Howard Fineman

Minnesota Gov. Pawlenty on 2012

He doesn't have Sarah Palin's pizzazz or Mitt Romney's money. But the governor of Minnesota may be a shrewd Republican bet in 2012.

In Oslo, Obama Sounds Like Bush

The Norwegians weren't applauding the peace-prize acceptance speech President Obama just gave in Oslo and I know why. The speech in many ways could have been written for, and delivered by, a man they loathe: George W.

Election 2009: Rejecting the Big Boys, Again

Maybe I'm crazy, or just jealous, but my favorite—and I think most emblematic—contest this Election Day was the mayor's race in New York City. Billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg, despite spending more than $100 million of his own money, ended up in the race of his life against a relative unknown named William Thompson.What does that have to do with Republican victories in the governor's race in Virginia and New Jersey?

Election Results Show Lack of Confidence in Obama

Election Day 2009 was not a repudiation of Barack Obama, but it sure wasn't a vote of confidence, either. Exit polls in Virginia and New Jersey showed that fewer than 40 percent of voters factored the president per se into their polling-booth equation.

The Sarah Palin Show. First Stop: Oprah.

After its modestly successful way-way-out-of-town tryout in Hong Kong, The Sarah Palin Show is getting ready to hit the U.S.A. next month. To coincide with the release of her ghost-assisted book, Going Rogue, Palin and her advisers are planning a careful TV and Web rollout in mid November, to be followed by paid speeches to business, civic, and college groups.

New SCOTUS Term: Watch for Loosening of Gun Regulations

When John G. Roberts Jr. testified at his confirmation hearings, he promised to be an umpire at the baseball game of constitutional law, cautiously calling balls and strikes with his eyes firmly fixed on a well-understood and relatively static strike zone.

Questions Over How to Pay for Health Reform

How is the government going to pay the upfront 10-year costs of health-care reform (a.k.a. health-insurance reform)? Well, despite months of hearings, committee markups, and backstage negotiating, the White House and Hill Democrats are still making up the answer as they go along.

Fineman Predicts: Justice Stevens to Retire Next Spring

Less than two weeks ago, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens made news in a typically elliptical court way. He announced that he had hired only one─as opposed to the full complement of four─clerks for next year.

Fineman: On Health Care, Obama Should Read His Teddy Roosevelt

In America, we invented a way to tap the energy of the free market without letting it run wild. It's called federal regulation. When an industry becomes too big and powerful for our own good─railroads and oil in the late 19th century, radio networks and electric power companies in the 1930s, for example─We the People step in via Congress, not to "socialize" commerce in a Marxist sense, but in the name of the American tradition of the Common Good.In America we cannot abide unaccountable...

Will the Birthers Help or Hurt Obama?

The Obama White House may see political advantage in exposing the 'Birthers.' But they shouldn't discount the dangerous sentiment of the radical rejectionists.

Sotomayor Masterfully Saps Tension From Hearings

In the old common law, there was a form of pleading called "confession and avoidance." You admitted the facts the plaintiff alleged, and then asked the court for permission to explain them away with other (exculpatory) facts.  Judge Sonia Sotomayor, cautious and shrewd as expected, used that old tactic to good effect in what was supposed to be (but so far is not) a contentious day of her confirmation hearings.

Little Drama on Sotomayor's First Day

  Sonia Sotomayor was a few sentences into her remarks when she turned from the witness table and faced the first row of guests behind her. There sat her mother and her family. "Thank you mom," the judge whispered.