political-theater-podcast

High Court, High Political Drama — Probably for Years to Come
Political Theater, Episode 37

Regardless of the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the high court figures to be a more prominent, and political, part of American life for the foreseeable future. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the middle of a singularly rough Supreme Court nomination fight, the business of the high court goes on. The fate of Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s second nominee to the court, is still up in the air. But the  direction of the court, regardless of what happens with Kavanaugh, seems to be moving inexorably negative, at least politically, say CQ legal affairs writer Todd Ruger and senior writer Kate Ackley in the latest Political Theater podcast.

 

Beto O’Rourke: Not Just Another Bassist From El Paso
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 36

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, puts on his tie as Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, speaks with reporters as they arrive at the Capitol just in time for votes on Wednesday, March 15, 2017. O'Rourke has turned heads with his competitive race against Sen. Ted Cruz, but his political ascent did not come out of nowhere. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Beto O’Rourke has gained rock star status as an insurgent liberal candidate running against the established Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, but, but, but, says Nathan L. Gonzales, Roll Call’s elections analyst and the publisher of Inside Elections, O’Rourke’s rise to national prominence did not happen overnight or come out of nowhere. 

Kavanaugh Drama Provides Political Stage for Democrats
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 35

Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listen during the confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court Tuesday Sept. 4, 2018.  (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Remembering McCain: Personal Stories From CQ Roll Call Journalists
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 34

Sen. John McCain speaks with Roll Call senior reporter Niels Lesniewski. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. John McCain had countless interactions with members of the press during a career on Capitol Hill that spanned more than three decades. CQ's Patrick Pexton and Megan Scully along with Roll Call's Niels Lesniewski share personal anecdotes that reveal a more personal side to the late Arizona senator.

Show Notes:John McCain, Arizona and What It Means to be HomeMcCain vs. Trump: Can the President Give Up the Spotlight?Google ‘Prematurely’ Renames Russell Senate Office Building for McCain

How Duncan Hunter Became the Hunted Over Campaign Cash — Podcast
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 33

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., was indicted this week for misuse of campaign finance funds. He was already facing a potentially tough re-election race before the indictment landed. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pro tip: Don’t put in writing your complaints that your campaign treasurer won’t dish out petty cash for your personal use. That’s just one of the details outlined in the federal indictment against Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife Margaret.

They are in hot water over their alleged misuse of campaign finance funds, a pattern of using that cash for personal use, including for their kids’ tuition, family vacations and even dental work, and passing off purchases as charitable actions. The California Republican was already facing a potentially tough re-election race before the indictment hit on August 21. Roll Call’s Katherine Tully-McManus and Inside Election's Nathan Gonzales work through the legal and political ramifications on the latest Political Theater podcast. 

Ben Foster and Being Part of a ‘Continuing Conversation’ About Veterans
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 32

Ben Foster, left, discusses his latest movie "Leave No Trace," with Political Theater host Jason Dick. (David Banks/CQ Roll Call)

“For being an actor, being of the generation of the desert war, these questions are ever-present,” Ben Foster says about a body of work that has seen him portray veterans of America’s current conflicts. For the Boston native, veterans’ re-entry to civilian life is part of what he says is “a continuing conversation” he says is important. His latest movie, “Leave No Trace,” is the story of a veteran who is “slipping through the cracks.” For a country still at war and embroiled in extensive debate about veterans, and their well-being, it is a timely movie. Foster discussed the movie recently with Political Theater. 

All 11 Congressional Special Elections Have One Thing in Common
Political Theater Podcast, Episode 31

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There have been 11 special elections for the U.S. Congress in the last two years, and they all have one thing in common: Democrats have performed better than the partisan breakdown would suggest. Political Theater host Jason Dick breaks it all down with senior political writer Simone Pathé and elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales.

From Oakland to Birmingham, and Everything In Between
Deaths of two very different members of Congress highlight dynamism of the legislative branch

Rep. Ronald V. Dellums, D-Calif., right, talks with Ren Cooper of The Washington Post at the Democratic National Convention on July 15, 1992. Dellums died on July 30. (Maureen Keating/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

The deaths of two very different former members of Congress this past week is a reminder of what a dynamic place Capitol Hill can be. Rep. Ronald V. Dellums, D-Calif., and Sen. Maryon Pittman Allen, D-Ala., did not have too terribly much in common. But they became a small part of the whole that is the American experiment.

Podcast: Left to Its Own Devices: Medical Tech, Congress and the Public
Political Theater, Episode 30

Director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering discuss their movie "The Bleeding Edge" with Political Theater podcast host Jason Dick and CQ Health Editor Rebecca Adams. (Bian Elkhatib/CQ Roll Call)

Better Off Now — So Much Better Than ‘Better Off Dead’
GOP hoping the sequel business is good for them

Expect to see more of this: Speaker Paul D. Ryan brandishing the GOP’s Better Off Now talking points in the run-up to the November election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

“Better Off Now.” No, it’s not the sequel to “Better Off Dead,” the classic surrealist teen comedy starring John Cusack.