“We are advantaged — unfortunately — by four years of a record from Trump,” Hillary Clinton says as she predicts big wins for Democrats in 2020. The former candidate has been a lightning rod for the right, and has been called a lizard, a murderer and a human trafficker.
But she believes that President Trump’s leadership — or lack thereof — has left American voters more engaged and less susceptible to disinformation. Or so she hopes.
In this interview with Kara Swisher, Mrs. Clinton shares the moments that still haunt her four years later and her priorities for a post-Trump future.
More episodes from "Sway"
They Made the ‘Pfizer Vaccine’
27:00Dr. Ozlem Tureci and Dr. Ugur Sahin, the co-founders of BioNTech, are behind the first coronavirus vaccine to be approved in the West. Starting next week, the “Pfizer vaccine” will be available in Britain.While Pfizer is financing and distributing the vaccine, the science behind it was actually spearheaded by the couple’s lesser-known company. When Drs. Tureci and Sahin, along with their BioNTech team, embarked on this mission, the record for the fastest vaccine creation was four years. They did it in less than one.BioNTech started working on a vaccine in January. By early November, the company shared the results of its Phase 3 trials: over 90 percent efficacy. The announcement was made days after the presidential election was called for Joe Biden, and Donald Trump claimed the timing was politically motivated.In this episode of “Sway,” the couple dismiss that accusation and speak instead to the science. “Clinical trials are highly regulated,” Dr. Tureci says. “And this is something which you cannot really delay or stop or expedite.”You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.
In Hollywood, Women Are Seen as ‘a Risk’
34:33Marielle Heller had her big acting break in “The Queens Gambit,” a chess drama that has already been viewed on Netflix by over 60 million households. But prior to her performance as Alma Wheatley, Ms. Heller was already a big name — off the screen.She directed award-winning films like 2019’s “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and 2018’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Female directors remain a minority in the U.S. film industry, and Ms. Heller has spent her career navigating what she describes as a male-dominated Hollywood “machine.”“I do think there’s a weird stigma where people probably think that female directors are a risk,” Ms. Heller says, explaining that people “watch a male director make one little indie that comes out of Sundance and they go, ‘I see potential in that kid.’ And then they watch a female director come out of Sundance and make one little indie and they go: ‘That was excellent. I’ll wait to see her next movie to see if she gets a job.’”In this episode of “Sway,” Ms. Heller and Kara Swisher discuss what it’s like to be “difficult” women, why Hollywood lets Tony Soprano get away with murder but worries that female characters are “unlikable,” and how Ms. Heller — despite all her directorial acclaim — still gets offered 30 to 40 percent less pay than men who do the same job.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.
Jane Goodall on Chimps, Presidents and Other Alpha Males
25:22Jane Goodall is an expert on alpha males — for decades, she’s been studying them in chimpanzee communities. She’s also inspired leaders in business, politics and culture to change their approach to animals and the environment.It’s been 60 years since Dr. Goodall’s first excursion to observe primates in Africa. Her discoveries there, which transformed our understanding of animals, continue to inspire generations of scientists and environmental activists.Now, at the age of 86, she reflects on her legacy. On this episode of “Sway,” she reveals how she rose to celebrity status, how she uses her platform to persuade world leaders and which politicians (like President Trump) she wouldn’t even bother trying to persuade.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.
Why 3rd Grade Matters
42:37Harvard economist Raj Chetty believes that there’s a way to push past America’s political divide: data.Mr. Chetty, head of the Harvard-based research group Opportunity Insights, has amassed a powerhouse of information drawing on everything from I.R.S. tax filings to credit card spending. Armed with that data, he’s able to understand whether meritocracy — or inequality — determines the economic fate of Americans. He’s also able to translate datapoints into accessible visualizations and concrete policy proposals.In this episode of Sway, Mr. Chetty draws on data to answer questions like what age a person’s future has been largely determined (around 23), which ZIP codes provide the most economic opportunity (including some in rural Iowa), and what stands between a third-grader who will grow up to become an inventor and one who will not.Mr. Chetty’s own trajectory was shaped by a move his parents made when he was 9 years old — from India to the U.S. — to pursue the American dream. His datasets reveal that this American dream is fading for future generations. But Mr. Chetty is determined to revive it. And given his influence on the future president, the economist may finally have his chance.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.Fill out a survey about how you listen to “Sway” at nytimes.com/swaysurvey.
At-Home Covid Tests and Other Powers of a Tech Billionaire
43:16Chamath Palihapitiya is one of Silicon Valley’s most successful tech investors. He’s also among the most candid. “I aspire to be a Koch brother before I aspire to be an under secretary,” he tells Kara Swisher on this episode of “Sway.” His definition of power has little to do with politics — it’s profits, he says, that empower you to “control the resources.”Mr. Palihapitiya made his first fortune as an early executive at Facebook. He has since multiplied his wealth as an investor, with big bets and bold forecasts about the future. These days, he’s behind one of the most lucrative and controversial trends — SPACs, the acronym for blank check or special purpose acquisition companies, which some call the next bubble.On this episode of “Sway,” Mr. Palihapitiya shares his predictions for American economic recovery and the return of centrism — and his prescriptions for what the Biden administration should do first.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.Fill out a survey about how you listen to “Sway” at nytimes.com/swaysurvey.
Math Lessons From Pennsylvania
32:43In the postelection uncertainty, all eyes were on Pennsylvania. And John Fetterman, the state’s Twitter-famous lieutenant governor, held court. He rallied Democrats with one-liners and taunted President Trump with arithmetic lessons on Twitter. Mr. Trump can try to challenge the election result, he said, but “you can’t litigate math.”Mr. Fetterman, the former mayor of a Rust Belt town, is 6-foot-8, with tattoos, a shaved head and a graduate degree in public policy from Harvard. He’s not your standard politician. And that’s helped him sell progressive politics to working-class voters and become a powerful voice of the left.In this interview with Kara Swisher, Mr. Fetterman explains the “purple churn” in Pennsylvania and why Mr. Trump’s increasingly desperate pleas for a recount won’t reverse a Biden victory. “There is no enchanted village in Pennsylvania full of 50,000 Trump voters that we haven’t heard from already,” he says. “It doesn’t exist.”You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.Fill out a survey about how you listen to “Sway” at nytimes.com/swaysurvey.
Post-Election Therapy With Esther Perel
41:14With a divisive election, an economy in a tailspin and a global pandemic, we could all use a little healing. Enter Esther Perel, an author and psychotherapist with the power to help mend relationships. “We have a screaming match, but we have a foundation underneath that,” she says.In this episode of Sway, the couples counselor offers some advice: to Kara Swisher — on how to handle her Trump-loving mother, to Nancy Pelosi — on why she might be wise to surprise Donald Trump with a hug — and to all of us — on how we love and work through tumultuous times.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.
‘Some Version of the Apocalypse Is Inevitable’
35:44Jeff VanderMeer has built his career imagining weird futures in best-selling books like “Annihilation” and “Borne.” He says an apocalypse doesn’t have to mean the end of the world, but a reimagining of how we live on it.He’s doing just that in his own backyard, making homes for raccoons and “rewilding” the land with native species. “We spend a lot of time keeping the outside, outside,” says VanderMeer, who sees his writing as a form of activism. But “there’s less divide between our bodies and the world than we recognize.”You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.
Sarah Cooper Is Tired of Being Donald Trump
47:10As the most powerful man in the country peddled hydroxychloroquine and disinfectant snake oil as cures for the coronavirus, the comedian Sarah Cooper scoured her kitchen cabinet for props, scouted her lockdown apartment for locations and angled her iPhone. The result: a series of lip-sync videos posted on TikTok and Twitter — and viewed by millions.The viral clips starred her facial expressions and the president’s voice.But Ms. Cooper’s voice quickly followed. She soon nabbed a headliner spot at the Democratic National Convention. Months later, she’s the star of the celebrity-packed Netflix special “Everything’s Fine.”Ms. Cooper says, “My success is forever linked to this person that I absolutely hate.” But she hopes that after Nov. 3, she can put Trump behind her.You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.
She’s Bursting Big Tech’s Bubble
44:32It finally looks as if Big Tech may face some breakups. Lawmakers are interrogating tech C.E.O.s on Capitol Hill while the Justice Department pursues a landmark antitrust case against Google. For decades, tech giants have avoided such scrutiny — hiding behind the idea that their products are free, beneficial, even beloved.Lina Khan says this is no excuse for a monopoly.As a 28-year-old law student, Ms. Khan published a single scholarly article that greatly shifted America’s antitrust debate. Three years later, she remains an existential threat to companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple.Ms. Khan served as counsel to the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee in this summer’s investigation, helping expose how Silicon Valley’s most revered companies use data and power to undercut, threaten and swallow up their competition.In this episode of “Sway,” she tells Kara Swisher that Big Tech’s practices have had a “chilling effect” on the American economy, and that it’s time to drag the nation’s antitrust thinking out of the “ice age.”You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more information for all episodes at nytimes.com/sway, and you can find Kara on Twitter @karaswisher.