Former White House Speechwriters from the Left and Right Launch Bipodisan, a Political Podcast That Asks: Does Red and Blue Have to Mean Black and Blue?
(4 months ago)
WASHINGTON, Feb. 19: At a time when America is more divided than it has been in decades, can the left and right come together to talk, not shout, about the issues that divide us? Honestly, who knows? But former White House speechwriters Mary Kate Cary (President George H.W. Bush) and Paul Orzulak (President Bill Clinton) are giving it a try, launching a new podcast called "Bipodisan" that will bring Americans from the left and right together each week around the country's most divisive issues with the hope of doing something unexpected: listening and learning from one another.
"Since the 2016 election, there have been more than 1,600 political podcasts launched in the United States featuring Democrats talking to Democrats and Republicans talking with Republicans. We thought it was time for a podcast where Democrats and Republicans actually talk with each other," said Orzulak, a founding partner of West Wing Writers, a Washington-based speechwriting and strategy firm that serves some of the best-known names in business, entertainment, philanthropy, and politics. "We're all sick of the shouting and name-calling. Hopefully, we can help show that red and blue doesn't have to mean black and blue."
The first episode, "Give Civility a Chance," features Cary and Orzulak talking about why they're starting the podcast. The second episode, "I Can See Mexico from My Porch," is a lively discussion about immigration with the first woman to write for three cabinet secretaries in one administration, former George W. Bush Administration speechwriter Jean Card, and the first openly gay Hispanic man to serve in senior positions in two White Houses, former Clinton and Obama advisor, Moe Vela. Both episodes are available on iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher.
"By bringing red and blue together, we're not trying to make purple. Our goal is not to create 'the mushy middle.' We want to hear from people on both sides of politics, not just those on the extremes, and see if they can still listen to the other side — without killing each other," laughs Cary, who produced "41ON41," a documentary film about former President George H.W. Bush ("41"). "What we suspect is that along the way, we will find that both sides have a lot more in common than politics in Washington would have us believe. Despite all of the forces that are pulling us apart today, we hope to find there is still more that unites us than divides us as Americans."
Bipodisan is a rare opportunity to hear from those who spent time in the Oval Office with presidents and their closest advisors, and who still live and work at the intersection of policy, politics, communications, message, and strategy.