Part of a Series

Dan Pfeiffer joins the show to discuss the State of the Union address, distrust in institutions, and the impact the changing media landscape will have on the 2024 elections. Colin and lead producer Erin also talk about President Joe Biden’s budget and speak with Rose Khattar from the Center for American Progress Action Fund about a new playbook for women’s economic advancement.


Colin Seeberger: Hey, everyone. Welcome back to “The Tent,” your place for politics, policy, and progress. I’m Colin Seeberger, and I’m here with our lead producer, Erin Phillips, who’s filling in for Daniella.

Erin Phillips: Hey, Colin. Happy to be here. Can you believe it’s already March?

Seeberger: No, I cannot. We had daylight saving time this past weekend. So I hope all of our parent listeners are hanging in there. I’m sure it’s chaotic like it is in our house. But it’s also—March Madness is right around the corner. Selection Sunday is this weekend.

Phillips: I know. I have to start making my bracket. As you know, I put a lot of time and thought into my bracket. That’s sarcasm for all our listeners out there. I like to do a random bracket at CAP Action every year, and last year, I happened to win with that strategy. So I’ll be putting zero time and effort into it, but I will be picking mascots I like, places I like to visit—

Seeberger: Uniforms.

Phillips: Uniform colors.

Seeberger: Yes.

Phillips: You know, I’ll be going with my gut.

Seeberger: All the important qualities, to be sure.

Phillips: Exactly. There’s a lot to look forward to this month with basketball, but I’m also excited to hear the conversation you had this week.

Seeberger: That’s right, I spoke with Dan Pfeiffer, host of “Pod Save America” and former senior adviser to President Obama, about President Biden’s State of the Union address last week, some really important dynamics in the 2024 election cycle, including a changing media ecosystem and threats to democracy.

Phillips: I am really excited to hear Dan’s insights. He is awesome. And especially as we gear up for November, I’m sure it’ll be a really insightful conversation. But first, we have to get to some news.

Seeberger: We certainly do. Because not only is it Beyoncé and basketball season—it’s also budget season.

Phillips: That’s right. President Biden released his budget on Monday, and it shows that the administration continues to be squarely focused on lowering the cost of living, growing the middle class, and meaningfully reducing poverty across the country. You know, we say this every year, but budgets really are a statement of values.

Seeberger: For sure.

Phillips: And this budget makes it clear that President Biden values helping families make ends meet, ensuring billionaires and large corporations pay their fair share. It’s exactly what he talked about in his State of the Union address last week. The budget would fully fund Medicare for the foreseeable future, making the trust fund solvent indefinitely, all without cutting benefits or raising taxes on anybody making less than $400,000. It would also expand the scope of drug pricing negotiations and cost-saving measures that the Inflation Reduction Act put in place for Medicare recipients—like the $35-a-month insulin cap for seniors and an out-of-pocket drug spending cap—so that those measures can benefit all Americans.

Seeberger: Sign me up.

Phillips: I know, right? The budget would also restore the enhanced child tax credit, guarantee affordable child care for families making less than $200,000 a year—I know that’s music to your ears, Colin.

Seeberger: Amen.

Phillips: Provide a new tax credit for first-time homebuyers. As someone who’d like to buy a home in the next several years, that’s music to my ears. And it would ensure up to 12 weeks of paid leave for eligible workers. And it would do this all and build a stronger, more equitable economy at the same time by strengthening our tax system and ensuring the wealthy and large corporations pay more of their fair share.

Seeberger: It’s really an exciting vision, and it’s one that really meets the moment for the challenges that middle-class families are facing. And it also really stands in stark contrast to some of the proposals that we’re seeing former President Trump lay out on the campaign trail. You know, MAGA Republicans have long taken aim at Medicare and Social Security. But just earlier this week, Trump, in an interview on CNBC, went on air and again suggested that he’d be open to cutting these programs, which would not only pull the rug out from under people who are counting on these benefits, but it would also really throw the ability to retire in this country—retire with dignity—throw it into utter chaos.

While President Biden has been fighting to lower drug and health care costs, Donald Trump has also said that he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, stripping tens of millions of Americans of their health care coverage and allowing insurers to charge people with preexisting conditions more for their health care. Trump cut taxes for the wealthy and the biggest corporations when he was in office, whereas President Biden is making wealthy tax cheats actually have to pay their bills. And he’s also instituted a 15 percent minimum corporate tax on billion-dollar profitable corporations. So the contrast really could not be more clear.

Trump’s got a number of other extreme economic proposals that would really pull away the safety net that hundreds of millions of Americans rely on in this country. But he also is working to try to pull the rug out from under organized labor and make it harder for American workers to have more power and ability to collectively negotiate for better wages and working conditions—things like trying to enact a national right-to-work law. You know, President Biden has not only put forward powerful economic ideas in his budget, he’s acted on those ideas throughout his presidency, securing record job growth, real wage gains for American workers, and falling inflation at the same time. Donald Trump, he wants to undo all of that progress, all so he can put more money in the hands of the wealthy and billion-dollar corporations at the expense of everyday people.

Phillips: Yeah. And it’s really clear that the Biden administration has made this economic progress and, in the process, has really helped level the playing field for all sorts of Americans, and particularly for women.

Seeberger: That’s right. And the Center for American Progress this week actually has a new women’s economic playbook. It offers policy recommendations to help build on that success. Here to talk about it is Rose Khattar, director of economic analysis at CAP and CAP Action. Rose, super excited to have you on the show. Thanks for joining us.

Rose Khattar: Thanks for having me.

Seeberger: So you’ve got this women’s economic playbook that you’ve been working on, that your team is publishing this week. What’s in it and why is now the right time to be rolling out this kind of policy agenda?

Khattar: So we’ve just launched what we’re calling a “Playbook for the Advancement of Women in the Economy.” And it’s really set to equip federal and state policymakers with a recipe to grow the economy—and that is building women’s economic security. It touches on the issues you would tend to think about when it comes to women’s economic security—things like paid leave and child care. But it is really broad in scope and goes beyond that to talk through things that don’t really get the attention that they deserve. We really focus a lot—one of the key themes is, how do you build a labor force for the future? We talk a lot about the needs and experiences of older women, women with disabilities, women impacted by the criminal legal system, immigrant women working in the health care sector. And for us, the No. 1 thing we really wanted policymakers to realize is that building women’s economic security isn’t just the right thing to do or the politically savvy thing to do—it’s the economically sound thing to do.

Seeberger: Interesting, interesting.

Phillips: Yeah, the playbook shows how much change there has been over the past few years in terms of women’s economic progress. You talked a little bit about this, but what are some of the key takeaways from the playbook? And we’re talking to you right around Equal Pay Day, so I think I know the answer to this already, but have women been appropriately recognized for their economic power in the past year?

Khattar: So I really like to say that 2023 was the year that America could really no longer ignore the economic force that is American women. We saw, for example, the gender pay gap fall to a record low last year. But a record low is not pay parity, right?

Seeberger: Sure, sure.

Khattar: Like, the gender pay gap still exists.

Seeberger: Let’s keep it going.

Khattar: We saw women’s employment rate for women aged 25 to 54 hit record highs over the summer, which is a really incredible achievement given the pandemic recession really hit women’s employment hard. But again, a record high doesn’t mean that women’s participation is equivalent to men’s participation in the labor market, for example. And obviously, I would say one of the things that listeners probably recall about 2023 was the countless headlines of huge spending on Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, “Barbie” and all the associated expenditure with Barbiemania. Women really drove a whole lot of consumption spending, which are drivers of economic growth. And so I look back on the past year, and I’m like, 2023 was a really good year for women’s economic security and was kind of proof of concept that when you build women’s economic security, you can grow the economy to the benefit of everyone. But there’s a whole lot more that needs to be done to get to gender equity.

Seeberger: Just ask Roger Goodell and the NFL, who clearly benefited from Taylor Swift’s appearance at the Super Bowl.

Khattar: Exactly.

Seeberger: Totally, totally. So I know how important it was to your team to make sure that this analysis and agenda really accounted for a range of women’s experiences. So how did you incorporate intersectionality throughout the playbook? You mentioned some different identities, but let’s say, for example, the experiences of Black women or queer women. How do these different identities impact women in our economy? And how can we formulate policy solutions to advance all women?

Khattar: So I think for us, really central to the playbook is appreciating there’s no singular woman. Women are not a monolith. And honestly, we were really, really conscious of that fact—that you look at a lot of top-line statistics on women’s economic security—even take the pay gap, for example. That really renders invisible a whole lot of other women’s experiences. So you take the pay gap. That top-line number is much higher for white women, for example, compared to Black women or Latinas, for example. So one of the things we really wanted to do was, I didn’t want to have a footnote that would refer people to, “This is what happens to Black women,” or a text box or a little concluding statement. It was really important to us that the intersectional experiences of different groups of women—whether it’s Black women or Latinas or queer women—was embedded in everything we did throughout the playbook. Because mainstreaming all women’s perspectives is actually the only way we can truly achieve gender equity for everyone. So I’m really excited that we were able to do that. Unfortunately, at times, the data wasn’t always there, and that’s a collective failure on policymakers and people who actually go out and collect the data. But where possible, we really try to embed and mainstream all women’s experiences.

Seeberger: That’s great.

Phillips: Yeah, that intersectionality, I think, really makes this a useful tool for policymakers. Can you talk a little bit about how you see policymakers using this to actually inform their agendas going forward?

Khattar: Yeah, I think really the bottom line for policymakers is that women and the economy really can’t afford for policymakers to miss out on the full economic potential of women. We’re really offering a lot of ready-to-use solutions in this playbook. So I really encourage people listening to go and take a look at it. Things from raising the minimum wage to eliminating the subminimum wage to guaranteeing paid family and medical leave—these are all important economic investments in women’s economic security, but they’re also important economic investments in the economy at large, which means that everyone really gains from those types of investments.

Seeberger: Rose, thanks so much for joining us on “The Tent” today.

Khattar: Thanks for having me.

Seeberger: That’s all the time we have for today. If there’s anything else you’d like us to cover on the pod, hit us up on Twitter @TheTentPod. That’s @TheTentPod. And stick around for my interview with Dan Pfeiffer in just a beat.

Seeberger: Dan Pfeiffer is a co-host of “Pod Save America” and a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama. He currently publishes “The Message Box,” a newsletter on politics and strategy. He’s written three books, including Battling the Big Lie: How Fox, Facebook, and the MAGA Media Are Destroying America. Dan Pfeiffer, thanks so much for joining us on “The Tent.”

Pfeiffer: Thanks for having me.

Seeberger: So last week was President Biden’s State of the Union address. Were there any standout moments for you? How did you think he did?

Pfeiffer: Look, I think he did great, right? I think he blew expectations off the map. He had, I thought, a real narrative about this campaign. I thought it was very smart that the White House lawyers let him reference Trump on more than a dozen occasions to—this is to hit an audience of 30 million people. The takeaway is performance and the overall story he told, which is your unofficial kickoff for the reelection campaign. And so he used it quite well.

Seeberger: You talked about this election cycle. We’re seeing some unique dynamics at play, including historic cynicism and distrust in our institutions, as well as decreasing political engagement broadly. Why is this happening? And what do you think could be done about it quickly, as we approach the fall?

Pfeiffer: We are not going to reverse decadeslong trends here. Distrust in institutions has been going up for decades. Polarization has been going up for decades. The disengagement from political media is a more recent trend, but it’s not one that we fully control. But what I think we have to do is, one, we have to recognize we’re in this role. And I think that begins with recognizing that the biggest gap in American politics is not between Republicans and Democrats. It’s between people who pay obsessive attention to politics and the vast majority of the rest of the country, who pays no attention to politics. And I think we—and when I say “we,” I don’t mean liberals; I mean political junkies of all stripes—live in a bubble. We think everyone consumes the information we do. We think they’re all watching Rachel Maddow or, in Republicans’ case, Sean Hannity and “The Five”—that they know that Donald Trump said he would be a dictator on day one, that they know that Joe Biden did X, Y, or Z or is going to pass the bipartisan infrastructure act or whatever. And no, people do not get that information. They’re not paying attention to it. And so we have to talk to those people from an understanding of not where we are, but where they are.

Seeberger: Well, and all of that is happening in a backdrop where the media landscape has changed more in the last four years than we’ve seen since the invention of television. Can you talk about how these changes are going to impact this election season? And really, what should the campaigns be doing in order to break through and actually reach those folks you were just talking about?

Pfeiffer: So I think it’s just important to understand that the biggest change that’s happened is that now you have to seek out political news. There is no real way to bump into it organically, right? In the pre-internet era, the news was literally delivered into your home. Someone took a newspaper and threw it at your door. Or it was on the 6 o’clock news. And if you wanted to know what the weather was going to be, what was happening in your town, the score of the baseball game, you had to either pick up the newspaper or turn on the news. And in doing so, you would see political news, right? It could be local political news, during a presidential election, it is undoubtedly national campaign news. Then we moved to the age of the internet, the social media age, and particularly post-2012, when Facebook became a primary source of news for a large swath of Americans, Facebook was rife with political news. So you would go on Facebook. Maybe you’re not paying attention to politics. You don’t listen to “Pod Save America.” You’re not watching CNN or whatever else. And you’re just on Facebook. You’re looking at your friends’ kids. You’re seeing political news, right? When people were still watching more linear TV, so you’re flipping through the channels and you check out the local news or the national news, you see some political news. Now, there’s no way to bump into political news. Facebook has stopped showing people political news. Twitter is basically broken. Instagram, particularly Instagram reels, which has been tremendously growing in terms of usage—and Meta has said they’re not going to promote political news on there.

So it just becomes impossible for people to get it. So how are we going to solve that problem as Democrats? There’s no one answer, right? One of it is going to be more clever use of television ads, right? We’ve generally relied on television ads that were delivered on cable news and broadcast news. So we’ll see more of people spending more money to be in the rare moments when everyone gathers in front of their TV, which is largely football and award shows. And that’s why you see so many political ads during football games.

Seeberger: You’re selling short “The Bachelor,” Dan. You’re selling short “The Bachelor.”

Pfeiffer: Right, “The Bachelor.” But even that number is so relatively small.

Seeberger: Yeah, yeah.

Pfeiffer: Right? Compared to—we’ve talked about football. We’re talking about 50 million people with some of these football games. The Oscars had 19 million people. But if you had any intention of watching a Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, or Georgia football game this fall, you’re going to see a lot of political ads. Then it’s going to be more ads on streaming. Now, the place where most people go to do the streaming, Netflix, does not have ads. But whether it’s Hulu, some of these other smart-connected TVs, there can be ads there. And then it’s going to be influencers, getting people who have followings to talk about politics. I know the Biden campaign has worked really hard on this, and there’s a lot more work to do. And the last thing is—and I think it’s the most important one—is we have to break down the wall between the field department and the communications department. All the research shows that people trust information based on who shared it more than who originally created that information. So if you trust me, and I send you a piece of information, and it’s from something you’ve never heard of, you’re going to trust that more than if someone you don’t know sent you a piece of information from The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal. And so we have to create the tools and technologies and strategies to mobilize our army of activists to be messengers within their networks.

Seeberger: No doubt, no doubt. One other thing that’s obviously a central topic of conversation in this election season is one that you wrote a book about in 2022, which is the dangers of “the big lie” and what it poses to democracy. Many of those threats remain unresolved as we approach this year’s elections. Where have we fallen short on holding people accountable? And what role should the media play in trying to bridge some of those gaps as we head into November?

Pfeiffer: This is a very hard one, right? Obviously, belief in “the big lie” has gone up, not down, since 2020.

Seeberger: Yep.

Pfeiffer: Now, that’s a phenomenon particularly true of Republicans. And this sort of makes sense, that people tend to believe what their nominee and their front-runner believes. And so as more voters have decided they’re going to vote for Trump, more of them are going to tell pollsters that they believe “the big lie.” Where we’ve done a good job is—there have been efforts to actually make it harder to steal elections. The electoral counts bill, that bipartisan bill that President Biden signed into law, is important. There have been efforts at the state level. Democrats have done a very good job of investing in and electing secretaries of state and the people who are going administer our elections. So we’re sort of cutting off the paths for people to weaponize the next “big lie” into an actual election theft—although that threat is still very real, don’t get me wrong.

The media does a pretty good job, for the most part, of calling it “the big lie,” calling it out when people say it. But it’s like a finger in a dike, right? In this media environment, it just doesn’t really have the impact that you would think it would have. And my view on this is, we should do the things we need to do in terms of electing the right people and putting the laws in place where we have the power to do it to prevent people from stealing elections. And I think Democrats have done a good job with that, and we should continue to do more of that. But obsessing about the people who believe “the big lie”—”the big lie” is actually somewhat useful in this sense. Which is, it is a signifier, right? If you ask someone if they believe “the big lie,” and they say yes, you can basically cross them off your persuasion list. Democrats aren’t going to tell Republican voters not to believe “the big lie.” The media certainly isn’t going to tell Republican voters not to believe “the big lie.” And so it kind of is what it is. It’s a depressing fact, but it’s one that is not particularly relevant to how this election will play out, in my view.

Seeberger: Well, it’s great news that your read on the media’s handling of this topic has been relatively encouraging. On a different issue, but one that we know is also getting a lot of oxygen this cycle, is the issue of the candidates’ ages. Obviously, this is something that the Trump campaign is trying to drive into political coverage every single day. We have seen the media continue to fixate on this. Cough cough, just look at their coverage of special counsel Robert Hur’s report from six weeks ago—

Pfeiffer: Yep.

Seeberger: His testimony earlier this week. You’ve written in recent weeks about the trap that Republicans continue to set for themselves and that they’ve fallen into by setting the bar so low for the president—that he’s clearly meeting and exceeding it at every appearance he gives. Can you talk a little bit more about this phenomenon and what it could portend for this fall?

Pfeiffer: Yeah. I mean, I think we should stipulate a couple things. One, the president’s age and the age of Donald Trump are legitimate issues for which voters should have concerns. We are asking people to do something largely unprecedented. If you are a person with elder parents or elder grandparents, the idea of them becoming president can be quite concerning to you. I mean, my dad is several years younger than Donald Trump. I think he would in his heyday have been a great president, but the idea of him working 16 hours a day, 20 hours a day, whatever it is, traveling all over the world—that would be very concerning to me.

Seeberger: We will make sure he does not get this podcast, Dan.

Pfeiffer: Yes, yes. I mean, I’ve said this to him personally. I think he understands it. So people are legitimately concerned about it. The media coverage of it has been largely irresponsible because there’s a self-perpetuating reflection to it. There’s a real question, like, can Joe Biden do the job? Could Donald Trump do the job? What do people around them say? How do they act in meetings? Are they really having memory lapses? Is Donald Trump frequently confusing Nikki Haley and Nancy Pelosi in private conversations? Like, that’s a legitimate thing for the media. What is problematic is when it’s just constantly like, “Voters are concerned. Let’s write more about voters being concerned. Oh, wow, more voters are concerned because we just wrote that voters are concerned.” Like, no shit, Sherlock. That is obviously going to happen. The mistake Republicans have made is they’re not focusing on the legitimate issue of Biden’s age. They have created this caricature of sleepy Joe Biden who is senile. They put out all these clips of him—they’re out of context, some of them are altered—that make him seem like a doddering old man with dementia.

And so politics is about expectation setting. So if people tuned into the State of the Union thinking that Joe Biden was going to seem old and frail and unable to complete sentences, and then he gets up there and gives a fiery, energetic speech standing on his feet for over an hour, of course people are going to be impressed. That’s the upside of this to Biden, is he has eight months for voters to see him. And most voters haven’t seen Joe Biden speak in years. We were talking about the media environment. That’s just how it is. Unless you actively are seeking out a Joe Biden speech, the press doesn’t find Joe Biden interesting. That’s a problem, right? Not the way they found Trump interesting. Because he’s doing governing, and governing is boring. And could Biden do a better job of like drawing attention to himself? Sure. But there’s a structural issue that means most voters haven’t seen him. So when they get a chance to see him, either when he comes to their town, or in ads, or when they focus on the election in a few months, then he will exceed the expectations set for him set by Republicans. I think that’s good.

Seeberger: When they don’t have them on oxygen on campaign ads, Joe Biden, you’re moving in the right direction. There’s a W. So speaking of campaign ads—obviously, this is going to be a big way that folks are going to be forming impressions about the candidates and what their campaigns are all about. Do you have any tips for the campaign ad makers this cycle? Things that they should be keeping in mind, given certain blocks of voters that may be in play this year?

Pfeiffer: I’m not going to tell the Biden campaign anything they don’t already know and aren’t already doing. But if they were to ask, the things I would say is, one, find ways for your campaign ads to have some virality to it so that people will see it online as well. And you saw that in that ad the Biden campaign put out this weekend, where there’s that outtake afterwards—sort of like a post-credit sequence—where Biden makes some jokes. I thought that was great.

Two, the best ads are going to be the ones using voters talking, not politicians or voiceovers. And the Biden campaign has done this. They did that with the ad with the doctor about abortion. And they did it with a woman talking about the Affordable Care Act last fall when Trump said he wanted to repeal it. The less it looks like a campaign ad, and the more it looks like an authentic, organic video, the better. The group Republican Voters Against Trump, Sarah Longwell’s group, has a bunch of ads with people who voted for Trump previously explaining why they did not, and they’re all shot with vertical video from a cell phone, selfie style. So it looks like the kind of videos that we see all the time that are not slickly produced that I think are really, really good. And they will work on TV, but they also work when being shared.

And the last piece of this is trusted voices, right? People don’t trust the media, and they don’t trust politicians. So if you want to reach people, it has to be from a voice that speaks to their identity. It could be another young person. It could be another mom. It could be someone they actually know in their community. If you’re doing localized stuff, that’d be really important. Because people have so much distrust that finding people who they have reason to believe more than most people they hear from—media and politicians in particular—that will work. And so those are all the sort of things that I expect to see in the ad campaign this fall. The traditional political ads are just simply not going to work, in my view.

Seeberger: Dan Pfeiffer, appreciate you so much for sharing your thoughts with us on “The Tent.” It was great to talk with you.

Pfeiffer: Awesome. Thank you, guys.

Seeberger: Thanks so much.

Thanks so much for listening to “The Tent.” Please go back and check out previous episodes. Erin, we have got to talk about this week’s big event. Of course, I’m mentioning—

Phillips: The Oscars.

Seeberger: The Oscars.

Phillips: They were fantastic.

Seeberger: Something else. Between, of course, the best performance of the evening brought to us by Ryan Gosling.

Phillips: It was beautiful.

Seeberger: “I’m Just Ken.” It was epic.

Phillips: Especially because he’s not a musician.

Seeberger: No.

Phillips: He’s an actor, but he’s not used to doing musical numbers. It was so well produced.

Seeberger: You’d never know.

Phillips: The outfit was on point.

Seeberger: Totally, totally. I mean, he had, I feel like, not just everybody in the room, but everybody watching at home jamming out themselves throughout it.

Phillips: Absolutely.

Seeberger: It was so much fun. And yeah, I’ve got to find myself one of those pink jackets. They were pretty fly.

Phillips: You should wear it on “The Tent.”

Seeberger: I really should. I really should. But I also was just gripped by the winner of best documentary—the director of “20 Days in Mariupol”—his speech talking about his film, which basically recounts the early days of Russia’s invasion into Ukraine. And it captures these incredibly tragic events—things like Russia bombed a maternity hospital—and talks about the carnage that they have wrought across the community. It was just incredible. He said this quote that just really stuck with me. And it was like, “Cinema forms memories, and memories form history.”

Phillips: Beautiful, yeah.

Seeberger: And I think it just really captured exactly what the power of movies and the power of storytelling really is able to change the course of history.

Phillips: Yeah, I thought it was so powerful when he said that he would trade all of the accolades, all of the recognition that they had received, for the lives of the folks in Ukraine. I thought that was really powerful. And you could tell their hearts were in it. And I didn’t realize it was the first Oscar to go to Ukraine.

Seeberger: To Ukraine, that’s right. I also thought his words were an incredible call to action to not just everybody who was in that room about using their platforms to stand up for justice, stand up for the people of Ukraine—but it also should serve as a call to action for our lawmakers here in Washington, who should have to sit there and watch that history play out in his film. And to really go out there and say they’re going to turn their backs on the people of Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression? For me, it was the standout moment of the night.

However, I have to say, I just absolutely loved this year. They reprised a previous presenting approach where they had former winners for some of the best Oscar categories—like best actress, best actor, best director, best picture—where they had previous winners come on and actually talk about the folks who were nominated, why they were nominated, what they’ve accomplished in their careers. And for me, especially among the best actress category, I love every single one of those actresses, from Sally Field to Michelle Yeoh to Jennifer Lawrence. It was so fun seeing all of them up there talking about the really incredible performances that we saw from the actresses this year. And I thought it was a really special way to do the presentation.

Phillips: Yeah, I always love at award shows when you get to see sort of like the Hollywood community. Or like at the Tonys, you get to see the Broadway community—rather than just the industry or the celebrities that we know and love. It’s cool to get to see people passing on the torch, complimenting each other’s work, to see those relationships. So I just think it makes it more cozy and personable.

Seeberger: They’re more human to us that way.

Phillips: Yeah, exactly.

Seeberger: I couldn’t agree more. Well, that’s about it for Oscars highlights this year—we will be back next year. But until then, please go back and check out previous episodes. Take care of yourselves. Spring is here. The allergies are flying. It seems like we are still, though, getting the last remnants of winter cold season. So take care of yourselves, and we’ll talk to you next week.

Seeberger: “The Tent” is a podcast from the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It’s hosted by Daniella Gibson Legér, and co-hosted by me, Colin Seeberger. Erin Phillips is our lead producer and guest host for this episode. Kelly McCoy is our supervising producer, Mishka Espey is our booking producer, and Muggs Leone is our digital producer. You can find us on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Daniella Gibbs Léger

Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategy


Colin Seeberger

Senior Adviser, Communications

Erin Phillips

Broadcast Media Manager

Kelly McCoy

Senior Director of Broadcast Communications

Mishka Espey

Senior Manager, Media Relations

Muggs Leone

Executive Assistant



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Politics. Policy. Progress. All under one big tent. Produced by CAP Action, “The Tent” is a news and politics podcast hosted by Daniella Gibbs Léger and co-hosted by Colin Seeberger. Listen each Thursday for episodes exploring topics that progressives are focused on.


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