Gwen's Take

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

Posted: December 2, 2010 at 5:34 pm

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.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS: The New Congress Comes to Town

Posted: November 18, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Why are we surprised when campaign trail promises or high-minded mission statements collide with reality?

I was left to ponder just that this week when I went to the Library of Congress to have lunch with the chiefs of staff for incoming members of Congress – many of whom have never held any public office before.

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.

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