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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12:57pm

Wed December 7, 2011
It's All Politics

New Mitt Romney Iowa Ad Makes Claim Newt Gingrich Can't: One Marriage

Mitt Romney had a handy counterargument for all those who have called him a political flip flopper: his apparent steadfastness in all his personal commitments, like his 42-year marriage to his wife Anne.

Turns out, that argument can do double duty since it helps Romney draw a contrast with Newt Gingrich who is on his third marriage.

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12:01pm

Wed December 7, 2011
It's All Politics

Rick Perry Wears Faith On (Barn Coat) Sleeve In New Iowa Ad

Originally published on Wed December 7, 2011 12:48 pm

In the latest reminder that he's still in the race (if apparently not in the hunt) for the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has a new TV ad in Iowa in which he makes a naked appeal to the state's religious conservatives who are expected to play an important role in the upcoming caucuses.

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3:24pm

Tue December 6, 2011
It's All Politics

Mitt Romney Declines Donald Trump's Debate Invite

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 4:35 pm

Mitt Romney entertains a toddler in Paradise Valley, AZ, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Donald Trump's planned Republican presidential debate lost a major reason for tuning in: watching Mitt Romney contend with Newt Gingrich, the latest rival to claim frontrunner status.

Romney said Tuesday he planned to skip the debate to be moderated by Trump, the TV reality show star and real-estate developer.

The former Massachusetts governor told Fox News' Neil Cavuto of his decision to decline the invitation to the Trump debate being sponsored by NewsMax and ION TV.

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1:07pm

Tue December 6, 2011
It's All Politics

Maryland Robocall Conviction Puts Political Dirty Tricksters On Notice

Election-day dirty tricksters be forewarned: getting caught trying in a voter-suppression scheme can draw you a prison term, at least in Maryland.

That's one take away message from Tuesday's conviction of the man who served as campaign manager for the effort of Maryland's former Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr.'s to regain the governorship.

A Baltimore jury found Paul Schurick guilty of election fraud on state charges related to 2010 voter-suppression robocalls meant to keep some African American voters, predominantly Democrats, away from the polls on election day.

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8:07am

Tue December 6, 2011
It's All Politics

Newt Gingrich, GOP Frontrunner, Plays Campaign Cash Catch Up

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 9:54 am

Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks with a supporter in New York City, Monday, Dec. 5, 2011.
Seth Wenig AP

When it comes to polls, Newt Gingrich is a strong frontrunner. New surveys in Iowa and South Carolina show him lapping the rest of the Republican presidential field and holding strong double digit leads.

But when it comes to money, the essential for running an effective modern campaign, Gingrich is still not a top-tier candidate.

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4:15pm

Mon December 5, 2011
It's All Politics

Ron Paul's 'Big Dog' Ad One Of GOP Race's Coolest Commercials

Originally published on Mon December 5, 2011 5:01 pm

Rep. Ron Paul may not be leading in any of the major presidential polls (though he's in second place in Iowa according to a recent poll.) But he arguably is setting the pace when it comes to the 2012 presidential campaign ads.

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8:56am

Wed November 30, 2011
It's All Politics

In Gingrich, Romney May Be Facing Toughest Foe Yet

Republican voters may have saved the best for last in terms of the latest obstacle they've placed between Mitt Romney and what was supposed to have been his inevitable march to the 2012 Republican presidential nomination — Newt Gingrich.

Essentially written off after his campaign seemingly imploded last summer and because of the manifest personal baggage he brings to a presidential campaign, Gingrich stuck around long enough to have his moment, to catch fire after Herman Cain flamed out.

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5:27pm

Tue November 29, 2011
It's All Politics

Barney Frank's Two Top Goals: Protecting Wall St Reform, Social Spending

Originally published on Tue November 29, 2011 5:49 pm

Rep. Barney Frank, the long-time liberal voice (and a fast-talking, brusque one at that) who announced he won't be running for re-election, discussed with NPR's Guy Raz, co-host of All Things Considered, the items of unfinished business he plans attend to during his remaining year in Congress.

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10:07pm

Tue November 22, 2011
It's All Politics

At GOP Security Debate, Gingrich's Tolerance On Immigration Stands Out

Originally published on Wed November 23, 2011 11:00 am

Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich before a GOP presidential debate in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

The big theme out of Tuesday night's Republican presidential debate in Washington was Newt Gingrich's compassionate stance toward illegal immigrants who have put down deep roots in the U.S.

That position by Gingrich, who has recently surged to join Mitt Romney at the head of the Republican field according to recent polls, conflicted with the more hardline views of many conservative voters.

Many of those GOP voters who will decide their party's nominee oppose allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S., period.

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12:02pm

Mon November 21, 2011
It's All Politics

Supercommittee's Failure Could Have Super Political Fallout

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 1:06 pm

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, left, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., center, co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on a Deficit Reduction, with Sen. Jon Kyl, arrive for a Sept. 2011 meeting,
J. Scott Applewhite AP

With the members of the congressional deficit-cutting supercommittee essentially announcing that they couldn't get to "yes," the nation is only seeing the latest turn of the screw in the partisan paralysis gripping policymakers in Washington. We all know it is far from the last.

Coming as it does now less than a year before the 2012 general election, the panel's failure to achieve at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction means each major political will now be focused on trying to persuade voters that the other party is more responsible for the impasse.

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3:18pm

Wed November 16, 2011
It's All Politics

Newt Gingrich's Freddie Mac Ties Could Be Poison In GOP Race

In about a week, we've gone from Newt Gingrich saying during a debate that he was paid $300,000 to dispense wisdom to Freddie Mac "as a historian" to his firm being paid nearly $2 million by the mortgage-financing giant for the former House speaker to provide "strategic advice." There's no telling what added details another week might bring.

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10:31am

Wed November 16, 2011
It's All Politics

Wisconsin's Governor: Recall Drive Is About Unions Seeking 'Power'

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, March 7, 2011.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Many of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's citizens may be signing petitions for his recall in reaction to the battle he led earlier in the year to weaken his state's public-employee unions.

But Walker doesn't appear to be backing off one inch from his stance that he did what was right for his state.

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8:46am

Fri November 11, 2011
It's All Politics

Poll: Cain, Romney, Gingrich Tied; Most In GOP Unfazed By Harassment Charges

"Volatile" is one of the words that probably best describes the race for the Republican presidential nomination and a new CBS News poll captures that flux. The national poll indicates a three-way tie, showing Herman Cain at 18 percent and Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich at 15 percent each.

That's essentially a tie since the margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.

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3:15pm

Wed November 9, 2011
It's All Politics

GOP Michigan Debate: Auto Industry, Herman Cain Likely Topics

Sue McQueen displays her support for GOP presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul outside the debate venue, Rochester, Mich., Nov. 9, 2011.
Scott Olson Getty Images

When the Republican presidential candidates meet Wednesday evening in Michigan for their ninth debate (it feels like there've been many more than that) the main topic up for discussion is supposed to be the economy.

But is there anyone who expects that the travails of Herman Cain won't be a subtopic?

The former Godfather Pizza CEO's flat-tax plan encountered severe turbulence at the last debate and it is likely to experience more during the encounter at Oakland University outside Detroit.

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8:47am

Tue November 8, 2011
It's All Politics

Herman Cain's Kimmel Show Allred Joke Was Odd Crisis Management

Herman Cain definitely doesn't seem to have this crisis-management thing down yet.

He presumably went on Jimmy Kimmel Live Monday evening to fight the latest charge of sexual misbehavior, this one from Sharon Bialek that he made a vulgar and unwanted sexual come-on to her in 1997 when she was seeking his help for reemployment at the National Restaurant Association.

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8:22am

Fri November 4, 2011
It's All Politics

Poll: Cain Still Tied With Romney Despite Sex Harassment Claims

There's been anecdotal evidence, and certainly plenty of signs on social media, that many Republicans still say Herman Cain is their choice for president despite the revelation that the restaurant trade group he once headed paid monetary settlements to women who accused him of sexual harassment.

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2:50pm

Wed November 2, 2011
It's All Politics

Third Woman Accuses Herman Cain Of Harassment; Witness Goes Public

Herman Cain's sexual harassment crisis worsened Wednesday with a third woman telling a news organization that he sexually harassed her when they both worked at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, in another stunning turn, a male Republican pollster went on the record with a news organization to say he actually witnessed Cain's alleged harassment of one of the former trade association employees and indicated that the Republican presidential candidate's behavior wasn't exactly a secret at the time.

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11:56am

Wed November 2, 2011
It's All Politics

Herman Cain And The Race Card

Here we go again with the race-card business.

Questioning the motives of those seeking the truth about the sexual harassment allegations against him when he led the National Restaurant Association, Herman Cain said he suspects critics on the political left of attacking him for racial reasons.

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10:15am

Wed November 2, 2011
It's All Politics

New Hampshire Chooses Jan. 10 As Primary Date

The schedule for the first four Republican presidential caucuses and primaries appeared officially set Wednesday with New Hampshire announcing that it would hold its first-in-the-nation primary on Jan. 10.

That would come exactly seven days after the Iowa caucuses, which were moved to Jan. 3, the first Tuesday of the new year, and which will kick off the process by which Republicans will choose their party's nominee to contest President Obama for the White House.

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10:29am

Mon October 31, 2011
It's All Politics

Poll: Cain And Perry Tied In Texas

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 10:56 am

In what may be the most impressive and surprising sign of the Herman Cain phenomenon yet, the Republican presidential candidate was essentially tied with native son Gov. Rick Perry in Texas, of all places.

A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll put Cain at 27 percent support and Perry, the three-term governor at 26 percent. The margin of error was plus/minus 3.46 percent.

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