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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1:42pm

Fri May 25, 2012
It's All Politics

Inhale To The Chief: More Details Of Obama's Pot-Smoking Youth Revealed

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:37 pm

A Punahou School yearbook class photo from 1976 that includes the 9th grader who would grow up to become President Obama, but not before he smoked a lot of pot first.
Anonymous AP

The first sneak peak a few weeks back inside journalist David Maraniss' highly anticipated biography of President Obama served up glimpses of the president as a young man in romantic relationships, with information gleaned from early girlfriends.

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1:40pm

Thu May 24, 2012
It's All Politics

Researchers Find Link Between Isolated State Capitals, Corruption

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 1:56 pm

Despite the misspelling and grammar error, the tee-shirt message is clear on a protester at the Illinois capitol on May 16, 2012. It cites two former governors now in federal prison for corruption.
Seth Perlman AP

Do state capitals relatively distant from the major population centers have more corruption than those in more densely populated areas?

Researchers report that they have found an intriguing correlation between political corruption in state capitals and population density.

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11:36am

Thu May 24, 2012
It's All Politics

Reagan Blood Update: It's No Longer For Sale

The Reagans at the George Washington University Medical Center today, April 3, 1981.
Anonymous AP

If you had hoped to bid on the medical-lab vial that purportedly contains the dried remains of a blood sample from President Ronald Reagan taken on the day he was nearly assassinated in March 1981, you're out of luck.

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1:42pm

Wed May 23, 2012
It's All Politics

At Auction, Reagan's Blood Is Pricey But A Bargain Versus Fidel-Signed Flag

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 3:30 pm

It's safe to say that when it comes to recent presidents, Ronald Reagan is the most venerated, especially among Republicans but not exclusively so. Some even accuse conservatives of beatifying the 40th president as though he were on the road to sainthood.

So it's not surprising there would be a Reagan relic out there, specifically a medical-lab vial purportedly containing the dried remains of a blood sample taken from the president on the day he was nearly assassinated in March 1981.

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3:39pm

Tue May 22, 2012
It's All Politics

Under Obama, U.S. Gov't Spends At Lowest Rate In Decades, Says Journalist

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 11:39 am

President Obama is getting a bum rap on the pace of federal spending, a journalist writes.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

(Updated on 5/23/12 @ 11:55 am. See end of post for Romney campaign response.)

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12:49pm

Fri May 18, 2012
It's All Politics

'President Romney's' First Day In Office: All About Reversing Obama Per Ad

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 1:23 pm

Romney "Day One" ad

6:20pm

Wed May 16, 2012
It's All Politics

White House Sandwiches Followed By Snark, Disappointment, Warnings

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 6:44 pm

President Obama's limo in what was, in part, the world's most impressive lunch run, Washington, May 16, 2012.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

President Obama and congressional leaders lunched at the White House Wednesday on sandwiches the leader of the free world purchased during a visit to a Washington, D.C., eatery where he met earlier in the morning with a group of small-business people.

Descriptions of the White House lunch meeting from those on the opposing red and blue teams aware of the details of the discussion made it sound like yet another meeting featuring the nation's top policymakers that you could have accurately described beforehand.

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3:19pm

Mon May 14, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney And Obama: A Tale Of Two Commencement Speeches

Originally published on Mon May 14, 2012 7:06 pm

President Obama delivers the commencement address Monday at Barnard College in New York.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

As close as the general election is expected to be, virtually everything the presidential candidates do from here until November is about maximizing the turnout of voters in their respective bases without repelling independents or moderates.

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6:07pm

Thu May 10, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney, Boehner Message: It's Still The Economy (Not Gay Marriage), Stupid

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 6:51 pm

House Speaker John Boehner speaks Thursday at his weekly news conference on Capitol Hill. Boehner spoke on a number of topics but would not comment on gay marriage when asked.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Let others get distracted by the news the day before that President Obama now personally supports gay marriage. Mitt Romney and Speaker John Boehner said Thursday they intended to stay on message and keep hitting the president in what they view as his Achilles heel — the economy.

Being that it's also the issue voters have in repeated polls said is most important to them, it was hard to argue with their decision.

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1:46pm

Thu May 10, 2012
It's All Politics

Reaction To Obama's Same-Sex Marriage Suppport: From Sublime To Silly

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 10:06 am

Reaction to President Obama's bombshell that he now supports gay marriage ran the gamut from profound to lighthearted.
The White House Getty Images

(This post has been revised.)

If anything could predictably induce torrents of Internet reaction, it would be a U.S. president making the surprise disclosure that he supports same-sex marriage. And so it has been following President Obama's Wednesday ABC News interview in which he said he personally backs gay marriage.

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5:39pm

Wed May 9, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama Gambles On Gay Marriage

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 10:35 pm

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

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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3:22pm

Tue May 8, 2012
It's All Politics

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

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 3:25 pm

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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6:38pm

Mon May 7, 2012
It's All Politics

Romney Town Hall Shows Risks Of Handing Voters The Mic

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

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

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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1:17pm

Mon May 7, 2012
It's All Politics

Some U.S. Conservatives See Obama In France's Hollande

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

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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3:18pm

Fri May 4, 2012
It's All Politics

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

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 4:57 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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