Michael Hirsh

Michael Hirsh Michael Hirsh is chief correspondent for National Journal. He also contributes to 2012 Decoded. Hirsh previously served as the senior editor and national economics correspondent for Newsweek, based in its Washington bureau. He was also Newsweek’s Washington web editor and authored a weekly column for, “The World from Washington.” Earlier on, he was Newsweek’s foreign editor, guiding its award-winning coverage of the September 11 attacks and the war on terror. He has done on-the-ground reporting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places around the world, and served as the Tokyo-based Asia Bureau Chief for Institutional Investor from 1992 to 1994. Hirsh has appeared many times as a commentator on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and National Public Radio. He has written for the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Harper’s, and Washington Monthly, and authored two books, Capital Offense: How Washington’s Wise Men Turned America’s Future over to Wall Street and At War with Ourselves: Why America Is Squandering its Chance to Build a Better World. Hirsh has received numerous awards, including the Overseas Press Club award for best magazine reporting from abroad in 2001 and for Newsweek’s coverage of the war on terror, which also won a National Magazine Award.
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Analysis: Incompetence, but No Cover-up in Benghazi.

May 8, 2013 There was tragic incompetence, plainly, in the Obama administration’s handling of the Benghazi attacks, and even possibly some political calculation. It is a record that may well come to haunt Hillary Clinton, the first Secretary of State to lose an ambassador in the field in more than three decades, if...

It’s Obama’s Economy—at Last

March 8, 2013 For most of his first term, President Obama successfully sold a line to the public that economists will tell you is, at least in part, intellectual snake oil. He managed to blame our historically slow economy almost entirely on President George W. Bush. Polls taken right after the 2012 election...

Analysis: How Obama Fumbled Afghanistan

March 6, 2013 Until he took the job as President Obama’s special representative, Richard Holbrooke was known as one of the toughest, smartest, and most nimble diplomats of his era. He had plenty of ego, but few people doubted Holbrooke’s effectiveness. So what happened to make Holbrooke so seemingly ineffective in dealing with...

Analysis: The Rehabilitation of Chuck Hagel

February 28, 2013 Having been ushered into his job as Defense secretary with the biggest dissenting Senate vote in U.S. history, Chuck Hagel appears to be already a politically damaged figure. And now, adding injury to insult, the first thing the new Defense secretary must do is go back to the Congress that...

What’s in the Secret Drone Memos?

February 22, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Despite President Obama’s pledge in his State of the Union address to make the drone program “even more transparent to the American people and to the world,” his administration continues to resist efforts by Congress, even from fellow Democrats, to obtain the full range of classified legal memos justifying “targeted...

Analysis: Chuck Hagel, Strategic Thinker

February 19, 2013 It looks awfully likely that Chuck Hagel will squeak through confirmation as President Obama's Defense secretary. But it is also likely that he'll enter the Pentagon a damaged figure, a nominee tainted by the lingering impression that he is not ready to handle the vast complexities of a defense budget...

John Brennan’s Love-Hate Relationship With Drones

February 7, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow With President Obama’s CIA nominee, John Brennan, in the spotlight this week, Washington is engaged in a big debate over the ethics of covert drone warfare. But like it or not, “targeted killing” will continue and perhaps even increase in years to come. The more realistic questions to ask about...

Why Obama Thanked Hillary

January 28, 2013 In a remarkable moment Sunday night, President Obama explained to CBS’s Steve Kroft that he had requested a 60 Minutes interview jointly with his outgoing secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, because "I just wanted to have a chance to publicly say thank-you." Obama has, in truth, good reason to...

Analysis: What Obama's missing in Afghanistan

January 14, 2013 As America’s longest war winds down, there is a giant hole in Washington's thinking where a strategy should be. Despite the hopeful talk that came out of his summit in Washington with Afghan President Hamid Karzai last week, President Obama is in danger of losing control of South Central Asia...

Joe Biden: The most influential vice president in history?

January 2, 2013 Barack Obama just can’t get enough out of Joe Biden these days. And anybody who’s been following Biden’s steady ascent in stature over the last several years -- from gaffe-happy presidential contender to one of the most powerful vice presidents in U.S. history -- couldn’t be less surprised. Perhaps the...

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