Affordable housing, climate change and the national debt are just some of the topics covered on “You Might Be Right,” a podcast series from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, which wrapped its nine-episode season at the end of December.
Hosted by two former Tennessee governors — Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, and Bill Haslam, a Republican — the podcast draws on Senator Baker’s often-cited piece of advice: always keep in mind that the other fellow might be right.
“Going into this, we wanted to create a podcast that fosters Howard Baker’s legacy by lifting up civil discourse, showcasing the understanding that there are many perspectives to important public policy issues, and modeling the skills needed to be successful public servants and engaged citizens,” said Baker Center Executive Director Marianne Wanamaker. “To hit No. 10 in Apple’s US politics podcasts and have more than 40,000 downloads before our bonus episode with Arthur Brooks aired has indicated to us that there is an audience for this content, and we’re very grateful to the governors, our guests and everyone who helped make what we consider a successful first season happen.”
Wanamaker and the Baker Center team are reviewing the first season for lessons learned and beginning to plan for a second season.
A Peek into ‘You Might Be Right’
In each episode, Bredesen and Haslam welcome two guests who are interviewed individually on the episode’s topic. The hosts call on their own upbringing, political experiences and careers as well as the expertise of their guests to discuss difficult topics with the civility for which Baker was known.
Here’s a summary of the first season’s episodes:
In the inaugural episode, Arne Duncan, secretary of education in the Obama administration, and David French, a political commentator and author, discuss potential avenues for reducing gun violence.
Former vice president Al Gore and Jeff Lyash, president and CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority, discuss climate change.
National Alliance for Public Charter Schools leader Nina Rees and Kaya Henderson, former head of D.C. public schools, discuss charter schools.
Former speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Berkeley economist Barry Eichengreen discuss good vs. bad debt, what we can and should do to address the national debt, and the potential consequences of failing to act.
Erskine Bowles, former White House chief of staff, and Laurie Goodman, an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute, discuss potential responses to the affordable housing crisis.
Nancy-Ann DeParle, former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama, and Larry Van Horn, associate professor and director of Health Affairs at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, discuss the Affordable Care Act and what else we can do to lower health care costs and improve outcomes.
Former Tennessee Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker explain how the filibuster works in practice, what they would change and why it matters.
Fred Smith, FedEx founder and executive chairman, and Tim Fitzgerald, former chief international economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisors and a professor at Texas Tech University, discuss the future of global trade.
Author, social scientist, and happiness expert Arthur Brooks discusses why disagreement is important, how we can disagree better, and how to effectively broaden your perspective.
David Smith (865-292-7877, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lindsey Owen McBee (865-974-6375, email@example.com)