Howard Fineman

Bad News: Health-Care Wars Have Just Begun

I hate to say this, but the health-care debate has only just begun. You'd think, as Barack Obama told us the other week, that everything that could be said has been said—and that everyone has had a chance to say it.

It Didn't Start With Nancy

When I get confused about the procedural and historical mysteries of Congress there is only one thing to do: call Norm Ornstein. As anyone in Washington knows, there are no more knowledgeable students of the Hill than Norm, who is at the American Enterprise Institute, and his buddy Tom Mann of the Brookings Institution.

House Dems Wary of Health-Care Bait and Switch

Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Rahm Emanuel are running the final days of the health-care bill like a three-card monte game on Times Square. You have to admire their skill and audacity, even if you can't quite follow what they are doing.

NEWSWEEK Offers Condolences on Passing of Theodore Olbermann

I got this e-mail from my good friend Keith Olbermann, whose father passed away over the weekend.  Theodore Olbermann's story—his late-life care, and the agonizing options involved—became an illustrative saga about health issues in and for America.

Sen. Harry Reid's Wife and Daughter Injured in Car Accident

As if Sen. Harry Reid didn't have enough of a weight on his shoulders, now he has this to deal with: his wife, Landra, and his daughter, Lana, were injured—Landra quite seriously—when their car was rear-ended by a truck on Interstate 95 in Washington.

Eric Massa's Unconvincing Performance on Glenn Beck

The president finally caught a break in the Beltway steel-cage match over health care. Former representative Eric Massa and Glenn Beck may have thought they were teaming up to stop Obamacare, but the duo both ended up looking ridiculous on Fox.

The Beginning of Staff-Hunting Season

So I'm at the gas station on Sunday and I see a guy I've known forever—one of the best plugged-in Democratic corporate lobbyists in town. The first words out of his mouth: "So Rahm's out," he says.

Health Care Is Going to Overtime

There's nothing more fun than handicapping a vote count in Washington. It's our version of studying an IPO on Wall Street, or filling out a March Madness bracket on Tobacco Road.The biggest vote of 2010 is coming up one of these days in the not too distant future in the House of Representatives.

Arizona Wranglers: McCain vs. Hayworth

I just got off the phone with the cheerfully overcaffeinated J. D. Hayworth, the former congressman who is challenging Sen. John McCain for the GOP Senate nomination in Arizona. "I love John and so do most people here," Hayworth told me. "But it's time for a new generation of conservative leadership here and across the country.

A Farewell to Arms?

Killing time here in the Capitol before the official coronation of Scott Brown, I happened by the Senate  and, as it turned out, witnessed something I hadn't expected and that we rarely see up here: a genuine, moving moment.

Eight Points to Take Away from Obama's Q&A With Senate Dems

Thoughts while watching the president take questions at the Senate Democrats' meeting at the Newseum: Congress is a co-equal branch of government, but the staging of the event made the senators look like out-to-lunch business students listening to a George Clooney lecture in Up in the Air.

Nothing Short of Masterful

If one speech can replenish a presidency—and I'm not sure it can—Barack Obama's State of the Union address was just such a speech. In tone and content it was aimed squarely at the fickle voters he has lost since last year: the swing-voting independents in the middle of the spectrum.

Why Plouffe's Return Might Be a Problem

On the NBC's Today show this morning, I suggested that odd new configuration of Barack Obama's political team could spell trouble in this election year. The reason: the lines of authority (and responsibility) aren't clear.

The Sweeping Impact of SCOTUS's Campaign-Spending Decision

I rarely attend a Supreme Court argument, but I did last fall for a "rehearing" of the campaign-spending case. I wrote a column about it, predicting that the Roberts Court would sweep away long-established restrictions on spending by corporations.

The Democrats Who Deserve Blame for Their Loss in Massachusetts

 Charles Krupa / APBrown supporters celebrating in Boston, Jan. 19. Blame is more fun than praise. Yes, Scott Brown was a seemingly anodyne, handsome, smiling, and at least superficially reasonable Republican who was in the right place at the right time: appearing out of nowhere in the midst of a nagging recession at a time of continued voter alienation with the powers that be—who happen to be Democrats.

Gibbs Offers Early Look at White House Spin Lines

The vultures (including me) showed up for Robert Gibbs's briefing today as voters in Massachusetts went to the polls to cast their vote for U.S. Senate. The operating assumption, which Gibbs did not dispute, was that Democrat Martha Coakley would lose the seat—held by the late Ted Kennedy since 1962—to a Republican nonentity named Scott Brown, a military lawyer and state senator whose main claim to fame until this month was that he had, decades ago, posed in the almost-totally-nude for...

Congressional Hearings Could Damage Obama

President Obama's decision to preemptively take the heat for the Christmas almost-bombing was shrewd and successful, at least initially, unless there are further damning disclosures.