political-theater

The Huntington to Hollywood Heroin(e) Connection
Political Theater, Episode 7

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and his guest Jan Rader, Fire Chief of Huntington, W.Va., before last month’s State of the Union address. Rader, subject of an Academy Award-nominated documentary, will be in Hollywood next month for the Oscars ceremony (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

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.

Fire Chief Jan Rader has had quite a few months. The first woman to head up Huntington, W.Va.’s fire department, Rader and two other women from her community on the front lines of responding to the opioid epidemic — drug court judge Patricia Keller and Necia Freeman of Brown Bag Ministry — became the subjects of filmmaker Elaine McMillion’s documentary “Heroin(e).”

Podcast: Meet Jan Rader, West Virginia Heroin(e) in the Opioid Fight
Political Theater, Episode 7

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and his guest Jan Rader, Fire Chief of Huntington, W.Va., are seen before President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House chamber on January 30, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Among the stars at next month’s Oscars will be Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader, one of the subjects of the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Heroin(e)”.

She’s a first responder on the front lines of the opioid crisis, and she’s taken her message on the issue not just to the screen, but also to Capitol Hill as the guest of Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., during the State of the Union.

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

Midterms getting you down? Let Stu Rothenberg and Bridget Bowman provide some context. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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.

The Best Little Midterm in Texas

Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, center and Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, right, provide two of the more interesting political stories as Texas voters head to the polls this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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

The Lone Star State kicks off primary season on March 6. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

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

President Donald Trump takes a selfie with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., in the House chamber after Trump’s first State of the Union address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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.

A Dozen Democrats Will Skip Trump’s State of the Union Address
Cohen says president is ‘unworthy of the podium, the position and the power’

Reps. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., left, and Danny Davis, D-Ill., right, will not attend President Donald Trump's State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated Jan. 30 2:10 p.m. | Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen on Tuesday was the 12th Democratic member of Congress to announce that he would boycott President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.

“I’ve spent 38 years in elected public office, helping make government work and speaking out against corruption because I believe, as President John F. Kennedy believed, that politics is an honorable profession,” Cohen said in a statement. “The current President is the antithesis of that sensibility: a man who appears determined to tear government down, harm the most vulnerable, benefit the rich and destroy foundational institutions such as the Department of Justice and the FBI.”

How Republicans and Democrats Reacted to Trump-Mueller Report
Democrats cry foul, GOP zips lips over story that president ordered Russia special counsel fired last year

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., both expressed alarm at a New York Times report that President Donald Trump tried to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller last June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans and Democrats took up their usual positions after news broke that President Donald Trump ordered White House counsel Donald McGahn to fire special counsel Robert Mueller in June, only to drop the demand when the top White House lawyer threatened to quit.

Democratic lawmakers were predictably outraged.

The Red State Democrat Conundrum
For senators up in Trump-won states, a delicate political calculus

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., zigged when his fellow red-state Democrats zagged. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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. 

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

Claire McCaskill of Missouri is one of the Senate Democrats who faces voters in a Republican friendly state, putting pressure on her in the closely divided chamber. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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.