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2012 Countdown

Howard Fineman

2012 COUNTDOWN: The Romney-Silverization Of Politics | Howard Fineman | Posted 11.06.2012 | Politics

NEW YORK CITY -- Today, Election Day, marks the end of the most expensive, least informative, least inspiring presidential election since TV took over...

What We Know Before Election Day

Howard Fineman | Posted 01.04.2013 | Politics
Howard Fineman

Whoever wins in whatever combination -- presidency, Senate, House -- will face a country divided over whether to raise taxes and in what way; over how to distribute and control health care; over how to put together a deal to address long-term debt.

Why An Expected Romney Boost Failed To Materialize

Howard Fineman | Posted 01.23.2014 | Politics
Howard Fineman

WASHINGTON -- A week ago, The Des Moines Register surprised the political world by endorsing Mitt Romney for president, the first time the storied Iow...

2012 COUNTDOWN: Manhattan Takes The Campaign By Storm

Howard Fineman | Posted 12.30.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

WASHINGTON -- We interrupt this presidential campaign to bring you a disturbing special report from the future. It's called Lower Manhattan. And now ...

The Battle Of Toledo

Howard Fineman | Posted 12.29.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

WASHINGTON -- It took awhile but it's a relief to finally know what this presidential election is about. It's about making Jeeps in Toledo. It's some...

10 Questions For Undecided Voters

Howard Fineman | Posted 12.28.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

It's hard to believe that any voter hasn't already decided whom to vote for -- but also that any undecided voter isn't terminally depressed by the TV ads, fact-free spin and invective. Here's an undecided-voters guide to 10 topics that Obama and Romney are arguing about.

2012 COUNTDOWN: Obama, Romney Battle For Last Bloody Yards

Howard Fineman | Posted 12.24.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

The debates over, we're now in the Battle of Verdun phase of the 2012 campaign. It is a bloody war of attrition over tiny pieces of real estate: t...

Presidential Debate Fight For 'Binders Of Women' Voters: Countdown Day 20

Howard Fineman | Posted 12.17.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- If you're an undecided or still "persuadable" female voter in a swing state, last night's debate was all about -- and for -- you. ...

2012 Countdown: Where To Point The Finger If Obama Doesn't Win

Howard Fineman | Posted 12.15.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

If the president ends up losing the race to Romney, here are some of the reasons Democrats will eventually, but certainly, cite in public.

Howard Fineman

2012 COUNTDOWN: Biden vs. Ryan In the Bluegrass -- This One Counts | Howard Fineman | Posted 10.11.2012 | Politics

DANVILLE, Ky. -– Henry Ford once said, “History is bunk.” He could have been talking about this presidential election. Historical number-cru...

2012 COUNTDOWN: It Ain't Over Till It's Over

Howard Fineman | Posted 12.10.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

Before last Wednesday's debate, one of the grand viziers of number-crunching said that no one who was in Romney's trailing position at that point had ever come back to win the White House. That looks like a laughable statement now. My own view was that it was way too early to count Romney out. I wrote and said that a guy who had made that many mistakes -- who had had so much dumped on his head, and who still remained within hailing distance of the president -- still had a chance. Less than a week later, things seemed to have turned utterly upside-down. The Denver debate has sent Romney rocketing into a lead, and tightened races in key swing states to the point than a Romney Electoral College victory now seems eminently possible -- rather than the ridiculous GOP wishful thinking it looked like only days ago.

2012 COUNTDOWN: Dems Pointing Fingers Over Debate Fail

Howard Fineman | Posted 12.09.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

After last week's disastrous debate performance, Democrats in and around the president's camp are privately pointing fingers at each other for Obama's failure in Round One in Denver.

2012 COUNTDOWN: Obama Needs The Merciless Joe

Howard Fineman | Posted 12.08.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

Simply put, the Obama-Biden team can't afford another weak, confused and defensive performance against the Republican ticket after the one the president turned in Wednesday in the West.

2012 COUNTDOWN: Barack's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Howard Fineman | Posted 12.04.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

Something is not quite right with President Barack Obama. That was clear long before his passive, distracted performance here Wednesday night against Mitt Romney. The president needs to get back some form of his old magic if he hopes to secure a victory that, until the Denver debate, seemed all but inevitable, even to many of his foes. The evidence of the president's distance and distaste for the campaign is everywhere. He is invisible around Washington, a place he clearly doesn't like and where he has made few new political friends. He mailed in his acceptance speech in Charlotte, N.C., looking at the end like a man who couldn't wait to get off the stage. He has dutifully hit the campaign trail, but not with the zest or the frenzied response of 2008. And he clearly didn't master his brief for the debate when he went to ground in Las Vegas, though he did take time for a day trip to Hoover Dam. What gives?

2012 COUNTDOWN: Mayors Urge Obama, Romney To Get Real

Howard Fineman | Posted 12.02.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

If you want hope and change in politics, mayors offer tons of it. The key to success in their jobs, they say, is to avoid -- as indeed they do -- partisan bickering and focus on What Works.

2012 COUNTDOWN: Do Promises Matter Anymore?

Howard Fineman | Posted 12.01.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

In the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama was full of promise -- 508 of them to be precise. But with just six weeks to go until Election Day 2012, President Obama has made few new promises and is not repeating many of the original ones.

2012 COUNTDOWN: It's All About What's Next -- Armageddon In Congress

Howard Fineman | Posted 11.28.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

This election is unlike any other in recent memory. Despite a lot of huffing and puffing, it is not about grand ideological conflict in America. It is more prosaic, but in its own way more urgent.

2012 COUNTDOWN: A GOP Senate Is Slip-Sliding Away

Howard Fineman | Posted 09.27.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

You couldn't make up the impressive biography of Richard Carmona of Tucson, Ariz. Hollywood would never buy it. But Carmona is real -- and one reason why Republicans are losing what once looked like a good shot at retaking the U.S. Senate.

2012 COUNTDOWN: Debates Risk The 'Big Deal' Moment

Howard Fineman | Posted 11.26.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

The debate season will be Romney's last chance to overtake Obama in what, so far, has been an uninformative and tactical contest of accusation, innuendo, non-ideas, non-specifics and invisible agendas.

2012 COUNTDOWN: It's Always About Ohio

Howard Fineman | Posted 09.25.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

Why is Ohio so pivotal? Perhaps more than any other big state, Ohio sits at the center of the pinwheel of American geography and culture.

2012 COUNTDOWN: Obama Floating Like A Butterfly, Untouched, As Nation Suffers Sting

Howard Fineman | Posted 11.24.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

If American democracy is to work -- if we are to prevent the blood from clotting in the body politic -- presidential elections must be real contests over real ideas and real records, informed by real facts. This campaign hasn't really been any of those things.

2012 COUNTDOWN: Mitt Romney Is Driving The GOP Apart

Howard Fineman | Posted 11.21.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

WASHINGTON -- The attack on Mitt Romney was tough, even vicious. As expressed at a now-infamous fundraiser in Florida, the Republican nominee's "id...

2012 COUNTDOWN: Some Obama Numbers Matter More Than Others

Howard Fineman | Posted 11.20.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

Timing is everything in politics, and President Obama is getting just enough verifiable positive economic news just in time to propel him into the lead against Romney on this 47th day before the election.

2012 COUNTDOWN: Mitt The Viral Star

Howard Fineman | Posted 11.19.2012 | Politics
Howard Fineman

Romney's video proves to be a corollary to columnist Michael Kinsley's famous dictum that in politics, the biggest scandals arise when people say the most obviously true but usually unspoken things.

Howard Fineman

Why The White House Race Isn't Over Despite Mitt Romney | Howard Fineman | Posted 09.25.2012 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Remember when Mitt Romney said that Palestinians don't want peace and aren't as culturally prepared for modernity as Israelis are? If...