Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 22, 2014

Spielberg, Day-Lewis to Attend Senate ‘Lincoln’ Screening

Though usually at odds, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stand united behind bringing their respective caucuses together for a special screening of one of the most difficult chapters in the life of one of our most iconic commanders-in-chief, Illinois Republican Abraham Lincoln.

Senators and their spouses have been invited to view DreamWorks’ “Lincoln” in the Capitol Visitor Center on Wednesday, Dec. 19. The specially requested screening, which is set to commence at 5 p.m. and end by 8:45 p.m., will feature complimentary concessions as well as an opportunity to chat with movie principals Steven Spielberg (director), Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Tony Kushner (screenwriter), Kathleen Kennedy (producer) and Doris Kearns Goodwin (author of the source material, “Team of Rivals”).

The movie depicts the Civil War leader’s all-or-nothing battle to push the repeal of slavery — the then-highly contentious 13th Amendment — through a Democrat-controlled Congress.

“The film depicts the good which is attainable when public servants put the betterment of the country ahead of short-term political interests,” the current Senate leaders, who are struggling to hash out a bipartisan solution to the fiscal cliff crisis, expressed to their rank-and-file members in a “Dear Colleague” circulated Dec. 6. The entertainment site Deadline originally reported the news of the screening but erroneously said the Senate chamber would be used as a theater.

No word yet on who’s officially in for the movie night, but we have to believe there won’t be too many empty seats in that theater. And of course, the timing suggests neither Reid nor McConnell have any illusions the fiscal cliff drama will be over before then.

Correction, Dec. 7

An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the amendment that repealed slavery.

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