Related Content: JFK

November 22, 2013

Weekly Show

Why Democrats decided to exercise the “nuclear option”; a tentative deal with the Afghan government over U.S. troops in Afghanistan through 2024; the Senate debate over military sexual assaults; and JFK’s accomplishments and legacy. Joining Gwen: Martha Raddatz, ABC News; James Kitfield, National Journal; Susan Davis, USA Today, and Michael Duffy, Time Magazine.

History's Romance: Why Politics Past Beats Politics Present

Gwen's Take

Is it just my imagination, or have politics and politicians grown smaller?

I've been flirting with this conclusion after diving into two enjoyable presidential history books by night while covering 2012 politics by day. The books, Robert Caro's "The Passage of Power" and "The President's Club" by Michael Duffy and Nancy Gibbs, take us inside the West Wing in a way screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s fictional White House never could.

Robert Caro revives Kennedy-Johnson feud

Essential Reads

To be a Democrat in Washington in the mid-1960s was to be confronted daily with the burning question: Which side are you on? There was the side with the power, President Lyndon B. Johnson and his team in the White House. And there was the side with the glamour, Robert F. Kennedy and his team of loyalists— mourning the death of John F. Kennedy, appalled by a man they regarded as a crude pretender in the Oval Office, dreaming of the day when the Kennedy reign would be restored.

Kennedy, King and the Power of Words

Gwen's Take

I am not such a fan of celebrating anniversaries for their own sake. Much of what we say on such occasions is rote – if not trite – and the true meaning of observance is easily lost.

But there were two occasions this week (while we in Washington were all on the lookout for post-Tucson lapses in civility) that made me rethink. Both cases involved taking the words of famous men and allowing others to speak them.