The Hundred-Days Tapes: Rep. Pramila Jayapal

The fourth in a series of interviews inside Joe Biden's big tent

The other day, Representative Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told me something that stuck during my reporting on President Biden’s big-tent coalition.

“We’re not used to being on the winning side of things,” she said of progressives. “Governing when our voices are actually being taken into consideration is kind of a new experience. I think for a lot of people, we’re still focused on what we didn’t get.”

Today, in the latest installment of the Hundred-Days Tapes, I share our full interview.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about the question she raises. When you belong to a cause that ends up changing the conversation, resetting the terms of the debate, yanking ajar the window of the possible, how do you adjust to that victory? Especially when that victory in the long war doesn’t mean you’re prevailing in every battle. On the contrary, you may still be falling short of what you seek round after round. But progressives, as Jayapal was suggesting, can in so many ways take credit for shaping the debate right now, for creating the universe in which Biden has had to operate. And it’s a shame when people who deserve credit for a change don’t grasp their own achievement.

My conversation with Representative Pramila Jayapal.

And, in case you missed them, check out some of the other Hundred-Days Tapes: my conversations with Robert Reich, the Rev. William Barber, and Briahna Joy Gray.