Jodi Enda

Jodi Enda covers politics and government from Washington. She previously reported on the White House, presidential elections, and Congress for Knight Ridder Newspapers.

Recent Articles

Great Expectations

By 30 minutes and several days, Barack Obama is running late. He is supposed to be at his grandmother's in Hawaii -- his wife and daughters already are there -- but the Senate is still voting on some fairly significant legislation. So here he is, stuck in Washington nine days before Christmas. Illinois' junior senator just came from the Senate floor, where he and his fellow Democrats scored big by blocking a Republican drive to reauthorize the USA Patriot Act. He appears at once exhausted and energetic as he carefully places his finely tailored, charcoal-gray suit jacket on the back of a chair and centers his long, lean frame on the sofa beneath a large oil painting of an Illinois cornfield. Some of his heroes stare down at him from his office walls: Abraham Lincoln, JFK, and Mahatma Gandhi to his left; Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and Nelson Mandela across the room. A White Sox cap lies atop his desk, a symbol of triumph secured after years in the wilderness. Obama...

Great Expectations

By 30 minutes and several days, Barack Obama is running late. He is supposed to be at his grandmother's in Hawaii -- his wife and daughters already are there -- but the Senate is still voting on some fairly significant legislation. So here he is, stuck in Washington nine days before Christmas. Illinois' junior senator just came from the Senate floor, where he and his fellow Democrats scored big by blocking a Republican drive to reauthorize the USA Patriot Act. He appears at once exhausted and energetic as he carefully places his finely tailored, charcoal-gray suit jacket on the back of a chair and centers his long, lean frame on the sofa beneath a large oil painting of an Illinois cornfield. Some of his heroes stare down at him from his office walls: Abraham Lincoln, JFK, and Mahatma Gandhi to his left; Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and Nelson Mandela across the room. A White Sox cap lies atop his desk, a symbol of triumph secured after years in the wilderness. Obama...

Howard's Beginning

There is little room left to stand in the Atlanta nightclub Eleven50, a cavernous former opera house that sports an outsized mirror ball and the thumping electronic dance music favored by the hip, scantily clad, under-35 set. But on this humid weeknight in early June, the crowd is decidedly unhip, mostly well past its fourth decade. Nevertheless, this silk-and-seersucker set -- who paid $50 to $5,000 to get in -- acts as if there is a rock star in the room. The 650 men and women are cheering wildly, hanging over the balcony, lighting up the room with flashbulbs and begging autographs of the short, graying, and bland-looking doctor who they desperately hope will become the savior of their beloved Democratic Party. The unreserved enthusiasm of the hoi polloi stands in marked contrast to the more aloof behavior of another class of Democrats, one to whom Howard Dean has been less inspiring than anxiety-producing during his first half-year as chairman of the Democratic National Committee (...

The Opinion Mystique

Poor Anne Applebaum. She just discovered, after a couple of decades in journalism, that she might be viewed as “a token.” She's the only woman columnist gracing The Washington Post 's op-ed page, and she says, with some degree of sarcasm, that she's lonely. But, apparently, she thinks her loneliness is born of merit. Women shouldn't be hired simply because they're women, she insists. They should be hired -- like she and her friends were -- because they're good at what they do. She's right. Women journalists, lawyers, doctors, and plumbers should be hired because they're talented. But they shouldn't have to be more talented than the men who traditionally have held jobs in their fields and who still control most of those positions. They should have an equal chance to prove they're the best. Applebaum, for obvious reasons, likes to think she was hired solely on her merits. I'm sure she was. She's a fine writer, a smart journalist. She's also a woman, and she had a shot at an influential...

The Women's View

Kimberly was at home with her two sleeping children when her estranged husband, high on methamphetamines and angry about their impending divorce, showed up at her door last September. “He came in and said he wanted to talk about child-support payments. We were fighting about everything. The divorce was not final,” Kimberly said. “He raped me.” Kimberly didn't call the police because she wanted to protect her children from further trauma. Their lives had been upended during the previous two and a half years, ever since she was pregnant with her younger son and discovered that her husband was an addict. Since then, he'd quit his job, and she'd worked two; he put $50,000 on their credit cards at casinos and strip clubs; he threatened to kill her when she moved out with the boys; and he stole $700 from her boss, costing her a part-time bookkeeping job. After taking medical leave because she feared a nervous breakdown, Kimberly was fired from her primary job in the business department of a...

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