July 31, 2015

Columns

More Democratic Losses Could Be on the Horizon

For Democrats anxious to turn the page from a terrible 2014 cycle, the news might get worse before it gets better.

Heightened Awkwardness in Trump's Recent Donations to Hill GOP

A “lightweight,” an “idiot” and a “beggar” were just a few of the go-to epithets Donald Trump hurled at Sen. Lindsey Graham last week, before giving out the senator’s cellphone number to the world.

Chris Christie’s Conundrum

On first glance, Christie’s bio and profile should make him a top-tier hopeful for the 2016 Republican nomination. But he isn’t — at least not right now. In this case, timing is everything.

High-Risk, Delayed-Reward Strategy for Fighting Menendez Indictment

Sen. Robert Menendez has raised the legal stakes for all of Congress, and bought some crucial time for his own imperiled career, with the aggressive strategy he’s unveiled for fighting corruption charges.

Reputation Can Be Tough to Reverse; Just Ask Sheila Jackson Lee

The latest dust-up centered on Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee has several hallmarks of her form — behaving in ways the vast majority of members of Congress intuitively know to avoid.

The Politics of Identity Politics

“I’m tired of hyphenated Americans,” complains Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in “We’re All Americans,” a television spot aired by Believe Again, the super PAC supporting the presidential hopeful’s bid.


When Fear on the Right Is Trumped by Fear of Self

When they’re not busy raising money off it, House Republicans tend to sound plenty whiny about their stated No. 1 fear: Being successfully challenged from the right in the next primary.

Who Will Benefit From the Issues Mix in 2016?

Every election is different, but they almost always come down to one question: What is the election about?

Confederate Flag Debate Is Historic Test for Boehner

When things get particularly rocky, John A. Boehner sometimes tries to assert control by reminding people he is “speaker of the whole House,” meaning his responsibilities as institutional steward can trump his role as Republican-in-chief.

Bernie Sanders: The Latest Version of Howard Dean

Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders’ poll numbers in New Hampshire have reporters taking notice and progressive Democrats excited: Bernie is surging!

The One Candidate Who Did Something in Congress

When the expansive presidential field tops out the week after next, five current and six former members of Congress will officially be in the hunt. Only one can claim to have driven the enactment of landmark legislation.

The Donald Trump Impact: Not so Inevitable After All

I was surprised by the near unanimity over the weekend about the impact of the Donald Trump comments about Mexican immigrants. Almost every disinterested political observer agreed Trump’s typically over-the-top remarks were certain to hurt GOP prospects in the 2016 presidential election.

Hill's Spending on Itself Set on Cautious Course

The end of the fiscal year is still a dozen weeks in the future, but already a shutdown showdown looks inevitable. For circumstantial evidence, look no further than the floor schedules for this month. None of the 12 annual spending bills will get a shot at passing the Senate, while the House will give up on the appropriations calendar with four measures in limbo.

Two Weeks on, Hill's Post-Charleston Agenda Has All but Disappeared

The last of the funerals for the Emanuel Nine is Tuesday, and momentum for removing Confederate symbols from the public square has reached a plateau. But what about tangible federal policy changes in reaction to the Charleston shootings?

When the Second Time Isn’t the Charm

I feel bad for Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Rick Perry. They are presidential retreads at a moment when anything that is more than an hour or two old is passť.

Senate Showing Its Age Lately, Mostly to the Good (Video)

The Senate seems as dinged up as ever this summer. Is it coincidence, or are senators just getting older?

Yarmuth Retirement Rumor Offers Window Into Future

Rumors that Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth was poised to retire or resign were hot and heavy right up until the moment the Democratic congressman announced his re-election bid on Monday. But the public uncertainty provided a brief glimpse into what the race to replace him might look like when he decides to call it quits.

Confederate Flag Debate Showcases Scott as Symbol

The revived debate about the Confederate battle flag has climaxed with exceptional speed in South Carolina, where the state’s three most prominent Republicans led a bipartisan call Monday for removing the banner completely from the state capitol.

Does Scott Walker Have What It Takes to Win in 2016?

Four Nominees From Hill History for New Face on $10

There’s not a female face on our paper currency, which the U.S. Treasury is now promising to change. There is also no one on our money who’s distinguished because of service in Congress. The Obama administration has viable options for rectifying both shortcomings simultaneously with its choice for new portraiture on the $10 bill.

GOP Not Quite Ready for the Health Care Victory It's Dreamed About

With each passing day of Supreme Court suspense, the image of the dog catching the bus has come more warily into focus for congressional Republicans.

Why Backing the Rule Is No. 1 Rule for Party Discipline

“Voting on the rule” may sound like nothing more than procedural inside baseball. But an enormous amount of policy and political consequence hinges on the fate of House roll calls on resolutions setting the terms for a bill’s consideration.

Party's History of Establishment Picks Could Be Over

Battles for the Republican presidential nomination almost always come down to two alternatives — an establishment-backed candidate with pragmatic instincts and an insurgent (often significantly more conservative) who tries to appeal to constituencies that feel ignored.

Politicians Prosecuting Their Case to Come to Congress

If three in a row signals a trend, then the era of the prosecutor in congressional politics is clearly taking hold.

Members Living in Their Offices Rent-Free Adds Up

Rep. Joaquin Castro knows a little about real estate, in part because his twin, Julian, is secretary of Housing and Urban Development. So after winning a safely Democratic seat three years ago, he decided buying a condo on the Hill was a smart investment.

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