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The Political Football That is Washington Redskins Football

There might be no better example of “political football” than what the Washington Redskins are doing by working with Congress, the White House and the D.C. City Council to secure a new stadium in the capital. And that’s just one of the political issues facing professional football, says Brandon Wetherbee, managing editor of the culture website Brightest Young Things and host of the podcast You, Me, Them, Everybody.


Roger Ailes 'Was Never Sorry About Anything'

In her new film, director and producer Alexis Bloom examines the life of the late Republican Party kingmaker and controversial Fox News leader who, before his death, was forced out amid multiple sexual harassment allegations. "He was a heat over light kind of guy,'' Bloom tells Political Theater of Roger Ailes. "He dealt in psychological tropes very deftly. He was ruthless.'' Even conservative political commentator Glenn Beck, once a Fox host, is astonished by Ailes' confidence in his...


Going Down to Mississippi, Senate Runoff Edition

The results of the Mississippi Senate runoff election were not surprising. The Republican won. The Democrat lost. It is a Republican state. But the fact that we were talking about Mississippi at all in the late stages of the 2018 election season was a surprise. It also brings up questions about political trends in the South, race, history and culture. There is even a Clinton angle! And the not-overwhelming victory of Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith over Democrat Mike Espy portends profound...


What Really Happens During Congress’ Freshman Orientation

What’s my Representational Allowance? Why can’t I take pictures on the House floor? Where are the bathrooms? Newly elected lawmakers are participating in freshman orientation this week, and while it has a first day of school vibe, they should pay attention. It could save them some embarrassment, and maybe even avoid getting into hot water with the Ethics Committee or even federal authorities. Roll Call Staff Writer Katherine Tully-McManus runs down what the members-to-be are doing during...


The Midterms' Most Memorable Moments

Every campaign season is defined by moments when the big picture starts to come into focus. A parade outside Kansas City where Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder is confronted about gun violence. A pizza parlor in New Jersey becomes an overflow town hall. Roll Call politics reporters Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman and elections analyst Nathan Gonzales discuss such moments during the 2018 midterms, as well as how to address the dreaded election hangover we’re all suffering.


"A Private War" Illustrates Power, and Risk, Of Reporting the Truth

At a time when journalists around the world face threats and are characterized as the enemy of the people, the new movie "A Private War" arrives at delicate point. Director Matthew Heineman and star Rosamund Pike discuss their picture on the latest Political Theater Podcast.


Explosive Rhetoric Ramping Up, But Do Voters Care?

Praising violence against reporters. Sending pipe bombs to public figures. Threatening political opponents. The fiery rhetoric is in full swing as the nation enters the homestretch of the 2018 midterm election. Is any of it changing voters’ attitudes or behavior? Roll Call senior political writer Simone Pathe and Inside Elections editor Nathan Gonzales discuss the effect of all the bad vibes on the electorate.


Will the Lone Stars Align for Beto O’Rourke in Texas Senate Race?

Will appealing to Whataburger partisans get out the vote? What about a new Willie Nelson song? These are but some of the questions that will be answered by the Texas Senate race between Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke. That’s because some of the Lone Star State’s favorite sons, like country-music legend Nelson and filmmaker Richard Linklater, have come out strong for O’Rourke and are putting their artistic talent where their mouths are. Will it make a...


What ‘The Front Runner’ Says About Today’s Politics

“The Front Runner” is not going to tell you how to feel about politics. The new film, starring Hugh Jackman and directed by Jason Reitman and co-written by him and Matt Bai and Jay Carson, tells the story of the short-lived 1988 presidential campaign of Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo., who went from being the presumptive favorite to win the presidency to political oblivion within the span of a few days, felled by a scandal fueled by the senator’s extra-marital affair. “You could see the seeds of...


Rap, Race and Health Care Help Decide Upstate New York Fates

In upstate New York, two Republican House freshmen are fighting for their political future against two Democrats who hope that kitchen sink issues like health care will power them through.


As Minnesota Goes in the Midterms, So Goes the Nation?

Minnesota is suddenly the center of the political universe and voters there are more focused on health care and the economy than the latest scandal in Washington. And they'll have a lot to say in the midterms because the Land of 10,000 Lakes is hosting a governor's race, two Senate races and four competitive House races that will go a long way to determine the congressional majority next year. Roll Call Senior Political Reporter Simone Pathé spent six days covering six races and 12...


High Court, High Political Drama — Probably for Years to Come

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.


Beto O’Rourke: Not Just Another Bassist From El Paso

Rep. Beto O’Rourke has gained rock star status as an insurgent liberal candidate running against the established Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, but, but, but, says Nathan L. Gonzales, Roll Call’s elections analyst and the publisher of Inside Elections, O’Rourke’s rise to national prominence did not happen overnight or come out of nowhere.


Kavanaugh Drama Provides Stage for Democrats

Senate Democrats are trying to make the most of the Supreme Court nomination hearing of Brett Kavanaugh looking to bolster support for the midterms and the 2020 presidential election. Leah Askarinam of Inside Elections tells us which Democrats are likely to gain from the strategy and whether it will affect Republican turnout.


Remembering McCain: Personal Stories From CQ Roll Call Journalists

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.


How Duncan Hunter Became the Hunted Over Campaign Cash

Pro tip: Don’t put in writing your complaints that your campaign treasurer won’t dish out petty cash for your personal use. That’s just one of the details outlined in the federal indictment against Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife Margaret. They are in hot water over their alleged misuse of campaign finance funds, a pattern of using that cash for personal use, including for their kids’ tuition, family vacations and even dental work, and passing off purchases as charitable actions. The...


Ben Foster and Being Part of a ‘Continuing Conversation’ About Veterans

For actor Ben Foster, veterans’ re-entry to civilian life is part of what he says is “a continuing conversation” he says is important. It shows in his body of work, including his latest movie, “Leave No Trace,” which he discussed with Political Theater host Jason Dick.


Left to Its Own Devices: Medical Tech, Congress and the Public

Director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering discuss their documentary "The Bleeding Edge" about the medical device industry and its unknown dangers. The movie comes as Congress again considers repealing the tax on medical devices, says CQ health editor Rebecca Adams.


The Capitol Shooting That Changed Everything

July 24, 1998 changed everything on Capitol Hill. The shooting and ensuing deaths of two Capitol Police officers left a scar on the close-knit community and began a ramping up of hardened security around the legislative branch that continues today. Roll Call Senior Editor David Hawkings covered the event, and Roll Call multimedia reporter Thomas McKinless produced a documentary about the episode with fresh eyes. They discuss what they remembered, and what they learned on the latest Political...


Democrats Cashing In on 2018 Midterms

Midterm elections typically have lower voter turnout than presidential ones. If that turns out to be the case in 2018, it won't be because of a lack of cash or candidates. In short, the midterm cycle is awash in campaign money. Breaking down some of the gobsmacking amounts and what it means for the control of Congress are Roll Call political correspondents Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman on the latest Political Theater podcast.