Howard Fineman: The FishbowlDC Interview

finemanfs.jpgSay hello to (inhale) Senior Washington Correspondent and Columnist for Newsweek and NBC/MSNBC News Analyst and columnist (who’s also working on a book about American politics)(exhale) Howard Fineman.

How many suits do you own: a minimal rotation of what fits.

What word do you routinely misspell?: special trouble with stray “e’s.” I always (even right now) have to check judgment (as in wisdom), sizable, etc. Plus when I transcribed my first interview with Barack Obama it initially went up on and as “Barak.”

Did you see Brokeback Mountain?: Yes.

Did you see The Da Vinci Code?: read the book, didn’t see the movie. Hanks was not my idea of Langdon.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring?: “ClassicPhone” — the alarming, antideluvian one that sounds like the 1940s Bakelite model in my late grandmother’s house

What time did you get up this morning?: 7 a.m., in time to drive our son to school

When did you last cry and why? please.

Which of the seven deadly sins are you? all of them in one way or another, to one degree or another, but maybe the worst and most depressingly “Washington” is the habit of quoting myself to my own family. I believe that would be filed under “vanity.”

Beach, city or country? we usually use our vacation time to travel abroad with our kids.

Would you say you’re cute? Pretty? Hot? Beautiful? — none of the above

Read the rest when you click below…(and see previous FishbowlDC interviews: Julie Mason, David Shuster, Joe Curl, Alex Pareene, Peter Beinart, Jonah Goldberg, Megyn Kendall, Ana Marie Cox, Jim Brady, Howard Mortman, Amy Argetsinger, Jose Antonio Vargas, Chuck Todd, Tom Gottlieb, Kelly Ann Collins, David von Drehle, David Lat, Mark Leibovich, Zain Verjee, David Plotz, Paul Kane, Karen Travers, Mark Halperin, Hugo Gurdon, Greg Kelly,Ken Rudin, John Dickerson, Anne Schroeder, Spencer Ackerman, Bret Baier, Bob Sellers, Greta van Susteren, Danielle Jones, Jonathan Salant, John McCalla, Pam Hess, Ryan Grim, Marc Ambinder, Marty Kady, Jack Shafer, Annie Lou Bayly, Jerry Zremski, Charlie Cook, Dave Hughes)

What color is your bathroom? come on.

How many emails do you receive a day, roughly? hundreds

What’s your opinion of New York City? Lived there only one year, while at columbia, and loved it, but Washington, happily, is my (our) life.

What’s your favorite letter? I’m stumped.

What single person played the greatest role / had the biggest influence in your journalism career? Boy, I guess it would have to be my late father, a Greatest Generation teacher-turned-businessman who loved the country, history, reading the newspapers and discussing current events at the dinner table. My friends Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Don Imus (and all the columnists in Christendom, for that matter) have nothing on my dad.

Have you ever downloaded a podcast? Yes, various, including “Newsweek on Air.”

Who’s your all-time favorite American Idol candidate? Ruben Studdard. He could actually sing, or at least I could stand it while he tried.

When’s the last time you volunteered? Where? various periodic Sidwell Friends events, Martha’s Table

Who’s your favorite active journalist? I admire many — including my editor and friend Jon Meacham and my buddies Mathews and Olbermann — but let me say that my favorite is a person whom I don’t know: the brave young (I assume) reporter in Baghdad trying at this very minute to figure out what really is going on in Iraq without getting killed.

What did you have for breakfast? geez, Raisin Bran.

What’s your favorite item of clothing?: currently, a “burnt orange” Texas Longhorns cap.

What one toiletry item could you not love without? please

If you could have one superpower, which one would it be? the ability to truly listen. less self-critically: time travel, but only to the past.

Better role model: GIJoe? Barbie? Since we are in a new kind of “long war,” neither will do. I will dodge and say that I wish the Bush model had been Sun-Tzu.