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May 9, 2014

Weekly Show

The kidnappings of nearly 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria by Boko Haram; the White House released a new report on climate change; the SCOTUS ruling to uphold prayer at government meetings; and a roundup of the primaries that marked the unofficial launch of the midterm season. Joining Gwen: Hannah Allam, McClatchy Paper; Dan Balz, Washington Post; Coral Davenport, The New York Times; Pete Williams, NBC News

May 2, 2014

Weekly Show

New job numbers were released Friday, the latest U.S. sanctions on Russia, a new poll thats finds Americans want less foreign engagement and a look at North Carolina's senate election. Joining Gwen: Janet Hook, Wall Street Journal; Jim Tankersley, Washington Post, Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics and Charles Babington, Associated Press.

July 26, 2013

Weekly Show

Obama pledged to focus on the economy and helping working-class Americans, the Justice Department's strategy to challenge discriminatory voting laws, the latest on Edward Snowden, and Anthony Weiner's choice to stay in the New York City mayoral race. Joining NBC News’ Pete Williams: John Harwood, CNBC and New York Times; Carrie Johnson, NPR; Martha Raddatz, ABC News; Molly Ball, The Atlantic.

Now touring, the debt duo, Simpson-Bowles

Essential Reads

Theirs is an improbable buddy act that is making for unlikely entertainment from campuses to corporations on a most serious subject: the federal debt. The proof of their appeal: some business groups pay them $40,000 each per appearance. Really. To discuss budgets and baselines.

Voice of the Voters: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Web content

The once solidly red North Carolina narrowly turned blue in 2008 to help Barack Obama win the White House. Two years later the state reverted to red with a wave of GOP wins in the 2010 midterm election. So in this tight 2012 election will Barack Obama or Mitt Romney win this swing state's 15 electoral votes? Journalism students Averi Harper and Alex Giles of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill report on the issues driving North Carolinian voters to the polls this year.

 

Lessons Learned in Tampa and Charlotte

Gwen's Take

CHARLOTTE -- I am typing this while sitting in a darkened arena. From my vantage point high above the convention floor, thousands of happy Democrats are cheering a video collage of Barack Obama's campaign and Presidency. In this version of pro-Obama utopia, the hits fly by -- the misses not so much. We watch Sarah Palin dismiss the President's background as a community organizer, and immediately cut to video of then-candidate Obama brushing off his shoulder Jay Z-style and singing a little Al Green. Oh, and then he orders a hit on Osama bin Laden.

Five Things to Watch in Charlotte

Gwen's Take

Charlotte, N.C. — We dodged a hurricane, survived the gripping humidity and thrived for a week in the belly of the beast — a national political convention that one first time attendee Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc), said reminded him of a trade show.

So let's rinse and the repeat, this time in the Tar Heel State, where Democrats are already descending to renominate Barack Obama. The incumbent gets the privilege of the last word when it comes to scheduling events like these. So expect much of what you see here to be reactive.

The Big Straddle: Why Compromise Can Be Hazardous to One’s Political Health

Gwen's Take

“There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.”

Jim Hightower, a committed liberal and former Texas Agriculture Commissioner, liked to say this so much that he finally used it as a title for a book.

I was reminded of this tart assessment this week as I watched two skilled politicians attempt to negotiate a growing chasm opening under their feet. One of them, Indiana GOP Sen. Richard Lugar, slipped and fell. The other, President Obama, appeared to leap nimbly to the other side of the sinkhole just before it swallowed him up.

Twitter becomes a key real-time tool for campaigns

Essential Reads

The bully pulpit has a new kind of altar call: “Tweet them. We’ve got a hashtag. Here’s the hashtag for you to tweet them: #dontdoublemyrate.” President Obama repeated that Twitter hashtag twice more during a Tuesday speech opposing an increase in student loan interest rates. For good measure, he even had his Chapel Hill, N.C., audience chant it back to him.

Democrats Shorten Convention to Three Days

On The Radar

Votes in the South may be in doubt, President Obama and the Democratic National Committee decided, but his delegate support is not. So the president's September nominating convention in Charlotte will shrink to three days while Labor Day will become a telegenic "y'all come" festival in that city aimed at wooing Southern, white and NASCAR voters.
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