The Courageous Podcast with Ryan Berman

The Courageous Podcast Episode #18: Johanna Maska (President Obama’s former Press Advance)

Episode Summary

What happens when you grow up in Kansas in a family of Republicans only to end up as the lone Democrat in your family? This is the story of Johanna Maska who went on to become President Obama’s former Press Advance; traveling to 42 countries with the President. Fast forward to today, as election week arrives, Johanna, now CEO of public affairs firm Global Situation Room, discusses the polarizing state of America, the overwhelming finger pointing in Washington DC and the tribal party mentality we’re experiencing between “red” states vs “blue” states. We discuss the differences between policy and politics, if (sadly) a Civil War is coming and the importance of leadership in the White House. Finally, we imagine what a conversation might be like for Johanna back in Kansas a few days before the election at a family reunion.

Episode Notes

3:58 - The Polarized State of America

4:17 - Johanna shared her conservative roots

5:28 - How far apart are the "red" and the "blue"?

7:14 - Is a Civil War coming?

8:33 - Her Dad's distaste with Johanna registering as a Democrat

9:31 - Johanna's path to politics

10:56 - the importance of global thought leadership without degrading economic leadership

13:49 - the power of good leadership in politics

15:16 - Social media has further divided us

16:38 - Where's our third party?

19:38 - Calling out the bs on both sides of the aisle

19:53 - Trump calling out blue states from the podium

21:50 - Why she worked for Obama

22:02 - Entrepreneurism is America's superpower.

23:09 - Mom's advice: "Get a job with health insurance"

24:36 - The difference between policy and politics

27:09 - judging leadership not be leadership but by party affiliation

28:50 - Seeing the country from the shoes of the other party

31:29 - The need for Brands to have more conviction

35:01 - Voting for the lesser of the evils

35:30 - RIP RBG

37:32 - Making a difference starts locally

43:21 - Johanna recalls the power of Hope during the Obama years

46:56 - China is playing the long game

49:27 - Our system isn't keeping up with the times

52:21 - How does politics stay up with the advancements in the rest of the world?

53:59 - Getting back to the basics

55:53 - Blockchain voting

57:06 - Johanna's conversation at the family reunion in Kansas