These John Dickerson Podcasts Will Get You Well-Acquainted With The Democratic Debate Moderator

Going into the second Democratic debate on Saturday, John Dickerson is going to make a big impression as moderator. Not only is he an established writer and host, but Dickerson also hosts multiple podcasts involving politics, Washington D.C., and the daily news. And for those who aren't up on Sundays to catch Dickerson on CBS' Face The Nation, his podcasts are a great way to get to know him.

Even before he started his prolific podcast career, Dickerson was an established name in D.C. journalism. During the Bush administration, Dickerson worked as a writer for TIME, where he became notorious for catching politicians off guard and shoving them off script. From there, he moved on to Slate, where he served as chief political correspondent. Even since leaving to become the political director at CBS, however, Dickerson has kept his ties with Slate, penning a regularly political column and contributing to two separate podcasts.

His longest running podcast with Slate is Political Gabfest, a weekly show hosted by Dickerson, Emily Bazelon of New York Times Magazine, and David Plotz of Slate's travel blog Atlas Obscura. Together, the three break down the top news of that week. Additionally, Dickerson hosts his own bimonthly podcast called Whistlestop, which is dedicated to presidential campaign history.

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The podcasts are excellent examples of the kind of journalism we might expect out of Dickerson on Saturday: incredibly well researched, unpredictable, and always enjoyable. For those curious about what Dickerson's debate style may look like, some of these top podcasts might hold the key. And even if they don't, they're still enjoyable so check them out.

Political Gabfest

  • "11 Hours And She Didn’t Flinch:" In this podcast, Dickerson, Bazelon, and Plotz discuss Clinton's grueling Benghazi hearing. Also featured: a fascinating discussion about Jeb Bush and Donald Trump's argument over George W. Bush.
  • "How Many Pushups Should The President Be Able To Do?:" When you get past the lively conversation about Hulk Hogan's sex time, the hosts discuss what kind of questions we should ask presidential candidates. This is especially relevant, since Dickerson's about to get that chance in person.
  • "Sick And Tired Of Your Damn Emails:" If you didn't guess already, this episode focuses on the first Democratic debate. During the podcast, the hosts discuss their impressions of how the debate went, what we know about the candidates thus far, and offer some interesting speculation on the future of the Democratic Party.


  • "The Biggest Debate Gaffe Ever:" What better way to prep for the second debate than to listen to Dickerson cover some of the best (and worst) moments from modern debate history?
  • "Donald Trump Vs. Ross Perot:" There's been a lot of comparison between Donald Trump and the last serious billionaire presidential contender, Ross Perot. But no one has broken down the comparison better than Dickerson in this episode.

After grilling the Democratic candidates in Iowa, Dickerson will take the stage again in February to moderate a GOP debate. Here's hoping he manages to work in a Ross Perot reference.

Images: Slate (2)