Notable as a political journalist for The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly, she is also known for her appearances on PBS and NBC news programs. Her full-length nonfiction works include On the Edge: The Clinton Presidency (1994) and George W. Bush's Washington (2004).
After earning her bachelor's degree in political science from Wellesley College, she began her journalistic career with a publication titled the Congressional Quarterly.
During the 1970s, she headed a nonprofit organization known as the Council on Foreign Relations.
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Estelle Jacobs and William Brenner, she later settled in Washington, D.C. Her first husband, J. Patterson Drew, passed away in 1970, and she and her second husband, David Webster, were married from 1981 until Webster's death in 2003.