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.

Articles from Contributor

In the Arena In the Arena

UnCheneyed Melody

I’m beginning to love this trial.
I love it because it is firmly establishing this fact:

She testified that both Mr. Cheney and Mr. Libby were intensely interested in Ms. Wilson and her husband, Joseph C. Wilson IV, who had been sent to Africa to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein was trying to buy uranium from Niger for his nuclear

In the Arena In the Arena

Why Politicians Don’t Take Risks–Continued

A reader writes:

So, it’s not incorrect, but you don’t like it, because it’s reminiscent of how Republicans have been attacking Democrats for the last 20 years? Get used to it Joe. The Democrats have learned how to fight back.

No, I don’t like it because it’s (a) bad policy and (b) doesn’t reflect where the Democratic Party actually …

In the Arena In the Arena

Why Politicians Don’t Take Risks

Headline of Press Release from the Democratic National Committee:

Bush Pushes Health Care Tax Increase
In The Show Me State

Readers of this blog know that I slagged Bush’s non-plan the other day…but, as I wrote then, the one positive feature was his limit on the deductability of health insurance. Yes, this is a tax increase. And …

In the Arena In the Arena

Right Questions…But How about some answers?

Barack Obama raises some of the right questions in his call for universal health insurance today:

Another, more controversial area we need to look at is how much of our health care spending is going toward the record-breaking profits earned by the drug and health care industry. It’s perfectly understandable for a corporation to try

In the Arena In the Arena

Two Vets Passing in the Night

Jim Webb and John Kerry, two Vietnam war heroes, passed each other on the up and down escalators in the past 24 hours–and there is a link between Webb’s rise and Kerry’s fall, and it has everything to do with social class. One of the reason’s why Webb’s speech worked so well last night–why it seemed so fresh–was the marriage of a …

In the Arena In the Arena

Bush’s Plan…the rest of the story.

Ezra Klein has mea culpaed his previous posting about the Bush health care proposal. If he’s right, mea too. What Bush seems to be proposing is nothing more than a back door tax cut–surprise–for people who buy inexpensive health insurance and therefore a Health Savings Account empowerment act. (In other words, if you buy a $2000 HSA, …

In the Arena In the Arena

Smart Comment

This, about my earlier Iraq post, from a very well informed reader

The conflict described in the Times is a much more of a civil war and therefore the mission to stop it is much more about peacekeeping (or actually peacemaking) and the Congo Crisis would be a good historic model.

There is of course a Sunni-lead insurgency going on at

In the Arena In the Arena

Counterinsurgency 101

Excellent piece in the New York Times today about the perils and potential of counterinsurgency tactics. All hail Corporal Peter Callahan, who isn’t sure he supports the war, but is doing his best to calm things down and save lives.

In the Arena In the Arena

Hillary Care, Bush Care, Wyden Care

I’m going to have a lot more to say in a few weeks about the importance of proposing a universal health insurance plan if you’re running for President. But if you are going to make a health care proposal, certain minimal parameters seem obvious, especially The Two Mandatorys:
–an individual mandate, which requires everyone to buy into …

In the Arena In the Arena


The effort to slime Barack Obama has begun in the slimiest possible way. I received the following from an outraged reader, who had received it from a friend:

Probable U. S. presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama was born
in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a black Muslim from
Nyangoma-Kogel, Kenya and Ann Dunham, a

In the Arena In the Arena

Death Squads

A reader writes

Hey, Joe. How about addressing indications that the Bush Administration has employed the “Salvador” strategy to train death squads to take out militia leaders?

I certainly hope so. If ever there was an appropriate circumstance for covert action–in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere–it is the effort to find and eliminate …

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