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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Politics
7:33 am
Sat May 10, 2014

New Rules Aim To Streamline GOP's 2016 Nominating Process

The RNC wants to see many fewer of these presidential debate scenes in 2016. Before a November 2011 Michigan showdown, from left: former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum; Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; businessman Herman Cain; Texas Gov. Rick Perry; Texas Rep. Ron Paul; former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 8:21 pm

If there are other Herman Cains and Michele Bachmanns out there with 2016 presidential hopes, it may be much harder than it was in 2012 for them to go from "who?" to Republican presidential contenders. That's because of new rules adopted Friday by the Republican National Committee at its meeting in Memphis, Tenn.

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It's All Politics
8:04 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Health Law's 4th Birthday Divides Democrats, Unites GOP On Message

As the Affordable Care Act's fourth anniversary approached, Democrats were less unified in their message than Republicans.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 7:49 pm

With the fourth anniversary of President Obama's signing of the Affordable Care Act this weekend, if you were a Democrat boasting about the health law, you were more than likely a party official or lawmaker with a seat so safe you could publicly celebrate the occasion.

Like Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat who in 2012 beat her Republican opponent by nearly 30 points, scheduling an enrollment event at a Chicago community college Saturday and inviting the news media.

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It's All Politics
6:55 am
Wed January 29, 2014

5 Things We Learned From The President's Speech

President Obama delivers his State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
Larry Downing Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 9:21 am

Much of what was in President Obama's fifth State of the Union address was expected — it was signaled for days leading into the speech. Even so, there were a few revealing moments.

Here are five that stood out:

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It's All Politics
9:22 am
Tue January 28, 2014

5 Things To Expect In Obama's State Of The Union Address

President Obama gestures to Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner before giving his 2013 State of the Union address.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 2:35 pm

As President Obama prepares to deliver his State of the Union speech Tuesday evening, he does it against a backdrop of some of the lowest voter-approval ratings of his presidency, with a divided Congress that has largely stalled his second-term agenda and with Washington's collective focus starting to shift toward the midterm elections and beyond.

Here are five things to expect from the president in his fifth State of the Union speech:

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It's All Politics
3:18 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

5 Achievements Of The 113th Congress (So Far)

Congress managed to get a few things accomplished in 2013, with an emphasis on "few."
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 3:06 pm

The 113th Congress, which just ended its first year, has come to be defined more by what it hasn't done than what it has. With two warring and ideologically polarized parties controlling either end of Capitol Hill, Congress has more or less become a quagmire for policy.

Still, one of the least productive Congresses of the modern era was able to accomplish a few things in 2013. Here are five of them:

1. Going Nuclear

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It's All Politics
7:39 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Newtown Anniversary Marked By Gun Control Stalemate

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, at a gun show in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in October. Giffords was shot in the head in a 2011 mass shooting in Tucson. She and Kelly have since founded a political action committee to push for tougher gun laws.
Tim Roske AP

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 7:44 pm

In the wrenching days and weeks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, many on both sides of the gun control debate thought that horror had so shifted the political winds that stricter federal gun laws would surely result.

That, of course, didn't happen.

On the surface, it may look like the gun lobby ultimately won the political battles that mattered in the past year. After all, Congress failed to pass tougher gun laws. But the reality is more mixed; the result was more of a stalemate.

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It's All Politics
6:26 am
Fri December 6, 2013

For Biden, All The World's A Stage For Possible 2016 Run

Vice President Biden chats with his Chinese counterpart Li Yuanchao before heading to their luncheon at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Thursday.
Andy Wong AP

Originally published on Thu December 5, 2013 6:27 pm

Vice President Biden hasn't announced his 2016 presidential plans. It's far too early for that; we haven't even hit the first anniversary of President Obama's second inaugural, after all.

But as Biden traveled this week to Japan, China and South Korea where he met top leaders, he certainly gave the impression of a man doing a full dress rehearsal for the presidency.

Of course, if Hillary Clinton decides to run for president, rehearsing for the presidency may be as close as Biden gets to the Democratic nomination.

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It's All Politics
2:04 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Presidential Apologies: Regrets, They Have A Few

President Obama walks from the White House to Marine One on Friday. In an interview Thursday with NBC News, he apologized for breaking a promise regarding the Affordable Care Act.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 2:31 pm

Now that President Obama has apologized to those who've seen their health care plans canceled due to the Affordable Care Act, losses he pledged beforehand wouldn't happen, he joins the line of modern presidents who have had to look the American people in the eye and give their regrets.

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It's All Politics
6:56 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Democrat Terry McAuliffe Wins Virginia Governor's Race

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe leaves Spring Hill Elementary School after voting, accompanied by his daughter Mary and wife Dorothy.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 2:27 am

Democrat Terry McAuliffe won the hotly contested Virginia governor's race, defeating Republican Ken Cuccinelli, who was supported by the Tea Party.

The race turned out to be far closer than polls heading into Election Day indicated. That suggested that voter turnout may have failed to reach the levels Democrats had hoped to achieve and that the Affordable Care Act may have hurt the Democratic effort.

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It's All Politics
6:56 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Bill De Blasio Wins New York City Mayoral Election

Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio with his daughter Chiara and son Dante as he talks to the media in Brooklyn after voting, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 11:17 pm

Democrat Bill de Blasio won the New York City mayor's race, defeating Republican Joseph Lhota. He became the first Democrat to win the office since 1989.

The Associated Press declared de Blasio the winner about 45 minutes after the city's polls closed at 9 pm ET. De Blasio had what appeared to be an insurmountable lead in polls heading into Election Day.

The election of de Blasio, an unabashed liberal, marked a definitive end of the Mayor Michael Bloomberg era.

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