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About Me

I'm a pragmatic progressive whose writing is influenced by a long journey out of conservative Christian fundamentalism, as well as my professional experience as a family therapist and nonprofit executive.

Through those experiences, I honed my skills as an original thinker who looks beneath the surface, gravitates towards the hard questions, and challenges conventional wisdom.

You can follow me on Twitter, like me on Facebook and connect with me on LinkedIn.


  1. I've been meaning to write a note of appreciation. I began to notice your contributions to WM's Political Animal a few months ago. Your opinions are always fresh and intelligent. Several times, I think, I've reacted to something you've written by saying to myself, "That's the best thing I've read over the last few days."

  2. I completely agree with the comment above. I find myself looking forward to weekends at Political Animal. Political Animal is one of the best and most intelligent blogs around and one of the few that I can still stand to read regularly.

  3. Hi. I chanced upon your insightful essays when I was so closely following the reaction to Obama's Charleston speech and after googling to find more voices, I found yours. Since then I have read your blog consistently, and many times I have thought to write a note of appreciation. In your bio you mention that you "gravitate towards the hard questions," and I admire that and you almost always bring fresh insight. I love when you describe a current event and then enlarge the conversation with a relevant quote from King (Letter from Birmingham Jail) or Obama (Selma, just months ago).

    I look forward to following you in these most interesting times. And I have just begun following Political Animal, and when "Brother Benen" wan mentioned I knew I was right at home.

  4. Just heard that you will take over from Ed Kikgore - congratulations!! I've been a fan and follower of yours for some time and I'm really looking forward to your work.

  5. I navigated here from the Washington Monthly. You are one of just a couple of people whose take on the world I look forward to reading every day. Your blog will be another place I check in often.

  6. Nancy,

    This holiday season I just want to pass along a thank you for your blogging contributions at Washington Monthly. I have appreciated the even-keel, reasoned posts that you have put together. You're one of the main reasons I donated to WaMo. Thanks so much, and I look forward to reading your work in the months and years to come.

    1. Thanks Tom - for both the compliment and the donation :-)


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What Obama Learned as a Community Organizer

I recently ran across this article that Barack Obama wrote back in 1988 while he was still a community organizer. The closing paragraph speaks not only to what he learned during those years, but it is a great example of why so many people talk about his amazing talent as a writer. Just imagine what it would be like if we had a President who wrote about urban Americans like this :-)
In return, organizing teaches as nothing else does the beauty and strength of everyday people. Through the songs of the church and the talk on the stoops, through the hundreds of individual stories of coming up from the South and finding any job that would pay, of raising families on threadbare budgets, of losing some children to drugs and watching others earn degrees and land jobs their parents could never aspire to — it is through these stories and songs of dashed hopes and powers of endurance, of ugliness and strife, subtlety and laughter, that organizers can shape a sense of community not only for othe…

A Tale of Two Ground Games

I recently ran across two stories about what things look like on the ground in Southwestern Ohio - a state where the RCP polling average gives Hillary Clinton a 2.6 lead over Donald Trump.

The first comes from a blogger at Daily Kos with the screen name mt41w. He attended the opening of a field office in "deeply red" Mason.
The fact that Hillary’s ground game is focused, extremely competent, hard-working and ready to GOTV was plain with the opening of the Mason, Ohio office on Wednesday evening August 10th. This was one of seven offices “opening for business” Wednesday in Ohio...

Anyhow, the house was literally standing-room-only. In the room where I stood and sweated — the A/C was overwhelmed — I counted 35 people, including the Channel 12 CBS Local News crew and cameraman. And I was in the smaller of six rooms in this converted house on Mason’s Main Street. I could see more people outside on the porch and sidewalk unwilling or unable to brave the crowded rooms, so I’d take…

Ed Henry: Three Strikes and You're OUT

In yesterday's press conference President Obama tackled some extremely important issues: like the warmongering currently underway with Republicans.

But on a lighter note, I'm beginning to wonder if we shouldn't call these press conferences "Ed Henry Smackdowns." Does this Faux News reporter have any appreciation for the concept of "three strikes and you're out?"

As a refresher - here's strike one.

Strike two.

And yesterday's big swing and miss...strike three.

To switch metaphors, one has to wonder when the referee calls it for the great counter-puncher.