Nebraska

He Made Politics a Knockdown Brawl. (Hint: It Wasn’t Trump)
Contrary to the cries of ‘It’s never been worse,’ politics has always been personal, passionate and contentious

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams didn’t found America with backslaps and empty platitudes. They were as passionate as any politician since, write Heineman and Beebe. (Courtesy White House Historical Association and National Gallery of Art)

OPINION — In the presidential election of 1800, John Adams’ camp, through the Connecticut Courant newspaper, said that should Thomas Jefferson win the presidency, the United States would become a nation where “murder, robbery, rape, adultery and incest will openly be taught and practiced.”

Jefferson’s camp in turn accused Adams of being a “gross hypocrite” and “one of the most egregious fools on the continent.”

When Fried Pickles Lead to Better Policymaking
Ace program helps lawmakers build personal and working relationships

From right, Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr and California Rep. Jimmy Panetta visit a farm outside Lexington, Ky., during an exchange trip in June with the Bipartisan Policy Center. (Courtesy Bipartisan Policy Center)

OPINION — A California congressman, born in Mexico, introduces a Republican colleague in America’s heartland to traditional Mexican hibiscus water while attending a Cinco de Mayo festival, like the one he started in his home district. Within 24 hours, they receive a classified defense briefing nearby at U.S. Strategic Command headquarters. In ways both lighthearted and serious, that’s how relationships are built under the Bipartisan Policy Center’s American Congressional Exchange program, or ACE.

Relationships are foundational. Just as it is hard to trust someone you don’t know, it’s also difficult to disparage a person with whom you’ve broken bread — or shared hibiscus water, eaten fried pickles or tasted olive oil on ice cream. And experiencing the world through the eyes and perspective of another is frequently illuminating.

Exchange Programs Aren’t Just for High Schoolers. Congressmen Do It Too
Nebraska and California congressmen trade views of their districts

Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., left, visited Rep. Salud Carbajal, D-Calif., in his district in August. (Courtesy office of Rep. Salud Carbajal)

Say “exchange program,” and most people think of traveling teens.

That was true for Rep. Don Bacon, whose family hosted a German exchange student when he was 16. Mostly, the pair geeked out over American cars.

GOP Super PAC Dings Nebraska Democrat on Medicare-for-All
Kara Eastman is taking on GOP Rep. Don Bacon in 2nd District

Kara Eastman is the Democratic nominee in Nebraska’s 2nd Disrict. (Courtesy Kara Eastman for Congress)

The Congressional Leadership Fund is launching a new television ad knocking Democrat Kara Eastman over her support for a Medicare-for-All proposal, a sign Republicans view the attack as a salient one in the competitive Nebraska district. 

The 30-second ad, which launches in the Omaha media market Tuesday, will run for roughly two weeks. Eastman is taking on Republican freshman Don Bacon in the 2nd District, which President Donald Trump carried by by 3 points in 2016. 

Three Ways Kavanaugh Nomination Could Play Out After Accuser Speaks
Female GOP senators could have big say in what happens next

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, arrives for his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing in Hart Building on Sept. 4. His wife, Ashley, daughter, and Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, also appear. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS | What was an anonymous letter with serious allegations against Supreme Court nominee are now vivid words from an accuser, putting a name and face on the charges and raising new questions about the nomination.

A California professor contends she instantly thought a “stumbling drunk” Kavanaugh might “inadvertently kill” her during a party in the early 1980s while they were in high school, breaking her public silence and handing Republican leaders and the White House tough decisions about what to do next.

Politicians Worry About Millennials, but They’re Already Running the Hill
What happens when the chief of staff is mistaken for the intern

Joe Hack became chief of staff to Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., at 27. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Joe Hack sat in a weekly lunch for Republican chiefs of staff and listened to a speech on what to do about millennials.

At the time, he was 27 and running Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer’s office. “I’m at a table with a bunch of graybeards, [and] they’re moaning at the trials and tribulations of this next generation. I’m kind of sitting there. All of a sudden it dawns on them that I’m one of them,” he said.

At the Races: Second to Last in the Nation
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin

What’s Missing From Bob Woodward’s Book? Ask Ben Sasse
With McCain gone, the Nebraska Republican may be the closest thing left to a never-Trumper

Sen. Ben Sasse says he’s committed to the party of Lincoln and Reagan as long as there’s a chance to reform it. The true test would be a 50-50 Senate, Shapiro writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Bob Woodward’s book “Fear” — which might better have been called, Hunter Thompson-style, “Fear and Loathing in the White House” — is filled with revealing anecdotes that have gotten overlooked amid the incessant rounds of TV interviews and cable news panels.

One of my favorites comes from the early days of John Kelly’s White House tenure, as the new chief of staff briefly labored under the illusion that he could tame the erratic president.

At the Races: Who's in Trouble Two Months Out
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

AT-THE-RACES-LOGO-01

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin

‘No One is Above the Law,’ Kavanaugh Tells Senators
Democrats worry Supreme Court nominee would shield Trump

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is sworn in during his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Wednesday said sitting U.S. presidents are subject to all laws, adding a “good judge” is one that is not “swayed by political or public pressure.”

Notably, he hailed a high court decision that forced then-President Richard Nixon to hand over information to federal investigators.