John Harwood is chief Washington correspondent for CNBC and a political writer for The New York Times. He writes the weekly column "Political Memo" for the paper.
Harwood was born in Louisville, Ky., and grew up in the Maryland suburbs outside of the nation's capital. He has been around journalism and politics all his life; his first trip on a presidential campaign press plane came when he was 11 years old and accompanied his father, then a political reporter for The Washington Post.
While still in high school, he began his journalism career as a copy boy at The Washington Star. He studied history and economics at Duke University and graduated magna cum laude in 1978. Harwood subsequently joined The St. Petersburg Times, reporting on police, investigative projects, local government and politics. Later he became state capital correspondent in Tallahassee, Washington correspondent and political editor. While covering national politics, he also traveled extensively to South Africa, where he covered deepening unrest against the apartheid regime.
In 1989, Harwood was named a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where he spent the 1989-90 academic year. In 1991, he joined The Wall Street Journal as White House correspondent, covering the administration of the George H. W. Bush. Later Harwood reported on Congress. In 1997, he became The Wall Street Journal's Political Editor and chief political correspondent.
While at The Wall Street Journal, Harwood wrote the newspaper's political column, "Washington Wire," and oversaw the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. In March 2006, he joined CNBC as chief Washington correspondent.
In addition to CNBC, Harwood offers political analysis on NBC's "Meet the Press" and PBS' "Washington Week in Review," among other television and radio programs. Harwood has covered each of the last five presidential elections.
Follow John Harwood on Twitter @johnjharwood.
Heard at Mitt Romney's rally in Bedford, N.H. last night: "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond, the semi-official sound track of the Boston Red Sox. Will it bring him "Red Sox luck" tonight in New Hampshire?
This is the time of the presidential race when the convergence of politicians and press is nearly complete. The Radisson, in downtown Manchester, is the closest thing there is to ground zero of the New Hampshire campaign. All the networks of NBC are broadcasting from this spot and thus all the candidates are coming here.
This week, New Hampshire becomes the gateway to a new political world--engaging multiple constituencies, playing out over a vast terrain, shifting the psychology of competition. But as the 2008 campaign moves toward contests in Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina, Florida, then half the country on Feb. 5, the simplicity and careful planning of Iowa and New Hampshire phase give way to a complex, high-velocity game of survivor.
Want a sign of how much big, costlier and more ambitious the Democratic caucus efforts is this year compared to four years ago? Consider these two facts: Four years ago, eventual winner John Kerry entered caucus night with 300 drivers prepared to haul supporters to caucus sites. This year, says former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, Hillary Clinton's campaign has 5,000 of them.
Here are three things to watch for when Iowans vote tonight: 1) Mobilization: if Democratic turnout is huge, that's a sign that Barack Obama has succeeded in pulling out enough independent voters to win. It would also show the energy and enthusiasm that Democrats hope will give them an edge in the general election.
Snapshots from the closing hours of the Iowa caucus: Song choices: At John Edwards rallies, Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising." At Barack Obama's, Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed and Delivered." At Hillary Clinton's, Dolly Parton's "9 to 5." At Mike Huckabee's rally in Des Moines last night, it was "Sweet Home Alabama" --except the candidate himself was on stage strumming guitar with a local band.
The assassination of Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan immediately echoed through the U.S. presidential campaign, allowing various candidates to emphasize their national security credentials. ... But for now, the issue that has risen most rapidly in the 2008 debate is the weakening economy.
Every political underdog who breaks through faces a choice: keep doing what worked for a long shot, or shift tactics in reaching for a victory that suddenly appears possible? Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Baptist minister, faces that choice right now.
We have a new Wall Street Journal-NBC News poll that's shaking up the Republican presidential race, since Rudy Giuliani has lost his national lead. But it's also shaking up Ron Paul's legions of Internet supporters--because he fared so poorly at just 4 percent of the vote. Because his numbers were so low I didn't mention Paul in my Wall Street Journal story on the poll.