We're Jon Favreau), Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor - a couple of former Obama staffers who created the show Pod Save America--a place to talk about politics the way actual human beings talk. In our new midterm specials airing Fridays on HBO, we'll be talking to the candidates, voters, and activists shaping the 2018 midterm elections.

See the trailer here: https://youtu.be/dkpcaGFhzCg

Watch the first episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37cDmnV_WS8&t=2s

Proof https://twitter.com/PodSaveAmerica/status/1051543861137268736

EDIT: Thanks for the questions everyone! This was a lot of fun. We'll be on HBO Friday nights at 11pm ET through the election. Until next time!

Comments: 1356 • Responses: 13  • Date: 

Vurumai245 karma

Is Pundit really an angel?

PodSave392 karma

She's the loudest angel I know - JF

Thank you for a great question. Despite what some "haters" have said in the past, who know NOTHING about the REAL FACTS, Pundit is an angel and beloved wherever she goes, from Des Moines to Concord. The crowds are amazing, and she fights. -JL

perfectpeonies224 karma

Hi guys!

After Doug Jones, I'm curious on y'all's thoughts on the future of politics in the South. Any ideas on how the Democratic Party should be approaching the South? Any thoughts on the current races?

PodSave500 karma

I think for a long time, Democrats have looked at the South and thought, we need to run candidates who are paler versions of Republicans in order to attract as many conservative voters as possible. But if voters have a choice between a real Republican and a Democrat who seems like a Republican, they'll go with the real thing every time. I think the future of Democratic politics in the South is represented by candidates like Andrew Gillum, Stacey Abrams, Amy McGrath, and Doug Jones. These candidates don't necessarily agree on every issue, but they're not afraid to take progressive positions when they truly believe in those positions, and they're all comfortable in their own skin. - JF

ndphillips139 karma

As y'all grow and add more and more shows/podcasts, do you ever fear becoming part of the noise you so aptly criticize?

Also, what piece of modern political writing most impresses you (Obama speeches notwithstanding)?

Big fan!

PodSave223 karma

Sure! It's one reason we try to focus on talking about what should happen in politics, instead of what might happen in politics. Getting out of the prediction business helps us avoid falling into some of the typical pundit traps.

The best modern political writing is every tweet we've ever read.

lindsheyy101 karma

Friend of the pod here! While there's a lot out there to be upset about, is there a single issue that keeps you up at night? On the other side, what are you seeing out there that you find encouraging and gives you hope?

PodSave251 karma

Giving us insomnia: climate change

Giving us hope: the surge of activism, organizing, and first-time candidates running

PepperoniFire95 karma

  1. Was it difficult to find your voice(s) as people whose entire career previously centered around writing for another person?

  2. You have a lot of pods coming from non-white, non-male perspectives. How did you alleviate the "pipeline problem" (so-called) and what advice do you have for other people starting companies and looking to empower unrepresented voices?

  3. On a scale of 1-10, how cool is Alyssa Mastromonaco and why did you pick 11?

PodSave155 karma

  1. It definitely took a while for me to feel comfortable speaking my mind or criticizing things Obama said or did that I disagreed with. But the good news is there were a few years between when I left the administration and started doing the pod, so I was warmed up.
  2. We made a deliberate decision to make sure our first three hires were women, and holy shit thank God we did. We never could've gotten Crooked where it is today without our head of content Tanya Somanader and COO Sarah Wick and our producer Elisa Gutierrez. They in turn have helped ensure we built out a team that's more reflective of the diversity of the country, and that we're looking to find new, different, and exciting people to partner with. TL;DR - hire great people!
  3. You have no idea. She is the best. We were lucky enough to sit with her in Obama's Senate office starting in 2005, and she's been one of my favorite people on the planet since. We are so lucky to have Alyssa join us on PSA. - Tommy

oltramarino70 karma

is it ever a struggle for you to continue to get along so well? maybe it says something terrible about me but i think if i started such a time-consuming company with friends either the friendship or the company would come to a fast end.

PodSave148 karma

It took everything we had just to get in the same room to do this AMA

maneprady2168 karma

We keep hearing about these massive fundraising totals that democrats are pulling in(not just the $38 million for Beto), but we're still slipping in many recent Senate polls. What do you guys think is contributing to this, and how do we combat it?

PodSave72 karma

Great question! Lovett and I talked about this on the pod today. Candidates need to do a better job of inspiring and motivating people to support them and donate. That's quite literally their job. It's also true that traditional fundraising it just soul-sucking, grueling, time-consuming work. Some candidates just hate it and won't put in the time and their numbers suffer. And then you have people like Beto who inspire a grass roots army of donors. So i think this is mostly on the candidates to do better, but we all do need to remember that every seat is important, even when the candidates are imperfect, and do a better job supporting them. - Tommy

Tempos63 karma

Hey guys. A huge fan of what you guys do. I am in a 9-5 job, with a disability that makes work on it's own a challenge, let alone all the other stresses in the world. Your podcasts help keep me informed while entertained despite of all of that, and for that I am very thankful for what you do.

For someone in my situation, my disability means I can't really go out knocking on people's doors like everyone suggests to do to help support a campaign. I do donate occasionally, but am also not in a position to be giving all of my money away, and I know I'm not the only one facing these hardships.

What is something someone like me can do to help? I already plan on voting, duh, and I am trying to get my friends involved, but I feel like it's my civic duty to do so much more!

Edit: I am in a blue state in a very blue district, which means that even if I was able to canvas or volunteer, it would likely to be for something that a majority of voters in my district already support. Is there a way for someone like me to get involved in the national conversation and to help canidates in other districts or even other states?

PodSave98 karma

Hey! This a great question. If you can phone bank, that's a great way to help candidates across the country from your home - you can go to votesaveamerica.com to find a phone banking event and you can do it from your laptop. Also, no matter where you are, there's a local campaign office that can use your help where you can volunteer without having to go door to door which can be challenging. Last thing: one of the most important ways you can help is by telling your story and making sure people understand the stakes of this election for people with disabilities.

CinematicUniversity38 karma

Why did you stay out of the democratic primaries?

As a show that is listened to by almost exclusively democratic primary voters, you could have been a perfect place for primary debates.

PodSave81 karma

Because it's weird for us to tell voters in X state or Y district how to vote. It just felt wrong. That's not to say we won't have favorites in future primaries, or that we won't change our minds, but we just want to win the general election.

PenguinTreatment27 karma

Who can bench more, Tommy or Favs?

PodSave71 karma

Benching is for suckers. We're all about that core.

dewgin8614 karma

What has been the most rewarding part of your work at Crooked Media?

PodSave33 karma

We've been really proud to assemble an incredibly team of people we get to work with every day. It's awesome coming to work and be surrounded by colleagues who believe in what we're doing together - trying to make shows that are entertaining and informative and that inspire people to get involved. But it's also so rewarding going around the country, getting to meet candidates at our live shows, and see how enthusiastic people are. This has been a really hard time for a lot of people - it would be easy to get cynical and exhausted because the chaos and destruction in politics right now. But that's not what we've seen on the road. - JL

SoSleepySue2 karma

Which one of y'all is the first to cry if Dems take back both the House and Senate?

PodSave20 karma

I think most of the crying will be reserved for a scenario where we do not take back either the house or senate. But the bottom line is that if we win, we wake up the next day and get back to work. If we lose, we wake up the next day and get back to work. WE'RE ON TO CINCINNATI.