back toward some semblance of ordinary life? And how could cities and towns tweak their streetscapes to respond to the virus? Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly talk it over with Jim Aloisi, the former secretary of transportation and current board member of Transit Matters. First, though, Aloisi talks about how a treasure trove of his mother’s Italian recipes has sustained him through the pandemic — and at the end, he gives listeners one to try at home.
39 minutes | 6 months ago
Did The South Win The Civil War? Plus, Sizing Up Charlie Baker's Reopening Plan
What if the central event of U.S. history has been fundamentally misunderstood? What if the ethos of the Confederacy didn’t just survive the Civil War, but actually came to dominate American politics and culture, right up to the present day? That’s the radical thesis proposed by Boston College historian Heather Cox Richardson in her new book, How The South Won The Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, And The Continuing Fight For The Soul Of America. She joins Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly to talk it over — but first, Kadzis and Reilly respond to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s plan to reopen the state in the coming weeks, as this round of the COVID crisis begins to ebb.
41 minutes | 7 months ago
Brouhaha In Bristol County — Plus, #MAPoli Gets A Coronavirus Scorecard
In a time of general instability, it’s the most chaotic subplot in local politics. Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson claims he was attacked by immigrants who are in the US illegally on May 1, after they refused to get tested for COVID-19. The detainees and their advocates say Hodgson and his deputies were the aggressors. Meanwhile, state Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz was barred from entering the jail the day after the riot; multiple investigations are now underway; and a class-action lawsuit alleging dangerous conditions at the facility is working its way through court. Adam Reilly talks with Chang-Diaz and Sarah Betancourt, who’s been covering the story for Commonwealth magazine, about the incident and its aftermath. But first, Peter Kadzis weighs in on a new Suffolk University / WGBH News / Boston Globe poll that shows Massachusetts residents committed to the ongoing fight against the coronavirus, even as economic pain mounts.
27 minutes | 7 months ago
Why Well-Educated White People Are Getting Politics Wrong
The thesis of Tufts political scientist Eitan Hersh’s new book is provocative, to say the least. In Politics Is For Power: How To Move Beyond Political Hobbyism, Take Action, And Make Real Change, Hersh argues that a big chunk of society — looking at you, well-educated white people! — have come to treat politics as a sort of spectator sport. They spend time on it, and plenty of energy, but it’s a fundamentally passive sort of engagement — and it doesn’t really get things done. Hersh talks Peter Kadzis and Adam Reilly through his diagnosis; discusses some #mapoli figures who are actually doing politics *right*; and offers a suggestion or two for anyone who’d like to follow their lead.
29 minutes | 7 months ago
COVID Campaigning, Signature Stubbornness, Eviction Obstruction
How do you campaign effectively — and tastefully — in the middle of a pandemic? Why are candidates still risking their health, and ours, to get signatures to make the ballot? And why in God’s name did State Rep. Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk) grind a carefully crafted moratorium on coronavirus-era evictions and foreclosures to a halt? Adam Reilly, Peter Kadzis, and newspaper publisher / political commentator-about-town Sue O’Connell kick it around, virtually.
Terms of Service
© Stitcher 2020