political-theater

Will the Lone Stars Align for Beto O’Rourke in Texas Senate Race?
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 41

Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke joins Willie Nelson on stage during his Turn out For Texas Rally last month. Other Texas legends are coming out for O'Rourke. How much difference will it make, though? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Will appealing to Whataburger partisans get out the vote? What about a new Willie Nelson song? These are but some of the questions that will be answered by the Texas Senate race between Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke

That’s because some of the Lone Star State’s favorite sons, like country-music legend Nelson and filmmaker Richard Linklater, have come out strong for O’Rourke and are putting their artistic talent where their mouths are. Will it make a difference, though? Leah Askarinam from Inside Elections and McClatchy’s Alex Roarty, who grew up in Houston, discuss the race, whether famous Texans will help O’Rourke and what sort of downstream effect the race has on competitive House races we might see on the latest Political Theater Podcast. 

Swift Winds From the West
Tay and Ye meet again, on the political stage

Taylor Swift endorsed former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen’s campaign for Senate in an Instagram post this week. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TAS file photo)

It’s been almost 10 years since Kanye West and Taylor Swift began to bicker. Remember? Beyoncé had just made one of the best music videos. OF. ALL. TIME. Here’s the timeline from then until now — the moment the Swift-Kanye conflict broke the fourth wall and entered DUH, DUH, DUH!

The Political Theater.

The Ghosts of Impeachment Haunt the Kavanaugh Fight
Ken Starr, David Schippers, even Kavanaugh himself were key players in impeachment of Bill Clinton

Senate staffers watch from their offices as police begin to arrest protesters opposed to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the atrium of the Hart Building on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Washington is doing its best to prove the William Faulkner maxim that “the past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

Kavanaugh Nomination Fate Is Still the Superunknown
Supreme Court battle is still a ways from being over

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Well, that was a day. The lengthy hearing featuring testimony and questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused him of sexual assault, has resulted in Republicans’ decision to go ahead with a confirmation vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday

As Minnesota Goes, So Goes the Nation?
Political Theater, Episode 38

Dan Feehan, Democratic candidate for Minnesota's 1st Congressional District, campaigns in the Applefest parade in La Crescent, Minn., on September 16, 2018. The man in the cut-out photo is a friend of the women. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Minnesota is suddenly the center of the political universe and voters there are more focused on health care and the economy than the latest scandal in Washington. And they'll have a lot to say in the midterms because the Land of 10,000 Lakes is hosting a governor's race, two Senate races and four competitive House races that will go a long way to determine the congressional majority next year. Roll Call Senior Political Reporter Simone Pathé spent six days covering six races and 12 candidates there and explains on this week’s Political Theater podcast why both Republicans and Democrats consider Minnesota a bellwether state.

Power, Confirmation & Lies
High court confirmation battle comes to a head, and the midterms loom, kind of

Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., hold a press conference with Holton-Arms alumnae in support of Christine Blasey Ford in the Hart Senate Office Building on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

After what seems like a nonstop election cycle since Nov. 9, 2016, with several special elections since then and a president that never seems to tire of political events, it’s safe to say even politics junkies are looking forward to Nov. 6, the day of the congressional midterms. Except … it might not even be over then, according to Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales, who says the number of close House races and likely runoffs might preclude us from knowing who will be in control of Congress for maybe weeks to come. Thanks, Nathan. 

High Court, High Political Drama — Probably for Years to Come
Political Theater, Episode 37

Regardless of the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the high court figures to be a more prominent, and political, part of American life for the foreseeable future. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the middle of a singularly rough Supreme Court nomination fight, the business of the high court goes on. The fate of Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the court, is still up in the air. But the  direction of the court, regardless of what happens with Kavanaugh, seems to be moving inexorably negative, at least politically, say CQ legal affairs writer Todd Ruger and senior writer Kate Ackley in the latest Political Theater podcast.

 

All Eyes in Congress on the Hurricane, and Beto and Willie
Religion, mother nature cut week short in Washington, so it’s back to the campaign trail

First Ted Cruz had to deal with Beto O’Rourke. Now he has to deal with Willie Nelson. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

Thanks to the weather and religion, Congress had one short work week. Due to Rosh Hashanah, neither chamber was in Monday or Tuesday, and didn’t get back into town until Wednesday afternoon. Then Hurricane Florence’s approach to the Atlantic seaboard brought with it worries of flight cancellations.

When Burt Reynolds Played a Congressman, It Was a Slippery One
The film icon had many memorable roles, but this was not one of them

Burt Reynolds as the slippery, fictional Rep. David Dilbeck in “Striptease.” (Roll Call illustration by Chris Hale)

Among Burt Reynolds’ least known roles is a particularly baroque portrayal of David Dilbeck, a fictional Florida congressman, in “Striptease,” the 1996 film based on the Carl Hiaasen novel of the same name. 

Playing a corrupt creep who is head over heels for Demi Moore’s stripper with a heart of gold Erin Grant, Reynolds went over the top in oozing sleaze in the role. 

John McCain, One Senator, Five Funerals, No Shortage of Laugh Lines
Saying goodbye to an American icon

The honor guard carries the casket into the North Phoenix Baptist Church for a memorial service for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

The Arizona part of the John McCain remembrance concluded Thursday, with three days to follow on the East Coast with memorial services at the Capitol Rotunda on Friday, the Washington National Cathedral on Saturday and burial at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on Sunday.