Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 1, 2014

Messaging on the Cheap

President Barack Obama caught some grief last week after heading on over to Colorado to rally support for his expanded gun control push.

The April 3 visit, which critics decried as opportunistic — the state lays claim to two of the worst mass shootings in recent U.S. history, the 1999 assault on Columbine High School and the 2012 massacre at the Century Aurora multiplex — also came at a cost to taxpayers, vis-a-vis the bucks required to fuel up Air Force One.

Now, far be it from us to tell “44” when and where he can drag out the bully pulpit.

But given that we are now living in a post-sequester world, perhaps POTUS could grandstand a little closer to home and pivot to some back-burner priorities.

Backdrop: Manassas, Va.
Policy: Domestic violence

As the world learned in 1994, domestic violence hurts. The gruesome case of John and Lorena Bobbitt exposed much of what married America continues to try to keep out of the public eye. We say, let the healing begin.

Backdrop: Pentagon City, Arlington, Va.
Policy: Ethics/personal responsibility

Few lawmakers have experienced a more legendary career implosion than ex-Rep. William J. Jefferson. The Louisiana Democrat was caught on camera outside the Arlington Ritz-Carlton accepting a briefcase with a pre-arranged bribe of $100,000 from an FBI informant. He hid it in his freezer, where the feds found it later on. An opportunity to remind folks that graft continues to be frowned upon.

Backdrop: Thomas Circle
Policy: War on drugs

Sure, some states are coming around on the pot thing. And, yes, the current commander in chief used to blaze up from time to time. (Choom Gang, Assemble!) But it’s probably still worth it to tell the kids that smoking crack is seriously whack. Former D.C. Mayor (and current Councilmember!) Marion Barry learned that lesson the hard way in early 1990, when the FBI caught him with the pipe to his lips in the then-Vista International Hotel. Granted, Obama can’t really claim it’ll totally ruin your political prospects …

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