Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 7, 2015

Posts in "Politics"

January 21, 2015

#SOTU Pumps Up Democrats, Post-‘Shellacking II’

Obama delivers his State of the Union address in the in the Capitol's House chamber, January 20, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Obama’s defiant address has Democrats fired up. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Barack Obama’s Back.” That was the three-word verdict from Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., after Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

It sums up, perhaps, a sense among Democrats that the newly confident, revitalized president that they’ve seen in recent weeks should have been the president on the campaign trail before the midterm elections.

“He seems to be relaxed and free,” Takano said. Full story

January 20, 2015

Excerpts From Obama’s State of the Union Address

(Larry Downing/Reuters File Photo)

(Larry Downing/Reuters File Photo)

The following is a transcript of excerpts of President Barack Obama’s Jan. 20 State of the Union address:

“We are fifteen years into this new century. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world. It has been, and still is, a hard time for many.

But tonight, we turn the page.” Full story

James K. Polk: He Might Be a Giant

The list of things President Harry S. Truman, presidential architect Karl Rove and alt-rock band They Might Be Giants have in common is probably a short one. But all three agree on one thing: James K. Polk.

“In four short years he met his every goal,” TMBG sang. Truman and Rove — among many others — sang the same tune. In “Met His Every Goal? James K. Polk and the Legends of Manifest Destiny,” Tom Chaffin, a University of Tennessee professor who is also editor of “Correspondence of James K. Polk,” sings a different tune.

Full story

January 18, 2015

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

Clinton, right, felt the pain of his parties losing the majority. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Clinton, right, felt the pain of his parties losing the majority. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If President Barack Obama is looking to break the ice at Tuesday’s State of the Union, he could do worse than quote Harry S. Truman, who in 1947, just a few months after his party lost its majorities in the House and Senate, told the assembled Congress: “It looks like a good many of you have moved over to the left since I was last here!”

The American political system can be cruel. Someone wins, many lose. The person usually blamed for losing — the president — must speak before a room full of winners, most of whom think they can do a better job than him. But small moments of humor, grace or pugnacity still find their ways into the chief executive’s annual address. Full story

January 5, 2015

GOP: What About Robert Byrd?

The GOP is pointing to the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd to counter the White House’s dig at Republicans for keeping Rep. Steve Scalise in leadership.

Byrd travels through the walkway from the Russell Senate Office Building to the Capitol in May 2010. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Byrd travels through the walkway from the Russell Senate Office Building to the Capitol in May 2010. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Earlier Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said repeatedly it would “say a lot” about Republicans if they chose to have the Louisianan remain in leadership following the news he had spoken to a white supremacist group in 2002, and pointed to comments by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus about the need for the party to expand its outreach. Full story

November 6, 2014

White House May Change, Or May Not — They’re Not Telling

For the second straight day after Tuesday’s electoral earthquake remade the political map, the White House had no discernible scintilla of change in approach, other than to say that the president might change his approach. Just how, exactly, is still a mystery.

After President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he heard the voters but declined to say what he thought they were telling him, Press Secretary Josh Earnest didn’t have anything new for reporters either.

The Democrats look set to have the same leadership teams they’ve had for more than a decade on Capitol Hill, and Obama isn’t about to make wholesale changes in his own staff, Earnest suggested, though he did allow that maybe the president would “look at his team” and that some might decide to go in the normal course of events. But that’s what Earnest was saying in the weeks before the voters body slammed Democrats across the map.

Earnest said that Obama could “probably” have done a better job reaching out to Republicans, but also noted that Republicans had made opposition to all of his policies their political agenda. Now that they’ve taken over Congress, Earnest expressed some hope that they might now change their obstructionist approach and try to get some things done.

Earnest said that could start with things like transportation spending and trade — areas where both sides agree.

And he dismissed calls from the new Republican leadership for the president to forego executive actions on immigration lest he poison the well.

“The answer is yes, the president is going to take that action,” Earnest said.

The president, meanwhile, looks forward to having lunch with the leadership Friday.

Your move, GOP.

Related:

White House Dismisses David Krone’s Criticism

Pelosi’s Allies Blame Obama

Boehner Warns Obama’s Going to ‘Burn Himself’ if He Acts on Immigration

Obama Struggles to Read the Public, Congress

Roll Call Election Map

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

By Steven Dennis Posted at 4:54 p.m.
Politics

November 5, 2014

Obama Struggles to Read the Public, Congress

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/File Photo)

Obama signaled little course correction Wednesday in response to Tuesday’s blowout losses for Democrats. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/File Photo)

For any politician, losing the public — and the message they are sending — is a dangerous thing. And in the wake of one of the worst drubbings for his party in memory, due in large part to his own persistent unpopularity, President Barack Obama didn’t seem to have any answers Wednesday.

At a lengthy news conference after another shellacking, the president avoided using any new word to describe his party’s epic defeat and offered up no plans for substantive change either in his policy approach or his personnel.

He offered no new legislative olive branch to Republicans other than his desire to listen to their ideas.

He doubled down on his plans to thumb his nose at Congress and act on immigration on his own.

He offered no mea culpa to angry Democrats on Capitol Hill, who have fumed ever more openly about a White House they see as overly insular, politically tone-deaf and prone to gaffes. Full story

October 7, 2014

Obama Cheers Gay Marriage Decision

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama cheered the legalization of gay marriage in states across the country today at a fundraiser in New York following yesterday’s surprise Supreme Court decision to let lower court rulings stand.

“All across the country, now couples who love each other are able to join in that most meaningful of unions,” Obama said in a reference to the court, according to a pool report. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 5:37 p.m.
Politics

September 22, 2014

Obama Won’t Withdraw Boggs Nomination (Updated)

Michael Boggs

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:20 p.m. | President Barack Obama still supports the nomination of Michael P. Boggs for a federal judgeship in Georgia, even though Sen. Patrick J. Leahy told The New York Times there aren’t enough votes for confirmation.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at Monday’s briefing that the president still supports Boggs and said the president was not considering withdrawing the pick despite the report quoting Leahy, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee and a Vermont Democrat.

Leahy confirmed his statement to CQ Roll Call Monday, and said he also spoke to the two Georgia Republican senators backing Boggs — Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss.

“After talking with Judiciary Committee members, I advised the Georgia Senators that Judge Boggs does not have the votes in committee to be reported. His nomination should be withdrawn,” Leahy said in a statement late Monday.

The nomination of Boggs, a Democrat, has been extremely controversial, with numerous liberal groups blasting the pick as well as Georgia Democrats, led by Rep. David Scott, who has ripped Boggs’ record as a state legislator on the Confederate flag, abortion and other issues. Full story

September 10, 2014

Menendez Drafting New Authorization for ISIS War

Menendez wants to get to work on the ISIS issue. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Menendez wants to get to work on the ISIS issue. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez said Wednesday that President Barack Obama’s new plan to “destroy” ISIS will eventually require congressional authorization, and promised his committee will begin drafting one.

Menendez’s statement came as vulnerable Democrats generally praised the president’s decision to take on ISIS but split over pieces of his strategy — while liberals demanded Congress vote to authorize the war.

Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 11:11 p.m.
Iraq, Politics

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...