Jason Dick

Republicans Go to the Mat to Take Down Clinton
Old wrestling arena serves as home for GOP's counterprogramming

PHILADELPHIA — Any doubts that Republicans would swing hard at Hillary Clinton could be dispelled by the Republican National Committee’s choice of venue for its counterprogramming here during the Democratic National Convention: 2300 Arena, an old bingo hall formerly the home of professional wrestling’s ECW, a violent, upstart rival to the more mainstream WWE.  

Taking the stage to the sounds of “Disco Inferno” by The Trammps, GOP surrogates on Thursday went through their talking points savaging the Democratic presidential standard-bearer on a stage draped with American flags and underneath banners for wrestlers in the “Hardcore Hall of Fame” like 2 Cold Scorpio, Tommy Dreamer and Blue Meanie.  

'Newtown' Film Screening Dovetails With Dems' Gun Message
Examines families who lost children in Connecticut school shooting

PHILADELPHIA — When organizers of the Impact Film Festival decided on their lineup of topical documentaries they would show at this year’s Democratic National Convention, they could hardly have expected that their screening of “Newtown” would come on the day Democrats chose to address the issue of gun violence head-on in prime time.  

But that’s what happened, and the movie about the aftermath of the December 2012 mass murder of schoolchildren and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut was screened just a few hours before Erica Smegielski and Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, along with others touched by gun violence, were scheduled to address the party gathering.  

Are the Obamas D.C.'s Next Secret Weapon?
Advocates hope First Couple will agitate for voting rights, budget autonomy

PHILADELPHIA — Advocates for the District of Columbia are hoping that when Barack and Michelle Obama leave the White House in January to take up residence in Kalorama, it will mark a turning point in the city’s long fight for voting rights and budget autonomy in the nation’s capital.  

“From the most powerful man in America to the least represented,” said Shadow Sen. Paul Strauss, one of the District’s elected and unpaid advocates.  

Texas Democrats Do a Two-Step Over Voting Rights Victory
LBJ's daughter adds star power to delegation's event

PHILADELPHIA — Texas Democrats did a victory lap Monday at their delegation’s “Texadelphia” kickoff event for the Democratic National Convention, celebrating a recent court victory that found the Lone Star State’s voter identification law discriminatory while paying tribute to their own political legacy.  

“He wanted you, all of you, to vote,” said Lynda Johnson Robb, the oldest daughter of President Lyndon Baines Johnson and a former first lady of Virginia. (She is married to former Gov. and Sen. Chuck Robb.)  

Bill Clinton: The First Running Mate
Former president has unique and unpredictable role as Hillary Clinton's spouse

The Clintons’ “two for the price of one” ticket, a prominent feature of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential race , is one of the longest-running acts in politics.  

Twenty-four years later, it even applies to the speaking slots for the Democrats’ Philadelphia nominating convention.  

Philadelphia: A Rough-And-Tumble Town Puts on Its Best Face for the Democratic National Convention
Few cities embody nation's history so much

Few American cities embody the nation’s history as much as Philadelphia, the birthplace of the Constitution, home to the Liberty Bell, site of the first Republican presidential nominating convention and, this year, another groundbreaking event: the nomination of a woman at the top of a major party’s presidential ticket.  

It’s also a tough town that lionizes its contribution to cuisine, the cheesesteak; adores fictional boxer Rocky Balboa so much it placed a statue of him at the Philadelphia Art Museum; suffers the scars of brutal racial tension; and is home to such raucous sports fans that the old Veterans Stadium, once home to football’s Eagles and baseball’s Phillies, had its own jail. And they once even booed Santa Claus.  

Trump's Trade Agenda Dogs Portman in Cleveland

Former U.S. trade representative and incumbent Sen. Rob Portman is in the fight of his life to keep his seat. He's at odds with Trump on trade, and the issue followed him around Cleveland this week....
Portman, Kasich Head in Separate Directions on Trump
Ohio senator walks a fine line on contentious presidential nominee

CLEVELAND — Sen. Rob Portman fell into line behind Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Thursday, telling the Ohio delegation here that it was important that the billionaire become president, a position that puts some distance between himself and his fellow GOP statewide officeholder, Gov. John Kasich.  

“What’s the election about? It’s about the direction of the country,” Portman said to the audience at the Double Tree Inn near the Lake Erie shoreline, adding that the next president could have a say over the direction of the Supreme Court for generations, with as many as four seats up for grabs. “This is for all the marbles,” he emphasized, repeating the GOP mantra that Hillary Clinton is unfit to lead and make such decisions.  

Cleveland Rises and Shines for the GOP
Rust Belt metropolis is a Democratic stronghold, but politics are always open for discussion

It’s been called everything from “the best location in the nation” to the “mistake by the lake,” from “the best governed city in the United States” to the “buckle of the Rust Belt.”  

People have made sport of it “for years and years and years,” as the local congresswoman, Democrat Marcia L. Fudge, puts it, over the weather, the pollution, the economic misery and, especially, the sports.  

Home-State Republicans Keep Distance as Trump Comes to Town
Sorry but I have to run

The Republican National Convention will have its share of no-shows among the GOP party elite, among them former presidents, former presidential nominees and several representatives and senators in tough re-election battles looking to put some daylight between themselves and the presidential standard-bearer, Donald Trump.  

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, warily eyeing his thin majority and the number of tight election races on the GOP side, has advised senators up for re-election, for instance, to limit their time at the convention or avoid it altogether.  

The Politics of Fear
Will fear of terror and economic uncertainty drive this year's elections?

The mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando  two weeks ago has brought out political-anxiety rhetoric in force. Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, is rocking the electoral world with his raw appeal to fears about terrorism and crime.  

His allies in Congress, acting as surrogates, have embraced some of his rhetoric — questioning likely Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's  commitment to combat Islamic terror — and demonstrated how fear can enter the political echo chamber and become all-consuming.   

Gov. Rick Scott Wants You to Buy a Few Homes in Florida
Florida governor tells RNC members how much he appreciates their business

In an election increasingly about whether people are being left behind economically, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has a plan for his fellow Republicans: He wants them to "buy a few homes here."  

At Thursday's Republican National Committee spring meeting in Hollywood, Florida, the two-term chief executive of the Sunshine State delivered the keynote address, telling RNC members how much he appreciates their business.  

Band Just Can't Get Enough of Hillary
Corrigan Brothers work their music on Democratic front-runner

Political jingle masters the Corrigan Brothers are going all in for Hillary Clinton with "It's Time for Hillary," a campaign song set to the music of Depeche Mode's "I Just Can't Get Enough ."  

"Let's all get behind her/ be a part of the dream/ Hillary '16/ Hillary '16," a sampling of the song goes. Of course, there's some Donald Trump in there, too.  

Kasich Impresses by Bashing GOP
Editorial board likes him because he doesn't like his party

Maybe The Washington Post can set John Kasich and the Republican Party up on Date Lab.  

What did the Ohio governor do to get the love of the paper's editorial board? Apparently "he does not dismiss science," accepts compromise as a part of governing and rejects "fear-mongering," the Post's editorial board writes .  

Harriet Tubman Reshuffles the Deck
Choice of abolitionist on the $20 bill tests Jacksonian loyalists

Sometime in the future, someone looking to sell information in a crime movie will say, "I only speak to Harriet Tubman." And then that someone will be slipped a $20 bill.  

The Treasury Department's announcement on Wednesday that Andrew Jackson was coming off the front of the $20 bill and the black abolitionist was replacing him has been met for the most part with positive reactions.  

Like a Rolling Stone
Younger House Democrats getting restless as senior leadership shows no sign of going anywhere

Very few leaders, from professional sports coaches to Fortune 500 CEOs, keep their jobs after three straight losing seasons.  

Nancy Pelosi has led House Democrats since 2003, bringing them out of the wilderness in 2006, taking them all the way to 256 seats after the 2008 elections only to oversee the drop to the current nadir of 188 members, the result of three straight elections of missing the majority mark.  

The Story Behind That Picture: 'Elvis & Nixon'
New movie fictionalizes real-life events at iconic White House meeting

It's one of the more bizarre incidents in U.S. history, an early intersection of pop and political culture that produced the most requested photograph in the National Archives and now, a motion picture starring Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey.  

It's "Elvis & Nixon," and it's a fictional account of the real-life, Dec. 21, 1970 meeting of Elvis Presley and President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, when the King of Rock ‘n Roll offered his services as an undercover federal agent to crack down on subversives in the counter-culture.  

What Would Machiavelli Do?
Original political prognosticator has advice for voters as Trump, Clinton cruise

As Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton start to turn their attention to a more-and-more likely general election matchup, what would the original political gamer, Niccolo Machiavelli, think of this year's rough-and-tumble presidential race?  

Clinton, Trump Win Big in New York One could reread "The Prince," Machiavelli's manifesto for political maneuvering in 16th century Renaissance Italy — or refer to "How to Choose a Leader," Maurizio Viroli's new book breaking down the godfather of political science's advice on selecting the leaders of a thriving republic.  

Colbert Asks Ryan if the Closed Door is Locked
Speaker just happens to be on The Late Show on Trump's big night

Speaker Paul D. Ryan keeps saying he won't run for president, but he has this habit of showing up in the middle of things, like being counterprogramming for the news networks' coverage of a huuuge presidential primary night .  

On Tuesday night, as New York's returns showed victories for two unpopular front-runners — Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton — there was Ryan on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."  

Yes, Bill Clinton Wants Fries With That
Former president still connects over food on the campaign trail

With Bill Clinton, life imitates art and art imitates life. Especially when it comes to french fries.  

In a campaign swing through Western New York on Monday, the former president urged folks to vote for his wife, former Sen. Hillary Clinton, in Tuesday's presidential primary.