Roll Call Opinion and Analysis

Does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez need a ‘chief of change’ or a change of staff?
Who is calling the shots in New York Democrat’s office?

By going after Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats, Saikat Chakrabarti, left, chief of staff to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, broke a cardinal rule of the unwritten Hill staffer code, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Mention the name Saikat Chakrabarti to Democratic chiefs of staff on Capitol Hill, and you’ll get an array of fed-up responses to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s high-profile top aide, from “Ugh” to “What the (expletive)?” to “He’s got to go.”

Although staffer feuds are not uncommon, the Harvard-educated former tech executive who leads AOC’s office has recently committed the two great sins against the unwritten code of Capitol Hill staffers. The first is to never upstage the boss.

Will America ‘go back’ to where it came from?
Trump himself is a newcomer — and he refuses to acknowledge the country’s true patriots

President Donald Trump has an ultimatum for the people of the United States: Love it or leave it. He seems to have forgotten that dissent is as American as apple pie, Curtis writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

OPINION — It’s an inside joke I’ve told the last couple of years.

My ancestors on both sides have been in America for generations — men, women and children whose blood, sweat and grit drenched the Maryland soil they cultivated and farmed and lived on. Originally brought by force, they claimed their place proudly and served the country’s ideals admirably. In contrast, my husband, second generation to these shores, on both sides, is an American-come-lately. But because his grandfather sailed into New York harbor on a ship that set off from Kristiansand, Norway, he is our president’s dream (Scandinavian) citizen.

Capitol Ink | Last One Out

It’s time for a cease-fire in the latest war of words
President, Democrats would be wise to focus on what really matters to voters — the economy

From left, Reps. Ayanna S. Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib at a Monday news conference. The latest firestorm involving President Donald Trump and the four House progressives is all about politics and positioning, and voters know it, Winston writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — It’s been a rough week in Washington, and it’s only Wednesday. The president created a firestorm over the weekend, lobbing rhetorical bombs at “the squad,” the four House Democratic freshmen whose heated comments and extreme policy proposals have created one fire storm of controversy after another.

Now, the president’s getting return fire from Democrats and the media and some Republicans for his tweets, while the House floor Tuesday devolved into a war of words. I suspect most people would be grateful for a cease-fire from the increasingly personal attacks and almost hand-to-hand combat over everything from impeachment to immigration to congressional investigations.

U.S. health care would collapse without foreign-trained nurses like me, so why did the House vote to ban us?
Fairness Act is anything but fair for immigrant nurses and their patients

The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act would only exacerbate America’s nurse deficit, Roy writes.(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — America’s population is growing, its workforce is aging and its health care system is straining under the weight of both. At the intersection of these trends is the very practical question of just who’s going to care for all these new patients.

Increasingly, the nurse answering that bedside call looks and sounds a lot like me, a first-generation immigrant.

Capitol Ink | Republican Party Ostriphant

Capitol Ink | @realDonaldTrump

The Democratic field is trying to win over black voters. Cory Booker already knows how
But there are only so many barber shops a bald man can visit in South Carolina before the voting begins

Presidential candidate Cory Booker waves as he marches in the Boulder City Damboree Celebration in Nevada on July 4. Many of those who meet him are invariably won over, Murphy writes, but with 24 candidates in the race, how do you scale that kind of in-person connection? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Any presidential candidate who wants half a chance of winning the South Carolina primary in 2020 knew to show up to Rep. James E. Clyburn’s World Famous Fish Fry in Columbia last month. In fact, 22 of them did. But only one — Sen. Cory Booker — also knew to go see Clyburn’s barber, Herbert Toliver, the next morning.

At Toliver’s Mane Event on Columbia’s North Main Street, Booker showed up with a broad smile and a dad joke — the best way, it turns out, for a bald New Jersey politician to break the ice in a South Carolina hair cuttery. “Do you have anything to GROW hair?” he asked, to the roar of 20 or so men already at Toliver’s for their Saturday cut. And with that, the senator dove into an hourlong give-and-take with a collection of dads, police deputies, postal workers and Toliver’s regulars, executing his campaign’s early state strategy to win over voters over one by one.

Capitol Ink | Afghanistandard Response

Why big yellow buses are the big red herring of 2020
Buses were never the problem, and Biden and Harris know it

When Joe Biden and Kamala Harris clashed over the history of busing, it was hailed as a pivotal moment in the Democratic race — but all it revealed was their reluctance to talk about the present, Curtis writes. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

OPINION — Ed Sanders was both unique and ordinary. He became, in his own way, a hero just for doing his job.

When Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools integrated in North Carolina, if you can call it that, by allowing a handful of African American students to attend schools formerly reserved for whites only in September 1957, Sanders was principal of Central High. He had to smooth the way for Gus Roberts, its first black student, in a city still segregated in everything from housing to swimming pools to bathrooms.