Gwen's Take

Leaning Left and Right: Why Labels Won't Help This Year

Posted: August 12, 2010 at 3:13 pm

OK, folks, it’s time for another of my periodic forays into definitional politics.

To accomplish this, I have to take my own profession to task – and then rise to its defense. The problem: we reach too easily for shorthand. The defense: we live for shorthand.

This run-up to this week’s elections gave us a rich trove of gaffes to choose from to help me make my point, but I’ll settle on two events that lend themselves to two key questions.

Retiring "Mission Accomplished" & The Long Hot Summer

Posted: August 5, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Perhaps Oprah brought the President a cake when she joined his tight circle of Chicago friends for a birthday dinner this week. That’s more of a celebration than he has been able to have for any of his other landmark dates this year.

Consider the options.

Toxic Conversations

Posted: July 29, 2010 at 6:22 pm

A few years ago, my friends Mark Halperin, now of Time Magazine, and John Harris, now of Politico, coined the term “freak show” as a catchall for the fever that overtakes those of us in the information gathering business from time to time.  “Toxicity,” they wrote in their 2006 political book, “The Way to Win,” “is the new defining trait of modern American politics.”

Entering the "Twitterverse"

Posted: July 15, 2010 at 6:22 pm

You see, that headline is what I’ve always hated about Twitter.  

It’s way too cute.

But, alas, I have been lured in.

My first week on Twitter has been enlightening, funny and a little creepy.

You have to understand first that I have long been a firm anti-Twitterer. Life and news is complicated enough to explain without limiting yourself to 140 characters. Plus, I generally have less than zero interest in the eating, dieting and work day habits of people I have never met.

Yet, and still…

Taking the candor challenge

Posted: July 8, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Let me let you in on a Washington reality game show ----the ongoing push and pull between journalists and the people they cover.  The prize: simple candor.

By candor, I don’t mean that I expect the people we interview to act contrary to their own best personal and political interests.  But in an ideal world, it would be nice if everybody could at least try to play by the same Q&A rules.

To wit: we’ll ask the smartest questions we possibly can, and you will at least take a stab at offering a revealing answer.

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