political-theater-podcast

What’s not part of the shutdown? 2020 Senate campaigns
Political Theater, Episode 52

Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa is one of 22 Republican senators up for re-election in 2020, and one of the few potentially vulnerable ones at that. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Politics never sleeps, not even during a government shutdown. That is especially true of Senate campaigns, because the unique nature of that chamber and its election cycle means folks need to be on their toes. Nathan Gonzales, the publisher of Inside Elections and Roll Call’s elections analyst, discusses which senators are the most vulnerable as the 2020 cycle ramps up, and how things like the current shutdown factor into political positions. 

Show Notes:

Congress for newbies: practical advice from a pro
Political Theater, Episode 51

Former Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., talks about how to get things right out of the gate in your first year in Congress on Roll Call’s Political Theater podcast. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call).

 “Decide what kind of member of Congress you want to be,” says Tom Davis, the former congressman from Virginia. “Voters see through phoniness pretty quickly.”

The 116th Congress and the week of the woman
Elizabeth Warren on Monday, Nancy Pelosi on Thursday, and record number of women sworn in

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is congratulated in the Capitol’s House chamber Thursday after winning the speakership on the first day of the 116th Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

We’ve had a couple of Years of the Woman — 1992 and certainly 2018 could be classified that way. But this week has been a week defined by women. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren kicked it off on Monday when she announced she was running for president, and Nancy Pelosi on Thursday made history again, reclaiming the speaker’s gavel after eight years in the minority, becoming both the first and second woman to lead the House. Oh, and a record number of women will serve in the 116th Congress, 24 percent of the House, 25 percent of the Senate.

In this week’s Political Theater podcast, we discuss the new Congress and what to expect from it: A record number of women in the House and Senate, new ethics rules, divided government, maybe even hats on the House floor! And amid it all, the 2020 presidential race is already well underway. 

What to Expect as the New 116th Congress Gets Underway
Political Theater, Episode 50

The Capitol will be a changed place as the 116th Congress gets underway. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If it’s a new year in an odd-numbered year, then you’ve got yourself a new Congress. As the 116th Congress is sworn in, things are going to look and operate differently: A record number of women in the House and Senate, new ethics rules, divided government, maybe even hats on the House floor! Also, amid it all, the 2020 presidential race is already well underway. Roll Call staff writer Katherine Tully-McManus breaks down the biggest changes for Political Theater. 

Show notes: 

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.”

Congress and Tax Cuts, A Love Story
Even amid the Christmas shutdown showdown, more talk of tax cuts

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., is retiring, but he’ll keep talking about tax cuts until then. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Despite the looming Christmas holiday, and despite an intractable fight over government funding and a border wall, and despite the unpopularity (and blow to the deficit) of the last big tax cut last year, it’s still raining tax cuts, or at least the politicians who love them. 

Witness the House taking time Thursday to push through a package of tax cuts that the Senate has shown no interest in taking up as the legislative calendar ticks down to zero. 

Did Tax Reform Scrooge the Holiday Party Spirit?
Political Theater, Episode 49

The holiday party circuit was a bit subdued this year. Did Congress take away incentives to live it up during this time of the year? (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Whether it was a cramped schedule, the funeral of a president, changes to the tax code or overall crankiness, the holiday party scene this year seemed a little, um, meh. CQ Roll Call's Niels Lesniewski, Kate Ackley and Peter Cohn crash the party that is Political Theater to discuss the wine, song and tax deductions of the Washington holiday party circuit. 

The Political Football That is Washington Redskins Football
Political Theater, Episode 48

Every once in a while, professional football turns to politics. That's happening as the Washington Redskins need congressional and city approval to move back to the city from Maryland's suburbs. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

Roger Ailes, the Connection Between Bushworld and Trumpworld
The 41st and 45th president had in common the legendary GOP fixer and Fox News boss

President Donald Trump salutes as First Lady Melania Trump holds her hand over her heart at former President George H.W. Bush's casket in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For all of the contrasts drawn this week between President Donald Trump and President George H.W. Bush, and there are many, the two chief executives did share one thing in common that helped assure their electoral successes: Roger Ailes.

This week’s tributes to Bush, with their emphasis on his gentlemanly public service, optimism and affability, diverge sharply with the current president’s dark, transactional demeanor and outlook. But for all their superficial and substantive differences, they both were aided greatly by Ailes: Bush as an employer of his skills as a strategist and political ad man in the 1988 race and Trump as a recipient of his authority to provide a ready platform on the country’s premiere conservative news channel: Fox News.

Roger Ailes 'Was Never Sorry About Anything'
Political Theater, Episode 47

Fox News chairman Roger Ailes walks with his wife Elizabeth Tilson as they leave the News Corp building, July 19, 2016 in New York City. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images