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Rep. Maxwell Frost on Progressive Leadership and Energizing Young Voters

Rep. Maxwell Frost on Progressive Leadership and Energizing Young Voters

Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL) joins the show to discuss MAGA extremism, progressive policymaking, and energizing young voters heading into 2024.

Part of a Series

Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL) joins the show to discuss MAGA extremism, progressive policymaking, and energizing young voters heading into 2024. Daniella and Colin also talk about the state of the economy and the need for Congress to pass the Biden administration’s supplemental aid request.


Daniella Gibbs Léger: Hey everyone, welcome back to “The Tent,” your place for politics, policy, and progress. I’m Daniella Gibbs Léger.

Colin Seeberger: And I’m Colin Seeberger. Daniella, did you have a nice Thanksgiving?

Gibbs Léger: I did have a very nice Thanksgiving. I ate all of the things. I let other people watch my child. It was fantastic.

Seeberger: That sounds lovely. I actually had a stomach flu [at] the beginning of last week. And I’ve got to say, I think it’s kind of strategic to see if you can time this for early that week because I for once did not overeat, and I just got to enjoy my food and not feel so sluggish all day on Thursday and all day on Friday after finishing eating.

Gibbs Léger: There’s, like, a “[The] Devil Wears Prada” joke in there about a block of cheese and a stomach virus.

Seeberger: Correct. It may have been used in my house last week. Yes. Speaking of “[The] Devil Wears Prada,” New York, I went to New York last weekend. It was absolutely frigid—winter decided to rear its head end of last week. And I always forget, you go to New York and you never see the sun because the buildings are so tall, you’re in a wind tunnel, what have you. And it always feels 10 degrees cooler than it does in [Washington,] D.C. And, oh my gosh, it was frigid. But, had a great time. It was good to have a little time away, see some friends. But what did you think about the cold showing up?

Gibbs Léger: I don’t like it.

Seeberger: No.

Gibbs Léger: I am a warm-bodied person. I like warm weather. Not like my husband, who prefers to have 100 degrees and 100 percent humidity. I’m like, that’s gross. But I don’t like cold weather, and when I got in the car this morning and a little snowflake was on my car because …

Seeberger: Lies.

Gibbs Léger: Yes. No, that just means it’s cold. And it’s really, really cold. And I don’t like it, and I don’t know where my gloves are, and I don’t [know] where my kid’s gloves are because I am mother of the year. So, that’s how I feel about the weather.

Seeberger: Well, I heard you kicked off this new winter season also with a great interview this week.

Gibbs Léger: I did. I talked to U.S. Congressman Maxwell Frost (D-FL). We discussed MAGA extremism in his home state and in the halls of Congress, progressive foreign policy, and energizing young voters as we head into 2024.

Seeberger: Can’t wait to hear it. Congressman Frost is the first Gen Z member of Congress, which makes him obviously a really exciting voice for young people to see that their interests are being reflected in the halls of Congress. So, I’m sure he had a lot of great things to say, and look forward to tuning in. But before we hear from him, we’ve got to also touch on some news.

Gibbs Léger: That’s right, Colin. And I want to get to something that should be an easy bipartisan point of agreement, but one that for some reason is becoming a huge issue in the MAGA-controlled House.

Seeberger: Oh dear.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, I know, shocking. I’m talking about a supplemental aid package for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan. The Biden administration has requested a $106 billion national security package that includes aid for these key allies, among other provisions. And this really should be a no-brainer, but MAGA Republicans have proven they’re not above playing politics with critical national security issues and using international crises to gain more power.

Seeberger: What could go wrong?

Gibbs Léger: Oh, I have no idea. Back in September, they insisted on stripping aid to Ukraine from the government funding bill that Congress passed. Basically, they weaponized a bipartisan issue—i.e., combating Russian aggression to serve their extremist agenda. But that wasn’t radical enough. In response to the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack, House Republicans put forth a plan that would withhold aid to Israel unless they could secure huge cuts to IRS enforcement of wealthy tax cheats. And now, MAGA Republicans in Congress are once again holding critical national security funding hostage in order to enact a radical political agenda. This is not what the American people want. This kind of policymaking puts us and our allies in danger.

Seeberger: It really does, Daniella, and you can bet our adversaries in Russia, in China, they’re watching closely. The Defense Department has confirmed that the funding in the president’s request is critically needed. Not only does it include supplemental aid for various countries, it also contains roughly $14 billion for border security. That’s funding that would provide additional hiring and processing capacity for the Department of Homeland Security and the immigration courts, as well as enhanced technology to stop the flow of deadly fentanyl. It even includes provisions that would enhance enforcement and detention capacities at the border.

Yet somehow, all of this is not enough for MAGA Republicans. The far-right MAGA caucus claim they support sending assistance to countries like Israel, and they’ve been consistently calling for enhanced border security. But now, when all of that is easily within reach, they’re once again moving the goal posts so that they can enact a far-right wish list of extreme policies, like turning a blind eye to wealthy tax cheats; upending U.S. asylum law; and even curtailing the ability of presidents to offer temporary protected legal status in the United States to migrants from countries and during extreme humanitarian, political, or environmental conditions—like Venezuela, Haiti, or Cuba. The list goes on. It’s just ridiculous and yet another reason why MAGA Republicans are proving that they’re just unfit to lead.

Gibbs Léger: I could not agree more, Colin—it makes me so mad. Which is why I want to turn to something a bit happier, if I may.

Seeberger: Please do.

Gibbs Léger: Well, we are entering the holiday season at full speed. And this is a season when broader economic trends really become apparent for many Americans, which is why I am happy to be delivering some good news about our economy.

Seeberger: We like good news.

Gibbs Léger: We do, we love to hear it. And you might have noticed that Thanksgiving dinner was a little easier on your wallet this year. That’s because the cost of a classic Thanksgiving dinner as a share of workers’ weekly earnings was down to 6.2 percent, lower than the pre-pandemic average. Not only that, but Black Friday sales this year were up 7.5 percent from last year. And from Black Friday through Cyber Monday, consumers spent a record-breaking amount, and Colin, would you like to guess how much?

Seeberger: $10 billion?

Gibbs Léger: Close, but not quite: $38 billion.

Seeberger: Wowza.

Gibbs Léger: Exactly. These are not just one-off holiday miracles, though. This holiday season, families are seeing lower costs on everyday items, from gas and groceries to insulin. And it’s thanks to President [Joe] Biden’s economic policies, which are delivering results and lowering costs for the American people. Since he took office, the president has passed landmark legislation to grow the economy, create new good-paying jobs Americans can raise a family on, and strengthen the middle class. Under this administration, jobs are coming back to America, our infrastructure is being rebuilt, and manufacturing as a share of private sector construction is at its highest level ever. And in the process, let’s not forget that he’s taken on the gun lobby, Big Pharma, and Big Oil to make progress on our nation’s most pressing challenges. As he and I both like to say, that’s a BFD.

Seeberger: A big freaking deal indeed. And we’ll continue to shout out about this economic progress from the rooftops because it’s translating into real results for American consumers and businesses, as we saw this holiday weekend. We also got, this week, updated GDP [gross domestic product] data that showed that the [United States’] strong economic growth in the third quarter actually came in even higher than initial expectations, rising 5.2 percent for the third quarter. You’ve probably heard MAGA Republicans talk about how strong the economy was under Donald Trump before the pandemic, but GDP in the years before the pandemic never reached 5.2 percent, and the economy today is actually adding an average of 80,000 more jobs every month than it was in 2019. This strength in the labor market is happening at the same time we’ve seen annual inflation in October drop to its lowest levels in two years. This is, of course, part of a downward trend we’ve been seeing for months when it comes to inflation. And that’s why top economists at Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and others are predicting a Goldilocks scenario for the economy, where we continue to have a strong labor market, inflation continues to fall, and economic growth persists. So, sorry to burst the bubble of all of those who forecasted a recession over the course of the past year, year and a half.

Gibbs Léger: And you know who you are.

Seeberger: We may have a list. We may be checking it twice. We will see if you get presents for Christmas this year. Yes. That said, in all seriousness, we know that the cost of living remains a burden for many families in this country despite the overall relief that we’re seeing. It’s why President Biden continues to make lowering costs his top domestic priority. The White House has been doing a major push around trying to pump the brakes on junk fees, whether you’re going to be taking a flight this winter, heading home to visit family, whether you are going to see your favorite artists at a concert next year and sick of paying those ridiculous Ticketmaster fees. All of that is part of President Biden’s core focus, which is lowering costs to the American people. And the good news is, new provisions of President Biden’s laws like the Inflation Reduction Act are actually going into effect next year, which will further help Americans save even more money. For instance, Medicare beneficiaries with expensive prescription drug bills will see those costs cap next year, with a cap falling even further in 2025. Provisions like these are why his economic policies could save a middle-income family of four about $23,000 when his legislation is fully implemented. So, as we head into 2024, we should be encouraged about the progress that we’ve made in the economy and hopefully we’ll build on in the months ahead.

Gibbs Léger: Hear, hear. Well, that is 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 Rep. Maxwell Frost in just a beat.

[Musical transition]

Gibbs Léger: Maxwell Frost represents Florida’s 10th district in the U.S. House of Representatives and was the first member of Generation Z elected to Congress. He’s been a gun violence prevention advocate since the age of 15, serving in leadership roles at ACLU [American Civil Liberties Union] and at March for Our Lives, where he was national organizing director. He currently serves on the Committee on Oversight and Accountability and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Congressman Frost, thanks so much for joining us on “The Tent.”

Rep. Maxwell Frost: Of course, thank you for having me on.

Gibbs Léger: So, to start off, we’ve just had a slate of elections this month, and we’re gearing up for a big year in 2024. What are the issues you’re seeing young voters fired up about? Are they the same ones we’ve seen in recent past elections? Or are there new issues that are becoming more important to young Americans?

Rep. Frost: I think, generally, it’s really the same issues, and what I tell folks is young people don’t care about different things than older folks, other generations. I think we generally all care about the same basic principles; it’s just, we might see it through a different lens because of how we’ve grown up, the fact that we’ve been immersed in the internet, Wi-Fi, social media our entire life. And we’re a generation that has been exposed to both the amazing and beautiful things in the world but also the trauma, misgivings, and failings of the world since a young age. And when you grow up seeing George Floyd get lynched in broad daylight on Twitter; when you grow up and you see videos from around the world of oppression and hurt and trauma, it creates someone who’s very aware. And I think it’s created a very intolerant generation that maybe previous generations have tolerated a lot of the things that we don’t tolerate, whether it’s gun violence, the climate crisis, etc.

So, I mean, yeah. And I think those are some of the issues. We see it time and time again in polling of young people—it’s gun violence, the climate crisis. But the interesting thing is, I like to say that the age of the single-issue voter is dying—kind of quite literally, but either way, sorry. And so, the reason I say that is because young voters don’t care about one issue. They care about 10. And they care about 10 because they see how all these issues are interconnected. And that gives me a lot of hope for the future of this country. Because if the oppression and challenges that we face are connected in the way that they impact our daily lives, then the organizing and the legislation we create to fix those problems has to also be connected.

Gibbs Léger: That’s a hundred percent: People don’t live their lives in silos, and so, our policy shouldn’t be created in silos either. One of the Republican presidential candidates we’ll see a lot of in 2024 is, of course, [Gov.] Ron DeSantis (R), who hails from your home state of Florida and represents a particular brand of MAGA extremism that’s becoming increasingly popular there and across our country. In the House, you’re facing a lot of the same MAGA extremism from your fellow members of Congress. So, tell our listeners, what does it mean to be a progressive leader in these environments? And how is it impacting the day-to-day work in Congress for you? How are you working through all that chaos to try and achieve results?

Rep. Frost: I’ll say, on the ground in Florida, this is something that I’ve given a lot of thought to, especially when I announced my campaign. Obviously, I knew what I believed in as a progressive, but I also realized that—I kept asking myself this question: What does it mean to be a progressive in the South and in Florida? What does that movement look like? What does it feel like? Because it might be different than California or New York or something else. And this is the state that I was born and raised in, and we are on the defense. We are, I would say, the epicenter, if not one of the epicenters in this country, of the rise of fascism and the rise of authoritarian, right-wing government really holding actual political power and using it to scapegoat vulnerable communities and not deal with the actual issues people are worried about and dealing with on a daily basis. And that movement, I believe, is one of grace and one of love and one that really focuses on educating people, calling people in rather than calling people out, being aggressive when we need to be aggressive, but also really loving people.

What I always tell, especially my Republican constituents that I’ll meet up with sometimes is, look, I’m going to be very hard and ruthless [not only] on power-hungry leaders but on our people, even if we disagree on something, that grace is something that I want to extend to you so we can talk to each other and have good discussions on how we move forward. And I think that’s how we really build this multiracial, multigenerational movement and coalition in the South and specifically in Florida. Florida is one of the most diverse states in the entire country. And it is a beautiful state with beautiful people, working-class people, who actually hold progressive values. Just look at every ballot initiative we’ve passed in the last few years. I don’t have to dig, I’m not saying, “30 years ago.” This is in the past several cycles. We’ve passed a $15 minimum wage, voting rights to people with previous felonies, medical marijuana. We’re going to codify abortion rights next year. And so, in terms of policy, our state is a progressive state, but in terms of politics, not so much. And Republicans like Ron DeSantis really thrive in the ambiguity they create themselves in this political world. And that’s why they talk about “woke” and “culture wars.” It’s stuff that doesn’t mean anything because that’s how they win, when they’re not specific. And so, I think our job in the South has to be to connect the policy to everyday people, because we win on the policy every damn time. And so, I think that’s what we need to focus on as progressives.

As far as Congress is concerned, we’ve been playing defense, making sure that we’re really standing up for working families and vulnerable communities that oftentimes are scapegoated. And that’s really what I’ve seen as our role up here. And also getting things done and taking the steps forward, so that way, when we’re in the majority, we have things to work off of. I have six pieces of legislation. Three of them are more partisan pieces of legislation that probably won’t pass this Congress because of the Republican majority. But half of my pieces of legislation, three of them, are actually bipartisan, and two of them are already moving forward as a part of bigger packages. So, when I got here, the thing people would say is, “Are you going to make noise or are you going to get things done?” And I’d always be like, “Why not both?” I think we do need to make noise. I think there’s a lot to make noise about. I think we do need to fight. But politics is full of these false binary choices. And we are seeing it more now today than ever, I feel like. Or, let me not say “ever,” but in a while. And I think we have to do everything we can to reject these binary choices and understand that we live in a world where there’s multiple things that can be true at the same time. And I think it’s up to progressives, too, to call that out and stand alongside all those truths, even though sometimes it might be uncomfortable.

Gibbs Léger: Well, speaking of things that should be bipartisan, I want to ask you about MAGA Republicans continuing to punt on funding the government. Can you talk about why they’re doing this and what’s at stake?

Rep. Frost: Well, they don’t want to fund the government. I mean, the right wing and the House GOP is completely run by the far-right MAGA extremists in their party. And the interesting thing here is they’re really calling the shots but they’re not getting anything done. And part of that is because their goal is, I believe, not to get anything done. I want to say maybe like 25 percent of the amendments I’ve voted on being here are amendments that are, like, make the Secretary of Education’s salary $1 a year, defund the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, defund Amtrak, defund the Office of the Vice President. This is the type of things that they want to do. So for me, I’m not scratching my head as to why they’re slow-rolling funding the government—it’s because they don’t believe that government can be a vessel for good and they don’t want to fund the government. They want to get rid of these essential programs. They want to get rid of Meals on Wheels, SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program]; they want to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.

And so, this all seems like part of the plan to me. And so, my hope is that we’ll continue to stay strong as Democrats. There was a deal cut during the whole debt ceiling fiasco, a deal that wasn’t the best. We took hits as Democrats in it. And some of us voted for it. Some of us didn’t. I voted for it. Just that threat of default, especially with so many seniors in my district, is something that I took really, really seriously. Not that other people didn’t, but that was just my analysis. But it wasn’t a bill I was super excited to vote yes on, but that was the compromise. And so, we had a compromise, and now they want to renege on it. And the answer has to be no. I mean, not even a penny is where I’m at.

Gibbs Léger: So, as part of this discussion, the president has requested $106 billion in supplemental funding for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan. It also includes border security funding here at home as well. Why are MAGA Republicans turning against this proposal? And is there a path forward on the supplemental national security funding?

Rep. Frost: We’ll see. It’s in the Senate right now. And I mean, there’s a few different reasons: There’s a big group of Republicans who don’t believe we should send any money to Ukraine. So, that’s a big part of it. Another part of it is they feel like on the border security, there needs to be more done in terms of that. In the president’s request, there’s a good chunk of money in that border package that I agree with, that I think is really good—helping to ensure we have more resources to process asylum quicker and have more resources for capacity out there, which is something we should all agree on. There’s some of the president’s border package that I disagree with in terms of expanding detention facilities and beds and things like that. So, I have my own concerns on the package, but I think for Republicans, it comes down to not wanting to send anything to Ukraine as they’re defending their land and territory and also feeling like we need to take it multiple steps further in terms of the border. And what does that mean? It means restricting asylum, which is a right that our country passed into federal law way back when, and that all countries came together after World War II and said, “You know what? We’re not going to close our doors on refugees and people who need help.” My mom came here from Cuba as a refugee. So it’s something that’s really personal to me. So we’ll see what happens. I mean, it’s hard to tell. We’ll know in the next few days because we’re running out of time. It looks like the general consensus is that if we can’t get something passed in the next couple of weeks, it might be very difficult to do it in the new year.

Gibbs Léger: Aid to Israel would obviously be part of that package. But it’s critical that aid doesn’t come at the expense of human rights. You are one of the early progressive leaders in Congress to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. Can you talk about what this means to you and why we need a progressive foreign policy vision right now?

Rep. Frost: Yeah, part of the reason I brought up these false binary choices that we’re given is because I think we’re seeing it in terms of the discussion on what’s going on in Gaza and in Israel. I mean, it seems like for many of the loud voices we hear from, you have to kind of pick a side here and throw the jersey on or whatever, and that’s it. And for me, I’m on the side of humanity, human rights, progressive values, and that means accepting multiple truths. And as far as the aid is concerned, it is incumbent upon us, like we do with every other country, to ensure that our money is not being used for human rights abuses or violation of international law or anything like that. I do have concerns on the way that Israel is conducting their military operation. I mean, the civilian casualty rate, the civilians being killed, is just far too high. And Israel is a special ally to us, and sometimes you’ve got to call in your friends.

And I think the president has been doing a good job of that and making sure that Israel and the prime minister understand our concerns. I think more needs to be done here. I don’t trust [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu at all, the Trump of Israel as some people would say. I don’t trust that man. I don’t trust this right-wing leader. And so, it’s a lot to juggle. I don’t envy the president’s job at all. But it’s incumbent upon Congress to ensure that our money isn’t used for anything like that. And this is all a part of this greater role of ensuring there’s peace, that we ensure that hostages are released, that we ensure that Hamas is taken care of, because that’s an actor that obviously doesn’t care about international law either. And so, all these things are true at the same time. I’m not holding water for any leaders that want to take civilians hostage or anything like that. Hamas is a religious extremist organization. I don’t rock with that. And I also don’t rock with kids being bombed. Both things are true for me, and I think it’s important that we do our work as a Congress to ensure our money’s being used in the right way. But I think defense money is important in general.

Gibbs Léger: Agree with that, 100 percent. So, it is a challenging moment that we are in, to be sure. But as we approach 2024, Democrats do have a lot of wins to communicate to the American people, their potential voters, including the success of Bidenomics policies. So, let’s end our conversation on a note of hope and action. How do you think your Democratic colleagues can communicate on things like the economy, and how do we show young people that the government can and should deliver for them?

Rep. Frost: Yeah, I mean the numbers are showing that the president’s agenda and the work that was done last Congress and these big pieces of legislation to help us recover are working. Is it working super quickly? No, but it takes time for things to hit. We always talk about [how] the tail of a legislation can be years, but we’re seeing it now. Prices are coming down, gas prices are coming down, and people are seeing that relief. But it is true that a lot of times when things happen in a more marginal way, it’s difficult for people to really feel it at home. And what the polls show us is that our message isn’t sticking right now, in terms of the economy. So, it’s something we really have to figure out.

I believe, especially coming from Florida, that our greatest economic message is one of bigger transformation. We talk about what’s been done, and we also talk about where we want to go. And I think the where we want to go piece is important. And I think it’s been missing a bit, to be honest. Congress did a lot of good stuff last Congress, but the fact of the matter is voters have a short attention span, and if you’re unable to pass legislation at that higher bar right now, we have to be talking about a broader economic vision that encompasses all working families. [It] feels like it’s not there, like it’s not where it needs to be, but I think we’re getting there. And I think the president has done some amazing work on the executive side without Congress because Congress refuses to act, things like whether it’s this American Climate Corps, the good work that the FTC [Federal Trade Commission] has been doing, the great work that the National Labor Relations Board has been doing that’s really good for working-class people. These are the things we need to talk about, and that’s where I want to see the conversation kind of hone in on.

Gibbs Léger: Well, Congressman Frost, I want to thank you so much for joining us on “The Tent.” Thank you for all of the great work that you’re doing on behalf of your constituents in Florida.

Rep. Frost: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me on.

[Musical transition]

Gibbs Léger: As always, thanks for listening and be sure to go back and check out previous episodes. So, Colin, this week, we have “Golden Bachelor” finale. I’m really excited.

Seeberger: I am excited, too. I do have to quibble and say that I feel like it’s been forever since the last episode.

Gibbs Léger: It’s been two weeks.

Seeberger: Two weeks? You know what, when you have a 2-year-old child with no day care for five days in a row, those five days can feel very, very long.

Gibbs Léger: That is true.

Seeberger: And so, forgive me for confusing that it was just two weeks ago. It feels like it has been a few years, if I’m not going to lie. But yes, I’m excited. I think I am team Leslie, but I think he might choose Theresa.

Gibbs Léger: I don’t know. I mean, I think I’m team Leslie because I feel like that’s where he’s leaning.

Seeberger: OK.

Gibbs Léger: And I just feel like he has a stronger connection with her.

Seeberger: Yeah.

Gibbs Léger: And also I feel like she would be more willing to possibly uproot her life to go either be closer to him. They don’t live in the same place. It’s not like it’s two 25-year-olds, who are like, “I’m going move to Austin.” Like, their whole families and grandkids are rooted someplace.

Seeberger: Totally, totally. And also, they have been independent for so long, particularly in Leslie’s case. I think it was over two decades, right? And that’s a big adjustment, but also think that they have both been clear that, look, if they’re each other’s person, they’re willing to make it work, so I’m rooting for them and hope they’re happy and look forward to seeing how it ends up.

Gibbs Léger: Same. And then we can also talk about “Bachelor in Paradise,” but I have a lot of thoughts that can wait until next week.

Seeberger: Oh dear.

Gibbs Léger: That’s OK. I want to talk about football.

Seeberger: Football?

Gibbs Léger: Because for once we both have happy things to report.

Seeberger: Daniella, somebody’s going to need to make me sit down because I’m about to jump out of this chair. And I am so fed up with the college football playoff system.

Gibbs Léger: They tried to make it better. What’s your problem?

Seeberger: It doesn’t start until next year, and yet of course, my UT Texas [University of Texas] Longhorns are killing it this year and yet may not make it to the college football playoff even though they’ve only lost one game and barely lost that one at that.

Gibbs Léger: It’s hard.

Seeberger: It’s ridiculous. We beat Alabama.

Gibbs Léger: I know. I know. Look, it’s all—I’m not going to say corrupt—but it’s all a thing. But it’s really hard when you have all of these schools. It’s not like you have, like, a small league. And they’re really, really good, but how do you make a cohesive system that makes sense? And you’re taking strength of schedule and all this other stuff into consideration.

Seeberger: Totally.

Gibbs Léger: It’s not an easy job, but I feel your pain. Also, UVA [University of Virginia] is nowhere near the conversation. So, I was like, whatever. I’m like, “Go Michigan” because that’s what my husband roots for.

Seeberger: Well, you’re welcome to join us.

Gibbs Léger: No, never.

Seeberger: I did catch the Michigan game.

Gibbs Léger: That was a good game.

Seeberger: And that was wild. Also wild, I’m not sure whether you saw the Philadelphia Eagles, who rallied and came back and won at the very end, and I was very not happy about. I’m, of course, a Dallas Cowboys fan. We look like we’re in pretty solid position for the number five wildcard slot.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, you’re fine.

Seeberger: But the Eagles have got to lose. And they’re two games ahead of us. And I thought that we were going to get that one on Sunday. It did not happen even though it was pouring rain.

Gibbs Léger: I mean, it was incredible. I didn’t think he was going to make that.

Seeberger: I did not think so either. It was like a 60-yard field goal. Daniella, I am encouraged, though, that the only team that the Eagles have lost to were the New York Jets, and they almost lost to the Buffalo Bills this past Sunday. And so, Daniella.

Gibbs Léger: Yes?

Seeberger: New York teams need to show up against the Philadelphia Eagles. It is all on you. It’s all on your shoulders.

Gibbs Léger: Oh, now you’re a Giants fan. Get out of here.

Seeberger: I’m such a Giants fan. I believe in—not Danny—Tommy DeVito, and I think they can do it.

Gibbs Léger: Listen, listen, listen. First of all, we won a game. And yes, on Twitter, I did call him Danny DeVito. And that was not on purpose; it was an accident.

Seeberger: Autocorrect, autocorrect.

Gibbs Léger: Tommy DeVito being from literally the town next to me that I grew up in. And if you know northern [New] Jersey, if you know Cedar Grove or Verona, these towns are very small. And it tracks so much, his family, his trademark—you can’t see what I’m doing, but go watch video of him after he scores a touchdown. It’s so perfectly Cedar Grove, I just can’t. I cannot. But you know what, I love it. I think it’s a great story, and I don’t think that his mother should be doing his laundry. I’m hoping that he’s paying a little bit of money in rent. I don’t have a problem with him living at home. That’s OK with me. But we won. I won both of my fantasy games this weekend. It was a good football weekend.

Seeberger: I think that “The Tent” needs to go on the road and tailgate, OK? I think it would be a good time.

Gibbs Léger: OK, I think that works. So last thing is, we should talk about Spotify Wrapped. That’s all everybody is talking about. Spotify is letting users post their most-listened-to songs and artists. However …

Seeberger: Daniella?

Gibbs Léger: Yes. Look, I have a Spotify account, but I don’t use it. I use Tidal. Yes, I signed up. Beyoncé got me. They were like, “If you support us, you’ll get special ins when we do things.” And so to me, I’m like, “I’m supporting Beyoncé and Jay-Z, and maybe I’ll get some inside access.” There’s no inside access. I think maybe I get the mastered version of whatever album before it’s released elsewhere. Is it worth the money? I don’t know. But I like to say that I’m helping support Jay-Z and Beyoncé, so I’m on Tidal. What about you, Colin?

Seeberger: So, I have to come out. I’m an Apple Music listener and not a Spotify person. I know, I know.

Gibbs Léger: I’ve never met one in the wild. This is crazy.

Seeberger: It is crazy. But I just got too many memberships and things. I know, I feel like such a cranky old person who can’t keep track of all their subscriptions and whatnot, and it’s just easy to streamline it. So, I’ve got Apple Music, and I don’t have Spotify Wrapped, but I do have many well-played songs for this year.

Gibbs Léger: OK, what are they?

Seeberger: Well, I mean most of them, like all top 50, are Taylor Swift, of course, but some surprise ones, too, like Nicholas Britell, the “Succession” composer—

Gibbs Léger: I love it, yes.

Seeberger: —really stuck with me for a good four to six weeks after the finale for sure, for sure. Also, many tracks on the “Barbie” movie playlist this year actually made it into my top list as well.

Gibbs Léger: It’s a good soundtrack.

Seeberger: It is. It is. Troye Sivan.

Gibbs Léger: OK, OK.

Seeberger: And do you know Rüfüs du Sol?

Gibbs Léger: No.

Seeberger: Ben Alldis is a big Rüfüs du Sol guy.

Gibbs Léger: Oh, OK.

Seeberger: Yeah, if you are a Peloton person like the two of us, if you ever take a Ben Alldis ride, I’m sure he’s playing some sort of Rüfüs du Sol.

Gibbs Léger: OK. Is that like house, like club, music?

Seeberger: Pretty much.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, no, I know that’s Ben’s kind of music.

Seeberger: It is. What about you, D?

Gibbs Léger: It’s Beyoncé. Yes, I know that album came out last year. I don’t know. But in preparation for the concert, I just did not stop listening to that album. And then I just kept listening to it over and over again. And honestly, I just, it’s all different, various Beyoncé tracks. One that also snuck in there is “Joy” by Pharrell Williams and a gospel group. I don’t usually go out of my way to listen to gospel music, but it was hip-hop gospel. I heard it on a commercial, and I was like, “Ooh, what’s this?” And so, I listened a lot to that. And unfortunately, one Jack Harlow.

Seeberger: Oh, dear.

Gibbs Léger: Listen, OK? Come at me, but his latest song is a bop. I don’t care if you like him or not. It is a certified bop. It’s an ear worm. I’m singing it right now in my head all the time. And so, I literally have been listening to that nonstop for the past—when did it come out?—two weeks ago. Yeah.

Seeberger: Well, speaking of bops, we also got to talk—and I’m bringing us home here. We talked football. We talked music. Can we talk about Dolly Parton in the halftime show?

Gibbs Léger: Oh my gosh.

Seeberger: I mean, girl, you go.

Gibbs Léger: National treasure.

Seeberger: Totally. I cannot.

Gibbs Léger: I love her. And all the haters who were like, why is she dressed like that? I was like, a) because she can.

Seeberger: Because she’s beautiful.

Gibbs Léger: And b) because she’s Dolly Parton.

Seeberger: Correct.

Gibbs Léger: And even if she wasn’t the amazing humanitarian and the giver of free books to children under 5, and all the great things that she does outside of music, she’s a grown-[censored] woman. She can do whatever she wants. Sorry, you might have to bleep that out.

Seeberger: Beep.

Gibbs Léger: But yeah, she can do whatever she wants. And she looked amazing. But it was so … her performance, I was smiling the whole time because she is truly a national treasure.

Seeberger: She is living her best life.

Gibbs Léger: She is. Well speaking of living best lives, y’all continue to do that out there as well. As we mentioned, it’s winter. It may not be so on the calendar, but it’s pretty, pretty cold. So go and get your flu shots, COVID shots, if you haven’t yet and take care of yourselves. And we’ll talk to you next week.

[Musical transition]

Gibbs Léger: “The Tent,” is a podcast from the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It’s hosted by me, Daniella Gibbs Léger, and co-hosted by Colin Seeberger. Erin Phillips is our lead producer, Kelly McCoy is our supervising producer, Em Espey is our booking producer, and Sam Signorelli 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

Sam Signorelli

Policy and Outreach Associate, Government Affairs

Mishka Espey

Senior Manager, Media Relations



Explore The Series

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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