Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 31, 2015

June 11, 2014

For Team Cantor: A Spotify Playlist for Commiserating

Team Cantor is at the Tune Inn, drowning their sorrows and listening to ’90s and 2000s rock. So what does the sound of political depression sound like? We at HOH humbly offer this Spotify list of tunes to nurse a crushed soul. Or soul-crushing tunes. One or the other:

Team Cantor Self-Medicates to Tune of $6,500

Team Cantor gathered at the Tune Inn to commiserate. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Team Cantor gathered at the Tune Inn to commiserate. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Current and former staffers for soon-to-step-down House Majority Leader Eric Cantor flooded into the Tune Inn Wednesday for a semi-private shindig featuring some heartfelt sobs, a few laughs and lots of Jameson.

The aides assembled at the Capitol Hill watering hole shortly before the Virginia Republican took to TV to announce that he would be relinquishing his leadership post, but not his seat, as of July 31. Cantor suffered a bruising defeat at the hands of tea party candidate Dave Brat on Tuesday night.

Once the news conference was over, the commiserators wiped away their tears and immediately opened their wallets — ponying up $500 and $1,000 apiece in order to cover the $6,500 required to have the bar to themselves from 6 p.m. ’til closing.

Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 5:43 p.m.
DC, HillSide, Staffers

Vote for Your Favorite Bowe Bergdahl Quip

CapitolQuip-06-09-14.jpg

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!

  • Politics delivered a “Low Bowe” to the welcome home festivities.
  • Reminds me of the time we were torn between negotiating with foxes and leaving no nuts behind!
  • This is nuts! Supporting the troops was the last thing we could all agree on.
  • Bergdahl? I thought we were going to BergDORFS!
  • I’m not cleaning this up! Are you?

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on June 15 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.

By Rebecca Gale Posted at 4:43 p.m.
Capitol Quip

How Eric Cantor’s Loss Is Like Taste of America

Do you believe in miracles?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYscemhnf88

It’s been a long time since Al Michaels famously yelled that question after the U.S. hockey team beat the Soviets in 1980 at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics. No one thought the U.S. could beat the Soviet Union, at least in hockey. No one thought economics professor Dave Brat could beat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Tuesday’s Republican primary in Virginia. Does anyone thinks that, say, Oregon blackberry pie can topple such culinary behemoths as Maine’s lobster roll or Maryland’s crab cakes in the annual Roll Call Taste of America contest.

So, underdog foods, do you believe in miracles?

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:41 p.m.
Food

Plotting Cantor’s Last 24 Hours as Leader

He’s still a ways away from needing to haul a moving van to cart his legislative mementos back to Henrico County, Va. But it’s now painfully obvious that Rep. Eric Cantor is living on borrowed time in Congress.

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Virginia Republican saw his career cut short Tuesday after suffering a stunning loss to relatively unknown economics professor Dave Brat in a history-making electoral upset.

We suspect he’s already replaying in his head every single thing he could have done differently. One can only hope he’s sparing himself the indignity of compartmentalizing each crushing blow into a slowly unspooling shame spiral — though that might finally make for an interesting installment of the long-since abandoned “Snapshot of the Leader” series.

Team Cantor briefly experimented with a torturous examination of the House majority leader’s daily activities, but appears to have given up on the documenting process after just 120 mind-numbing minutes.

Hour One

Hour Two

Confidence is low they’ll revive the video diary for his last official day here on Capitol Hill. But we can’t help but wonder just what that might look like. Full story

Other Than That, Mr. Boehner, How Was Dinner?

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, was having dinner at a Capitol Hill Italian restaurant when the returns from Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary race came in showing the Virginia Republican had lost.

“No, you know the rules,” Boehner said when asked if he had any comment when leaving the Trattoria Alberto, which describes itself as “Fine Italian dining in a friendly, neighborhood setting.”

Boehner, in shirtsleeves and with his tie undone, was referring to his typical practice of not answering questions outside of a press conference. His demeanor was somewhat prickly, but not surprising given that he was being unexpectedly pursued after dinner by a few reporters after a stunning defeat for establishment Republicans. Full story

Kinky Friedman on Cantor Primary: ‘The Crowd Picked Barabas’

“Another Jewboy bites the dust,” said Kinky Friedman, reacting to the news that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his GOP primary in Virginia. “The crowd picked Barabas,” Friedman added, a reference to the crowd at Golgotha choosing to grant mercy to the thief Barabas over Jesus, who went on to die on the cross.

Friedman, in town to perform Wednesday night at the Washington Jewish Music Festival, experienced his own political defeat recently, losing his race for Texas agriculture commissioner in the Democratic primary runoff last month to Jim Hogan. “The people have spoken, the bastards,” Friedman quipped with a line generally attributed to Democratic campaign operative Dick Tuck and the late Rep. Morris K. Udall, D-Ariz.

While Friedman says he’s pretty sure he’s through with electoral politics (He’s previously run for governor of Texas as well as agriculture commissioner.), he nevertheless keeps in touch with his local congressman, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas. Smith hosted Friedman at Wednesday’s Texas Breakfast Club at the American Trucking Association on Capitol Hill. Full story

June 10, 2014

Boehner Dines at Trattoria Alberto’s as Cantor Concedes

Buruca is a fan of the speaker. (Humberto Sanchez/CQ Roll Call)

Buruca is a fan of the speaker. (Humberto Sanchez/CQ Roll Call)

“He’s a lovely customer,” Juan Buruca, the owner of Trattoria Alberto’s on Barracks Row, said of Speaker John A. Boehner.

The Ohio Republican was likely one of the many in Washington utterly surprised by the primary defeat of his chief lieutenant, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., on Tuesday night. But a man still has to eat, and Alberto’s is among Boehner’s haunts, particularly with his Rat Pack-like pals, Sens. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Richard M. Burr, R-N.C.

The first reports of Boehner eating at Alberto’s came in during the early evening. And there he stayed. Around 10 p.m., after Chambliss and Burr left, the speaker went to amble home. Asked if he had any comment about the Cantor primary he said, “No, you all know what the rules are” — a reference to his unofficial rule that he does not take questions except at press conferences.

By Humberto Sanchez and Jason Dick Posted at 11:05 p.m.
Reps, Restos, Sens

Minnesota Democrats Stump for #VoteDuluth

It’s coming down to the wire in Outside’s fourth annual “Best Towns Tournament,” and Minnesota Democrats are doing their darnedest to ensure that nobody, but nobody — that means you, Beehive Staters — comes between Duluth and sweet, sweet victory.

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

The monthlong competition has seen its share of ups and downs, with the two top contenders battling hard for national recognition.

Along the way, Duluth handily disposed of Columbia, Mo. (enjoying a nearly 5-to-1 advantage in the first round); then trumped Athens, Ohio (second round); La Crosse, Wis. (third round); neighboring Minneapolis (fourth round) and Asheville, N.C. (fifth round), to reach the finals.

Provo bested Jackson, Wyo. (first round); Taos, N.M. (second round); Missoula, Mont. (third round); Anchorage, Alaska (fourth round), and then just barely squeaked by Ithaca, N.Y. (receiving just 51 percent of the votes in the fifth round), in its bid to achieve destination travel dominance.

With municipal bragging rights up for grabs through Sunday (voting closes just before the stroke of midnight June 15), the Minnesota delegation is letting the trash talk fly.

 

Full story

Seersucker Day: Trent Lott’s Fashion Do’s and Don’ts

Where it began: Lott. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Where it began: Lott. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Seersucker Day on Capitol Hill is less than 24 hours away, and the concept can be a bit tricky for those not from the Deep South.

So, as a service to our readers, we called on the originator of the Capitol Hill tradition, ex-Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, for his advice on how to make the most of Seersucker Day.

“It was one of those rare occasions when something was bipartisan and for both genders,” the former Republican leader said. He added that it was a fun-spirited day where members could “get a picture and laugh together a little bit.”

Trent Lott’s Seersucker Do’s Full story

June 9, 2014

Reid Praises Miss USA Winner, Regrets Missing Pageant Finale (Video)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid missed the ending of Sunday evening’s Miss USA pageant, but Monday on the Senate floor, he offered praise for the young woman who won — a fellow Nevadan.

The Nevada Democrat called Nia Sanchez “gifted beyond her physical beauty.”

“I’m disappointed that I kind of caved in in watching the final of the USA, Miss USA contest because Miss Nevada won, and I’d like to have seen that,” Reid said. “I placed a call to her and I’ll talk to her as soon as she gets out of the clouds, where I’m sure she is now. But I congratulate the newly crowned Miss USA and that is our own Nia Sanchez.”

Full story

Seersucker Day Is BACK, at Least in the House

Where have you gone, seersucker days? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Where have you gone, seersucker days? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Somewhere in downtown Washington, ex-Sen. Trent Lott is probably a happy man. His legacy lives on, at least in the House.

This is because a bygone tradition, Seersucker Day, returns to the Capitol this week, thanks to the efforts of Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La.

“Congressman Bill Cassidy is proud to announce that Wednesday, June 11, National Seersucker Day will formally be reinstated,” a Cassidy release stated. “Dr. Cassidy is inviting all Members of Congress to gather after votes for a picture in their seersucker apparel.”

“A bipartisan Capitol Hill tradition, House of Representatives Members typically wear Seersucker on Wednesdays and Senators wear it on Thursdays,” the release went on.

Cassidy spokeswoman Jillian Rogers went so far as to rally her fellow House press secretaries behind the comeback.   Full story

Drink In the Granite State’s Awesomeness on Wednesday

The New Hampshire delegation will welcome scores of home-state businesses — including a baker’s dozen of booze makers — to the Capitol Wednesday for the fifth annual “Experience New Hampshire” reception.

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats Jeanne Shaheen, Carol Shea-Porter and Ann McLane Kuster and their Republican counterpart, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, are poised to once again co-host the epicurean love fest.

The invite-only taste-around is scheduled to take place Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Kennedy Caucus Room (Russell 325).

Per Shaheen’s office, first-timers Ali Baba’s Wholefoods Festival and Treasures, Michele’s Sweet Shoppe, gourmet chocolatier Lindt and New Hampshire Mushroom Company are all expected to inject new life into the noshing side. Shaheen favorites Granite State Candy Shoppe and L.A. Burdick are safely back in the rotation.

Meanwhile, newly recruited beer slingers Great Rhythm Brewing Company, The Prodigal Brewery and Throwback Brewery will join the ranks of an already impressive tippling line-up scheduled to include:

We’re feeling punchy (hic!) just thinking about all the guzzling — ahem, responsible sipping — that lies ahead.

Taste of America Elite Eight Is Set

The final round of this year’s Taste of America competition is off and running, with the Elite Eight facing off for the title of America’s favorite food.

Will the sweet or the savory win top honors? Will the debate over whether Maine or Maryland has superior seafood finally be put to rest? Time will tell as the final round of voting ends on June 20.

The final round contains Utah’s cherry cobbler, Oregon’s blackberry pie, Iowa bacon, Illinois deep dish pizza, Maine’s lobster roll, Maryland crab cakes, Kentucky fried chicken and North Carolina barbecue.

Oregon’s blackberry pie was the top vote-getter in the third round, but the dish made it into the final round by a mere 84 votes, besting Montana steak. Maine’s lobster roll won its spot in the final round by the highest margin, beating Delaware’s boardwalk fries by more than 4,000 votes.

The winner of the competition will be announced on June 25 at a reception during the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

So the choice is yours, America. Don’t forget to exercise your right and vote.

 

Members Rally Behind Home Runs for Horton’s Kids

Dozens of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are expected to pour into Nationals Park on Tuesday to participate in the fun-for-all-ages Home Runs for Horton’s Kids event.

(Courtesy Horton's Kids)

(Courtesy Horton’s Kids)

The invite-only fundraiser, scheduled to take place from 5-9 p.m., benefits the kid-friendly nonprofit former Hill staffer Karin Walser founded some 25 years ago. Per staff, the goal is to gather resources (preferably, upwards of $400,000) to support the meal programs, medical care, college- and career-related counseling and summer enrichment programs the organization provides at-risk local youth.

This year’s host committee is being headed up by Sens. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Cory Booker, D-N.J., as well as House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.

Other lawmakers who have signed on for a night out at the ballpark include: Reps. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Bradley Byrne, R-Ala.; Doug Collins, R-Ga.; Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.; Jack Kingston, R-Ga.; Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M.; Jim Matheson, D-Utah; Jerry McNerney, D-Calif.; Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.; Grace F. Napolitano, D-Calif.; Kristi Noem, R-S.D.; Dennis A. Ross, R-Fla.; Scott Tipton, R-Colo.; and Jackie Walorski, R-Ind.

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