December 2010

Predictions, Prophecies and the Perils of Prognostication

Posted: Thu, 12/30/2010 - 5:18pm

One of the things that I promise reporters who appear on “Washington Week” is that they will never have to make predictions. Even on the PBS NewsHour, where many of our guests actually make their livings by peering into crystal balls, we shy away from the practice.


Posted: Thu, 12/23/2010 - 5:14pm

Why Santa likes political junkies

Let’s face it. If you still have to go to work while everyone else is out shopping and partying and hanging mistletoe, you might as well have fun doing it.

Gridlock is not fun. Poisonous debate is not fun. Being attacked by people who go online just to attack is not fun. But this week was fun.

No matter your political persuasion, if you believe that politics well practiced is an exercise in democracy, the final week of the just-concluded lame duck Congress was an eye opener.

Tags: Barack Obama | Congress | DADT | GOP | START

The Sincerity Test

Posted: Thu, 12/16/2010 - 7:20pm

Polls can be confusing. Americans generally hate Congress but don’t mind their own Congressman. And many of them say they hate President Obama but consider him a good father and a generally likeable fellow.

What gives?

I did a deep dive into two new polls out this week to see if I could figure it out. As I was scouring the graphs and tables, I came across a question I’d never noticed before.

Deconstructing the President

Posted: Thu, 12/09/2010 - 6:17pm

I am not much for putting U.S. Presidents on the couch, but there was something about watching Barack Obama striding into the White House briefing room with fists clenched the other day that appealed to the Sigmund Freud in me.

One-Week Wonders: We Pay Attention So You Don’t Have To

Posted: Thu, 12/02/2010 - 5:34pm

I have a new theory. Let me know what you think about it.

Has it occurred to anyone lately that so many of the things we obsess about turn out to be stories that last for – give or take -- one week?

This gelled for me during Thanksgiving week when, thanks to my pal Michele Norris, I got to take a week off from “Washington Week” and concentrate on brining my turkey. (Write for the recipe. It was delicious.)

Watching from a distance, I detected a trend I had noted before but actually had the space to consider: The One Week Story.

Tags: Gwen Ifill