Roll Call Opinion and Analysis

Senators try to punt their way out of trouble and Trump’s line of fire
It may look like a winning strategy today, but the election is still nine months away

Sen. Susan Collins suggested impeachment itself was enough to scare Donald Trump into walking the straight and narrow from now on. Has she ever met the president? Curtis asks. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Don’t you just hate it when someone uses a sports metaphor to teach a life lesson? So do I, usually. But with the Super Bowl not a week in the rearview mirror, it would be impossible to ignore the concept of the punt — getting out of a tough situation by moving the ball as far as possible toward the opponent’s end zone.

If you’re playing against a Patrick Mahomes-led Kansas City Chiefs, you’re merely buying some time before the inevitable score. But senators using that tactic in an impeached President Donald Trump’s trial are no doubt hoping any payback comes late, or not at all.

Capitol Ink | Footnote to History

Goodbye, Iowa. Hello, Bloomberg
If Democrats are serious about beating Trump, former New York mayor may be their best hope

If Democrats are serious about beating President Donald Trump, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg may be their best hope, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Iowa Democrats can’t seem to count caucus votes, even though the votes were cast Monday night in public and covered by so many cable news reporters, they could have rolled up their sleeves and tallied the ballots themselves.

Reporters compared Monday night’s debacle to a goat rodeo. I’ve never been to a goat rodeo, but I have been to a sheep rodeo, and I can tell you the sheep were a lot more organized. Those little guys probably could have counted votes too. It’s not really that hard.

Capitol Ink | Coronation Day

For Trump, a State of the Union with nothing to say
President’s hardcore base craves red-meat rhetoric. Will he give it to them?

Bill Clinton’s State of the Union address in 1999, made in the midst of his impeachment trial, exemplified his ability to compartmentalize, Shapiro writes, but that’s a skill Donald Trump doesn’t possess. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — In 1999, in the midst of his impeachment trial, Bill Clinton delivered a typically verbose State of the Union Address that ran for 78 minutes. Although it surprised many at the time, Clinton did not display a glimmer of concern about his predicament or allude to impeachment in any way.

Even more than most presidents, Clinton had a rare talent to compartmentalize. But the 1999 State of the Union was more than just an artful performance by a political master of denial. At the end of his speech, Clinton actually unveiled a new political argument that shaped the final two years of his presidency.

Capitol Ink | Heckler in Chief

What kind of country do Americans want? Voters definitely have a choice
As Democrats wrestle with complex issues of inclusion, the GOP message is much clearer

Democratic presidential hopeful Tom Steyer campaigns in Iowa last August. As Democrats wrestle, sometimes clumsily, with complex issues of inclusion, Republicans have a much clearer message, Curtis writes. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — “This is the diverse party. We are a diverse country. I am from a majority-minority state, California. So as far as I’m concerned, if we aren’t talking about race, dealing with race and actually addressing the problems of America today forthrightly and strongly, we’re not going to get the support of people, and we don’t deserve the support of people.”

That was presidential hopeful Tom Steyer, when I spoke with him recently, during his second stop through North Carolina in two weeks.

Capitol Ink | Rushing Ploy

Adam Schiff throws the ballot box under the bus
In their impeachment crusade, Democrats are undermining voters’ faith in American democracy

Rep. Adam Schiff doesn’t seem to understand the harm his comments undermining the November election has caused American democracy, Winston writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — Adam Schiff crossed a line between right and wrong last week in his opening statement in the Senate impeachment trial. 

The California Democrat told senators, “We are here today to consider a much more grave matter, and that is an attempt to use the powers of the presidency to cheat in an election.”

Capitol Ink | Damage Control