Gwen's Take

Remembering Dorothy Height

Posted: April 20, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I was always thoroughly intimidated in Dorothy Height's presence.

It's not because she was regal or holier-than-thou. It's that she was neither of those things. And somehow, she should have been. Could easily have been.

Debating the Debate

Posted: April 15, 2010 at 4:14 pm

I got a lot of mail this week, almost all of it online, and much of it angry. The reason? I tried to tell both sides of a story.

The occasion was our PBS NewsHour “Spotlight Series” in Tampa, Florida. Periodically, we try to break out of the Beltway to make the connection between the stories we cover here in Washington and the effect they have on peoples’ lives.

Gwen reviews "The Bridge: The Life & Rise of Barack Obama"

Posted: April 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm

When The Washington Post asked me to review David Remnick’s new book “The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama,” I quickly said yes.

As someone who spends my days trying to peer inside, through and around national and global events, I possess a bottomless well of curiosity about people who aspire to lead.

You will see in the review that follows that I admired Remnick’s final product, all 600+ pages of it. This is in part because I spent so much time (and sweat and tears) trying to write a far more narrowly focused book of my own in 2008.

Translating History

Posted: March 25, 2010 at 10:19 am

I have a little hobby as a journalist. I love to listen to how people use words. That sounds simpler than it is. It requires the listener to be skeptical rather than cynical, yet to cheerfully expose the meaning behind the meaning.

While I was deciding what to write here this week, a perfect example practically reached out and grabbed me by the throat. And I was sitting at the desk in the NewsHour studio at the time.

Deadlines, Schmedlines...

Posted: March 18, 2010 at 3:05 pm

“If you don’t set deadlines in this town, things don’t happen.
The default position is inertia.”
– President Barack Obama July 22, 2009

We enter another weekend with yet another health care deadline hanging low on Washington’s horizon. It will be neither the first nor the last time that gauntlets have been thrown down.

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