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.
The longer the Republican presidential race goes on, the crazier it gets. John McCain suddenly has a mild breeze at his back--because Mike Huckabee has undercut Mitt Romney in Iowa, because of his lingering support at the scene of his 2000 New Hampshire triumph, because Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman has endorsed him, and because the Boston Globe has provided its seal of approval as well.
With an approval rating stuck in the 30s, President Bush no longer holds many political cards. But he still has one ace in the form of his veto pen. That's a substantial weapon--as President Bill Clinton showed against the Republican Congress in 1996 and Bush is showing against the Democratic Congress now.
Whatever happens in the Iowa caucuses, this year's contests have made plain that Republicans face a general election problem whoever the two parties' nominees are: an enthusiasm gap. Democratic campaigns expect that 125,000 or more Iowans will turn out for their caucuses on Jan 3. Republican campaign expect half that.
Okay, here are my predictions for 2008 as part of our Outlook '08 coverage. We'll look back next year to see how I did--see number 7 below in order to figure out how good I am at this! 1) MY OVERALL PREDICTION: at a time of heightened public anxiety about America's future, the presidential election next November will shatter previous turnout records.
I am sitting in my hotel room in downtown Des Moines, looking out the windows at the reasons why no one can count out the chances of Mitt Romney or John Edwards in the Iowa caucuses next month: Snow and ice--lots of it.
I can't help noticing the dramatic difference between the political and government parts of my beat these days--complete gridlock in Washington and turbulent action on the 2008 campaign trail. In the capital, Democrats and Republicans are fighting over literally everything--the budget, energy legislation, a fix for the out of control Alternative Minimum Tax.
What does gridlock in Washington mean, to business and to everyone else? It means avoiding the sacred cows of both parties even if that waters down whatever action government takes. It means least-common-denominator solutions--or half-solutions--to whatever problem is on the table at the time.
Today we saw a fine display of presidential leadership on an economic problem--the kind we would have expected from President Bill Clinton, not President George W. Bush. Yes, the administration is avoiding the "b" word, as in "bailout." And yes, in theory the new mortgage terms for homeowners facing upward resets represent a "voluntary" agreement by their creditors.