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For this week’s Slate Plus bonus segment, Emily Bazelon talks with David Axelrod about the state of the 2016 presidential race. Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at slate.com/gabfestplus.
On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, we manage to discuss three billionaires in three segments! Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz examine the Iowa caucus and Donald Trump’s refusal to debate, the possibility of Michael Bloomberg joining the presidential race, and a new book by New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer about the ever-expanding empire of Charles and David Koch.
Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week's show:
- Why is Trump skipping the GOP debate? Will Iowa tell us anything definitive next week? Will Trump win in Iowa? Is Clinton’s game in Iowa improving?
- Bloomberg is flirting heavily with the prospect of running for president. Why does he think he should join? Is it realistic for Bloomberg to run as an independent? Could he come out on top in any general election scenario? Would his money matter?
- We speak with Jane Mayer about her new book, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. Why aren’t the Koch brothers backing any primary candidate? Are they motivated by ideology or self-interest? Are their rebranding efforts working?
- Read more of Slate's coverage of news and politics.
Emily Chatters about the indictments surrounding the Planned Parenthood videos this week.
John chatters about the Des Moines Register’s history of the Iowa caucus.
David chatters about the “mushroom death suit,” as reported by Atlas Obscura.
Topic ideas for next week? You can tweet suggestions, links, and questions to @SlateGabfest (#heygabfest). (Tweets may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise.)
Podcast production by Jocelyn Frank. Links compiled by Elle Bisgaard-Church.