Nov. 26, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER


House Conservative Favorite Eyes Unusual Career Switch

You can expect Trey Gowdy to make an unusual career move, sooner rather than later.

What the 2016 Calendar Says About Congress

Decades of waiting on the arrival of the annual congressional calendar and then poring over the details affords Hill long-timers a nuanced appreciation of the myriad political calculations and logistical limitations that go in to setting the Capitol’s timetable for an entire year.

Hillary Clinton and the Two-Term Jinx

I hear it all the time: Voters want change after one party has held the White House for eight years, and that’s why only once over the past six decades has a party held the presidency for three consecutive terms. Tough luck, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The Ryan Rule: Whose Portrait Is Next?

Just days into the job, Speaker Paul D. Ryan has now made two decisions that deliver a powerful signal about how he’ll be the institutional steward of the House.

Cory Gardner for Veep? Don’t Laugh

Though I took notice of Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner’s endorsement of Sen. Marco Rubio for president, I didn’t immediately think about Gardner as a possible running mate for Rubio — until a CQ Roll Call colleague dropped that pearl of wisdom in my lap.

Fiorina Has No Clear Lane to GOP Nomination

Carly Fiorina is popular among Republicans, both nationally and in Iowa. And yet, when those same Republicans are asked to name their preferred candidate for president, they generally don’t select her. Why?

The Mixed Symbolism of Paul Ryan Sleeping in His Office

Many colorful “firsts” are accompanying Paul D. Ryan into the speakership. Most are distinctions from his past he can do nothing to alter: The only Wisconsinite to ever preside over the House, the first who’s been Ways and Means chairman, waited tables on Capitol Hill or toiled as a House staffer.

Cruz and Jindal Wait Impatiently for Their Chances

Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz continue to plug away in Iowa, far back from the front-runners. But both are well aware that if Ben Carson turns out to be little more than Herman Cain, a political outsider who briefly sat atop the 2012 field, each of them could have his own moment.

Marco Rubio's Long Senate Goodbye

Most lawmakers approach life in Congress as they would a functional marriage: The decision to go down the road is taken with great care, the thrill of the new is soon supplanted by hard work and sacrifice in pursuit of lasting gratification — and it’s painful whenever things don’t work out, for whatever reason.

The Would-Be Chairman With Ways and Means on His Side

Assuming no more last-minute surprises this fall at the House Republican Conference, the only important personnel decision to be made in coming days is who’ll become chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

Why the Next Month Is Critical for Bush

It’s still more than three months before the Iowa caucuses, but the next four weeks are crucial for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who started with the kinds of political assets that led many to regard him as the front-runner in the GOP race.

The Freedom Caucus Filibuster, Explained

“If it wasn’t for the filibuster, he’d still be the speaker today.”

Ryan Sacrifices Job Security With Eye Toward Long Game

What’s the best job security Paul D. Ryan can hope for, even if the Republican malcontents hold their fire long enough and he becomes speaker of the House?

What the Heck Happened to Rand Paul?

I never expected Kentucky GOP Sen. Rand Paul would win his party’s nomination for president, but I did expect he would be a factor in the race. So far, he hasn’t been one. (See my February column on his foreign policy challenges here.)

Why Republicans Need to Nominate Ted Cruz

It is increasingly apparent the GOP needs to nominate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for president next year.

Next Speaker Unlikely to Continue Long String of Leadership Insiders

There may be plenty of good reasons why Republicans are now seeking a “fresh face” as House speaker. But picking from outside the existing chain of command would also create some big challenges.

Why I Keep Forgetting About John Kasich

The Republican contest for president probably will boil down to a fight between a pragmatic conservative, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and either an uncompromising conservative, such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, or an outsider, like Ben Carson.

House Republicans Cement Quarter-Century Lock on Melodrama at the Top

These two weeks have been an intense reminder about how unstable the speakership of the House has become. Thursday put a shocking spotlight on another reality: Republicans have had nothing but unexpected heartache in choosing their own leaders in the past quarter-century.

GOP Leadership Vacuum Seen Helping Ex-Im Bank's Future

One of the most important legislative drives this fall will manifest John A. Boehner’s promise to “clean the barn” for the next speaker — or else looms as the first ideological comeuppance for the new Republican leadership.

Young Man in a Hurry, Chaffetz Now Positioned for a Longer Game

Jason Chaffetz will bring a chameleon political background and unremitting ambition into Thursday’s caucus of Republicans with his eyes on the prize — just not this time.

Why I Keep Forgetting About John Kasich

The Republican contest for president probably will boil down to a fight between a pragmatic conservative, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and either an uncompromising conservative, such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, or an outsider, like Ben Carson.

Early Iowa Presidential Polls a Better Predictor Than National Ones

Last month, national polls by CNN/ORC, Fox News and NBC News/Wall Street Journal got plenty of attention, and they certainly helped readers and viewers understand what is going on in the Republican and Democratic presidential contests.

Scorched Senate Tactics Limiting Cruz's Options, Top Prize Excepted

The questions about Ted Cruz in the Senate no longer start with whether he’s got even a couple of friends left among fellow Republicans. The answer, after a public shaming on the floor last week, sure looks like a “no.”

Democrats Could Sink Lower in Statehouses in 2016

With the tumultuous race for the White House and the Senate majority up for grabs, races for governor have been barely a sideshow this election cycle.

Ambition, Achievement, Tenure: House's Team of GOP Rivals Long on Just One

This much has become clear about the still-evolving scramble to reconfigure the House Republican leadership: Only white males will end up occupying the top three positions of power. They’re all going to hail from the Sun Belt. At least two, but perhaps all three, will have been in Congress for fewer than a dozen years.

Hamlet of the House Routine Prompts Talk About Act 3

On paper, at least, he remains an obvious option. Just ask him. And yet Jeb Hensarling is walking away, for the second time in as many years, from an opportunity to move into the topmost echelon of House Republicans.

Does Voter Anger Explain the Success of Presidential Outsiders?

Those of us who report on and analyze politics for a living have been talking ad nauseam about voters’ frustration and anger.

Will Speakers Ever Again Be Able to Stay on Their Own Terms?

Speaker John A. Boehner’s resignation continues, and possibly cements, a remarkable pattern in modern American politics.

Young, Ambitious and Wealthy Isn't Enough in Arkansas

Former U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge announced on Sept. 9 he will seek the Arkansas Democratic Senate nomination and the right to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. John Boozman in 2016.

And the News Gets Worse for Clinton

Compared to the Republican race for president, the Democratic contest looks almost normal.

A Tale of Two House Democrats on Opposite Courses Toward the House Exits

They are a pair of congressmen looking to be in the prime of their public lives. Both are party loyalists with unabashedly progressive views and constituencies as deeply “blue” as they are. Both are emblematic of a caucus that’s trending less white and more liberal. Their names even appear close together on the alphabetical roll of House Democrats.

A Significant Reassessment of the GOP Race

Republican front-runner Donald Trump isn’t going away anytime soon, I now believe.

One Day in, Climactic Month Slips Into Pope-Inspired Procrastination

How easy it is to procrastinate during the first month of a new semester, knowing none of the difficult assignments are really due before the end of the term — and especially when there are so many tempting distractions on campus.

Does David Vitter Have Something to Worry About?

Two-term Republican Sen. David Vitter started his bid for Louisiana governor as a solid, if not prohibitive, favorite. But Pelican State watchers believe that Vitter’s prospects look less certain now than they did six months ago.

Improving 2016 Office Performance | Commentary

As congressional offices approach the final quarter of 2015, the dreaded topic of “performance reviews” raises its ugly head. The topic is dreaded in Congress for a few reasons that could include: employees perceive it as unfair, a grading of their work akin to a first-grade report card; managers view it as an annoying requirement with no connection to office goals, or; offices avoid them completely, leaving staff frustrated without any clear and meaningful feedback on their work.

Missing the Boat on the Big Political News

On Aug. 21, I did something — twice — that I rarely do. I tweeted. But it wasn’t about Donald Trump’s poll numbers or Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails. It was about the stock market’s plunge.

Who Will Republicans Come Around to in 2016?

This is the quadrennial Republican silly season, when candidates without a prayer of election get their moments in the limelight, sometimes topping the polls before crashing.

Stop the Presses: O’Malley Nabs Swalwell Endorsement

Who knew the Democratic presidential race would be fundamentally changed in the blink of an eye? But that happened recently when California congressman Eric Swalwell, 34, endorsed former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

August Recess an Ideal Time for Art History Class at the Capitol

The oppressively ugly tangle of plastic sheeting and two-by-fours that’s dominated the Hart Building atrium for several months is, paradoxically, a reminder of just how much inspirational beauty infuses the Capitol complex.

More Opinions




Want Roll Call on your doorstep?