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.

Pages

5:24pm

Fri March 23, 2012
It's All Politics

Santorum's 'Obamaville' Ad Warns Of 2nd-Term Horror

Santorum ad screen capture

3:08pm

Fri March 23, 2012
It's All Politics

Trayvon Martin Tragedy Edges Onto Presidential Campaign Trail

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 4:44 pm

President Obama heading to the White House Rose Garden, on Friday, March 23, 2012, where he made his first public comments about the Trayvon Martin.
Charles Dharapak AP

Pressure had been building on President Obama for days to say something about the killing of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager shot to death by a neighborhood watch volunteer, and on Friday the president finally did.

And almost as soon as he did, some people suspected him of a cynical election-year attempt to appeal to black voters, judging by the reaction by some on social media and conservative sites. Martin was African American, his killer of mixed white and Hispanic parentage.

Read more

8:46am

Fri March 23, 2012
It's All Politics

Friday Political Grab Bag: Obama Picks Dartmouth President For World Bank...

Originally published on Fri March 23, 2012 9:28 am

President Obama will nominate Dartmouth College president, Jim Yong Kim, to head the World Bank. A physician and anthropologist by training and global-health expert, Kim's background makes him an out-of-the-box choice. He would become the first Asian American to head the important international funding organization.

Read more

2:34pm

Thu March 22, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Aide's Etch-A-Sketch Gaffe Won't Be Easily Erased

Rick Santorum beats up Mitt Romney with an Etch A Sketch, figuratively speaking.
Eric Gay AP

Etch A Sketch. Those three little words may become more of a bane to Mitt Romney's campaign than, say, Bain Capital.

As Romney's longtime aide, Eric Fehrnstrom, has learned to his chagrin, those three small words can make a very big difference.

Earlier this month, Fehrnstrom actually made a statement very similar in kind if not wording to what he said Wednesday on CNN.

Read more

11:59pm

Tue March 20, 2012
It's All Politics

With His Big Win In Illinois, Romney Could Regain Nomination Mojo

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 11:30 am

Mitt Romney greets supporters during an Illinois GOP primary victory party in Schaumburg.
Scott Olson Getty Images

If only the rest of the nation were like Illinois, the past few months would have been much less stressful for Mitt Romney.

Illinois delivered a healing balm in the form of a resounding victory for the Republican presidential front-runner in Tuesday night's GOP primary, with Republicans there giving him about half of their votes.

It wasn't a surprise that Romney won. Polls in the run-up to primary day indicated he had a significant lead over his closest rival, Rick Santorum.

Still, the size of his win was impressive — about 12 percentage points.

Read more

3:48pm

Tue March 20, 2012
It's All Politics

Robert DeNiro's Racial First-Lady Joke Was An Obama No-No

Actor Robert De Niro with his wife, Grace Hightower, in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 4, 2011.
Michael Tran Getty Images

Maybe Robert De Niro didn't know. Or maybe he forgot.

But when the superstar actor joked at a New York Obama campaign fundraiser Monday evening which Michelle Obama attended about the country not being ready for a white first lady, he got into dangerous territory for President Obama.

According to an Obama campaign pool report, De Niro deadpanned:

"Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?"

Read more

4:21pm

Mon March 19, 2012
It's All Politics

New Jersey As Good-Government Leader? Believe It

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 9:31 am

Who knew New Jersey's famous turnpike traverses the state with the nation's most accountable government?
Julio Cortez AP

New Jersey isn't normally the first state that springs to mind when you're searching for an example of good government. Not even close. In fact, just the opposite.

But the Garden State can now boast that, compared to most other states, it is a democratic (small "d") oasis.

Read more

2:07pm

Mon March 19, 2012
It's All Politics

Rep. Paul Ryan Stokes New Medicare Fight, This Time In Election Year

Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

8:25am

Mon March 19, 2012
It's All Politics

Monday Political Grab Bag: Romney Wins In PR; Race Heads To Illinois

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 11:45 am

Mitt Romney at Charlie Parker's Diner in Springfield, IL, March 19, 2012.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Mitt Romney won Puerto Rico's Republican presidential primary Sunday, adding the commonwealth's 20 delegates to his commanding lead over the other candidates as they compete to reach the 1,144 needed for the nomination. Rick Santorum hurt himself with the island's voters by saying English had to become its official language before it could achieve statehood.

Read more

2:55pm

Fri March 16, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama Spreads (Tele)Phony Story About Long-Dead President

President Rutherford B. Hayes actually was a big fan of the telephone, despite President Obama's assertion otherwise.
AP

Poor Rutherford B. Hayes. It wasn't bad enough that the 19th president, a Republican, was called "His Fraudulency" by Democrats during his one term in office (1877-1881) because of the unusual circumstances of how he "won."

Now, the current occupant of the White House, President Obama, was spreading a most assuredly inaccurate story, according to experts, about Hayes' reaction to an early telephone.

Read more

12:30pm

Fri March 16, 2012
It's All Politics

Wisconsin Target Of Recall Decides To Quit Instead

A Wisconsin GOP lawmaker facing a recall election called it quits Friday and said she hopes the state can get past scenes like this gathering of protesters in Madison on March 10, 2012.
Barbara Rodriguez AP

What happens if the target of a recall election decides to call it quits before the actual election?

If it's Wisconsin, the recall election apparently happens anyway.

Read more

6:02pm

Thu March 15, 2012
It's All Politics

Biden Calls Out Romney, Gingrich By Name For Opposing Auto Bailout

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 11:52 am

1:50pm

Thu March 15, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney's Wins In Obama's 2008 Counties Doesn't Necessarily Mean Much

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 5:20 pm

Mitt Romney shakes hands with hotel staffers in the Cleveland suburbs in February.
Gerald Herbert AP

What does it mean that in 2012 Mitt Romney has, during the Republican presidential primaries, done well in some of the same Ohio and Michigan urban-suburban counties that President Obama won in 2008 — a pattern likely to be repeated in some upcoming primaries?

Read more

8:31am

Thu March 15, 2012
It's All Politics

Thursday Political Grab Bag: Obama And UK's Cameron Showcase Unity

The Obamas and Camerons at the White House before a state dinner for the British prime minister.
Susan Walsh AP

In the wake of the alleged killing of Afghan civilians by a U.S. soldier, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he wants all NATO troops moved onto existing large bases and a faster handover of security responsibilities to his nation's forces. This dovetails with growing opinion in the U.S. that the withdrawal of American troops happen sooner than scheduled.

Read more

3:28pm

Wed March 14, 2012
It's All Politics

Gingrich's SuperPAC Ally Tells How His Candidate Can Still Be Nominee

Originally published on Wed March 14, 2012 5:02 pm

Newt Gingrich could still be his party's salvation, according to a former aide who advises a pro-Gingrich superPAC.
David Goldman AP

Time for a few unconventional thoughts:

  • Newt Gingrich is still in good enough shape to win the Republican presidential nomination at a brokered convention in Tampa.
  • By staying in the race, Gingrich actually helps, not hurts, his rival Rick Santorum.
  • Gingrich's situation resembles Abraham Lincoln's in 1860.
Read more

Pages