- Hagan Still Up in North Carolina
- Extra Bonus Quote of the Day
- Pataki Again Flirts With White House Bid
- Do We Elect a Governor Who May End Up in Jail?
- Shaheen Leads by Double-Digits in New Hampshire
September 22, 2014
BATON ROUGE, La. — Soon after arriving in Louisiana to cover the Senate race, Roll Call Associate Politics Editor Kyle Trygstad and I found out Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy and Sen. Mary L. Landrieu would be campaigning at the massive alcohol-infused ritual that is Louisiana State University tailgating. With thousands of spirited football fans gathered for all day feasts on Cajun cuisine and every imaginable type of libation before the 6 p.m. kickoff of the LSU-Mississippi State game in Baton Rouge, I knew we were going to be witness to a spectacle with a high chance for the unexpected.
Thanks to the Southern hospitality of Fred and Lou of the Tequila Tigers tailgate crew, we were quickly invited into the fold when we arrived early at the first designated meeting spot on campus for Landrieu’s tour of the elaborate tailgate parties. Soon I spotted Landrieu’s entourage winding through the purple and yellow encampments. She moved quickly from group to group, saying hello, passing out campaign stickers, shaking hands and posing for photos. She even dared to approach what seemed like hostile territories, greeted with a chorus of boos or occasional shouts of, “Go back to Washington!”
September 19, 2014
Have you ever wished you could put Congress on fast forward? You can now, with the help of the Hyperlapse app from Instagram that’s now available for iPhone. (Sorry droids, you are going to have to wait.)
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve put this nifty little app to the test, and I love it. It shoots video at normal speed, then gives you the option to save or publish the video at normal speed to 12 times the speed.
Just imagine how much Congress could get done at 12 times the speed.
August 19, 2014
On Aug. 14, I was in St. Louis with reporter Emily Cahn waiting to fly back to D.C. the next day. I knew about the protests in Ferguson and thought about going, but I had to file pictures from the Illinois State Fair and had little storage space on my computer after nine days in the Midwest for our Roll Call on the Road project.
I had also heard reports of street blockades and journalist arrests. I wasn’t familiar with the area from a logistical standpoint, I didn’t feel like dealing with the hassle of getting there.
August 14, 2014
I attended the Iowa State Fair last week with Roll Call Politics Reporter Alexis Levinson to cover the Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. The candidates running for the seat are Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley and Republican state Senator Joni Ernst. I’ve have enjoyed taking photos of politicians at the fair in the past, but it proved tricky this time with the volume of people following them.
Braley delivered his stump speech on Thursday and then walked the grounds with a motley crew in tow, including: staff, reporters, filmmakers, opposition trackers, hecklers holding signs and random hangers-on. Luckily, I was the only still photographer from the media. However, if the candidate did something that would make a good picture, it was hard to get into position, and nearly impossible to exclude all the extraneous people. At that point, as a photographer, you have to try to make a photo that shows everything going on. Full story
August 7, 2014
A recent visit to the Roll Call archives uncovered this 1989 photo of a young Senate intern from University of California, Santa Barbara named Jodie Martin walking then-Minority Leader Bob Dole’s dog Leader 25 years ago this month.
We tracked her down thanks to the power of the Internet — she’s now Jodie Martin Ellis and works in the San Francisco Bay area.
Reached via email, Martin Ellis recalled that interns were not usually “thrilled” to be tasked with the duty of walking the Kansan’s appropriately named terrier, but on the day the photo was taken she was eager to get away from her desk.
“I’m a little foggy after all these years, but like most terriers, I believe Leader had a big attitude for a little dog,” Martin Ellis said, adding that unlike Dole, “Leader’s bark was bigger than his bite.” Full story
I set my alarm to 6 a.m. the night before so I could get some pretty sunrise photos.
Problem #1: I wake up at 5 a.m., because, you know, its 8 a.m. in D.C.
Problem #2: The sun is already up.
Luckily, the coffee bar is open in the hotel. My new mission for the morning, while the light is still good, is an old mission. The Mission San Xavier del Bac, to be precise. This turned out to be the highlight of my day.
August 6, 2014
My alarm goes off at 3:30 a.m. to give me enough for a quick shower, a shot of caffeine and a ride via Uber to National Airport for my 6 a.m. flight to Las Vegas via Atlanta. I get to the airport and guess what? The TSA lanes aren’t even open. I could have slept another 30 minutes.
Eventually, I get on the plane and land in Sin City, where I manage to bypass all the slot machines as I make my way to baggage claim and the shuttle bus to the rental car hub. Now comes my favorite part: I LOVE driving through the desert, and I now get to drive from Vegas to Tucson, taking in some absolutely spectacular scenery.
Here are a few of the shots I made with my phone, including a roadside place where you can shoot guns and have a burger,
a Route 66 sign in Kingman, Ariz.,
and a flask from the souvenir shelf at a gas station.
Part of my plan for the day was to find a beautiful scene to shoot at sunset with my real cameras. And had it not been for a few self-imposed detours and a couple traffic jams (how is there traffic in the desert?) I would have made it through Phoenix with plenty of time to find that perfect spot, maybe with some cacti.
But as I clear the Phoenix area, the sun is setting way too fast, and there isn’t a single cactus to be seen. Thank you Arizona, for 75 mph speed limits. Just as the sun was about to go behind the mountains, I found a small clump of pitiful cacti. Here’s what it looked like.
This journey started almost 22 hours ago, and now it’s time to sleep.
July 31, 2014
As Eric Cantor gave his last speech as majority leader on the House floor, Capitol Lens decided to dig into the Roll Call archives for different views of the outgoing majority leader’s time on the Hill.
Cantor, talking about his time in Congress, said Thursday:
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve as majority leader of this distinguished body. I look around this remarkable chamber and I see so many friends and colleagues who have inspired me and who have inspired this congress to do great things for the American people. Walking into this building, and walking on to this floor is something that excited me every day since I was first elected to congress.
“As it should.
“Not one of us should ever take for granted the awesome honor and responsibility we have to serve our fellow Americans. This is a privilege of a lifetime. I think of the sacrifices that help me rise to serve the people of the Virginia’s 7th District. … I have truly lived the American dream. That’s what this country is supposed to be about; dreaming big, believing that each generation can do better than the last.”
Our photographers have tracked the Virginia Republican since his freshman year, and our trip into the archives taught us something about Cantor’s Hill personality.
July 15, 2014
Although it seems there’s not much to these pictures, it is a major victory in the effort to photograph the back-to-back weekly news conferences of Speaker John A. Boehner and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on the Hill.
The House leaders normally host a press conference every Thursday in Studio A of the Capitol Visitor Center. They speak alone from a lectern and it normally looks the same every week, except for what they’re wearing.
Pelosi’s avail is held first and usually wraps up at about 11:20 a.m., to allow some time before Boehner’s which starts at 11:30. As I was setting up a shot of her walking out, which wasn’t shaping up to be much, I realized Pelosi was ending late and Boehner would be there at any moment. I thought there was a good chance of them passing each other.
July 11, 2014
The first of the three 2014 “supermoons” will rise over the U.S. Capitol Saturday evening, providing a great opportunity to shoot some stunning photographs. And Roll Call wants to see your photos! So grab your camera and tripod, shoot some photos of the supermoon with the Capitol Dome (or other D.C. landmark) in the frame, and tweet your results to @CapitolLens. If we like what we see, we might even request to publish your photo in the paper.
Need some pointers on how to shoot the moon? CNET has an excellent page dedicated to shooting the supermoon.