Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

Posts in "POTUS"

February 4, 2016

Obama, Straight Clownin’ With The NBA Champs


President Barack Obama holds up the No. 44 jersey presented to him by the NBA champion Golden State Warriors on Thursday at the White House.

President Barack Obama gave up basketball in 2010 after a bloody lip required stitches. But maybe the 54-year-old president will find a second career on the hardwood.

Okay, that’s not going to happen. But it didn’t stop Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr from floating the idea during a Thursday ceremony at the White House honoring his 2014-15 NBA championship squad.

Kerr joked that Obama “will be a free agent next year” when his second term ends. He presented the outgoing president a white Warriors jersey with Obama’s name and the No. 44 emblazoned on it and called it “a symbol of an offer that is coming.”

Obama nodded and mimicked a jump shot — although hoops fans know Obama would rather sign with his beloved hometown Chicago Bulls.

Speaking of the Windy City’s professional basketball team, Obama — predictably — found a way to mention the Bulls early in the brief ceremony.

He singled out Kerr, who won three of his total NBA titles with the Michael Jordan-led Bulls. Those in the audience laughed as Obama dropped the Bulls line, prompting a knowing shrug from behind the podium.

The president seemed to issue a challenge to the Warriors, who have the best record in the NBA this season at 45-4. He said they may — or may not — break the 1995-96 Bulls’ record of 72 regular-season wins. (Either way, Obama noted, Kerr can claim the record. He was on that Chicago team.)

The annual event did include some politics.

Seated in the front row were California’s own House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who wore the Warriors signature yellow and blue colors.

In a fitting — or corny, depending on your current mood — bit of symbolism, there was an aisle between them. That meant as they chatted before the Warriors and Obama entered, they were, literally, talking…across the aisle.

And Obama summed up the 2014-15 Warriors as an entity who achieved some major goals despite being constantly doubted by “the critics.”

“I can’t imagine how that feels,” he said in a tone tinged with more than a little sarcasm.

But the festivities were mostly about basketball, with Obama calling Warriors star guard Stephen Curry “a pretty good shooter.” (Obama rejected Curry’s assertion that the commander in chief beat him in a golf match last year because Secret Service agents intimidated him. “That was not the case,” Obama deadpanned.)

Curry went 19-28 from the field during a Wednesday night win over the Washington Wizards, making 11 three-pointers en route to a 51-point night. How did Obama sum up Curry’s white-hot shooting night during the Warriors’ 134-121 win?

“He was clownin’,” Obama said before imitating a dance the Golden State star often does when he’s scoring buckets in bunches.

Everyone laughed, including the Warriors players standing on risers behind him. But Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th U.S. president and a noted sportsman, remained stone faced in a portrait hanging near the scene.

Contact Bennett at and follow him on Twitter at @BennettJohnT.


See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call’s new video site.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

January 25, 2016

Ben Sasse Heads to Trump’s Twitter Grounds


Sasse said Trump will most likely win the presidency. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sasse is engaging Trump on social media. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., is engaging presidential hopeful Donald Trump, a notorious tweeter, and questioning everything from what his governing style would be if he were president to revisiting Trump’s extramarital affair with Marla Maples. Full story

January 15, 2016

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Jan. 11, 2016

Vice President Joe Biden leans in to kiss former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., before President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. leans in to kiss former Rep. Gabby Giffords, D-Ariz., before President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Despite a shortened week, lawmakers still found time to display liquid nicotine, giggle repeatedly and flub Heisman winners.

Full story

January 12, 2016

Rand Paul Celebrates Birthday on the Trail


Paul celebrated his 53rd birthday on Jan. 7. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., celebrated his 53rd birthday this year on the campaign trail in Des Moines, Iowa.

On Jan. 7, hundreds of supporters presented the presidential hopeful with a birthday gift, a scroll of 1,007 precinct captains committed for caucus night.

Full story

A Sprinkling of SOTU Watch Parties


Where to socialize through Obama’s last State of the Union (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Washington comes out for the State of the Union, and HOH has compiled some of the better-sounding watch parties for those who like to talk back to the screen. Full story

January 11, 2016

Speaker Ryan Needs Help Picking a SOTU Tie

Ryan tie

Ryan is outsourcing what he should wear to the State of the Union.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan is polling Twitter on the color of his tie for Tuesday night.

This State of the Union is Ryan’s first as speaker, so the first time he will be sitting behind President Barack Obama and the first time the cameras will have him in most every shot.

The two options he tweeted out are red and blue, but followers are weighing in with other colors via replies.

Former Speaker John A. Boehner wore a pink and purple tie at last year’s State of the Union, a green tie in 2014, an orange tie in 2013, a blue tie in 2012 and a pink tie in 2011.

The poll ends at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, just in time for the speaker to throw the winning tie on and prepare to hit the floor!

Contact Gangitano at and follow her on Twitter at @alexgangitano.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

How to Get a Good Seat at the State of the Union

WASHINGTON, DC- Jan. 25: House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and other members listen to President Barack Obama deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress. In the wake of the Jan. 8 shootings in Tucson, Ariz., that wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), there has been a push for lawmakers to break from the tradition of partisan seating at the State of Union address. In the back row are Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, and Rep. Eliot L. Engel, D-N.Y. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly)

Let us sit. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ever wonder about the seating arrangements at the State of the Union? Not only does a good seat provide a better listening experience, but prime real estate increases the chances of a handshake or peck on the cheek from President Barack Obama and face time on live television. HOH surveyed some of the best position players as well as institutional rules to present the best options for securing a primo seat.

Full story

January 7, 2016

Adele Dragged Into the Presidential Election

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 3: Presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., arrives for the Senate Republicans' policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rubio was mocked by Christie, Adele style. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie used Adele’s “Hello” to mock Sen. Marco Rubio on Thursday over some of the Florida Republican’s past statements supporting Christie. Full story

January 6, 2016

Gosar Targets Bill Cosby’s Medal of Freedom

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 1: Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting, beginning at the Capitol Hill Club on Wednesday, August 1, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Gosar is trying to help take down Bill Cosby (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., is attempting to assist in the removal of Bill Cosby’s Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The Arizona congressman is holding a news conference on Thursday at 3 p.m. to promote his legislation affirming a mechanism for the president to strip the medal of freedom from the actor.

In July, when asked about revoking the medal of freedom from Cosby, President Barack Obama said, “there’s no precedent for revoking a medal. We don’t have that mechanism.”

The president added, “If you give a woman — or a man, for that matter — without his or her knowledge a drug and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape.”

Gosar’s bill would also impose a criminal penalty on someone who publicly displays a medal of freedom that has been revoked. According to a statement, Gosar has been working on this bill since July.

According to his office, Gosar works closely with Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment, PAVE, a D.C. nonprofit that works to prevent sexual assault, as well as help survivors.

Cosby faces three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault. More than 50 women have accused him of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault.

Cosby received his medal of freedom in 2002.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

By Alex Gangitano Posted at 11:49 a.m.
Celebs, POTUS

January 1, 2016

Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of 2015

Congressional leaders attend a ceremony honoring the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War in July. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congressional leaders attend a ceremony honoring the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War in July. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

From throwing snowballs to threatening constituents to quoting Taylor Swift, Roll Call presents the year’s best moments from Capitol Hill you just had to see one more time.

Full story

The Lighter Side of Congress

UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 29 - Incoming speaker Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., shakes hands with outgoing Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stands beside in the House Chambers of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, October 29, 2015. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Out with the Boehner, in with the Ryan. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With another calendar year and session of Congress wrapped up, HOH would be remiss if we didn’t take a look back at what made it all special, from Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s parking skills to the richest man in Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa, dishing on where the cheapest sodas were,  from Capitol Police leaving guns in the potty to Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., doing 46 pushups. Full story

December 18, 2015

‘Where’s Harry?’ Obama Phones Senate Leaders


Reid ducked out of a news conference with Schumer to take a call from the president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama phoned both Senate leaders after the chamber passed a year-end spending and tax package. One answered, the other said he’d call him back.

The leaders did not say what the president was phoning about, but the call came right after Congress cleared the bills to keep the government open and extend a series of tax breaks.

Full story

November 30, 2015

A Much Earlier State of the Union for 2016

US President Barack Obama delivers the State of The Union address on January 20, 2015, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. Credit: Mandel Ngan / Pool

Once more with feeling. Obama will deliver likely his last State of the Union on Jan. 12. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The 2016 State of the Union will be by far the earliest delivered by President Barack Obama.

When Obama accepted Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s invitation to address Congress on Jan. 12, it beat out his earliest time by more than a week. Indeed, it will be the earliest a president has delivered a State of the Union address this century. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 5:09 p.m.

November 26, 2015

Congressional Hits and Misses: 2015 Thanksgiving Edition

In honor of Thanksgiving, Heard on the Hill looks back at the times this year when food was the only thing on lawmakers’ minds.

Full story

October 22, 2015

Democrats Pack Benghazi Hearing to Lift Clinton’s Spirits

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 16: Reps. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., left, and Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., make their way to the House Democratic leadership elections. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)

Hastings, left, compared the hearing to his impeachment proceedings. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s not often that all committee members show up when their panel holds a hearing. It’s even more rare that members not even on the committee attend the hearing, just to see what’s going on.

But Thursday was one of those rare occasions, with presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Capitol Hill to testify on the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 7:10 p.m.
Drama, POTUS, Reps

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...