Jonathan Alter

Jonathan Alter graduated from Harvard in 1979, was an editor of the Washington Monthly from 1981 to 1982, and remains a contributing editor. He joined Newsweek in 1983, where he was a senior editor and columnist for 28 years. He joined NBC News as a contributing correspondent in 1996 and appears frequently on the “Today” show, NBC Nightly News, and MSNBC. He is the author of two bestselling books: The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, and The Promise: President Obama, Year One. He is married, has three children, and lives in Montclair, New Jersey.


Liberals Nip Obama as He Battles Republicans

You can already hear the rumbling in the distance — a train of noisy liberal Democrats barreling straight for the White House. They should arrive just in time for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration. The president already has his hands full dealing with angry and unrealistic Republicans. Now he’s getting reacquainted with their counterparts on… Read more »

To Get Better Gun Control, Don’t Use the Phrase

We can now be confident that last week’s massacre of 26 women and children at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, will not be swept under the carpet like so many mass shootings of the past. President Barack Obama said Dec. 19 that he would act “without delay” after hearing from Vice President Joe Biden’s… Read more »

Help Republicans Rescue Their Party From Itself

Cruelty, fear, cowardice, xenophobia and disrespect invaded the inner sanctum of the U.S. government this week, bringing embarrassment and dishonor to what was once the greatest deliberative body in the world: the U.S. Senate. On Dec. 4, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, an 89- year-old Republican whose right arm was shattered in combat during… Read more »

Kerry Is the Right Choice to Lead U.S. Diplomacy

For all the talk of tax increases and debt-cutting, President Barack Obama’s biggest and most- revealing decision this year may be which candidate he chooses to be his new secretary of state. It will tell us whether the president allows comfort to trump qualification. The two candidates are Susan Rice, the U.S. envoy to the… Read more »

How Obama Can Heal His Rift With Business

U.S. presidents’ second terms often turn out to be failures in domestic policy, largely because lame ducks are almost by definition political figures of the past. Yet President Barack Obama’s winning coalition is aligned with the future of the country, giving him a fresh chance to lead. To do so, he must repair his badly… Read more »