David Hawkings’ Whiteboard: Is August Recess Work or Play?

A few weeks into the longest August recess in over three decades, Roll Call Senior Congressional Editor David Hawkings breaks out the whiteboard to get to the bottom of an age-old mystery: how do lawmakers spend their summer vacations?

DNC Day Four Highlights and A Look to the General Election

Senior Editor David Hawkings wraps up the last night of the Democratic National Convention and looks out to what both candidates have set up for their campaigns in the general election....
Ep. 19: Is Russia Trying to Manipulate the US Elections?
The Week Ahead

The alleged hacking of Democratic party computer systems by Russian interests pose a dilemma for U.S. officials tasked with looking for the source of the infiltration and coming up with a response. CQ Roll Call’s national security reporter Ryan Lucas, political editor David Hawking and managing editor Adriel Bettelheim unravel the web of intrigue. #CozyBear #FancyBear  

Show Notes:

As Clinton Takes the Stage, Her Legislative Agenda Starts Coming in View
Immigration, minimum wage, public works could dominate early months

PHILADELPHIA –Thursday night’s acceptance speech by Hillary Clinton will be mostly a symbolically resonant and broad-brush appeal to millions of undecided voters who still perceive her as the most famous but least understood and mistrusted presidential nominee of modern times.  

But, just off stage this week, her closest campaign and policy advisers along with some senior congressional Democrats are already looking beyond the fall campaign. They are starting to plot the course for a presidency that would very likely begin in a divided government.  

Reid Lacerates McConnell as ‘Craven’ for Countenancing Trump
His sharpest words by far were directed directly at his longstanding rival

PHILADELPHIA - Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid used his valedictory moments before the Democratic convention to unspool some of the most withering rhetoric so far this week — reserving his most vituperative putdowns Wednesday night not for Donald Trump but for congressional Republicans.  

His sharpest words by far were directed directly at his longstanding rival for Senate supremacy, the GOP floor leader.  

Ep. 17: Hillary Clinton Makes History As Democrats Stress Unity
The Week Ahead: Convention Special

From Philadelphia, CQ Roll Call’s Managing Editor Adriel Bettelheim and Senior Editor David Hawkings recap and reflect on the historic events on the second day of the Democratic National Convention and look ahead to Wednesday when President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. are scheduled to speak.  

Show Notes:

DNC Day Two Highlights and A Look Ahead

Senior Editor David Hawkings reflects on the second night of the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia and looks to Day Three's speakers, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden....
Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling, Wins Nomination
Convention sets aside strife to choose first woman as major party presidential candidate

PHILADELPHIA – Hillary Rodham Clinton overcame one of the greatest barriers in two and a-half centuries of American political history on Tuesday, when the Democratic National Convention formally selected her as the first woman presidential nominee of a major political party.  

Her shattering of the glass ceiling, which became foreordained two months ago, was something of an anticlimactic afterthought for many delegates still caught in the party’s latest bout with internal strife .  

6 Ways the 2 Conventions Are Off to Different Starts

PHILADELPHIA – One day in, the Democrats are behaving remarkably like the Republicans in this basic sense: The dissidents have made way more noise than the establishment was prepared for, so the vibe is much less like a coronation than the wedding for an arranged marriage where one side won’t contain its buyers’ remorse.  

But in plenty of other ways, the back-to-back national conventions are shaping as another study in contrasts, the organizational and stylistic contradictions saying plenty about the very different personalities and belief systems of the two dominant national political parties – their shared resistance to insurrections from the ideological fringes notwithstanding  

Staying Power: Clinton is Ready for Her Balloon Drop
She’s universally known, but only now comes her chance to make a lasting mark on history

It’s a comparison with serious potential to rattle presidential partisans in all corners: Hillary Clinton has now been on the national scene longer than Richard Nixon was.  

And here’s just one of the many important distinctions between the two, who arguably stand as the most polarizing and dogged political professionals each party has produced in the postwar decades:  

House Republicans Learn to Accept Trump by Focusing on Pence
They are reassured by their former House colleague

CLEVELAND – The few dozen rank-and-file House members who were visible and talkative at the Republican convention this week are departing as members of two camps:  

Those who declare wholehearted enthusiasm for Donald Trump remain the clear minority. The rest are at least professing their acceptance in the name of party unity — with many of them declaring that the addition of their former colleague Mike Pence to the ticket has given them sufficient hope that the general election and a Trump presidency might work out in the end.  

Dozens of Speeches, but This Week’s Only Keynote will be Trump’s Own
This unconventional convention has no designated hitter

CLEVELAND – A trick trivia question, now that the Republican National Convention is on the cusp of concluding with Donald Trump’s climatic speech: Who delivered the keynote address?  

No demerits for forgetting who, among the exhaustive roster of five dozen speech makers during the first three nights, claimed the job so often awarded to one of the party’s fastest rising stars. No one got the call this year.  

Kasich Starts Talk of a 2020 Rising if Trump Goes Down
No sign the Ohio governor will make peace witih Trump

CLEVELAND — The final case of openly mutual contempt between Donald Trump and one of his Republican rivals, the stylistically opposite Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio, can now be fairly described as a clash of the escalators.  

Last year Trump launched his improbable path to the party’s presidential nomination by riding down a moving staircase in the atrium of his iconic New York office tower, stagecraft symbolizing his unabashed descent into the art of the negative campaign.  

RNC: Day Two Highlights and A Look Ahead

Senior Editor, David Hawkings shares the important moments from the second day of the GOP convention and previews the schedule ahead....
Ron Johnson: The One Vulnerable Senator Who Didn't Stay Away
The Wisconsin Republican steps off the campaign trail to speak in Cleveland

CLEVELAND – Republican conventions, even those as relatively slapped-together-at-the-last minute-seeming as this one, are highly choreographed and scripted affairs where surprises are few and far between.  

Ron Johnson, who cultivates a pretty unsurprising and plainspoken affect when he’s at the Capitol as Wisconsin’s senior senator, has created one of the more curious “wow” moments as the week opens.  

Hawkings on Pence: ‘Almost Everything Trump is Looking For’

Just days before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Roll Call Senior Editor David Hawkings lays out the pros and cons of Donald Trump’s reported VP choice, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence....
Hawkings on Pence: ‘Almost Everything Trump is Looking For’

Just days before the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Roll Call Senior Editor David Hawkings lays out the pros and cons of Donald Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence....
Who's Mike Pence and Why Has Trump Picked Him?
Indiana governor and ex-House GOP leader has conservative support — with one exception

Mike Pence appears to check virtually all the boxes that Donald Trump signaled he’d put on his vice presidential search form:  

He has a credible record of executive accomplishment, pushing to enactment the largest tax cuts in Indiana history and an elimination of the state’s estate tax during his term as governor.  

Trump and the Ultimate Outsider-Turned-Insider
Mike Pence could be a ready-made bridge to Republicans in Congress

Before the House Freedom Caucus made it cool to leverage power by openly combating the Republican leadership, there was Mike Pence.  

During his dozen years in Congress, Pence was among the most confrontational conservatives of the previous decade. By pairing an absolutist approach to policy questions with unambiguous ambition, he became head of the Republican Study Committee, then home base for the House’s hardest right, before claiming the No. 3 spot in the GOP hierarchy with one of the most notable outsider-goes-inside maneuvers of recent congressional vintage.  

Trump and the Ultimate Outsider-Turned-Insider
Mike Pence could be a ready-made bridge to Republicans in Congress

Before the House Freedom Caucus made it cool to leverage power by openly combating the Republican leadership, there was Mike Pence.  

During his dozen years in Congress, Pence was among the most confrontational conservatives of the previous decade. By pairing an absolutist approach to policy questions with unambiguous ambition, he became head of the Republican Study Committee, then home base for the House’s hardest right, before claiming the No. 3 spot in the GOP hierarchy with one of the most notable outsider-goes-inside maneuvers of recent congressional vintage.