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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4:27pm

Wed November 7, 2012
It's All Politics

Senate Democrats Add To Majority: Caucus Now 54 Plus One

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 5:33 pm

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., receives a kiss from his grandson Wednesday in Great Falls, Mont. Tester won re-election in a tight contest with Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg.
Michael Albans AP

A very good general election for Democrats got even better on Wednesday when they retained U.S. Senate seats in Montana and North Dakota, both of which had looked ripe for Republicans throughout much of the campaign.

Victories by Sen. Jon Tester of Montana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, in contests so close that concessions from the losing Republican candidates didn't occur until Wednesday, helped Senate Democrats reach 54 seats in the next Congress. That was a net increase of one seat from their current majority.

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5:20am

Wed November 7, 2012
It's All Politics

Republican Response Likely To Be Tactical, Not Transformative

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 5:41 am

Mitt Romney concedes the presidency early Wednesday in Boston.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

With President Obama's defeat of Mitt Romney, the Republican Party finds itself in the same place it was four years ago — once again coming up short in its attempt to win the most powerful office in American democracy.

It faces the inevitable soul-searching the losing party undergoes, to greater or lesser degrees, after every contest for the one office whose occupant represents the entire nation.

And how the GOP reacts could help determine its fortunes in 2016.

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1:10pm

Mon November 5, 2012
It's All Politics

On Election Eve, Obama And Romney Try Blazing A Path To 270

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 9:44 pm

A citizen votes on a paper ballot during the final day of early voting Monday in Lancaster, Ohio.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

(Revised at 5:46 pm ET)

On the final day of the 2012 campaign for the White House, President Obama and Mitt Romney are making the last push for votes in states each believes critical to achieving the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory.

Obama was scheduled to campaign in three swing states, while Romney had events planned in four. The only overlap was in Ohio, considered the linchpin of the election.

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11:04am

Fri November 2, 2012
It's All Politics

Final Pre-Election Jobs Report Can Be Spun By Both Obama And Romney

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 1:20 pm

President Obama gives a girl a high five at a campaign rally in Hilliard, Ohio, on Nov. 2.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

(Revised @ 12 p.m. ET)

The final monthly jobs report before Tuesday's general election contained something for both President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney to work into their closing arguments to voters.

For Obama, it was the news that the economy in October created significantly more jobs — 171,000 — than many economists had forecast. And the Labor Department revised upward the job numbers for September and August, suggesting even more underlying strength in the economy than earlier appeared to be the case.

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1:31pm

Thu November 1, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama Returns To The Post-Sandy Campaign Trail

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 2:49 pm

President Obama campaigns Thursday in Green Bay, Wis.
Tom Lynn AP

Just five days before Election Day, President Obama returned to the campaign trail after spending several days preoccupied with overseeing the federal response to the devastation in the Northeast in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Obama began his campaign re-emergence Thursday with a rally in Green Bay, Wis., a state where his once-substantial lead in polls over Republican Mitt Romney has narrowed to only a few points in a majority of the polls.

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7:12pm

Wed October 31, 2012
It's All Politics

The Destructive Storm That Built An Unlikely Political Bridge

President Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the Brigantine Beach Community Center in Brigantine, N.J., where they met with local residents displaced by Sandy.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Though Superstorm Sandy destroyed much in its path, it did apparently build at least one bridge, that of bipartisanship between President Obama and New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Christie, a strong ally of Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential nominee, and a key critic of the president before the storm, has had little but praise for Obama for the assistance provided to New Jersey leading into the epic storm, which hit this week.

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5:23pm

Tue October 30, 2012
It's All Politics

Sandy Could Dent The Vote, But It's Unclear If It Hurts Obama Or Romney More

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 11:36 pm

First responders rescue flood-stranded people in Little Ferry, N.J., on Tuesday.
Craig Ruttle AP

With the death, destruction, flooding, power outages and transportation disruptions caused by Sandy the Superstorm, it may seem crass to ask about the impact on next week's election.

But here's a question: Could the trail of devastation left by the storm in a part of the nation whose states are generally colored blue in presidential races depress turnout in those states, especially among Democrats?

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3:48pm

Mon October 29, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama And Romney Respond To Sandy With Election (And Katrina) In Mind

President Obama walks toward the White House on Monday after returning to Washington to monitor the government response to Hurricane Sandy.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, the week before Election Day is certainly not turning out the way anyone expected, especially the presidential candidates.

President Obama and Mitt Romney found themselves ditching their schedules for the start of the week as they responded to exigencies created by the massive hurricane raking the U.S. Eastern Seaboard.

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6:11pm

Fri October 26, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama May Not Need To Repeat 2008 Support From White Voters To Win

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 7:28 pm

The erosion of President Obama's support among white voters means he must rely even more on nonwhites.
Tony Dejak AP

While much of what will happen on Election Day is now unknowable, we can predict with certainty that President Obama won't win a majority of the white vote.

No news there. No Democratic presidential candidate, after all, has received the support of most white voters since President Lyndon Johnson's 1964 historic rout of Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona.

Still, four years ago, Obama did manage to get a very respectable 43 percent of white voters to choose him over Goldwater's Senate successor from Arizona, Sen. John McCain.

That was then.

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7:08pm

Wed October 24, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama, Romney Tweak Each Other In Swing States

President Obama at a campaign rally at City Park in Denver Wednesday.
Ed Andrieski AP

With 13 days left until the Nov. 6 election, President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, both included trips to Iowa and Nevada on their schedules. Each tried to fire up his supporters and cast doubts about the other to gain an advantage in a race that appears essentially tied.

At rallies in Davenport, Iowa, and Denver, both swing states where the election is fluid, Obama trotted out attack lines he's used in recent days against the former Massachusetts governor.

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