Micaela Rodríguez

The Iowa State Fair: Our hits, misses and lessons learned
Political Theater, Episode 88

DES MOINES, Iowa — For all its quaintness and fun, the Iowa State Fair does a pretty good job of approximating politics at the national level, be it questions about electability and charisma or trade and agricultural policy.

“The debate within the party that is happening right now, is happening right in front of me at the Iowa State Fair between these two people,” CQ Roll Call senior politics writer Bridget Bowman says, recounting a conversation between a couple after hearing South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg speak at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox on Aug. 13. The couple, both of whom told Bridget they were impressed with Buttigieg, were torn between what was more important for a Democratic candidate: offering bold ideas or being more likely to beat President Donald Trump.

The Iowa State Fair: Why do you have to come here to be president?
Political Theater, Episode 87

Iowa plays a big role in presidential politics because of its first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses. Even by that standard, though, the Hawkeye State this time feels busier, more significant.

There are more than 20 Democrats running for president, and unlike in previous years, no one is writing the state off. There are also several competitive congressional races here. That means a very busy Iowa State Fair, because all these politicians want to meet voters, make their case at The Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox, flip pork chops at the pork tent and eat.

The Iowa State Fair: A day in the deep-fried life
Political Theater, Episode 86

Yes, there are a lot of politicians who attend the Iowa State Fair to court voters. But there is so much else to this unique event, from the almost 70 fried foods on a stick, to giant slides, sea lions, butter cows and butter Big Birds; even arm-wrestling. A day in the life of the Iowa State Fair with Political Theater. 

What lawmakers can do about gun violence, and helping black families save ancestral lands
CQ on Congress, Episode 165

Public pressure on lawmakers is growing across the country to reduce gun violence, but Congress may only be able to pass incremental legislation, explains CQ Roll Call’s legal affairs writer Todd Ruger.

In the second segment of this podcast, we explore how Congress and a South Carolina center are trying to address the loss of land and wealth, particularly among African Americans, in what is commonly referred to as Heirs Property. Josh Walden of the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation in South Carolina discusses how thousands of acres of land, from the south to Appalachia, may be in dispute because of the lack of legal records.

What the two-year budget deal means for federal spending
CQ Budget podcast, episode 120

With a new budget deal about to become law, CQ Roll Call senior budget reporter Paul M. Krawzak explains how raising the debt limit and raising the spending levels will shape government budget decisions this fall and the year to come. With overall spending limits set, the House will have to revisit the 10 spending bills it has already passed and find $15 billion more to cut.  ...
Robert Mueller was sobering. That spilled over to D.C. bars
Political Theater, Episode 83

Have we hit peak Mueller?

That would seem to be the former special counsel’s preference, which was certainly reflected in a blah reaction from those tuning in.

Did the Pentagon weaponize ticks?
CQ on Congress, Episode 162

Get used to it: Trumpism without Trump
Political Theater, Episode 82

Political scientist Shadi Hamid remembers growing up in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, the son of Egyptian immigrants. In what was then a solidly Republican enclave of the Philadelphia suburbs, his parents and many of his Muslim neighbors voted for George W. Bush.

That seems like a long time ago, as that critical swing area of Philly has swung increasingly Democratic, along with most of America’s Muslims. So why would President Donald Trump spend so much time attacking Muslims and, in particular, a high-profile group of Democratic congresswomen, a.k.a. “the squad,” that has two Muslim members, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan? Well, because attacking your opponents across racial lines and defining them as a sinister other is a basic tenet of Trumpism, and the president and many of his Republican allies are all in. 

Immigrant raids could lead to more family separations
CQ on Congress, Episode 161

The Trump administration says it will round up undocumented immigrants who have missed a court date in an effort to deter others migrants from seeking refuge in the United States. But raids could exacerbate family separations, report CQ Roll Call’s Tanvi Misra and Jinitzail Hernandez, who just returned from visiting one of the largest migrant detention centers in Homestead, Fla., where the government is holding 2,000 teenage immigrants.