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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5:18pm

Thu June 14, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama, Romney Duel On Economy In Ohio Where It Could All Be Decided

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 6:21 pm

Ohio could very well be the state where what's expected to be a very close presidential race gets decided.

And every indication is that the economy will be the issue that drives the majority of voters to either President Obama or Mitt Romney.

Which explains why on Thursday both the Democratic president and the all-but-official Republican nominee were, again, in Ohio to argue why he and not his opponent should be president starting January 20, 2013.

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1:45pm

Thu June 14, 2012
It's All Politics

Scholars Ding News Media For Uncritically Repeating 'Job Killer' Charge

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 2:11 pm

Speaker John Boehner and other House Republican leaders at a May 31, 2012 news conference at which they described a proposal by Rep. Nancy Pelosi to raise taxes as a "job killer."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

"Job killer."

You don't have to listen very long to what passes in American politics for debate about the economy before you hear that phrase. Usually it's wielded by Republicans against their Democratic opponents although Democrats occasionally resort to it, too.

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1:21pm

Wed June 13, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama Team: Household Net Worth Actually Rose During His Presidency

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 2:12 pm

Obama administration officials pointed to the 56 percent rise in the Dow Jones Industrial Average since January 2009, and rising 401(k) values as evidence that the personal balance sheets of many Americans have improved during his presidency.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The nearly 40 percent drop in median household net worth between 2007 and 2010 the Federal Reserve reported earlier this week was unarguably an arresting statistic. It confirmed for millions what they already knew, that the Great Recession and its aftermath have been a financial setback with few parallels.

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2:56pm

Tue June 12, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Puts Distance Between Him And Himself On Public-Worker Hiring

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:22 pm

Fox News screen grab

Mitt Romney seemed pretty adamant last week when he said taxpayers didn't want any more teachers, firefighters and police officers, suggesting that they wanted to see government at all levels shrink.

But given the chance during a Fox News appearance Tuesday to repeat the bold statement of just a few days ago, the all-but-official presidential nominee essentially took a pass.

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12:24pm

Tue June 12, 2012
It's All Politics

Liberal Group Excitedly Eyes Millions Of Potential Latino Voters

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 12:40 pm

It's a given that Latino voters are viewed by both political parties as critical to the the 2012 general election and that polling shows President Obama, and Democrats generally, enjoying a significant advantage with that such voters.

That reality prompted Mitt Romney to tell donors at a closed-door Palm Beach, Fla. fundraiser in April, in remarks overheard by reporters:

"We have to get Hispanic voters to vote for our party." He suggested that if the GOP failed to draw significant numbers of Latino voters away from the Democratic Party "that spells doom for us."

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12:19pm

Fri June 8, 2012
It's All Politics

GOP Slams Obama For Saying Private Sector's 'Doing Fine'

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 3:39 pm

President Obama handed Republicans an unexpected gift which they in turn bashed him with.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI AFP/Getty Images

-- Updated at 4:20 pm ET. See end of post --

President Obama opened himself up to withering Republican attacks Friday via an off-hand statement he made in a brief White House news conference.

Obama seemed to suggest that matters were going swimmingly for the private-sector part of the economy and that it was the reduction of government jobs that was the real problem.

Asked to respond to Republican charges that he was blaming Europe's economic policies for the alleged failure of his own domestic economic policies, Obama said:

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12:44pm

Thu June 7, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Beats Obama In May Fundraising, Recalling Kerry Vs Bush In 2004

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 3:38 pm

In May, Mitt Romney's campaign effort raised more than President Obama's for the first time.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

-- Updated at 4:33 pm ET --

No question Republicans supporting Mitt Romney's White House bid should and will be pleased that his campaign raised more money in May than President Obama's effort.

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10:55am

Thu June 7, 2012
It's All Politics

Public Still Mostly Hates Health Law With Supreme Court Ruling Just Weeks Off

If the Supreme Court follows the election returns, its members also no doubt pay attention to opinion polls.

Not that public opinion is the sole driver in the high court's decisions. But the justices certainly are aware of, say, the fact that Americans keep expressing their unhappiness with the Affordable Care Act.

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3:39pm

Wed June 6, 2012
It's All Politics

Bad Day For Unions Made Worse By Calif. Public Pension Initiatives

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 4:02 pm

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders at a rally for supporters of Proposition B Tuesday, June 5, 2012.
Gregory Bull AP

Tuesday was, unquestionably, a very bad day for public-employee unions and not just for the reason that got most of the attention, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's success in fending off an attempt to oust him through a recall election.

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4:39pm

Mon June 4, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Rekindles Conservative Doubts With Pick To Lead White House Transition

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 4:42 pm

Mitt and Ann Romney sit behind Michael Leavitt and his wife Jacqueline at the February 2008 funeral of Gordon B. Hinckley, leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Romney reportedly has chosen Leavitt to lead his transition team.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

With many conservatives already suspecting that he is a conservative of convenience, Mitt Romney apparently hasn't done himself any favors in their eyes with the man he chose to lead his presidential transition.

Politico broke the story Sunday that Romney has chosen Michael Leavitt to oversee the creation of an executive branch in waiting.

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12:44pm

Fri June 1, 2012
It's All Politics

May Jobless Report Keeps Obama On Defensive, Aids Romney's Offense

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 2:04 pm

Military veterans Kris Hummel (l) and Shane Foley, speak with a TSA representative at a May 15, 2012 job fair in Utica, NY.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

How to convince voters that while the economy isn't roaring, the situation is still improving?

That's President Obama's challenge, made more difficult with every passing month where the jobs report disappoints, as on Friday. The latest Labor Department report informed us that only 69,000 jobs were created in May, less than half what analysts had forecast. Meanwhile, the jobless rate ticked up a tenth of a percentage point to 8.2 percent.

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5:36pm

Thu May 31, 2012
It's All Politics

John Edwards' Might've Walked But Trial Still A Warning For Politicians

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 5:48 pm

Former Democratic U.S. Sen. John Edwards (center) and his daughter Cate Edwards leave the federal court Thursday.
Sara D. Davis Getty Images

With a not guilty verdict on one count and the jury deadlocked on five others, it appears John Edwards' federal trial on campaign-finance charges ended with a whimper, certainly from the Justice Department's point of view.

At first blush, it can be argued that how the trial of the former U.S. senator from North Carolina ended may do little to deter politicians. They'll still be able to go forward and rake in money from supporters and, with some sleight of hand, spend that cash on practically anything.

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3:06pm

Thu May 31, 2012
It's All Politics

Bloomberg Becomes Nanny-State Epitome For Some, Giving Obama A Breather

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 3:29 pm

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on large sugary drinks was so hard to swallow it caused some to call him a fascist, a word more often hurled at President Obama.
EMMANUEL DUNAND AFP/Getty Images

If nothing else, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has apparently done President Obama a favor.

His Honor's proposed ban on the sale of supersized sugary fountain drinks in his city made the mayor, at least for some, the epitome of Big Government excess, a place many critics, particularly conservatives, typically reserve for the Obama.

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5:37pm

Wed May 30, 2012

3:39pm

Wed May 30, 2012
It's All Politics

McCotter Joins Sorry, Brief List Of Incumbents Who Fell Short Of Ballot

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 3:58 pm

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) had the misfortune of being from a state that still requires signatures to get on the ballot.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

In the annals of incumbents failing to get on the ballot, Rep. Thad McCotter's epic fail has some company. Maybe not lots of it since incumbents tend to know, if nothing else, how to work the levers in their favor.

But there have been other incumbents derailed by the requirement to obtain voter signatures to get on ballots even if you sometimes have to go back quite a ways to find them. If it's a wing in the political hall of shame for incumbents, it would be a small room compared, say, to the much larger one for convicted politicos.

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