Steve Benen

Steve Benen is an MSNBC contributor, and a producer for The Rachel Maddow Show. He wrote the Washington Monthly‘s Political Animal from 2008 to 2012. His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points MemoThe American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” Air America Radio’s “Sam Seder Show,” and XM Radio’s “POTUS ’08.”

Steve received his Master’s degree from the George Washington University in 1996, and has written for Democratic candidates nationwide. He lives in Vermont with his wife.

State of the Union Open Thread

In about 20 minutes, President Obama will head to the floor of the House chamber to deliver his 2012 State of the Union address. I’ll have plenty of thoughts in the morning, but in the meantime let’s open the floor to some discussion. What are your impressions? Any surprises? What worked? What didn’t? By the… Read more »

Tuesday’s Mini-Report

Today’s edition of quick hits: * Europe: “Euro zone finance ministers on Monday rejected as insufficient an offer made by private bondholders to help restructure Greece’s debts, sending negotiators back to the drawing board and raising the threat of Greek default.” * On a related note, the IMF is clearly concerned: “The International Monetary Fund… Read more »

Why tonight matters

President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address tonight and will reportedly unveil a new slogan: “win the future” is out; “built to last” is in. One of the larger questions, of course, is whether the speech will matter. Can we expect Obama to get a bump in the polls? Probably not. The… Read more »

In defense of partisan SOTU seating

As part of a symbolic gesture, more than 180 members of Congress have reportedly committed to having a seatmate from the other party at the State of the Union address. It’s apparently intended to be a move to demonstrate a degree of bipartisanship — lawmakers don’t really hate one another, the argument goes, if they’re… Read more »

What Boehner considers ‘almost un-American’

Over the weekend, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) described President Obama’s State of the Union address, which he had not heard, as “pathetic.” Today, Boehner pushed the rhetorical envelope a little further. House Speaker John Boehner Tuesday forcefully denounced the Democrats’ campaign theme that they are for the middle class and Republicans are for the… Read more »