politics

That ’70s Show: Biden edition
Political Theater, Episode 93

Former Vice President Joe Biden arrives for his 2020 campaign kickoff rally at the Eakins Oval in Philadelphia on May 18. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Say this for the Democratic presidential field: Voters certainly have choices. From former vice presidents to tech entrepreneurs, from senators to mayors, from wizened veterans to young upstarts.

Out of this crowded roster, Joe Biden is arguably the most recognizable. The affable No. 2 to President Barack Obama and longtime former senator is among the most known political quantities.

Amid ‘Whistleblowergate,’ Trump again suggests his office has unlimited powers
‘I have the right to do whatever I want as president,’ president said in July

President Donald Trump makes remarks in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence stands nearby on August 5. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | President Donald Trump on Friday insisted it “doesn’t matter” if he asks foreign leaders to target his domestic political foes, again describing the powers of his office as unlimited.

On yet another remarkable Friday that capped yet another remarkable week in his roller-coaster-like term, the president once again opted against distancing himself from allegations that would have amounted to a major scandal for anyone who held the unofficial title of “leader of the free world.”

De Blasio bows out of 2020 primary race vowing to help ‘working people’
New York City mayor never gained a foothold in the polls and has low favorability rating at home

New York mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio addresses a crowd at The Galivants Ferry Stump on Monday in Galivants Ferry, S.C. On Friday he said he was dropping his bid for the Democratic nomination. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has ended his 2020 presidential campaign after failing to establish any real foothold in the Democratic primary race.

“I feel like I’ve contributed all I can to this primary election and it’s clearly not my time,” de Blasio said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday.

Trump: ‘It doesn’t matter what I discussed’ on call that drew whistleblower’s complaint
President announces sanctions at the ‘highest level’ against Iran after strike against Saudi oil facility

President Donald Trump is mired in another crisis, this time over an allegation he made a troubling “promise” to another world leader. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday did not deny discussing former Vice President Joe Biden with his Ukranian counterpart during a telephone conversation that reportedly prompted an intelligence community whistleblower to file a formal complaint.

“It doesn’t matter what I discussed,” Trump told reporters Friday, according to a pool report. The ever defiant president then ran toward the controversy, saying, “Someone ought to look into Joe Biden.”

Path to defeat Trump ‘doesn’t flow through the coast,’ Bullock tells teachers group
Despite sagging poll numbers, Montana governor forges ahead with 2020 presidential pitch

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, center, greets Randi Weingarten, left, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Darrell Capwell, before a town hall at the AFT on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Montana governor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock didn’t qualify for the debate stage in September, and he is polling near the bottom of the 20 remaining White House hopefuls.

But at the American Federation of Teachers headquarters in Washington, D.C., Bullock said Thursday he can win back Trump voters from the American heartland while retaining support in traditional liberal strongholds. The self-described populist moderate with executive experience spent time taking questions from the audience focused on education issues. 

Writing a speech for the boss? Two White House pros show you how to nail it
The best speechwriters are advocates for the audiences they’re trying to reach, Eric Schnure says

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “comfort level with who she is” comes across in her speeches, former Al Gore speechwriter Eric Schnure tells Murphy. President Donald Trump is another effective communicator, Schnure says, with his ability to speak “visibly.” (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photos)

OPINION — Most job interviews for Capitol Hill speechwriters go something like this:  “The senator needs remarks for tomorrow. You need to write the remarks.” No interview. No preparation. Just a last-minute assignment and an equally fast turnaround for a legislative assistant, a legislative correspondent or whichever press office staffer picked up the phone first.

Over at the White House, speechwriting jobs usually come with more requirements than physical proximity, but not always. Eric Schnure scored his first speechwriting job for Vice President Al Gore when he was working in the White House mail room and helping Gore’s understaffed speechwriter, Bob Lehrman, before and after sorting letters.

For Jim Hagedorn, being staffer in the minority was formative time
Freshman congressman worked for a Minnesota Republican, and was son to another

Minnesota Rep. Jim Hagedorn got his first taste of life in Congress as the son of a former congressman and as a staffer to Minnesota Rep. Arlan Stangeland. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New hearing on D.C. statehood, same old partisan lines
Effort to provide D.C. residents with full congressional representation gains steam in House

From left, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Mayor Muriel Bowser veteran Kerwin E. Miller, and Dr. Roger Pilon, attend the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing titled “H.R. 51: Making D.C. the 51st State,” in Rayburn Building on Thursday, September 19, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The first House hearing on D.C. statehood in nearly 26 years revealed old battle lines over giving the District of Columbia’s 702,000 residents full representation in Congress. House Oversight Committee Democrats applauded statehood as a long-overdue correction of an anomaly, while Republicans said corruption made D.C. unfit for full voting rights and claimed the whole thing was unconstitutional anyway. 

Thursday’s hearing grappled with HR 51, a bill that would admit the State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth, into the Union as the country’s 51st state, and provide it one House representative and two senators in Congress. The District is currently represented by a nonvoting delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who introduced the bill.

Throwback: Clyburn remembers meeting wife

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., speaks at an April legislative retreat in Leesburg, Va. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Majority Whip James Clyburn’s wife passed away Thursday morning at the age of 80. Over the years, the congressman has occasionally talked about their first time meeting … in jail during the civil rights movement. In a 2011 interview with South Carolina Education Television (SCETV), he remembered meeting Emily Clyburn when she brought him half a hamburger to his jail cell after he was arrested for his part in a 1960 student protest in Orangeburg, South Carolina.  He added to the story seven years later in an interview broadcast on C-SPAN, sharing his wife’s perspective on the events that lead up to their first meet.

Emotional Duffy send-off from Financial Services Committee

Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., takes her seat for the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on "NATO at 70: An Indispensable Alliance" on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Sean P. Duffy, R-Wis., spoke for what will likely be his last time as a member of the House Financial Services Committee Thursday. He took a moment at the end of remarks on border security to thank colleagues for “the friendships and camaraderie.”  Duffy thanked the Democratic committee chairwoman, Rep. Maxine Waters specifically for “always” treating him with respect. His comments spurred a collegial and impromptu tribute with Waters thanking him for the “good times and the bad times” and Rep. Ann Wagner choking up during her well wishes.