Gwen's Take

Gwen’s Take: Slippery Slopes And Other Risky Things

Posted: September 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm

It’s tough enough to govern effectively when the ground underfoot is stable. But take a tricky issue and angle it uphill, and getting things done gets a lot more complicated.

Last week I wrote about the strange bedfellows who are making it difficult for President Obama to win support for his campaign to intervene in Syria.

Not so strange bedfellows: Democrats and Republicans on Syria

Posted: September 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee heard testimony about the potential use of military force in Syria [Photo:CNN].

Just an eyeblink ago, the most common complaint about Washington was that bipartisanship was dead. Most Democrats and most Republicans would not even agree to share a sandwich.

Well, cross-party cooperation is back, but it’s not the type the White House was hoping for.

Gwen's Take: War and Peace and the President

Posted: August 29, 2013 at 5:02 pm

President Obama sat down for an interview with Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff of the PBS NewsHour on Wednesday [Photo: White House].

It never gets old slipping inside the gates at Pennsylvania Avenue and walking up the path to the White House. Over the years, Judy Woodruff and I have been privileged to do it countless times in our roles at some of the nation’s most prestigious news organizations.

Remembering and Reimagining August 28, 1963

Posted: August 22, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Two years ago, I wrote this piece about looking back and looking forward. Now, because we love our landmarks, the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington has allowed us to focus once again on a pivotal national event that did so much to shape the way we view ourselves and our nation.

Names have been lost in the popular retelling. Bayard Rustin was the organizer who somehow figured out a way to get a quarter of a million people to descend on the capital for a march that made some pretty radical demands. Walter Reuther and A. Philip Randolph were the labor organizers whose efforts ensured that the crowd was so racially diverse. Anna Arnold Hedgeman was the only woman on the organizing committee, and scolded the civil rights leaders who decided the day's speakers would all be male. She lost that fight.

I'm embarrassed to say I've learned, or re-learned, a lot of this recently as I was preparing for the series of conversations we've been having on the PBS NewsHour and Washington Week leading up to the anniversary. It puts nearly everything we are watching unfold in Washington now in context -- from economic stress to power politics to personal security. And it helps us to look forward, too.

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August 25, 2011

My daily commute takes me south along the Potomac River and past the neoclassical majesty of the Lincoln Memorial, a beautiful drive I try not to take for granted.

But I had been living and working in the nation's capital for more than two decades before I retraced the steps I had taken as a schoolchild, up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Gwen's Take: "Summer Reads"

Posted: August 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Gwen Ifill shares what fiction and non-fiction books she is reading this summer including new political works from Washington Week panelists.

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