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April 6, 2018

The Impossible Dream

Before he leaves the Senate for good, Republican Jeff Flake is trying to get a bill passed. He has his work cut out for him, with a Senate that barely brings anything to the floor, a party he feels estranged from, and a president who seems to hate his guts. Producer Zoe Chace hung out with him for four months.

Alex Edelman/AP Images

Prologue

Producer Zoe Chace talks with host Ira Glass about following Senator Jeff Flake, and how when he announced his retirement she thought her reporting had ended. But when a Democrat was elected to the senate in Alabama, Flake suddenly found new relevance — in Republican Party politics, and also in the senate where his lame-duck vote now held incredible sway.

The Bluff

Senator Jeff Flake tries use his newfound leverage to get a commitment to bring DACA to the Senate floor in exchange for his vote for the Republican tax bill. Things change at the last minute. (15 minutes)

It’s Our Prerogative

The government shuts down, and Flake tries to get the senate to ignore what the White House wants. Unsuccessfully. Yet he presses on. (10 minutes)

Song:

“Some Days” by Sturgill Simpson