Ordinarily, the second-place finisher in a presidential election doesn’t have a second political act. But the times aren’t ordinary and Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee, is now a US Senate candidate in Utah. Hoover research fellow Lanhee Chen, Romney’s 2012 policy director, discusses what compelled his former boss to make the run and whether Romney will be a Trump White House ally or nemesis.

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A funny thing happened to America’s libertarian movement – it expected a champion to emerge in the 2016 election; it may or may not have one in Donald Trump. Richard Epstein, the Hoover Institution’s Peter and Kirsten Bedford Senior Fellow and the voice behind “The Libertarian” podcast, grades the Trump presidency from a libertarian vantage.

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California, the land of anti-Trump “resistance”, has its own problems both irresistible and intractable – mounting public pension debt, underfunded schools, and a revenue stream too dependent upon capital gains. David Crane, a Stanford lecturer, past economic aide to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and co-founder of Govern for California, weighs the health of the state so bitterly opposed to Trump.

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Eight years after Iran’s Green Movement and antigovernment protests, will the current unrest in the nation have no lasting impact or is it the beginning of the end for the repressive theocracy? Abbas Milani, a Hoover research fellow and the Hamid and Christina Moghadam Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University, explains the nature of the uprising, Tehran’s response, and the Trump administration’s options.

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Washington, DC, is a complicated town full of competing interests vying to control the federal government. Michael Franc, director of the Hoover Institution’s research and initiatives program in the nation’s capital and a former congressional aide, takes us through the past year’s drama, saying why the town hasn’t adjusted to the Trump presidency and offering a holiday guide as to who’s been naughty and nice in 2017.

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For years Hoover media fellow Debra J. Saunders was the San Francisco Chronicle’s token conservative columnist until moving to Washington to cover the Trump White House for the Las Vegas Review–Journal. In this podcast she offers a ringside account of White House daily press briefings, Trump’s contentious attitude toward reporters, and what an unpopular political media can do to restore its prestige.

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Recorded on December 11, 2017
As the US Navy carries out high-profile missions in the Persian Gulf and off the Korean coast, China’s navy quietly continues its expansion: a maritime silk road stretching across the Indian Ocean to the Gulf of Aden. Admiral Gary Roughead, former US Navy chief of naval operations and Hoover’s Robert and Marion Oster Distinguished Military Fellow, discusses the stakes in the Middle East and Indo-Pacific theatres and assesses the US Navy’s current operational, maintenance, and shipbuilding needs.

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A question over who’s in charge of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has led to a standoff between the Trump administration and the Rebel Alliance: independent-minded CFPB staffers who believe they don’t report to the president. Hoover fellow Adam White discusses Trump’s battle with the administrative state, what 2018 could bring in regulatory reform, and whether the pace will pick up on Trump judicial nominees.

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America at its worst divide since the Civil War? Not exactly, says Hoover senior fellow Morris Fiorina, the author of Unstable Majorities: Polarization, Party Sorting, and Political Stalemate. Fiorina contends that voters haven’t abandoned the center but that the two major parties have, the result being continued experimentation with the political order in Washington. Will 2018 see a continuation of the third great stretch of instability in national politics?

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In November 1963 Paul Gregory’s family resided in Fort Worth, Texas. As members of the city’s Russian immigrant community, they befriended Lee and Marina Oswald. Gregory recounts his time in the company of JFK’s assassin, possible motivations for Oswald’s committing the crime, and why he doesn’t buy into the many conspiracy theories surrounding the events in Dallas. Paul Gregory is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.

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The good news for Angela Merkel is to be re-elected to a fourth term as German chancellor. The bad news is fashioning a working coalition of political parties divided over taxes, immigration, and climate policy. Hoover Institution senior fellow Russell Berman examines the options available to Germany’s chancellor, including any changes to her roles on the European and world stages.

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A year after Donald Trump’s improbable win, voters went to the polls in Virginia to elect a new governor—a contest that was, in part, a referendum on Trump’s nascent presidency. Hoover senior fellow and renowned pollster Doug Rivers breaks down the Old Dominion vote and what the results say about the effectiveness of Republican and Democratic messaging on the verge of the 2018 midterm elections.

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Lionized in print and on theater stages, Alexander Hamilton is a curious bookend for a new president who likewise calls Manhattan home, is steeped in capitalism, and uses the media to joust with his rivals. Elizabeth Cobbs, a Hoover Institution senior fellow and author of The Hamilton Affair: A Novel, separates fact from fiction regarding the famed Founding Father.

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The United States is tenth in the world among nations’ protecting intellectual property. In 2016 US patent applications declined by one percent. Stephen Haber, the Hoover Institution’s Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow, examines a patent landscape that includes Big Pharma, Big Tech, legal trolls, and Keanu Reeves–like actors. He also offers a few suggestions for how the Trump administration can shield and spur American innovation.

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America’s GOP dominates at all levels of government—state legislative, gubernatorial, congressional, presidential—yet Republicans have struggled, quite publicly, to come to terms with the party’s direction during the era of Trump. Lanhee Chen, the Hoover Institution’s David and Diane Steffy Research Fellow, discusses the Republican identity crisis, the lingering effects on the GOP brand, and the party’s ability to produce change in Washington.

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Recorded on October 6, 2017
A new administration means a new approach to federal energy approach, in the case of Donald Trump’s presidency, a new look at nuclear energy. Hoover research fellow Jeremy Carl, coauthor of Keeping the Lights on at America’s Nuclear Power Plants, examines the choices available to Trump on clean, green, and fossil energies.

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Recorded on September 28, 2017
As Congress and the White House wrestle over immigration reform—funding for a border wall, protecting Dreamers—what is the public’s attitude? Timothy Kane, the Hoover Institution’s J. P Conte Fellow in Immigration Studies, highlights the findings of a new Hoover/YouGov survey on immigration and which policy ideas enjoy consensus approval.

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It’s a tradition dating back to the Founding Fathers: the American government financing safeguards, be it retirement (Social Security), health benefits (Medicare), or rewards for military service in the form of federal entitlements. In an age of debt and deficits, when will lawmakers address entitlement reform? John Cogan, Hoover’s Leonard and Shirley Ely Senior Fellow and author of a new book on the long history of federal entitlements, assesses where the Trump administration goes from here.

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