podcasts

So much Iowa, so little time
Snapshots of a state that will be a big deal politically for a while

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg talks with attendees at a campaign event in Fairfield, Iowa, on Thursday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

DES MOINES, Iowa — It is difficult for some people to accept that Iowa, a relatively small state in the middle of the country, has such an outsize role in determining the next president. But the Hawkeye State is more of a microcosm of U.S. politics and the country than it might first appear.

Iowa’s population of roughly 3 million people is tiny compared to mega-states like California, Texas and Florida, and it has a lack of racial diversity (it is about 87 percent white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau). But its voting patterns and political infrastructure make it a valuable barometer. 

The Iowa State Fair: Our hits, misses and lessons learned
Political Theater, Episode 88

Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, says a quick hello to her son, Gunnar, as he works at a corn dog booth at the Iowa State Fair on Monday August 12, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

DES MOINES, Iowa — For all its quaintness and fun, the Iowa State Fair does a pretty good job of approximating politics at the national level, be it questions about electability and charisma or trade and agricultural policy.

“The debate within the party that is happening right now, is happening right in front of me at the Iowa State Fair between these two people,” CQ Roll Call senior politics writer Bridget Bowman says, recounting a conversation between a couple after hearing South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg speak at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox on Aug. 13. The couple, both of whom told Bridget they were impressed with Buttigieg, were torn between what was more important for a Democratic candidate: offering bold ideas or being more likely to beat President Donald Trump.

You’ve seen the Freedom Caucus in action, now read the book
Author, in his new book, explains how hard-line conservative group changed the legislative game

From left, House Freedom Caucus members Dave Brat, R-Va., Mo Brooks, R-Ala., and Mark Meadows, R-N.C., arrive for a news conference in February 2017. In a new book, Matthew Green, argues that the Republicans who conspired against Speaker John A. Boehner in 2015 pioneered something new in American history. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Matthew Green, a professor of politics at the Catholic University of America, argues in his new book, “Legislative Hardball: The House Freedom Caucus and the Power of Threat-Making in Congress,” that the House Republicans who conspired against Speaker John A. Boehner in 2015 pioneered something new in American history.

Here’s an edited transcript of his interview with CQ Roll Call.

Why Trump, Chuck and Nancy face huge hurdles in infrastructure spending plan
CQ Budget Podcast, Episode 109

The Washington Monument can be seen as traffic travels over the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge April 13, 2015. The bridge is one of 61,000 bridges across America that the Department of Transportation said were structurally deficient and in need of repair. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Huckabee Sanders: Nadler has no choice but to be ‘conciliatory’ to Barr amid feud
Trump spoke to Russia’s Putin on Friday, but did not warn him on election meddling, spokeswoman says

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., left, and Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., at a hearing on Thursday for which Attorney General William Barr did not appear. The KFC bucket and ceramic chicken were meant to portray Barr as afraid to testify. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler has little option but to try a more “conciliatory” approach in dealing with the Trump administration after failing to compel Attorney General William P. Barr’s testimony about the special counsel’s report, a White House official said Friday.

“I think that that’s probably the only step that Nadler has, is to be conciliatory,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters outside the West Wing. “I think we saw how ridiculous and silly … his delegation looked yesterday.”

In crowded field, 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls turn to podcasts
Medium growing in popularity puts candidates ‘between your ears’

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, records an episode of the “Cape Up” podcast with host Jonathan Capehart. (Courtesy Pete for America)

As he strove to boost recognition of his hard-to-pronounce name in the crowded field of 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, Pete Buttigieg appeared on at least 30 different podcasts.

And more are planned for the future.

What Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Dick Cheney have in common
Political Theater, Episode 53

Renee Tsao, left, discusses politics and the movies with Political Theater podcast host Jason Dick. (Toula Vlahou/CQ Roll Call)

What do Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and former Vice President Dick Cheney have in common?

In addition to being political power brokers, films about them have now been nominated for Academy Awards, for the documentary “RBG” and feature film “Vice,” respectively. So politics, which has gotten a bit of a bad rap lately, (see shutdown, 2019, for more), can be both interesting, entertaining and profitable for Hollywood? Well, yes and no, says Renee Tsao, vice president of PR Collaborative, who discusses politics and movies on the latest Political Theater podcast. 

White House Targets Pelosi Even After Trump‘s ‘Proud’ Shutdown Vow
Democratic aides taken aback over White House claims of recent offers to talk

President Donald Trump argues about border security with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, right, and Vice President Mike Pence look on in the Oval Office on December 11. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The White House is waging a public relations campaign aimed at shifting blame for what could be a lengthy government shutdown to the top House Democrat and away from President Donald Trump even though he just days ago he said he was “proud” to single-handily own it.

Trump and the top two Democratic leaders engaged in a televised war of words on December 11 in an Oval Office confrontation during which the president took ownership of the coming partial shutdown. The president told them he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security,” adding he would “take the mantle” before roaring this: “I’m not going to blame you for it.”

The Most Listenable Political Theater Podcasts of 2018
The year in review, sort of, of some of our favorite talks

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On Roll Call’s Political Theater Podcast, you won’t always get what you want. You won’t always get what you need. But you’ll never be bored. We hope. With that in mind, here are a few of our favorite podcasts from the year that was, which just happened to be our first.

[Subscribe to Political Theater at RollCall.com]Matt Bai, Jason Reitman and Jay Carson talking about Gary Hart and their film “The Frontrunner.”

One Week Out, Roll Call’s Guide to the Midterms
Keep up with the latest twists and turns as we wind down to Election Day

Workers move a neon sign into place in Austin, Texas, on Sept. 29 before the start of a rally for Democratic Senate nominee Beto O’Rourke, featuring a concert by Wille Nelson. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

We’ve entered the homestretch, with Election Day just a week away. Roll Call’s coverage of all things midterms continues with dispatches from the road, the latest polls and ratings changes in competitive Senate and House races, hot takes from our political analysts and much more.

Here are some of our top political stories, videos and podcasts from recent weeks.