Related Content: Gwen Ifill

Deconstructing the President

Gwen's Take

I am not much for putting U.S. Presidents on the couch, but there was something about watching Barack Obama striding into the White House briefing room with fists clenched the other day that appealed to the Sigmund Freud in me.

One-Week Wonders: We Pay Attention So You Don’t Have To

Gwen's Take

I have a new theory. Let me know what you think about it.

Has it occurred to anyone lately that so many of the things we obsess about turn out to be stories that last for – give or take -- one week?

This gelled for me during Thanksgiving week when, thanks to my pal Michele Norris, I got to take a week off from “Washington Week” and concentrate on brining my turkey. (Write for the recipe. It was delicious.)

Watching from a distance, I detected a trend I had noted before but actually had the space to consider: The One Week Story.

November 26, 1993

Vault Show

The end of the Congressional session in 1993 with a number of Clinton initiatives passing Congress & a crisis averted for Thanksgiving week travelers as the White House brings American Airlines and its flight attendants to the bargaining table.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS: The New Congress Comes to Town

Gwen's Take

Why are we surprised when campaign trail promises or high-minded mission statements collide with reality?

I was left to ponder just that this week when I went to the Library of Congress to have lunch with the chiefs of staff for incoming members of Congress – many of whom have never held any public office before.

PBS NewsHour: Political Checklist: Lame Duck Confit

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November 15, 2010

Today is the first day of the lame-duck session of the 111th Congress. What will (and what won't) they accomplish in the next few months before a new, more Republican Congress is sworn in?

Gwen Ifill briefs Hari Sreenivasan on the Congress' four top concerns: Bush-era tax cuts, the START Treaty, Don't Ask Don't Tell, and the Budget Continuing Resolution.

Truth and Consequences: Or What Happens When The Election Ends

Gwen's Take

Former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson, a Republican, and former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, a Democrat, have been to this rodeo before. That’s why they waited one week and one day to drop their post-election bombshell.

By releasing a set of draft recommendations weeks ahead of an announced deadline, the co-chairmen of the President’s bipartisan deficit reduction commission delivered a sharp admonishment to everyone who ran toward and against Washington last week: put up or shut up.

The End of Prognostication: Five Answers from Election Night

Gwen's Take

Now that we can place the term “shellacking” right next to “thumpin' ” in the post-election political dictionary, let’s sort through the wreckage and victories from the midterm elections to answer the five questions I posed in this space last week.

Who voted?
Two years after President Obama was catapulted into office on the strength of an expanded electoral map that had turned dramatically blue, 29 million of his voters decided this time they would stay home.

The End of Prognostication: 5 Questions for Election Night

Gwen's Take

At just about this point in every election cycle, we begin to overuse the same words, phrases and arguments. Everything is a tossup, or a dead heat, or a last-minute dash to Election Day. The other guy is always going to shut down Social Security. Taxes are evil. President Obama (or President Bush) and Speaker Pelosi (or Speaker Gingrich) are driving us all to ruin.

In This Election Season, Pondering Peace & Harmony

Gwen's Take

I’ve been giving a lot of thought during the waning days of this bitterly-fought midterm election campaign to the idea of peace and harmony.

“Come on,” you say. “What does peace or harmony have to do with dead heat campaigns that could determine control of the House and the Senate?”

Not a lot, it turns out. I thought about it when I watched one candidate refuse to shake another’s hand after a debate in Kentucky this week. I thought about it again when I saw what spurred the snub – a particularly toxic campaign ad.

Never Let Them See You Sweat: Notes from the Florida Campaign Trail

Gwen's Take

Kendrick Meek was in the basement of St. John First Baptist Church, a black congregation in the impoverished South Florida town of Belle Glade, sweating up a storm. The post-Sunday service crowd was dressed to the nines and fanning themselves furiously with cardboard fans printed up on behalf of a local ballot initiative.