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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It's All Politics
4:39 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Obama Gambles On Gay Marriage

President Obama was on a TV monitor at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, a key historic site of the gay-rights movement.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 9:35 pm

The 2012 presidential election was supposed to be about the economy, and even with President Obama's historic decision to make it known Wednesday that he supports same-sex marriage, that is still likely to be true.

But the president's decision to announce in an ABC News interview that he personally backs gay marriage could mean that at least one social issue may take a more prominent role in the election-year spotlight.

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It's All Politics
2:25 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Romney Praises Bill Clinton As New Democrat, Bashes Obama As Old One

Mitt Romney praised Bill Clinton as an enlightened centrist Democrat for reforming welfare and other polices and attacked President Obama as a big-government liberal.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

As if further proof were needed that the Republican primaries are essentially dead and buried, here's another piece of firm evidence: Mitt Romney praised former President Bill Clinton in a speech in Michigan Tuesday, and not once but twice.

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It's All Politics
5:38 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Romney Town Hall Shows Risks Of Handing Voters The Mic

Mitt Romney poses with a group of supporters at a Euclid, OH town hall-style meeting where some voters didn't exactly help him keep to his themes.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 6:07 pm

In an age when presidential campaigns are typically heavily scripted, town-hall style meetings are anything but.

The upside is that you get the informality of the candidate interacting with regular voters as he or she fields their questions and seems accessible. The downside is you never know what a voter handed the microphone will say.

Mitt Romney, who appears well on his way to becoming the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, got a taste of that risk at a Monday event at a Euclid, OH manufacturing company.

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It's All Politics
11:36 am
Mon May 7, 2012

Some U.S. Conservatives Look At France's Hollande, See Obama

President-elect Francois Hollande waves from a Socialist Party headquarters balcony in Paris Monday May 7, 2012.
Michel Spingler AP

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 12:17 pm

The election of socialist Francois Hollande as France's new president has leached into the U.S. election as some conservatives view it as giving them an opening to attack President Obama who, along with his agenda, has been labeled socialistic by many on the right.

U.S. Senate candidate from Florida, George Lemieux, for instance, took the opportunity of Hollande's win to tweet a warning:

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It's All Politics
2:18 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Surprising No One, Obama, Romney Don't Agree On Meaning Of April Jobs Stats

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 3:57 pm

Justin Wolfers, an economist known for, among other things, his sardonic wit, may have made the best comment of the day on the heels of the April jobs report out Friday. He tweeted:

"The worst part of today's jobs report? It provides just enough inane talking points for both sides of politics."

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It's All Politics
5:19 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Political Scientist Asks: Are Obama's Approval Ratings Better Than They Seem?

President Obama's voter-approval ratings certainly have been far from spectacular for much of his presidency, remaining mostly below 50 percent since November of 2009.

But on that dimension he may actually be doing better than it appears, at least based on some statistical modeling of presidential approval ratings conducted by George Washington University political scientist John Sides.

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It's All Politics
1:25 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Democrats Dinged For Linking Student Loans, Women In Attacks On GOP

MoveOn.org

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 2:00 pm

Democrats keep getting dinged by media fact checkers for attacking Republicans for allegedly wanting to strip money from preventive health programs to pay for to keep the interest rates on some student loans from doubling this summer.

But that hasn't stopped progressives from continuing to make the claim. The latest comes in a new full-page MoveOn.org ad in Politico. The ad reads in part:

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It's All Politics
5:23 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Romney's Praise Of Gingrich Leads Fox Anchor To Call Politics 'Weird, Creepy'

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 5:34 pm

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith provided the sure-to-go-viral moment of the day with some commentary he made after he read aloud a statement issued by the Mitt Romney campaign after Newt Gingrich officially ended his campaign Wednesday for the GOP nomination.

Smith said:

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It's All Politics
2:50 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Young Obama Was Intellectually Deep But His Girlfriend Was Speedier

A new biography of President Obama provides a rare glimpse of him as a young adult.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 7:40 am

David Maraniss, the Washington Post journalist, who has written memorable biographies of former President Bill Clinton and legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, has, as is his custom, found some previously unreported and fascinating material for a new biography on his latest subject, President Obama.

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It's All Politics
3:58 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Politics Not Far From Obama, Romney On Bin Laden Anniversary

President Obama gets a chance to showcase his national security credentials during a surprise visit to Afghanistan on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death at the hands of the U.S. military.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 6:20 am

On the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. Navy SEALs, there were two contrasting scenes to consider.

One was of President Obama in Afghanistan on a surprise visit, speaking to U.S. troops as their commander in chief in the nation whence the SEALs departed for their successful raid into Abbottabad in neighboring Pakistan.

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