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Episodes

What the Congressional Softball Game Says About Lawmakers

6/20/2018
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Journalists and lawmakers face off at the annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game, an event that Roll Call political Reporter Bridget Bowman and Texas Tribune Bureau Chief Abby Livingston say provides a respite from Capitol Hill partisanship.

Duration:00:16:10

Congressional Baseball Game Enters New Era

6/13/2018
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The annual Congressional Baseball Game has for years allowed lawmakers and staff a light-hearted outlet for their competitive drive. That changed a bit last year with a tragic shooting that ultimately helped cement the Capitol community, even though politics are never far removed. Roll Call Elections Analyst Nathan Gonzales discusses the game, politics and how it all fits on the latest Political Theater podcast.

Duration:00:15:34

No Recess For You!

6/6/2018
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Senate Republicans cancelled the August recess, citing historic obstruction by Democrats. But when you crunch the numbers, the delay tactics are far from historic, according to CQ Senate Managing Editor Ed Pesce.

Duration:00:13:48

50 Years Later, Bobby Kennedy for President Lives On

5/30/2018
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The Netflix documentary series “Bobby Kennedy for President” marks the upcoming 50th anniversary of the late senator and presidential candidate’s assassination in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968. The four-part series by documentarian Dawn Porter shows the evolution of Kennedy from campaign manager, attorney general, senator and presidential candidate, and outlines the evolution of his political beliefs from rough-and-tumble family fixer and anti-communist to civil rights icon. Porter...

Duration:00:17:50

Roseanne, Donald Glover and Desperate-Class TV

5/23/2018
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President Donald Trump is a television fan and a polarizing figure in American culture. Two television shows that just wrapped up their seasons reflect that divide to some extent but also expose some of the contradictions of Trump's presidency, CQ reporter and cultural observer Clyde McGrady tells Jason Dick in this week's Political Theater.

Duration:00:22:14

Keystone Races Now Set in Keystone State

5/16/2018
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Women were big winners in Tuesday's primaries as they are poised to change the midterm dynamics in states like Nebraska and Pennsylvania, explains Roll Call senior political reporter Bridget Bowman.

Duration:00:15:39

Joe Manchin and the Mountain State Midterm Melee

5/9/2018
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West Virginia Republicans lined up for the right to take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III, and after a knock-down, drag-out fight, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey emerged as the victor. Roll Call Senior Political Reporter Simone Pathe talks about her recent trip to the Mountain State and what it told her about the midterm fight ahead.

Duration:00:15:57

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Unlikely Pop Icon

5/2/2018
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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a bona fide pop icon, perhaps strange territory for an 85-year-old, diminutive, reserved constitutional scholar. In the latest Political Theater podcast, filmmakers Betsy West and Julie Cohen speak about their documentary, “RBG,” including what it was like to be in the same theater when Ginsburg saw their movie at the Sundance Film Festival. The documentary debuts May 4.

Duration:00:19:01

Midterm Takeaways From the Duel in the Desert

4/25/2018
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Republican Debbie Lesko won a close House race in an Arizona district that is usually very friendly to her party. As the midterm election season continues to heat up, Political Theater looks at the takeaways from this duel in the desert with Roll Call Elections Analyst Nathan Gonzales and Senior Political Reporter Bridget Bowman.

Duration:00:15:35

Tending to the Congressional Mind, Body and Spirit

4/18/2018
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Members of Congress are the players we see on stage, but the production that is politics would go nowhere without the backstage people making up the staff — the chaplains, sergeants-at-arms, chiefs of staff and more who make sure the show goes on. Ed Pesce, the editor of CQ Senate and a former congressional staffer himself, talks about those dynamics.

Duration:00:16:56

Paul Ryan Departure Leaves GOP Spinning

4/11/2018
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Paul Ryan's announcement that he will not seek re-election once he finishes out his term has set off a scramble on several fronts including who will bring in the boatloads of cash that he raised for the Republican party. CQ lobbying reporter Kate Ackley and Inside Elections' Nathan Gonzales explain.

Duration:00:16:24

Trump Makes a Run for the Border

4/4/2018
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President Donald Trump's desire to have the National Guard help patrol the Southern border is not all that different from actions taken by former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, but that does not mean there are not areas of concern about the action, says CQ's national security editor Megan Scully.

Duration:00:07:52

Looking Forward to Being a Former Member of Congress

3/28/2018
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Wondering what former members of Congress do after leaving Capitol Hill? Perhaps that's why the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress was formed, to keep tabs. Roll Call's Niels Lesniewski attended the Association's recent Statesmanship Awards Dinner, where current and former members exchanged some fairly interesting ideas about Congress, and even gossiped a bit about the people who sleep in their offices.

Duration:00:15:51

Lessons for the Opioid Epidemic from the Ebola Fight

3/21/2018
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The opioid epidemic is a massive public health crisis that Washington is only now starting to grasp. Reid Wilson, national correspondent for the Hill, has a new book about the last time the U.S. government got things right in facing a deadly challenge, and it was only a few years ago.

Duration:00:17:20

Democrats Roar Over Conor Lamb

3/14/2018
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The special election result in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District has rocked the political world on its heels, with Democrat Conor Lamb’s success in the heavily Republican region setting off a fresh round of speculation about the 2018 midterms. Roll Call Senior Political Reporter Bridget Bowman, who reported from the area recently, was at the Capitol gauging reaction from members of Congress after the latest round of political jousting.

Duration:00:13:57

Politics' Thin Line Between Laughing and Cringing

3/7/2018
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In light of Tuesday's 74th Annual Congressional Dinner, Political Theater talks to Washington Post humor columnist Alexandra Petri about when satire works and when it doesn't. And, yes, we have politicians telling jokes.

Duration:00:17:29

A Looming Warning From 'The Looming Tower'

2/28/2018
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HULU’s new mini-series “The Looming Tower” traces the rising threat of Al Qaeda in the runup to the 9/11 attacks and is adapted from Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize winning book. For today’s audience, the series shows eerie parallels to conflicts within our government that are dominating our politics today. Actor Jeff Daniels portrays plays FBI Special Agent in Charge John O'Neill, a counterterrorism specialist who sounds the alarm about the threat posed by Osama bin Laden and who was...

Duration:00:16:07

Meet Jan Rader: A West Virginia Heroin(e) in the Opioid Fight

2/21/2018
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Among the stars at next month's Oscars will be Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader, one of the subjects of the Academy Award nominated Netflix documentary "Heroin(e)". She's a first responder on the front lines of the opioid crisis, and she's taken her message on the issue not just to the screen, but also to Capitol Hill.

Duration:00:17:20

It's the Economy Stupid? Maybe Not​

2/14/2018
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Roll Call Political analyst Stu Rothenberg explains why GOP gains in a generic ballot represent just a part of the overall political picture and political reporter Bridget Bowman previews Arizona's upcoming special election.

Duration:00:18:44

The Lone Star Midterm Lowdown

2/7/2018
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Texas kicks off primary season in less than a month, and will shape midterm contests that could help determine majorities in the House and the Senate. Roll Call Senior Political Writer Bridget Bowman and Jason Dick run down everything from the marquee Senate race to the House campaigns that lawmakers will definitely be breaking a sweat over.

Duration:00:16:07