Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 30, 2014

March 17, 2013

Capitol Quip: And the Gold Goes to …

Capitol Quip: And the Gold Goes to ...

Thanks to the many readers who contributed captions for last week’s Capitol Quip contest. Here’s the winning entry as voted by readers of Heard on the Hill. The winner will receive a signed color print suitable for framing from Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson.

RedStateDate Woos Single Conservatives

Being lost in the electoral woods is bad enough. Political Matchmaker CEO Alexander Fondrier wants to bring lonely GOP activists together via ideologically aligned love connections.

Fondrier, founder and CEO of and, both of which launched last fall, said the compatibility sites were born of his own frustration with finding that certain someone. He estimated that, to date, about 6,000 people have joined up — although solo Republicans tend to outnumber mate-less Dems by about 5-to-1.

“We’ve seen a lot of people in the D.C. area signing up. Also, state capitals,” he said of his burgeoning market share, which he hoped to grow by showing his stuff at last week’s Conservative Action Political Conference.
Full story

Reality TV Congress?

Looks like politicians are finally catching on to the possibilities of reality TV, looking to steal some thunder from reality greats such as Honey Boo Boo Child and the Kardashians.

In the House, Rep. Chaka Fattah, the 10-term Democrat who represents Philadelphia, has launched his own reality series called “Fattah Around Philly.”

Fattah says the YouTube series — which shows the congressman interacting with groups in his northwestern Philadelphia district and feels like a mixture of CSPAN and a local cable access show — is his way of directly reaching out to his constituents to show them the work he’s doing in the community every day.
Full story

March 15, 2013

CPAC: America’s Job Creator

Sure, the Conservative Political Action Conference has hit a rough patch in terms of shepherding its favorite sons into higher office.

But that doesn’t mean the self-proclaimed keepers of the capitalist flame have fallen down of the job of getting blue collar folks back to work.

Just ask the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center cleaning crew. Full story

Franken to Brunch With Team Coco

This is possibly the most fun campaign donation solicitation ever.

Donate a few bucks to Democratic Sen. Al Franken’s campaign and you’re eligible to fly out to Los Angeles with a friend in early April to brunch with the Minnesota senator and late night host Conan O’Brien.

“Imagine how jealous your ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend/boss/parents/neighbors/cousins will be,” Franken writes to his email supporters. “Imagine how ridiculous your friends will look when they compete to be your plus-one.”

Both O’Brien and Franken are Harvard and “Saturday Night Live” writing room alumni.

This solicitation is a departure in style for Franken. Since his first race in 2008, he has not pushed his “SNL” past. In fact, the show is not even mentioned in his official Senate biography, only that he was once “a comedy writer.”

The deadline is March 31, the Federal Election Commission’s first quarter deadline. Campaign donation pleas become increasingly more common as a quarter winds down.

In this one, the Franken campaign lets the donor decide the contribution amount — doggone it, Stuart Smalley would be proud.

March 14, 2013

Being Dick Cheney Means Never Saying You’re Sorry

Dick Cheney loves spaghetti. Oh, and he’s still unapologetic about pretty much every public policy decision he’s taken part in, including the march to war with Iraq 10 years ago, waterboarding suspected terrorists and the “Halloween Massacre,” a consolidation of power in the Ford White House that led him to become the youngest White House chief of staff in history at age 34.

R.J. Cutler’s documentary “The World According to Dick Cheney” opens with a shot of the former vice president at home in Wyoming, staring into the camera and answering a series of Rorschach-like questions from Cutler.
Full story

D.C. Casting Call, Y’all!

Hey there, D.C., Maryland and Virginia!

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation is having an open casting call for models Friday at George Washington University.

The group is looking for fabulous men and women to walk the runway at the Be Beautiful Be Yourself Gala, scheduled for May 8. Auditions will be held 6-8 p.m. at GWU’s Marvin Center. A panel of judges
will narrow the field to about 30 models with Down Syndrome or other disabilities, so family and friends should come to the auditions to cheer on their favorite contestant.

The GDSF gala will be at the West End Ritz-Carlton and will honor Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

Staying on the Hill for Saint Paddy’s

As the saying goes, everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

But we here at HOH think that on this glorious holiday — which celebrates Irish culture and encourages imbibing in hefty quantities — drinking should be done among the natives.

And what better places to frequent than the Irish pubs on Capitol Hill.

There’s The Dubliner, the tried-and-true Irish pub near Union Station, which got a visit from President Barack Obama on St. Patrick’s Day last year. The bar says it hasn’t got word yet on whether Obama plans to stop by again for a pint of Guinness, but it plans to host three live bands all day Sunday and promises a near-never-ending flow of Guinness and corned beef sandwiches.
Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 7:24 p.m.

A Kildee Comeuppance? Or More Obama Aloofness?

Updated March 15, 6:28 p.m. | Michigan Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee has been in Congress for a little more than two months, and today the leader of the free world gave him a gentle ribbing about just how new he is to Capitol Hill.

At a closed-door meeting between President Barack Obama and House Democrats, Kildee introduced himself as a freshman, to which Obama said, “Wow, you’re really classing up the place then.”

Kildee then proceeded to ask what one person described as a somewhat “long-winded” question about the importance of creating jobs for his economically distraught district.

Full story

Former Rep. John Edward Porter Gives Congress a Tongue-Lashing

Sens. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., and Bob Casey, D-Pa., were honored at Research!America’s annual advocacy awards dinner at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, the organization’s nod to their commitment to private and public sector medical research and innovation.

But things took an interesting turn, when former Rep. John Edward Porter — now chairman of the board of Research!America — took aim at Congress, accusing both parties of “idiotic posturing that is supposed to pass as governing.”

“The United States preaches democracy to the world. Our founders gave us a strong framework for making inclusive decisions,” the Illinois Republican said. “Then we do everything possible to scam the system for partisan advantage.”

The crowd, if somewhat surprised by the scathing attack, lapped it up.

Full story

Grindr Users Abound at CPAC 2013

Grindr, the popular social app for “gay, bi and curious” men, was well represented at opening day of the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference. The app uses GPS to let users see which other users are near by.

HOH’s morning on Grindr started pretty quietly, with just one or two fresh-faced young men in close proximity. Many of the users we saw didn’t seem too worried about their orientation or political affiliation. Several users, in fact, broadcast their conservative credentials in their handles and showed their faces in their pictures.

As the day progressed, the number of nearby users steadily ticked upwards from three profiles just before 11 a.m. to 24 profiles (including two married guys) just after 4 p.m.

“With more than 4 million guys in 192 countries around the world — and approximately 10,000 more new users downloading the app every day — you’ll always find a new date, buddy, or friend on Grindr,” brags the app’s website. “Grindr is quick, convenient, and discreet. And it’s as anonymous as you want it to be.”

Warren Rojas contributed to this blog post.


CPAC’s Cult of Personality

What everyone saw at CPAC 2013:

CPACs Cult of Personality

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

What we envision everyone was actually thinking:

Lessons from CPAC 2013

Trying to wrap our heads around the broad spectrum of opinions and ideologies writ large across the head gear, lapels and promotional materials being toted around the latest Conservative Political Action Conference proved to be a mind scrambler.

Here’s what we took away from the opening day of the philosophical free-for-all:

Lessons from CPAC 2013

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

At least one industrious entrepreneur has taken President Barack Obama’s famously twisted words to heart.

Lessons from CPAC 2013

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Laugh with them. Laugh at them. It’s all the same as long as the money keeps rolling in. Full story

Closed-Door, Open-Tweet Lunch with Obama

Although President Barack Obama’s lunch today with Senate Republicans is closed-door, fear not, curious minds! We’ve got Sen. David Vitter, who’s live tweeting the confab.

Closed Door, Open Tweet Lunch with ObamaClosed Door, Open Tweet Lunch with Obama

Thanks, senator! Good to know that when the president comes to lunch, we don’t have to wait for any pesky read-outs from the mics later!


CPAC Should Be Renamed Westcon

CPAC Should Be Renamed Westcon

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Why bother?

CPAC Should Be Renamed Westcon

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)


CPAC Should Be Renamed Westcon

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)


CPAC Should Be Renamed Westcon

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)


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