We asked Rachel Martin ’96, H’14 to tell us about some of the most memorable conversations from the hundreds of interviews she’s conducted with heads of state, renowned artists, and regular people in her two decades in public radio. Here are five that stand out. 

Joe Biden, presidential candidate, December 2019

“It was my first time in conversation with someone who would go on to be president. We were on the campaign bus on the way to Iowa. He hadn’t been giving a lot of one-on-one interviews, he was struggling at that time—particularly with young people—and he was coming off a disappointing loss in New Hampshire. It ended up being sort of a heated conversation, because he got a little defensive about some things. There was a lot of back and forth with his team after the fact; they weren’t happy with some of the questions I asked. When you’re talking to a high-profile person, particularly in politics, there are so many guardrails put around those candidates, a lot of caution taken with them. You get him talking about a subject he might not be super familiar with, or that is emotionally fraught, and he can let his guard down and say things that perhaps are not politically beneficial. It illustrated for me the complexities of political journalism, of trying to hold people to account.”