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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2:35pm

Mon August 20, 2012
It's All Politics

Todd Akin Fallout Spreads From Missouri To White House Race

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 8:28 pm

Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., and his wife Lulli, talk with reporters last Thursday at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, Mo. On Monday, Akin was resisting GOP calls to resign from his Senate race.
Orlin Wagner AP

After Republican Rep. Todd Akin's inflammatory comments over the weekend in which he blithely minimized rape-induced pregnancies, there are at least two inescapable questions:

1) What impact will his remark have on his U.S. Senate race in Missouri against Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill?

2) And how much will the shockwaves buffet the presidential contest or other races elsewhere?

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1:05pm

Fri August 17, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama Camp's DOA Tax Offer To Romney Keeps Issue Alive

Originally published on Fri August 17, 2012 1:26 pm

The Friday offer from President Obama's campaign to Mitt Romney — that if the GOP presidential candidate releases his tax returns for the past five years, it won't attack him for not releasing more — was immediately rejected by the Romney campaign.

But the give-and-take keeps Romney on the defensive, and promises to keep the issue of Romney's taxes going for weeks to come.

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9:23am

Tue August 14, 2012
It's All Politics

N.J. Gov. Christie To Keynote Romney's Convention

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 10:09 am

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie greets Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 30, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

The man some Republicans once hoped would be their party's 2012 presidential nominee, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, will instead deliver the keynote speech at the national convention that will make Mitt Romney the GOP's official standard-bearer.

Christie has won plaudits from Republicans for an everyman style, for taking on the New Jersey teachers unions, and for generally not suffering lightly those he considers fools — whether they're voters, members of the media or even some members of his own party.

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6:08pm

Mon August 13, 2012
It's All Politics

With Four Candidates Now Campaigning, 'Choice' Is The Theme

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 6:38 pm

Rep. Paul Ryan at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Monday.
Conrad Schmidt AP

With Rep. Paul Ryan officially in the mix as Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick, the 2012 race for the White House was fully engaged Monday, as all four members of the two major-party presidential tickets campaigned in swing states.

Both President Obama and Ryan were in Iowa, while Romney, the all-but-official Republican nominee, campaigned in Florida. Meanwhile, Vice President Biden was in North Carolina, hitting a state the Republican ticket visited over the weekend.

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1:23pm

Sat August 11, 2012
It's All Politics

Historically Cautious Romney Takes 'Shot Down The Field' In Ryan

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 2:03 pm

Mitt Romney introduces Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice presidential running mate Saturday in Norfolk, Va.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Some of those who know Mitt Romney best or have studied his political and business careers say the Republican presidential candidate tends toward caution and deep analysis in making decisions.

That helps explain why his choice of Rep. Paul Ryan surprised more than a few: Among the candidates reportedly on Romney's short list, Ryan was widely perceived as one of the less-safe choices.

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4:10pm

Fri August 10, 2012
It's All Politics

In New Ads Focused On Character, Obama And Romney Get Personal

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 5:24 pm

Romney campaign ad

The economy and jobs may be what voters say they're most concerned about.

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4:19pm

Thu August 9, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama Targets Romney On Tax Credit For Wind Energy Producers

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 5:12 pm

President Obama at a Newton, Iowa, wind-turbine blade maker in May.
Charlie Neibergall AP

How many votes can President Obama gain or Mitt Romney lose because of the Republican's opposition to renewing federal tax credits to wind energy producers? The answer, with apologies to Bob Dylan, is blowin' in the wind.

Obama hopes to influence the answer by relentlessly pounding the all-but-official Republican presidential nominee's opposition to the renewal.

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4:40pm

Wed August 8, 2012
It's All Politics

Poll Shows Voters Split On Presidential Candidates' Tax Returns

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 5:10 pm

About half of those surveyed in a new poll of voters in three swing states thought presidential candidates should release multiple years of their tax returns.

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11:04am

Wed August 8, 2012
It's All Politics

Missouri's Claire McCaskill Gets Clarity On Her Opponent, If Not Her Future

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:05 pm

The Missouri Republican primary win by Rep. Todd Akin gives Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Democrat, the choice she seemed to prefer.
Jeff Roberson AP

The only sure thing for Sen. Claire McCaskill, the embattled Missouri Democrat trying to remain in the Senate, is that she now knows who her challenger will be this fall: U.S. Rep. Todd Akin.

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5:05pm

Tue August 7, 2012
It's All Politics

Convention List Grows: Carter (By Video) At Democrats'; Santorum At GOP's

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 5:50 pm

Former President Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center in Atlanta in February 2012.
John Bazemore AP

Former President Jimmy Carter may be the epitome of failed presidents in the eyes of many Republicans.

But the Democrats announced Tuesday that the one-term president will have a prime-time speaking role at their national convention in Charlotte, N.C., in September. Carter won't be there live, however; he'll speak by video.

A news release from the Democratic National Convention Committee quoted the former president:

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2:49pm

Tue August 7, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Attacks President On Welfare; Obama Team Alleges Hypocrisy

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 5:02 pm

President Bill Clinton signs welfare reform legislation into law on Aug. 22, 1996.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

(Revised and updated @ 5:55 pm ET)

In an attack likely to conjure up for many President Reagan's successful use of Cadillac-driving welfare queens as an issue in presidential politics, Mitt Romney's campaign accused President Obama of using his power to weaken work requirements for welfare recipients.

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1:00pm

Mon August 6, 2012
It's All Politics

Republican Convention Speakers Include Old And New Faces

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 1:56 pm

Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state during the Bush administration, is scheduled to speak from the main podium at the Republican National Convention later this month.
Seth Wenig AP

Former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney may be skipping the Republican National Convention later this month, where Mitt Romney is set to officially become his party's 2012 presidential nominee.

But Condoleezza Rice, the former Bush secretary of state and national security adviser, and the first African-American woman to hold both roles, is scheduled to speak from the main podium, according to the Republican National Committee, which announced Monday the names of several speakers lined up for the event.

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11:27am

Fri August 3, 2012
It's All Politics

Latest Jobs Data Maintain Status Quo Of Obama-Romney Race

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 1:10 pm

(Revised @ 1:48 pm ET)

With only three monthly jobs reports left before Nov. 6, President Obama needs every piece of good economic news he can get to add to his argument for re-election.

Friday's employment report certainly provided some. The Labor Department reported that the economy added an unexpectedly strong 163,000 jobs in July. Forecasters had predicted that the economy would add as many as 100,000 jobs, so the report took most everyone by surprise.

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3:19pm

Wed August 1, 2012
It's All Politics

In Ohio, Obama Seeks Middle-Class Mantle Romney's Team Would Deny Him

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 4:38 pm

President Obama argued in Mansfield, Ohio, that he was the true defender of middle-class voters.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

4:10pm

Tue July 31, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama And Bush's Shared First-Term Obsession: Battleground States

What does President Obama have in common with his immediate White House predecessor?

Both men spent a disproportionate amount of their first terms making appearances in battleground states, Brendan Doherty, a political scientist at the U.S. Naval Academy, writes in a post on The Monkey Cage political-science blog.

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