Gwen's Take

The Apple War: How One Man Took On The Nation's Divisive Politics

Posted: June 21, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Greg Clement saved the Brunswick, Ohio apple orchard and restaurant he now owns from foreclosure last year. He grew up there and decided to use his experience launching a successful software firm to save a piece of his childhood.

So when Mitt Romney's campaign advance team came to town scouting out a place for a rally, Clement was thrilled to offer up picturesque Mapleside Farms, with its acres of apple trees and sweeping views of the Appalachian foothills.

Gwen with Greg Clement (NewsHour)

Dearth of Civility in the Public Square

Posted: June 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm

Flash back with me to sixth grade recess. A bit of taunting that turns into a little shoving and trash talking. Next thing you know, a circle of children are egging each other you on, chanting: “Fight! Fight! Fight!”

What choice did you have but to fight? It wasn’t a very civil thing to do, but this was elementary school.

Now, we live in a world of sixth grade taunting everywhere we look, where disagreements are settled on the playground of dueling campaign appearances and pundit-driven cable television debates.

Election 2012: All the Bright and Shiny Objects

Posted: June 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm

I have become an excellent tea-leaf reader this spring. As I watch college graduates cross the stage on commencement day -- teetering in new heels, arms outstretched to grasp their hard-earned diplomas -- I study the terror in their eyes.

And as I watch two party nominees stride onto their stages -- theme songs blaring, and huge American flags hung behind them -- I study the ambition in their eyes.

2012: The Year Demographics Catches Up With Politics

Posted: May 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Christine Mastin, an immigration attorney whose Spanish-speaking grandmother emigrated from Chile to the United States, realizes that most of the Hispanics she knows are surprised she is a Republican.

Barack Obama won two-thirds of the Latino vote in 2008, and no Republican has come close to winning a majority in 40 years. But she is working Colorado for Mitt Romney.

And even though she ran for a state House seat in 2010 and lost, she is optimistic that the GOP will soon be able to crack the code.

History's Romance: Why Politics Past Beats Politics Present

Posted: May 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Is it just my imagination, or have politics and politicians grown smaller?

I've been flirting with this conclusion after diving into two enjoyable presidential history books by night while covering 2012 politics by day. The books, Robert Caro's "The Passage of Power" and "The President's Club" by Michael Duffy and Nancy Gibbs, take us inside the West Wing in a way screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s fictional White House never could.

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