political-theater

Power, Confirmation & Lies
High court confirmation battle comes to a head, and the midterms loom, kind of

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., hold a press conference with Holton-Arms alumnae in support of Christine Blasey Ford in the Hart Senate Office Building on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 

After what seems like a nonstop election cycle since Nov. 9, 2016, with several special elections since then and a president that never seems to tire of political events, it’s safe to say even politics junkies are looking forward to Nov. 6, the day of the congressional midterms. Except … it might not even be over then, according to Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales, who says the number of close House races and likely runoffs might preclude us from knowing who will be in control of Congress for maybe weeks to come. Thanks, Nathan. 

High Court, High Political Drama — Probably for Years to Come
Political Theater, Episode 37

Regardless of the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the high court figures to be a more prominent, and political, part of American life for the foreseeable future. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the middle of a singularly rough Supreme Court nomination fight, the business of the high court goes on. The fate of Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the court, is still up in the air. But the  direction of the court, regardless of what happens with Kavanaugh, seems to be moving inexorably negative, at least politically, say CQ legal affairs writer Todd Ruger and senior writer Kate Ackley in the latest Political Theater podcast.

 

All Eyes in Congress on the Hurricane, and Beto and Willie
Religion, mother nature cut week short in Washington, so it’s back to the campaign trail

First Ted Cruz had to deal with Beto O’Rourke. Now he has to deal with Willie Nelson. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Thanks to the weather and religion, Congress had one short work week. Due to Rosh Hashanah, neither chamber was in Monday or Tuesday, and didn’t get back into town until Wednesday afternoon. Then Hurricane Florence’s approach to the Atlantic seaboard brought with it worries of flight cancellations.

When Burt Reynolds Played a Congressman, It Was a Slippery One
The film icon had many memorable roles, but this was not one of them

Burt Reynolds as the slippery, fictional Rep. David Dilbeck in “Striptease.” (Roll Call illustration by Chris Hale)

Among Burt Reynolds’ least known roles is a particularly baroque portrayal of David Dilbeck, a fictional Florida congressman, in “Striptease,” the 1996 film based on the Carl Hiaasen novel of the same name. 

Playing a corrupt creep who is head over heels for Demi Moore’s stripper with a heart of gold Erin Grant, Reynolds went over the top in oozing sleaze in the role. 

John McCain, One Senator, Five Funerals, No Shortage of Laugh Lines
Saying goodbye to an American icon

The honor guard carries the casket into the North Phoenix Baptist Church for a memorial service for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

The Arizona part of the John McCain remembrance concluded Thursday, with three days to follow on the East Coast with memorial services at the Capitol Rotunda on Friday, the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday and burial at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on Sunday. 

Remembering McCain: Personal Stories From CQ Roll Call Journalists
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 34

Sen. John McCain speaks with Roll Call senior reporter Niels Lesniewski. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. John McCain had countless interactions with members of the press during a career on Capitol Hill that spanned more than three decades. CQ's Patrick Pexton and Megan Scully along with Roll Call's Niels Lesniewski share personal anecdotes that reveal a more personal side to the late Arizona senator.

Show Notes:John McCain, Arizona and What It Means to be HomeMcCain vs. Trump: Can the President Give Up the Spotlight?Google ‘Prematurely’ Renames Russell Senate Office Building for McCain

Senate Busies Itself, Plus Chuck Norris and Some Cactus
The one-day work week is something we can all get behind

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor on Thursday for the final vote of the week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

The Senate convened around noon on Wednesday. The Senate adjourned around 4:33 p.m. on Thursday. Now THAT is a work week!

Primary Elections? Sure, We Got ’Em
August might be a sleepy time for some, but not for the midterms

These folks, Public Advocate of the U.S. Inc, cannot wait for the Senate to come back and get to its hearing on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. On Wednesday, they hosted a live performance by the “Kavanaugh Singers” in front of the high court to promote the judge’s confirmation. The group sang “Confirm Brett” to the tune of Mary Poppins’ “Chim Chim Che-ree.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

August might be a sleepy time for legislation, the Senate’s capital busy-work period notwithstanding (See The Kicker below). But this is a midterm election year, and we are still in the thick of primary season.

Why West Hollywood Hates Trump’s Walk of Fame Star
Local city council voted Monday to call for the star’s removal

President Donald Trump walks from the West Wing to Marine One on his way to Joint Base Andrews Friday, July 20, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The West Hollywood city council stirred up renewed controversy Monday over President Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The star, installed nearly a decade before Trump’s presidential run, has become a target of animus against the president among his detractors in the famously liberal enclave. 

From Oakland to Birmingham, and Everything In Between
Deaths of two very different members of Congress highlight dynamism of the legislative branch

Rep. Ronald V. Dellums, D-Calif., right, talks with Ren Cooper of The Washington Post at the Democratic National Convention on July 15, 1992. Dellums died on July 30. (Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

The deaths of two very different former members of Congress this past week is a reminder of what a dynamic place Capitol Hill can be. Rep. Ronald V. Dellums, D-Calif., and Sen. Maryon Pittman Allen, D-Ala., did not have too terribly much in common. But they became a small part of the whole that is the American experiment.