The Big Story Podcast-logo

The Big Story Podcast

News & Politics Podcasts >

More Information


United States








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 difference,...


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.


When Political ‘Dark Money’ Rode to Town

Filmmaker Kimberly Reed grew up in Montana with little anticipation her home state would be ground zero for a massive fight over money in politics. But her new documentary, “Dark Money,” tells a tale worthy of any Western, as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle fight for their own prerogatives in the face of out-of-state interests gunning for them. With the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the high court’s role as the ultimate referee over money’s role in politics is...


A Peek at Congress

Roll Call photographers Tom Williams @pennstatetom and Bill Clark @billclarkphotos describe their time covering Congress and how they came to take some of the most iconic Hill photos, featured in the new book Under the Dome by Political Theater host Jason Dick.


New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Joe Crowley Down

New York's Democratic primary has delivered the latest shock to the political system: the loss of House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley. Roll Call Elections Analyst Nathan Gonzales discusses how the results show the Democratic establishment just isn't what it used to be.


What the Congressional Softball Game Says About Lawmakers

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.


Congressional Baseball Game Enters New Era

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.


No Recess For You!

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.


50 Years Later, Bobby Kennedy for President Lives On

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 discussed...