Frank James

Frank James joined NPR News in April 2009 to launch the blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Mark Memmott.

"The Two-Way" is the place where NPR.org gives readers breaking news and analysis — and engages users in conversations ("two-ways") about the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

James came to NPR from the Chicago Tribune, where he worked for 20 years. In 2006, James created "The Swamp," the paper's successful politics and policy news blog whose readership climbed to a peak of 3 million page-views a month.

Before that, James covered homeland security, technology and privacy and economics in the Tribune's Washington Bureau. He also reported for the Tribune from South Africa and covered politics and higher education.

James also reported for The Wall Street Journal for nearly 10 years.

James received a bachelor of arts degree in English from Dickinson College and now serves on its board of trustees.

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7:34pm

Mon June 13, 2011
It's All Politics

Republican New Hampshire Presidential Debate Live-Blog

NPR.org live-blogs the second Republican presidential debate of the 2012 election cycle.

St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire is hosting the event which is scheduled to start at 8 pm ET. CNN is carrying it.

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7:04pm

Mon June 13, 2011
It's All Politics

Obama On Weiner: 'If It Was Me, I Would Resign'

The pressure on Rep. Anthony Weiner to quit Congress increased hugely Monday with President Obama telling NBC News' Ann Curry that if he were in the disgraced congressman place, he would resign.

The president was interviewed by NBC News' Ann Curry during a visit to Durham, N.C. which he visited to talk up the role "green" jobs could play in economic growth. NBC is scheduled to air the segment Tuesday on the "Today" show.

Here's the exchange:

ANN CURRY: Should Congressman Anthony Weiner resign?

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5:10pm

Mon June 13, 2011
It's All Politics

Ohio Governor Honors Dallas Mavericks (Take That, LeBron!)

Ohio Gov. John Kasich probably isn't going to upset too many Clevelanders, or Ohioans for that matter, with a resolution meant to stick it to NBA superstar LeBron James of the vanquished Miami Heat, there being no love lost between Ohioans and the basketball player who they feel abandoned them.

A resolution signed by Kasich that honors the Dallas Mavericks for beating the Heat to win the NBA championship included the following:

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2:22pm

Mon June 13, 2011
It's All Politics

GOP NH Debate: Romney Will Target Obama And Be Attacked Too

Monday evening's debate of Republican presidential candidates in New Hampshire will, unlike an earlier South Carolina edition, feature Mitt Romney, the GOP frontrunner.

And his presence raises interest in the debate scheduled to be shown on CNN at 8 pm ET.

A good fight is a great spectator sport and we can expect something of one Monday night. The other members of the crowded GOP field will at some point go after the former Massachusetts governor as unworthy to carry the Republican Party's mantle against President Obama.

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11:32am

Mon June 13, 2011
It's All Politics

Gallup: Mitt Romney Increases Lead On GOP White House Hopefuls

A new Gallup poll provided more evidence of Mitt Romney's growing strength as frontrunner for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, boosting the chance that other GOP White House hopefuls will seek to raise doubts about him in voters' minds at their New Hampshire debate Monday evening and beyond.

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6:29pm

Fri June 10, 2011
It's All Politics

Buzz Grows Over Possible Rick Perry Presidential Bid

If Texas Gov. Rick Perry declares a run for the Republican presidential nomination, it likely would be one of the few times since 1860 that the idea of secession would be a prominent topic in a White House campaign.

Perry, of course, has backed away from statements sympathetic to secession that he made in 2009 when he was running for re-election in an attempt to appeal to Texas Tea Party activists furious at alleged encroachment on state powers by the Obama Administration.

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1:26pm

Fri June 10, 2011
It's All Politics

Newt Gingrich Cites 'Strategic Differences' With Ex-Aides

To hear Newt Gingrich tell it Friday, the campaign aides who headed for the exits the day before left not because he was doing anything wrong as a presidential candidate.

It was merely a case of having sharply different notions of what a presidential campaign should look like.

Those ex-aides were locked into the old way of doing politics, the former speaker told reporters. He, on the other hand, had a transformational vision of a different kind of presidential campaign. He said:

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9:03am

Fri June 10, 2011
It's All Politics

Sarah's Choice: Email Dump Will Add To Doubt That She Will Run

Today in Alaska, state officials will release tens of thousands of pages of emails Sarah Palin sent or received as governor from 2007 to 2009. To imagine what this trove may contain, imagine what might show up in your own email (or that of your intimates). There may well be moments of high courage and eloquence. But there will also be other moments.

Now, guess which kind of moments would prompt the most conversation among your friends, neighbors, family members and co-workers. Not to mention people imagining you as president.

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6:33am

Fri June 10, 2011
It's All Politics

If It's Friday, It's Sarah Palin-Emails Data Dump Day

The state of Alaska is scheduled to make publicly available Friday more than 24,000 emails from Sarah Palin's time as governor, the result of public-records requests by news organizations.

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8:06pm

Thu June 9, 2011
It's All Politics

Anthony Weiner Should Stay, Says 56% Of Voters In His District

Disgraced New York congressman Rep. Anthony Weiner may be getting little support from his congressional colleagues.

But voters in his district seem more tolerant; 56 percent said they don't want him to resign, according to a new Marist College poll. Meanwhile, 33 percent did want him to leave office, however.

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4:27pm

Thu June 9, 2011
It's All Politics

Newt Gingrich's Top Aides Quit; He Vows To Continue

In what appears to be a major setback to his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, top aides quit Newt Gingrich's campaign en masse Thursday.

Besides top campaign officials who served as Gingrich's brain trust, the former House speaker also lost his entire paid staff in a key early state, Iowa.

As NPR's Mara Liasson reported for the network's newscast:

Gingrich's entire staff in Iowa, his national consultants and his long time aide, Rick Tyler, have resigned.

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12:59pm

Thu June 9, 2011
It's All Politics

Romney's Global Warming Views Could Hurt In Primaries But Help Beyond

Phillip Rucker and Peter Wallsten of the Washington Post write that Mitt Romney is getting flak from some conservatives because he says is persuaded that the earth's climate is warming and that humans are contributing to it.

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10:54am

Thu June 9, 2011
It's All Politics

Bipartisan Debit Card Vote Has Partisan Implications

The Senate fight over how much banks can charge retailers when customers use debit cards may have ended with financial institutions losing a 54-45 vote that didn't fall along the usual partisan lines. Fifteen Republicans voted with Democrats against the banks, for instance.

But that doesn't mean there aren't partisan implications. If those senators voting for the banks had gotten the six more votes, the outcome would have been different. It would have represented the first major nick in the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul legislation.

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3:57pm

Wed June 8, 2011
It's All Politics

Report: Democratic Calls Emerge For Anthony Weiner To Resign

Congressional Democrats are starting to come forward with public calls for Rep. Anthony Weiner to give up his House seat.

Politico.com reports that Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) an official with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, on Wednesday openly called for Weiner to resign because of his admission that he sent lewd photos of himself to women he had online discussions filled with explicit sex talk.

An excerpt:

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2:29pm

Wed June 8, 2011
It's All Politics

RNC Chair Weiner-izes Pelosi, Continues Resignation Drumbeat

Congressional Democrats spell "distraction" a lot differently than most everyone else these days. They spell it w-e-i-n-e-r.

Rep. Anthony Weiner may want to tough it out through the current scandal. But his crisis is taking a predictable trajectory in the wake of his Monday admission that he sent lewd photos and engaged in explicit online conversations with several women.

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6:15pm

Tue June 7, 2011
It's All Politics

Oklahoma's Lone Congressional Democrat To Retire

Rep. Dan Boren, the only Democrat in Oklahoma's congressional delegation, announced Tuesday that he intends to retire at the end of his term.

The announcement by the 37-year old conservative Democrat should make it easier for Republicans to turn the Oklahoma delegation entirely red.

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4:31pm

Tue June 7, 2011
It's All Politics

Mitt Romney: Palin Sharing His NH Spotlight Was Actually Good For Him

CNN talk show host Piers Morgan playfully baited Mitt Romney Monday night, trying to get the Republican frontrunner to show some just the slightest bit of irritation about Sarah Palin popping up in New Hampshire last week and stealing some of media attention at the very same time the former Massachusetts governor was officially announcing his presidential bid.

But Romney is a pretty disciplined man. As he told Morgan he's never done drugs and he only "tested" alcohol only once.

If Romney was upset with Palin, he sure wasn't going to let that show on television.

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2:46pm

Tue June 7, 2011
It's All Politics

Obama Finds Silver Lining In Economic Cloud Which Is What Presidents Do

At his joint appearance Tuesday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a reporter asked President Obama if he was worried about the U.S. economy shrinking again after the growth that followed the Great Recession, a so-called double-dip recession.

The president decided not to make huge news and send the global financial markets tumbling which would have happened if he had said something like "Yes, I'm petrified about another recession." For that, everyone with 401(k)s should thank him.

Obama said:

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12:04pm

Tue June 7, 2011
It's All Politics

Luckily For Obama, Election Day Isn't This Week

Good thing for President Obama the general election that will decide whether he's a one or two-termer isn't being held this Tuesday.

The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll suggests that he might have trouble getting the 270 electoral votes he would need to be re-elected.

The poll found nearly 60 percent of voters disapproved of the president's handling of the economy and a similar percentage unhappy with his management of federal deficits.

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8:12pm

Mon June 6, 2011
It's All Politics

Anthony Weiner's Survival Will Take More Than An Apology

If Rep. Anthony Weiner, the New York congressman who on Monday admitted that he lied when he denied sending lewd photos to and "sexting" with six women over the last three years says he's not resigning.

Maybe he can survive. But events are largely out of his hands now as they have been ever since the scandal broke over the Memorial Day weekend.

Here are some reasons why he could get past this and some reasons why he might not.

Let's start with the reasons he could hang on.

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3:30pm

Mon June 6, 2011
It's All Politics

Easier To Win Nobel Prize Than Senate Confirmation To Federal Reserve

It's apparently easier to win a Nobel Prize in economics than it is to navigate the perilous partisan waters of Washington politics.

That's one lesson to draw from the case of Peter Diamond, the Nobel laureate and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who President Obama nominated to be a Federal Reserve Board governor but who won't be coming to Washington, after all.

Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee soured on Diamond after several had initially seemed supportive.

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11:18am

Mon June 6, 2011
It's All Politics

Rick Santorum Makes White House Bid Official: 'In It To Win'

Rick Santorum, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania who has cultivated a following among some social conservatives in his party, said Monday he was officially entering the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Santorum never really gave politics watchers any reasons to doubt he would enter the wide open race for the GOP nomination. His interest in the White House has long been known though his resounding 2006 Senate re-election defeat at the hands of Democrat Sen. Bob Casey placed more than a little speed bump in front of those plans.

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4:51pm

Fri June 3, 2011
It's All Politics

Nearly 70% Say Presidential Candidate's Mormon Faith Is Irrelevant

Good news for politicians who happen to be Mormon like Mitt Romney, the newly announced candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, or Jon Huntsman, who may become one.

Sixty eight percent of Americans say a presidential candidate's Mormon faith is irrelevant to them, according to a Pew Research Center poll.

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12:49pm

Fri June 3, 2011
It's All Politics

John Edwards, An American Tragedy

John Edwards exits the 2008 presidential race as his family watches, January 30, 2008.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Certain words and people seem made for each other. For John Edwards, the word must surely be tragedy, in all its dimensions.

When he first came on the national radar in the 1990s, it was for his success as a personal-injury lawyer who was able to win large judgments for his clients, the families of those injured or killed in medical or other accidents, the daily tragedies caused by negligence.

Then, when he ran for the U.S. Senate, most of us learned about the loss of his teenaged son Wade in a car accident. Incomprehensible tragedy.

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10:55am

Fri June 3, 2011
It's All Politics

If Obama Wins Re-Election, It May Be Despite Economy, Not Because Of It

We have it from no less an authority than David Axelrod, his political strategist, that President Obama knows better than most that it was the prevailing economic gloom in 2008 that helped put him in the White House.

Axelrod recalls once saying wistfully to the president during a White House meeting as crises abounded: "I wonder what it would be like to be here during good times?"

To which Obama said: " 'Don't kid yourself. If things were good, we wouldn't have gotten the job.' "

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5:30pm

Thu June 2, 2011
It's All Politics

Mitt Romney, Making White House Bid Official, Offers Anti-Obama Case

Originally published on Thu June 2, 2011 5:52 pm

"Barack Obama has failed America."

As that stark line from Mitt Romney's Thursday speech in which he officially announced that he is seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination for a chance to unseat President Obama, the putatutive GOP frontrunner is doing what the challenger to an incumbent president does. You call the president a flop and try to make the race a referendum on his presidency.

Romney, appearing at a rally at Bittersweet Farm in New Hampshire, had at least three narratives of the Obama presidency aimed at different groups of voters.

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12:04pm

Thu June 2, 2011
It's All Politics

Romney Scares Them Most, Democratic Insiders Tell National Journal

Originally published on Thu June 2, 2011 12:18 pm

If you're seeking your party's nomination to run against a sitting president of the opposite party, one of the best arguments you can make is that your candidacy would be the one most feared by the incumbent.

Mitt Romney, who formally announced his presidential campaign Thursday, appears to be the Republican candidate who can best make that case though not by much, based on an unscientific National Journal poll of Democratic insiders.

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10:29am

Thu June 2, 2011
It's All Politics

Romney Criticism Of Obama Health Law's Page Count Falls Short

With Mitt Romney officially entering the race for the Republican presidential nomination Thursday, expect to hear a lot more from the former Massachusetts governor on how the health-care legislation he signed in his state differs from that signed into law by President Obama for the nation.

One approach Romney has used to try to distance his health-care law from the federal Affordable Care Act is to say that his legislation only had 70 pages compared with 2,700 pages for the Obama-signed law.

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6:20pm

Wed June 1, 2011
It's All Politics

Anthony Weiner: It's A Prank But Doesn't Know If It's His Crotch

You know you've got a problem as a congressman whose Twitter account was used to send a lewd crotch shot if you can't categorically say "that is not me."

During an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer Wednesday, Rep. Anthony Weiner, the New York Democrat whose Twitter account was used to send a lewd photo to to a female college student, said unequivocally he didn't send the photo.

But as was true in his other encounters with journalists Wednesday, he couldn't say definitively whether it was his crotch or not.

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5:21pm

Wed June 1, 2011
It's All Politics

Poll: Big Majority Opposes GOP Medicare Plan

Here's a measure of how difficult a marketing job congressional Republicans have ahead of them on the Medicare issue - nearly six out of ten Americans oppose their proposal, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research poll.

Fifty eight percent of those surveyed opposed the Republican Medicare proposal to privatize the program while only 35 percent supported it, CNN said. The plan is contained in the House Republicans' proposed budget for fiscal year 2012.

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