Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 24, 2015

January 23, 2015

Political Aides Pounce on Whatever-gate

Seizing on an opponent’s latest shortcoming is the currency of the communication director’s realm. But in an age when cleverly crafted GIFs or shade-throwing listicles grab more eyeballs than immediately deleted, boilerplate email blasts, it pays to have one’s digital way with the news of the day.

Someone in the office of Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., recently did just that, juxtaposing the New England Patriot’s ballsy brushoff of #DeflateGate with head-scratching comments delivered by administration officials.

Political Aides Pounce on Whatever gate

(Screenshot)

The eight-question “quiz” is all about celebrating foot-in-mouth disease — a relatively common condition here on Capitol Hill. Full story

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Jan. 19, 2015 (Video)

Members spent a short week in Congress learning about drones, women’s health and the difference between one trillion and one thousand billion.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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The Art of John Boehner Clapping (Video)

During Tuesday’s State of the Union address, it often wasn’t about how many times Speaker John A. Boehner clapped, so much as how he clapped. HOH is here to document the many styles of the Boehner clap.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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Ford Trinket Transports Mike Quigley Down Memory Road

In anticipation of the 2015 Washington Auto Show, representatives from Ford Motor Company fanned out across the Capitol to deliver commemorative models of the latest Mustang to the 150-odd members of Congress whose districts produce parts for the iconic muscle car.

Ford Trinket Transports Mike Quigley Down Memory Road

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The automotive swag took Rep. Mike Quigley back to a simpler time — an era of kid-free living, and working odd jobs (construction, fast food) to scrape together just enough scratch to put him behind the wheel of his first American-made ride.

“You know how in those romantic movies the music swells up and a light shines down from above on your beloved? That’s how I felt,” the Illinois Democrat said of the dreamlike state he entered upon spying the Army green, hard-top 1966 Mustang that stole his teenage heart. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 1:12 p.m.
Reps, Sens, Stylin'

Exit Interview: Matthew Leffingwell Treasures Congressional Raconteurs

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: longtime House staffer calls it quits, moves on to sweet gig in the nonprofit world. Same old story, right?

What’s different about Matthew Leffingwell’s swan song is that even though he’s joining a global powerhouse co-founded by musical royalty, the Capitol Hill vet insists he will genuinely miss hearing solons crack wise about, well, everything. Full story

January 22, 2015

#tbt: Lindy Boggs Dishes About Cokie Roberts

#tbt: Lindy Boggs Dishes About Cokie Roberts

The late ex-Rep. Boggs, right, hangs out with her “baby” Cokie Roberts, left and then-Sen. Olympia Snowe. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cuba’s in the news these days, as it was in the Jan. 22, 1998, HOH edition of Roll Call, albeit in a roundabout way.

Crippled in Cuba. Congressional reporters worried about being scooped by Cokie Roberts can breathe easy because everybody’s going to have a leg-up on the ABC News star for at least a few weeks,” Ed Henry wrote.  Full story

January 21, 2015

Texans Rally to Give Charlie Wilson His Due

Reps. Gene Green, D-Texas, and Michael McCaul, R-Texas, Wednesday were expected to kick-start the process to nominate fellow Lone Star Stater Rep. Charlie Wilson for a Congressional Gold Medal.

Texans Rally to Give Charlie Wilson His Due

Wilson, left, was given a retirement roast by “Charlie Wilson’s War” author George Crile at a ceremony in the Rayburn House Office Building. It was attended by a variety of intelligence and diplomatic figures from around the world. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The late 12-term pol, whose surreptitious activities were dramatized both in print and on the big screen as “Charlie Wilson’s War,” is perhaps best remembered for secretly aiding Afghan rebels in their war against the then-Soviet Union. Wilson orchestrated the clandestine arms program in conjunction with late CIA agent Gustav Avrakatos and coalition builder Joanne Herring. Full story

Vote for Your Favorite SOTU Capitol Quip!

Have you ever wanted to play speechwriter for the State of the Union?

Vote for Your Favorite SOTU Capitol Quip!

Or have you ever wondered just what Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, is thinking as he sits through the speech?

Vote for Your Favorite SOTU Capitol Quip!

The five finalists for this week’s caption contest are ready for your votes.

Using the comments section below, vote for your favorite caption until 5 p.m. ET Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

  • Obama: The pen is mightier than the sword; Boehner: I had an inkling he’d say that.
  • Obama: This veto pen has an almost hypnotic power!; Boehner: Maybe that’s why I’m falling asleep.
  • Obama: I present to you, my tactical writing pen; Boehner: Watch the master make it all disappear.
  • Obama: I wish bartender Mike was here; Boehner: I wish bartender Mike was here.
  • Obama: Whenever I veto a bill, I like to use two pens; Boehner: The old double ‘cross!’

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on Jan. 25 and in the following print edition of Roll Call. The contest winner will receive a signed color print of his or her Capitol Quip cartoon from the cartoonist, R.J. Matson.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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

Senate Aide Scores Picture-Perfect SOTU Keepsake

Alejandro Renteria didn’t have any paper handy when President Barack Obama inched closer on his way out of the House chamber post-State of the Union. So the quick-thinking Democratic aide stuck his neck out and asked to have something a little unusual autographed: his tie.

Full story

Members React With #SOTUin3Words

CQ Roll Call reporters tracked down more than 20 members of the House and Senate to get their reactions to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday. The middle class seemed to be a running theme for Democrats, while Republicans said they heard “more of the same.” Full story

HOH Name Game: Simple, Yet Deceptive

HOH’s name game returns with an edition dedicated to helping you navigate the noms de Congress. Today’s subject is the Simple Yet Deceptive Caucus, members whose last names take up one mere syllable, but offer multiple ways to mispronounce.

HOH Name Game: Simple, Yet Deceptive

like “PLUM.” Not orange, like his shirt. (Screenshot from Rod Blum for Congress website)

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa — Blum, like “PLUM.” A four-letter name from a four-letter state that sounds like a four-letter fruit. We hope The New York Times crossword puzzle folks take notice.

HOH Name Game: Simple, Yet Deceptive

BOST. You have to drink every time you screw up his name. (Tom WIlliams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill. — BOST, like “cost.” Try this as a mnemonic memory device: Mike Bost does not boast. Full story

January 20, 2015

No Labels Makes Sure Members Are Labeled

No Labels, the group dedicated to solving the nation’s problems and avoiding labels at all costs, has gotten about 70 members of Congress to agree to be a “problem solver.” You can even see these folks at Tuesday’s State of the Union address because they’ll be wearing, um, labels.

No Labels Makes Sure Members Are Labeled

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

The official No Labels “problem solver” lapel pin is a green-on-black ampersand-looking symbol that fits neatly alongside a member’s member lapel pin. The ampersandy thingie is made of a “p” and and “s.” It’s nothing like the swirly symbol from “True Detective.”

“We wanted to do something different and eye-catching,” No Labels’ Matt Groch told HOH. Previous iterations of No Labels’ lapel pins have been a bit wordy (“Committed to Fix Not Fight — No Labels — Problem Solver” goes one the blasts from the past.)

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:08 p.m.
Artsy

State of the Union Drink-o

State of the Union Drink o

Why should politicos be the only ones to get all punchy while President Barack Obama yammers on about something or other Tuesday night? Tap into the excitement surrounding #ThisTown’s version of the Academy Awards/Super Bowl by punctuating each prescribed buzzword with a wee nip of something special.

Just make sure to pace yourself — 44 is no Bill Clinton, but he still tends to wax philosophic longer than Dubya ever did.

Related:

Roll Call Presents: State of the Union Watch Party

Who’ll Steal the Show at SOTU?

Joke, Flatter, Dig In: Handling Post-Shellacking SOTUs

A Guide to State of the Union Watch Parties

The Updated Staffer Guide to the State of the Union 2015

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

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:06 p.m.
Uncategorized

OK Go Aims to Help Drone Lobby Take Off

Is your office abuzz about unmanned aircraft systems? Allow OK Go to set your mind at ease about making the most of miniature flying contraptions during a pro-drone tutorial at the 9:30 Club (815 V St. NW).

Those interested in the eye-in-the-sky movement are welcome Wednesday to participate in the “Know Before You Fly” campaign’s star-studded rollout. The program is scheduled to feature a 90-minute presentation, followed by a mini-concert by OK Go — which utilized drones to capture the action channeled into the music video for its song, “I Won’t Let You Down.”

Full story

John Lewis’ Publicity Tour Marches Onward

Rep. John Lewis has once again donned his graphic novelist cowl, officially swinging back into campaign mode on Wednesday to help promote the second installment of his illustrated memoir, “March: Book Two.”

A few years back, the Georgia Democrat began penning the serialized treatment of his civil-rights era experiences with House aide and co-author Andrew Aydin. The duo has since inked two chapters of Lewis’ pre-congressional exploits — the latest of which is expected on retail shelves this week.

John Lewis’ Publicity Tour Marches Onward

(Courtesy Top Shelf Productions)

Fans of the genre can pick the pair’s brains about the whole creative process during a book signing/fundraiser hosted by the National Press Club. The Book Rap event is scheduled to take place Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in the First Amendment Lounge. Full story

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