Howard Fineman

Stories by Howard Fineman

  • Ron Paul: Starting From Scratch

    There's much wrong with how America trades on its status in the world, says Ron Paul. He's got fixes.
  • Did Hillary Duck a Sucker Punch?

    Last March, Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia introduced a bill to insist that President Bush get congressional authorization if he wanted to attack Iran. A few of Webb's fellow Democrats, including Sen. Joe Biden, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, praised the idea. Still, no one signed on as a cosponsor. One reason: if it ever came to a vote—and failed—Bush could feel emboldened as he bullied his way into war with Iran. The bill languished in obscurity until last week, when Webb got his first and only cosponsor: the Democratic presidential front runner, Sen. Hillary Clinton, who was evidently in too much of a hurry to give Webb the customary senatorial heads-up. "I found out after she announced it," he said, laughing. Why now? It's called protection—in this case, from her antiwar left flank.If Clinton was suddenly anxious about Iran, she had good reason to feel that way—and so do her fellow Democrats. Most analysts, including Webb, agree Iran is a greater threat to security...
  • Fineman: How Fred Thompson Fared

    Fred Thompson finally joined the fray, debuting in the Michigan debate. How he stacked up against the rest of the Republican field.
  • Fineman: Inside the Hillary Veepstakes

    Yes, it's ridiculously early to start speculating on who might round out Senator Clinton's presidential ticket. But the angling has begun. Who will be No. 3—to Hill and Bill?
  • Fineman: Live Blogging the Democratic Debate

       HANOVER, N.H. -- I am here in the student union at Dartmouth waiting to see if Hillary Clinton has chance to smother this Democratic presidential race before it begins. I just came from a dinner with a top strategist from a major campaign (not Hillary's) who put her chances if of winning the nomination at 8-out-of-10. And yet, having been through this drill more times than I can count, I find it hard to believe that this race will end before it really has begun. Somebody is going to challenge Clinton for real. The physics of politics and media make it inevitable. The question is whether the main challenger is Sen. Barack Obama or, as seems increasingly possible, somebody else....
  • Fineman: An Explosive Issue in Iowa

    The issue is emerging as a big one in Iowa—and it could wind up pulling the GOP contenders far enough to the right to cause problems next November.
  • In Search Of a GOP St. George

    Iowa Republicans will tell you that the Devil does not wear Prada; she wears a pantsuit, low-heeled shoes and a sunny, I-told-you-so smile. Karl Rove insists that Sen. Hillary Clinton is a "fatally flawed candidate," and many Democrats agree. In a new book, "The Neglected Voter," journalist David Kuhn charts the party's waning appeal among white men—a debilitating trend Clinton seems ill-suited to reverse. But Iowans aren't reassured by Rove or flow charts. They assume Clinton will be the nominee, and, with typical earnestness, are searching for the right Saint George to take on the dragon lady. "We have a healthy appreciation for her and what she would represent, which is a hard turn to the left," says Robert Haus, a local GOP media consultant. "The goal of preventing that is what unites us."Each would-be knight has an anti-Clinton sales pitch, implied or explicit. Mitt Romney offers his hyperfunctional, one-marriage family life, his Democratic Blue State home base and a new...
  • Fineman: Stumping at the Steak Fry

    Tom Harkin's annual steak fry is a key indicator of how the Iowa caucuses may play out next January. Let the Democratic jockeying begin.
  • Fineman: The Surge and the Polls

    This is supposed to be a make-or-break week in the conduct of the Iraq War. But politically, it's looking a lot like 2006 all over again.
  • Fineman: The Craig Effect in 2008

    The GOP hustled the Idaho senator off the stage as soon as news of his arrest in a Minneapolis airport men's room came to light. But Craig isn't going gently. The fallout could help the Dems win the White House next year.
  • Fineman: Inside Barack Obama’s Strategy

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Sen. Barack Obama’s first line was ad-libbed and  it made me jealous. “It’s cold out here, but I’m fired up!” he told the frozen outside the Old State Capitol. I was glad somebody was warm, because I certainly wasn’t.But it was more than worth the brief discomfort to witness the scene: the lean figure of Obama, framed by the Greek revival capitol, its worn limestone golden in the morning sun;  the young, multi-cultural crowd cheering for him; the echoes of Lincoln and the Heartland; the whistles of the freight trains.America at its best.It was inspiring and humbling. This, after all, was the very place in which Lincoln had warned that a nation divided against itself could not stand. It was here that the age-old argument over race reached toward its crescendo. And it is here that Obama began a campaign that might end that argument altogether-or so we can hope.And yet if Obama’s candidacy winds up being about race and history, he won’t be the Democratic...
  • Two Views on One Family's Road Trip

    Two Views: A NEWSWEEK father and daughter find that the campus visit is a journey of discovery—about schools, life and how one generation can best guide another.
  • Fineman: Americans Warm Up to Universal Health Care

    Michael Moore is a uniquely American hybrid: the profit-making, anti-establishment agitator. In that line of work, your instincts have to be sharp. His are. In films that mix brave journalism and brazen agitprop, he has been ahead of the curve on the demise of heavy industry; the deadly blend of teenage rage and the gun culture, and the shaky reasoning behind, and execution of, the Iraq War. In person, he is a friendly bear of a guy—until the tape is rolling. Then the populist piranha pops out. I watched him working the lobby of one of his Washington premieres. He had a film crew in tow. Beltway types (including me) were glad to say hello. Few (including me) lingered on camera.Now Moore is back with "Sicko," his docu-tribe about our health-care "system." Once again, Moore's timing is perfect. Aside from Iraq, there is no bigger issue on the minds of voters. Two presidential candidates, John Edwards and Sen. Barack Obama, have come forth with ambitious plans that call for vastly...
  • Fineman: The Politics of Pittsburgh

    A city down on its luck has an optimistic young leader. The scene there mirrors our national situation. Maybe we can all learn something from Luke Ravenstahl.
  • Fineman: Bracketology for the 2008 Race

    With 19 candidates and counting, the 2008 presidential race is tough to sort out—even for the political pros. A user's guide to the ultimate tournament.