“The Issue Is”: Midterm madness and beyond

This week, an all-star episode of "The Issue Is."

First, Congresswoman, and now Los Angeles Mayor-Elect, Karen Bass sits down with Elex Michaelson for their first discussion since Rick Caruso conceded the race.

In a lengthy discussion, the two revisit Bass’s inspiration for running for Mayor, her feelings now that the campaign is over, and she has proven victorious, her 100-day plan for the city of Los Angeles, and whether her former opponent may have a place in her administration.

Next, Michaelson heads to USC for the "Warschaw Conference on Practical Politics." While there, he speaks exclusively with a bevy of political heavyweights, including Democratic strategists James Carville and Bob Shrum, Republican strategist Mike Murphy, former Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), former RNC Chair and Trump Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, and "Pod Save America" co-host and former Obama Speechwriter Jon Favreau.

The group offers their insights on the recent midterm elections, Trump’s newly-launched 2024 campaign, the legacy of outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, political civility in these times of hyper-partisanship, and more.



BASS’ CENTRAL TAKE: "On day one, a message is what people will hear, but I will lay out a 100 day plan, and that 100 day plan will involve identifying some of the most challenging encampments around the city and getting those people housed. I think it's critically important that people visibly see a difference, it's not just enough to tell them that something happened, that something has changed, they need to be able to see it, feel it and touch it... the first priority will be identifying some of the most challenging encampments, I'm not saying they're going to go away in 100 days, but I am saying that we are going to target, throughout the city, a number of the most challenging ones and get people housed, not just move them away…"



BASS’ CENTRAL TAKE: "I look forward, down the line, to working with Rick, absolutely. As you well know, we had a fine relationship before, and I view a political race like an athletic competition, both teams fight against each other as hard as they can, but when the race is over, it's over. And so down the line, I absolutely would look forward to working with him, but what I have to focus on right now is pulling an administration together because we have a very short time frame, it's not like you could do interviews and begin to hire people or make job offers before you even know whether you got the job, so I literally have three weeks and I want to pull my administration together. I want a launch 100 day plan, and I absolutely will look to see if he is open. I am certainly open…"



FAVREAU’S CENTRAL TAKE: "The big takeaway from the midterms is there's a price to pay for running extreme candidates that are far out of step with most of the electorate. And I think that's the price that a lot of the Republican candidates paid in the midterms…"

BOXER’S CENTRAL TAKE: "To me, the biggest takeaway is the young people made the difference in these key races... It turns out they don't like insurrections, they like democracy, they like control over their own bodies, and they want hope, and they want people to be treated with dignity…"

CARVILLE’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Return to the swing voter? Yeah, independents really kind of broke for incumbent party, which rarely happens... it was about 7% more Republicans voted Democratic, then 2% Democrats voted Republican. The actual turnout was pretty favorable to the Republicans, and so we had forgotten about the swing voter, but they asserted themselves…"

PRIEBUS' CENTRAL TAKE: "Certainly they made the difference. We live in a hyper-polarized country right now where people are in their corners more than ever before. You have states like Wisconsin where you've got polling at 48-48 with just 4% in the middle, and the parties are spending almost $300 million fighting over 80,000 people, so when you have that little slice in the middle, I think the Democrats just throttled us in university towns and did a good job on wedge issues. It only takes a little bit to win. And I think they did a good job of it…"



BOXER'S CENTRAL TAKE: "Nancy Pelosi is extraordinary. I don't think there's ever been a speaker in history, because I've done some reading and I was in the House for ten years, never really a speaker who could get so much done with such a small majority. You know, just sometimes a few people. That meant she had to persuade everybody. So she had to get people who were very diverse in their thinking, you know, from pretty far-left to center to a little right of center to agree on legislation…"

FAVREAU’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I think she's the most effective speaker of the House in American history. I think the sheer amount of legislation she has been able to shepherd through Congress, it's just unbelievable being able to keep a caucus together like that. She is a master tactician. She's a master legislator. And I think generations will look back at her, not just as like the first woman speaker in the history that that's made, but just the greatest speaker of all time…"

CARVILLE’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Maybe the greatest congressional leader of all time? I'm serious. Certainly of my lifetime. I mean, the idea that she ran that House for a four-vote majority... you're gonna start seeing a hundred pieces saying, 'where's the Republicans to Nancy Pelosi?' I tell you one thing, I know Nancy Pelosi and I know Kevin McCarthy, and Kevin McCarthy is no Nancy Pelosi…"



SHRUM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "We can come together in civil disagreement. We may disagree about why things happen. We may disagree about what we want for the country. But we can do it in a way where we respect each other and we respect the truth, which is what we're trying to do here at the Center for the Political Future…"

SHRUM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "It's possible to have fierce opponents, but they don't have to be your enemies. It's not 'I'm right. You're evil. So I have to destroy you.' It's, 'I'm right, you're wrong, ;et's have a fair fight about it.' You know, I always joke, being from Michigan, that after the Michigan-Ohio football game, we don't burn the stadium down and kill everybody. We train for the next game. We got to bring that back to politics. Common set of facts, strong disagreements and debates, but not enemies, not destruction, not hate that tears the country apart, because I don't know about you, I'm a little old to learn Chinese. I'd like America to stay number one, and this is not how we do it, tearing ourselves apart…"


The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to TheIssueIsShow.com.