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Hearing Gwen Ifill on The Breakthrough

Gwenn Ifill at Commonwealth Club Silicon Valley - January 28, 2009 - iPhone Photo by Scott LoftesnessGwen Ifill was in town today for a Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley event discussing her new book “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama“.

Ifill spoke about how her book isn’t just about Obama – but rather about several others who have also “broken through” as politicians at the mayoral, governor and congressional levels – and how having Obama win was like the cherry on top of the sundae. In the Q&A, she said the hardest work she’d ever done was preparing for the two vice-presidential debates she’s moderated – and how, during the debates, she learned to respect how smart the audience was at figuring out when a candidate answered a different question than the one she asked.

Good fun to see her today in person – for years I’ve very much admired her work on PBS (both on the Newshour and Washington Week). I’ve got her book on my Kindle and started reading it on the flight to Burbank this afternoon after her presentation.

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