exclusions

The ‘Emotional Space’ Inside High-Stakes Diplomacy
Looking back at Obama, looking square at Trump

Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama take time for reflecting in the new documentary “The Final Year.” (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

The civil war in Syria. Boko Haram. Russia. Climate change. American foreign policy operates in a high-stakes environment in a very public glare. And in 2016, in the midst of a contentious election year, President Barack Obama oversaw a team of players trying to solidify a legacy in his last year in office. Documentary filmmaker Greg Barker went along for the ride, from the cramped quarters of the West Wing to an emotional speech at Hiroshima, Japan for his new film, “The Final Year.”

At the Races: The Ghost of Midterms Yet to Come
GOP tax bill and sexual harassment allegations dominated the week

AT-THE-RACES-LOGO-01

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter. Sign up here. We want to hear what you think. Reply to this email with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget BowmanThis week … Republicans passed their tax bill, another congressman retired due to sexual harassment allegations and former women lawmakers offered advice to aspiring candidates.

Bracing for At-tax: (Get it? Because both parties are getting attacked on taxes?) OK, bad puns aside, Republicans passed a major tax overhaul along party lines this week. Republicans said passing this tax bill was vital ahead of the 2018 midterms to prove they can govern. Democrats wasted no time launching attacks against Republicans — but will the 12 Republicans who voted against the measure face a backlash from their own party? That doesn’t appear likely — at least not yet.