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.  

No, Congress Won't Get More Productive Come Fall
Standoffs more likely than deals this get-out-of-town week — and that won't change when they return

There’s really no way to avoid the public relations fiasco confronting Congress starting Friday, when its longest summer break in more than three decades will begin with hardly anything accomplished to ward off a “do-nothing” label for the summer.  

The final fortnight before the August recess customarily guarantees a whirlwind of deal-making on the major issues of the session, especially before the peak of campaign season. But nothing to really write home about , let alone claim for the history books, is on tap now.    

Will Comey or Trump Get More Attention on the Hill?
Testimony by FBI boss may mean more than meetings with presumptive nominee

All year long, most congressional Republicans have been keeping one eye anxiously closed when regarding the combative crusade of Donald Trump, and most congressional Democrats have been doing the same while watching the trust-related travails of Hillary Clinton.  

Today, neither side can hope to continue looking away, since central figures for generating wariness in both campaigns will be on the Hill simultaneously:  

David Hawkings’ Whiteboard: Inside Clinton’s Voting Record

As Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton comes closer to clinching her party’s presidential nomination, Roll Call Senior Editor David Hawkings looks back at the former Senator’s nine years in the upper chamber for a glimpse at what a Clinton presidency might look like....
Should We Bring Back Earmarks?
5 years after the Hill supposedly went pork-free, a retiring senator says bring it back

Barbara A. Mikulski, who’s retiring this fall as the longest-tenured woman in congressional history, minces few words and suffers fools hardly at all. So there’s little surprise the Democratic senator had a tart bit of advice to impart to her colleagues last week.  

What’s remarkable is that her exhortation was among the most provocative and unscripted thing a lawmaker has said recently that got entirely overlooked.  

Gun Control Meets Congressional Dysfunction
Swing-district Republicans hold the key to any legislative breakthrough

This is the week when the American people decide if the extraordinary House sit-in is remembered as the sound of gridlock breaking, or the latest evidence of gridlock calcifying.  

Energized advocates for gun control predict it will prove to be the former. Experience says it will be the latter.  

Why They Didn't Show Up to Sit In
The 11 Democrats who didn't participate in last week's gun control protest

Organizers said they started last week’s extraordinary sit-in on the House floor without knowing how many other House Democrats would join them to demand votes on legislation to tighten background checks and prevent suspected terrorists from buying weapons. By the time the protest ended, nearly 26 hours later, 176 members of the caucus — or 94 percent — had taken part in the demonstration.  

[ Gun Control Meets Congressional Dysfunction ]  

Inside the House’s First Social Media Non-Filibuster
Democrats take over House floor demanding votes on gun control

There have been very few truly memorable guerilla theater performances in the chamber of the House of Representatives during the past half century. What happened Wednesday  quickly won a spot on that exclusive roster.  

On a day with plenty of dramatic national political stories, including Donald Trump labeling Hillary Clinton “a world class liar” and Marco Rubio reversing his Senate retirement plans, a clutch of Democrats who are usually disregarded as policy-making afterthoughts easily managed to steal the show.  

Filibusters Make Careers, Not Laws
Most talkathons produce empty headlines

Does the old-time filibuster really work? Well, to paraphrase President Bill Clinton’s famously elliptical defense of his personal life, it all depends on what the meaning of the word 'work' is.  

If the objective is to make a point or a reputation, then standing your ground in the well of the Senate for hours on end has been effective.  

Confront Trump or Kowtow? House GOP’s Final Answer Nears
Absent a repudiation at his July 7 Hill visit, the elected establishment will be on board for good

A seminal moment in the nation’s 58th presidential election is guaranteed three weeks from today.  

All 247 Republicans in the House of Representatives will have their first and only opportunity to gather in the same room , at the same time, to size up Donald J. Trump before he stands for nomination as the most temperamentally and politically unorthodox person ever put forward by the GOP – or any other mainstream American political party.