Gwen's Take

The Bully Pulpit Advantage

Posted: April 14, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Budgets, Deficits and 2012

A few weeks ago, I mused in this space about why anyone would want to be President. This week, I had an epiphany. And so did Rep. Paul Ryan.

To understand this, it helps to be a student of the orchestrated political rollout. That’s when an individual carefully plots out in advance what he or she wants the next day’s headline to read – and then pulls it off.

Ideology vs Idiocy: The Shutdown Showdown

Posted: April 7, 2011 at 6:49 pm

As the shutdown showdown approached its third or fourth climax late this week, I found myself in Flint, Michigan, the former General Motors manufacturing powerhouse, where the unemployment rate still stands at nearly 12 percent and people can be forgiven for casting a skeptical eye on government.

But I was far enough away from Washington that I thought this would be a good time to test a pet hypothesis. The hysteria over the standoff threatening to cripple the national government was, I was convinced, a Washington obsession.

Iowa, I Hear You Calling

Posted: April 1, 2011 at 10:13 am

AMES, Iowa -- I have this little theory that has long served me well. Everything, I believe, is politics.

Politics determines whether your children go to school or to jail; whether they eat or starve; whether their futures will improve on your past.

This is why I love politics and don't mind politicians. So it is with no small amount of anticipation that I look forward to the 2012 campaign.

I was reminded of this as I flew into Des Moines this week on my way to a campus visit at Iowa State University, an hour's drive north.

Rocks and Hard Places

Posted: March 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Why Governing Is So Hard

Every four years as I set off to cover another Presidential election cycle, I secretly ask myself: why do any of these people want to be President?

Mixed Signals

Posted: March 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm

When to Send Them; How to Read Them

I was sitting behind the wheel on Pennsylvania Avenue Thursday afternoon in the kind of traffic clog that those of us who live in Washington, DC have become accustomed to. The clamor of sirens signaled that President Obama’s motorcade was about to pass. And until he – and about 14 other speeding vehicles carrying the Presidential entourage – sped by, the rest of us would not be going anywhere.

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