Gwen's Take

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.

The Risks and Rewards of Party Purity

Posted: October 7, 2010 at 6:54 pm

If you want to sum up the challenges facing mainstream Democrats and Republicans this campaign season, hop a plane to Kentucky.

That’s what I did this week, and when I got there I discovered the political world must be a pretty lonely place for Barack Obama and Mitch McConnell this year.

Listening to the Other Side

Posted: October 1, 2010 at 11:32 am

I spent a day at the University of Vermont this week, getting up close and personal with my favorite people – the ones who like getting their news from PBS.

In the back of my mind, I had hoped the visit would give me a chance to take the pulse of American youth in much the same way President Obama did to great effect at the University of Wisconsin in Madison earlier in the week.

Telling Our Stories

Posted: September 24, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Two women I know have recently written terrific books that could easily have never seen the light of day.

By complete serendipity, each is a former colleague and friend. Isabel Wilkerson and I were both reporters for the New York Times. Michele Norris and I became running buddies while working together at the Washington Post.

I also wrote a book a few years ago, an exercise that ranks right at the top of the hardest things I have ever done. We three are also African American women who have closely followed the country’s national debates about race.

Who Exactly Are the Bums?

Posted: September 16, 2010 at 6:11 pm

September 17, 2010

With a little over six weeks left before Americans go to the poll and put us out of our midterm election madness/misery, this year’s prevailing political story line got a fresh bump this week: voters want to throw the bums out.

This morning-after punditry has become more and more predictable with every new poll and every primary election night. Americans are angry, economically stressed and completely over Washington. Obama. Congress. It matters not. They just know what’s happening now is not working.

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