Gwen's Take

Truth and Consequences: Or What Happens When The Election Ends

Posted: November 11, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson, a Republican, and former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, a Democrat, have been to this rodeo before. That’s why they waited one week and one day to drop their post-election bombshell.

By releasing a set of draft recommendations weeks ahead of an announced deadline, the co-chairmen of the President’s bipartisan deficit reduction commission delivered a sharp admonishment to everyone who ran toward and against Washington last week: put up or shut up.

The End of Prognostication: Five Answers from Election Night

Posted: November 4, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Now that we can place the term “shellacking” right next to “thumpin' ” in the post-election political dictionary, let’s sort through the wreckage and victories from the midterm elections to answer the five questions I posed in this space last week.

Who voted?
Two years after President Obama was catapulted into office on the strength of an expanded electoral map that had turned dramatically blue, 29 million of his voters decided this time they would stay home.

The End of Prognostication: 5 Questions for Election Night

Posted: October 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm

At just about this point in every election cycle, we begin to overuse the same words, phrases and arguments. Everything is a tossup, or a dead heat, or a last-minute dash to Election Day. The other guy is always going to shut down Social Security. Taxes are evil. President Obama (or President Bush) and Speaker Pelosi (or Speaker Gingrich) are driving us all to ruin.

In This Election Season, Pondering Peace & Harmony

Posted: October 22, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I’ve been giving a lot of thought during the waning days of this bitterly-fought midterm election campaign to the idea of peace and harmony.

“Come on,” you say. “What does peace or harmony have to do with dead heat campaigns that could determine control of the House and the Senate?”

Not a lot, it turns out. I thought about it when I watched one candidate refuse to shake another’s hand after a debate in Kentucky this week. I thought about it again when I saw what spurred the snub – a particularly toxic campaign ad.

Never Let Them See You Sweat: Notes from the Florida Campaign Trail

Posted: October 14, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Kendrick Meek was in the basement of St. John First Baptist Church, a black congregation in the impoverished South Florida town of Belle Glade, sweating up a storm. The post-Sunday service crowd was dressed to the nines and fanning themselves furiously with cardboard fans printed up on behalf of a local ballot initiative.

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