Jason Dick

Anger Management in the 2018 Midterms
Who will turn out to vote? Depends on who is angry

Howdy from Political Theater, Roll Call’s newsletter and podcast on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

“Voters who are angry tend to vote in midterms,” Roll Call political analyst Stu Rothenberg says in the latest “Political Theater” podcast. “In bad times, everybody’s angry and everybody wants to send a message,” he continues.

Podcast: It’s the Economy Stupid? Maybe Not​
Political Theater, Episode 6

Roll Call Political analyst Stu Rothenberg explains why GOP gains in a generic ballot represent just a part of the overall political picture and political reporter Bridget Bowman previews Arizona's upcoming special election.

Show Notes:

The Best Little Midterm in Texas

Howdy from Political Theater, Roll Call’s newsletter and podcast on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

Texas is as Texas does: A giant place with outsize political actors: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Sam Rayburn, Tom DeLay, George W. Bush. And now a new generation is duking it out in the Lone Star State, with implications for the congressional majorities.  

Podcast: The Lone Star Midterm Lowdown
Political Theater, Episode 5

Texas kicks off primary season in less than a month, and will shape midterm contests that could help determine majorities in the House and and Senate. Roll Call Senior Political Writer Bridget Bowman runs down with Political Theater's Jason Dick everything from the marquee Senate race there to House campaigns that lawmakers will definitely be breaking a sweat over. 

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Former Rep. Joe Knollenberg Dies at Age 84
Michigan Republican represented suburban Detroit

Former Rep. Joe Knollenberg, a Michigan Republican who represented suburban Detroit for eight terms, died on Tuesday. He was 84.

Rep. Dave Trott, R-Mich., who represents parts of Knollenberg’s old Oakland County-based district, sent out a statement about the news. 

A Trump, a Very Palpable Trump
The State of the Union as audience builder

Welcome back to Political Theater, Roll Call’s newsletter and podcast on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

Heading into year two of his presidency, can Donald Trump expand his reach and influence with skeptical Democrats in Congress, much less a skeptical public? At a minimum, he will need the minority party to advance any meaningful legislation, particularly in an election year.

Podcast: Can The Trump Show Win Over a New Audience?
Political Theater, Episode 4

As President Donald Trump starts his second year in office, he will need Democrats to secure meaningful legislative accomplishments. His first official State of the Union address was a prime-time, nationally televised opportunity to reach across the aisle.

Ben Terris, national political reporter at The Washington Post, discusses with Roll Call whether Trump was able to use his State of the Union to build congressional coalitions, and whether the speech will help or hurt the legislative agenda.

First-Term Presidents and State of the Union Big Asks
One year in, what presidents ask for when their party controls Congress

U.S. presidents rarely get the luxury of starting their terms with their own political party in charge of Congress, something that enables both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to think big.

For those who do, it’s not rare to hear them ask for big things in the State of the Union address ahead of their first congressional midterms. Nor is it rare for them to have such big thoughts crash to earth in November, when the president’s party usually takes a beating. 

What You Won’t See On Camera at the State of the Union
 

The annual tradition of the president delivering the state of the union is a chaotic, busy and tiring day on Capitol Hill. Roll Call reporters who have lived it before give you insight into what goes on before and after the address and what the national cameras won’t catch....
A Die-Hard Senate Tradition: Pen and Paper to Record Votes
 

Watch the latest Undercover Capitol to learn more about an enduring — and endearing — tradition in the Senate: the paper ballot, still used by both the Senate clerk and reporters to record floor votes by the members....
The Red State Democrat Conundrum
For senators up in Trump-won states, a delicate political calculus

Welcome back to Political Theater, Roll Call’s newsletter and podcast on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here

When Sen. Jon Tester voted against reopening the government this week, it was notable not because he was only one of 18 senators to do so, but because he departed from another important political subset: Democrats up for re-election this year in Republican-friendly states. 

Pence Vote Needed, Twice, to Push Brownback Nomination Along
Absences make it close for former senator and current Kansas governor

Senatorial courtesy only extends so far these days. Case in point? Former Sen. Sam Brownback, who is Kansas’ Republican governor and has been nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom, needed Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie just to cut off debate on his nomination.

Even by the current Senate’s lower threshold to cut off debate on nominations, down from three-fifths of those present to just a majority, Brownback just squeaked by, 49-49, with Pence arriving at the Capitol to break the tie. A few hours later, Pence broke another 49-49 vote to confirm Brownback. 

Podcast: Senate Democrats’ High-Wire Act
Political Theater, Episode 3

Senate Democrats are seeing red. Of the 26 Democrats facing the voters in November, 10 of them are running in states President Donald Trump won in 2016, and five of those are in states the president won handily.  Roll Call political reporters Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman discuss the Democrats' dynamics in a closely divided Senate, and a midterm election campaign that is revving up.

A Step Away From History: Riverby Books on East Capitol Street
 

Riverby Books, just a few blocks east of the Library of Congress and the Capitol Building, is often the final destination for books and objects brought in by famous and not-so-famous Hill residents. Leadership editor Jason Dick talks with bookstore owner Paul Cymrot about some rare finds once owned or marked by people who made history....
The ‘Emotional Space’ Inside High-Stakes Diplomacy
Looking back at Obama, looking square at Trump

Welcome back to Political Theater, Roll Call’s newsletter and podcast on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here

The civil war in Syria. Boko Haram. Russia. Climate change. American foreign policy operates in a high-stakes environment in a very public glare. And in 2016, in the midst of a contentious election year, President Barack Obama oversaw a team of players trying to solidify a legacy in his last year in office. Documentary filmmaker Greg Barker went along for the ride, from the cramped quarters of the West Wing to an emotional speech at Hiroshima, Japan for his new film, “The Final Year.”

Roll Call Reviews Obama’s ‘The Final Year’: A Documentary on the Last Days of a West Wing Team
 

Roll Call editor Jason Dick shares his thoughts on “The Final Year,” an HBO documentary in theaters Jan. 19 that chronicles the outgoing Obama administration’s last year, focusing on its foreign policy efforts.

Podcast: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Times in Obama's 'Final Year'
Political Theater, Episode 2

Watch: ‘The Final Year’ Captures the Personal Narrative of Global Politics

“The Final Year,” director Greg Barker’s documentary about a year in the life of the Obama administration’s foreign policy team, opens this Friday in theaters. It traces 2016 through the eyes of Secretary of State John Kerry, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes and, of course President Barack Obama as they navigate the challenges of high-stakes diplomacy in an election year.

Political Football, Donald Trump-Style
Podcast: Political Theater, Episode 1

Welcome to Political Theater, Roll Call’s podcast and newsletter on the spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here

President Donald Trump loves football. He played in high school. He owned a USFL team, the New Jersey Generals. He tried to buy the Buffalo Bills. He inserted himself into the NFL imbroglio over players kneeling during the National Anthem. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise he attended part of the College Football Championship Game in Atlanta on Monday between the University of Alabama and University of Georgia.