News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Happy 2020!

Photograph by Evy Mages

About Washingtonian Today

Washingtonian Today is not just another political news roundup. Instead, this daily morning brief provides local context on national news, catches you up on what’s happening at Washingtonian, points you toward super duper awesome things to do around town, and lets you in on some special events going on in-house. Sign up here to receive Washingtonian Today in your inbox every morning.

Kitchen confidential: Congresspeople are doubling down on ways to seem relatable by sharing their more mundane activities on Instagram. While peeling back the curtain to show “they’re just like us” is nothing new, doing so while preparing for a possible 2020 bid via meme and Internet culture sure is. Popularized by incoming member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the “Politicians Cooking Dinner at Home” trope is now being adopted by the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand. (Have you guys seen Cory Booker’s Instagram story? He’s constantly talking directly to friends, fans, and foes alike on there.) In a time where low-budget, high impact video and campaigning is possible from a Senator’s cell phone, this trend will be one to watch.

Hi, good morning, and happy Wednesday. Today is move-in day for the new Congress. It’s like college move-in day without all the potentially handsome parents. You know how this goes: see something, say something. Shoot me a message if there’s anything on the Hill I should keep my eye on.  I’m Brittany Shepherd, the author of this morning newsletter. Feel free to contact me at or find me on Twitter. Sign up for this newsletter here.

Is this your “resistance” king?: Incoming freshman Senator Mitt Romney has some words in the form of a Washington Post op-ed about President TrumpThe tl;dr is that Trump’s got low character. Bill Kristol has, “For now at least,” dubbed the Utah legislator “the leader of the Republican Resistance to Trump.” But I’m not so sure that title has the legs. A quick Twitter search will show some robust skepticism and a reminder that it all really comes down to votes. If Romney walks in line with the Administration’s policy agenda once the new Congress convenes Thursday, is he really resisting anything at all?

Ye’s bumping for Trump: Kanye’s back on the Trump wave once more. After vowing to distance himself from politics after a brief skirmish with Turning Point USA and “Blexit”, Mr. West is back with the Dragon Energy. Though beyond personality admiration, West has yet to say what drew him back to the President. He also may be toying with a run himself?

And it’s with a bang we enter 2019, folks.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

Our pick for things to do around town:

MUSIC If you haven’t traveled to see one of the Misfits’ reunion shows, you’ll have to settle for seeing the band’s members piecemeal, as a full reunion show does not seem to be in the cards for DC just yet. Guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein, who performs with a band under the name Doyle, will play at Jammin’ Java; the horror punk/metal band is reminiscent of the Misfits, but don’t expect to hear any Misfits tunes live—Doyle’s recent set lists have pulled from his band’s two solo albums. $16 (in advance) or $20 (day of), 7 PM.

Good reads:

Things are looking up for the National Gallery of Art, which recently named its first female director, Kriston Capps reports.  (Washington City Paper)

Harry Reid says pessimists are never disappointed, and I think he has a good point. (New York Times)

Big events from Washingtonian

What are some things you want our team to cover in the new year? Political groups that we’ve missed? Something you’re particularly excited about? Send an email and let us know.

Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.