Joe Klein

Joe Klein is TIME's political columnist and author of six books, most recently Politics Lost. His weekly TIME column, "In the Arena," covers national and international affairs. In 2004 he won the National Headliner Award for best magazine column.

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In the Arena In the Arena


James Taranto points out –accurately–that Democratic poiticians are having some difficulty figuring out what to do about Iran. Several readers have asked where I stand on the issue. Let me make a few points:

–We should do more than merely talk with Iran. We should recognize Iran. As I argued several years ago, the U.S. policy of …

In the Arena In the Arena


This, from Juan Cole:

Only 2,000 of the expected 8,000 extra troops PM al-Maliki ordered to Baghdad had shown up by the beginning of February. The two Kurdish brigades coming from Irbil and Sulaymaniya, which were supposed to have 3,000 troops each, are not actually coming at full strength. One showed up with only 1500 troops. The other

In the Arena In the Arena

Slow News Day?

Arianna Huffington, the doyenne of the Hollywood left, has taken time from her busy schedule to attack me for something I said on Meet the Press three years ago. Since this lone quote has become an article of faith among the take-no-prisoners left, let me respond:

1. Yes, I said it. It was a moment of stupid weakness on the brink of …

In the Arena In the Arena

Live-Blogging the Senate Iraq Debate

I’m not sure what’s been happening for the past hour, but right now–4:05pm–Senator Warner is arguing furiously against the surge, adding up 332,000 Iraqis trained in the past 4 years and argues that they should be the people policing the civil war…but will there be a vote or not?

4:23–Boy, is this confusing! Arlen Spector is …

In the Arena In the Arena

No Debate?

I just spoke with a prominent Democratic member of the Senate who is worried that the anti-surge forces won’t be able to muster the 60 votes necessary to open debate this evening on the Warner resolution to oppose the President’s policies in Iraq.

If so, the Republicans are going to have to explain what they have against free …

In the Arena In the Arena

Dark Side?

The Republican National Committee has this
to say about John Edwards on Meet the Press…
If Edwards was “dark” today, what can one say about the Bush operatives who spread the rumor that John McCain had a “mixed race” child in 2000 or spread the lies about John Kerry’s war record in 2004? Can the RNC operatives believe that anybody …

In the Arena In the Arena

Talking Heads

I watched John McCain and Chuck Hagel on Stephanopoulos, then switched to John Edwards on Meet the Press. Some observations:

1. McCain, whether you agree with him or not, has been entirely consistent about the war. I disagreed with him about going to war in 2003, agreed with him about the need for more troops until last summer, when it …

In the Arena In the Arena

Insane Aristocratic Chickenhawks

This, from a reader, deserves a serious response:

Gen. Casey didn’t want to run the war the way Rumsfeld instructed him to. He did it anyway, because it’s his job to obey higher-ups. Now he’s pulled from duty and Sen McCain, Bush’s surrogate for the escalation, rakes him over the coals in committee for following BushCo’s orders. The

In the Arena In the Arena


Iraq really seems to be falling apart. Read down in this piece and you’ll see that, in addition to the horrific suicide bombing in a Baghdad market, there were eight bombings in Kirkuk, a two-hour gun battle in Mosul and assorted mayhem throughout the rest of the country. The violence in Kirkuk is something to keep an eye on–it’s a city …

In the Arena In the Arena

DNC Winter Meeting

Well, this is pretty interesting. Six Democratic candidates for president making, in effect, their Washington debuts…I want to take a look at the texts before I comment in much depth on this, but I’ve got to say that Obama, Edwards and Clinton–in chronological order–made the biggest impression on the crowd, and on me. (Dodd, Clark …

In the Arena In the Arena

Re: Clinton 2.0

Uh-oh. Clinton’s interview with Karen raises several red flags.
1. NAFTA–“We inherited it.” Oh, come on. Now, if I remember correctly, Hillary was opposed to the President spending political capital on NAFTA passage in September of 1993–she wanted him to devote all his energy to her health insurance plan. So an argument can be made …

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