News & Politics

Washingtonian Today: Amtrak Man Wants to Be President

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.

Frequent Amtrak rider Joe Biden is running for president. Biden, a Democrat frontrunner whose career has been tinted with controversy about his handsiness, joins an increasingly crowded field of 2020 contenders, some of whom you may have already forgotten about. (I did see a Jay Inslee campaign sign in Navy Yard this week, so all hope is not lost for that guy.) Biden’s new logo, as the Center for American Politics and Design points out, draws from Biden’s 2008 image. His tagline? Once again, simply: “President.”

In more election news, Potomac resident John Delaney wants supporters to stick it to Trump by…unfollowing him on Twitter. Apparently, the President does care about how many people follow him, but I’m not sure if this is the most aggressive method of resistance. It is quite forward for someone from the Maryland side of Friendship Heights—which isn’t as rough and tumble as the streets of Bethesda.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg nabbed his first congressional endorsement—and it came from Don Beyer, who represents Virginia’s 8th District, which includes Arlington, Alexandria, and the city of Falls Church. 

Happy Thursday, I am your author, Brittany Shepherd ( Will Peischel ( contributed reporting today. If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to this newsletter.

Couch-surfing takes on a new meaning: Several activists have been crashing on the Venezuelan Embassy’s couches to protest the US recognizing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó. “You can’t just create a parallel government while there’s already a government in power and think that will lead to anything but more chaos and violence,” Medea Benjamin tells DCist.

White House Correspondents’ Weekend festivities kick off today. I’m attempting to attend as much programming as possible and will bring back plenty of behind-the-scenes details. First up tonight are two events: the Washington Women in Journalism Awards ceremony, co-hosted by the owner of this magazine with Story Partners’ Gloria Dittus. Politico Playbook has an event tonight at a downtown WeWork. The Hollywood Reporter has a complete rundown of what’s happening where this weekend.

What we have cooking at Washingtonian:

  • Andrea Mitchell says women journalists create a sisterhood behind the scenes in order to support one another through a tricky time in journalism. I think Andrea’s right.
  • Escape the WHCD news cycle. Run away to Wilmington.
  • There are several Mueller Report books. We talked to the publishers of several top-selling editions to figure out how one is different from any of the others.
  • Singapore style street food is finally coming to the Washington area, via Florida-based Hawkers Asian Street Fare. Just another excuse to travel to Bethesda.

Our pick for things to do around town:

FILM The 33rd annual Filmfest DC opens on Thursday and features 80 films from 45 countries, with a special focus on films dealing with food, music, and social justice. Many of the screenings will include Q&As with directors, and a few have additional special guests. A screening of Echo in the Canyon (4/27, Lincoln Theatre), a look at the Laurel Canyon music scene of the 1960s, will be followed by a concert featuring Jakob Dylan (the Wallflowers), Cat Power, and Jade Castrinos (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros). Screenings of Michelin Stars: Tales From the Kitchen (Landmark’s E Street Cinema) will feature appearances by chefs Aaron Silverman (Rose’s Luxury and Pineapple and Pearls) (4/28) and minibar’s Jorge Hernandez (4/30). Keeping the festival relevant to DC, the 3-D virtual reality documentary Traveling While Black was filmed at Ben’s Chili Bowl and will screen there as well (4/28, 4/29), and local novelist George Pelecanos’s film DC Noir (5/4, AMC Mazza Gallerie) was filmed in DC and features a score by Fugazi’s Brendan Canty. Through May 5. Most films are $14, but there are discount packages for those who buy in bulk.

Good reads:

Big events from Washingtonian:

Have a question about what to do for Mother’s Day? The recent string of restaurant closures? Or maybe you just need a dinner recommendation. Join food critic Ann Limpert tomorrow at 11 for her weekly chat with readers. You can leave a question in advance now.

Sip sip rosé! Join us as we toast to spring at our Rosé Soirée on Thursday, May 16, at Long View Gallery! It will be an evening full of wine from local and national vendors, light bites, and music. Use code sipsiprose for 15 percent off your ticket at

An evening under the sea: We’re celebrating the best restaurants in the Washington area at Best of Washington, presented by Lexus, on Thursday, June 6, at the National Building Museum. Tickets are selling fast to the kick-off party of the summer, so get yours today at Want 20 percent off your tickets? Use code bestofbrittany.

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.