April 2010

Washington Rhetoric: The Decoder

Posted: Thu, 04/29/2010 - 6:54pm

Emotion. Fear. Guilt. Racism. These drivers, according to former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, are the four horsemen of a rhetorical apocalypse that stops things from getting done in Washington. “Those are the four things I find in my time here either passed or killed a bill,” Simpson said.

Remembering Dorothy Height

Posted: Tue, 04/20/2010 - 5:00pm

I was always thoroughly intimidated in Dorothy Height's presence.

It's not because she was regal or holier-than-thou. It's that she was neither of those things. And somehow, she should have been. Could easily have been.

Debating the Debate

Posted: Thu, 04/15/2010 - 4:14pm

I got a lot of mail this week, almost all of it online, and much of it angry. The reason? I tried to tell both sides of a story.

The occasion was our PBS NewsHour “Spotlight Series” in Tampa, Florida. Periodically, we try to break out of the Beltway to make the connection between the stories we cover here in Washington and the effect they have on peoples’ lives.

Gwen reviews "The Bridge: The Life & Rise of Barack Obama"

Posted: Thu, 04/08/2010 - 1:30pm

When The Washington Post asked me to review David Remnick’s new book “The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama,” I quickly said yes.

As someone who spends my days trying to peer inside, through and around national and global events, I possess a bottomless well of curiosity about people who aspire to lead.

You will see in the review that follows that I admired Remnick’s final product, all 600+ pages of it. This is in part because I spent so much time (and sweat and tears) trying to write a far more narrowly focused book of my own in 2008.