Stories by Andrew Romano

  • The Filter: Oct. 1, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.NEW VOTERS LIKE OBAMA, BUT MAY NOT SHOW UP AT POLLS(Sara Murray, Wall Street Journal)A nationwide poll of Americans who are eligible to vote for the...
  • Palinsanity

    (AP Photo / Henny Ray Abrams) Wall Street Journal, Sept. 29. 2008, re: the media's unfair coverage of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin: From her campaign's perspective, Gov. Palin isn't getting media attention for her contributions. For example, with foreign leaders last week [at the United Nations], she had detailed conversations about the national-security and global implications of the energy crisis, one adviser said. Stumper, Sept. 23, 2008, re: Palin's visit to the UN: Originally, the McCain campaign indicated that two editorial journalists--Elizabeth Holmes of the Wall Street Journal and CNN embed Peter Hamby--would be allowed to attend the so-called “pool sprays” before Palin’s conclaves, which are basically "glorified photo opportunities during which journalists can snap photos and film footage and–if they’re lucky–shout a question or two at Palin"... But an hour before the events, the McCain campaign decided to bar both Holmes and Hamby, claiming that the sprays were appropriat...
  • Ad Hawk: 'Bipartisanship?' Spare Us.

    Breaking news! John McCain and Barack Obama agree--at least in theory.In response to the surprising collapse yesterday afternoon on Capitol Hill of the Bush Administration's $700 billion plan to bailout the imploding financial industry, both McCain and Obama called for--wait for it--"bipartisanship." Speaking this morning at an economic roundtable in Des Moines, Iowa, McCain bemoaned "the lack of resolve and bipartisan good will among...
  • So Who's Winning Now?

    The current Real Clear Politics electoral map reflects the latest polls; it is not a prediction of the outcome ...
  • The Filter: Sept. 30, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.IN BAILOUT VOTE, A LEADERSHIP BREAKDOWN(Jackie Calmes, New York Times)The collapse of the proposed rescue plan for the teetering financial...
  • Free Sarah!

    [youtube:r36Xc0GG4iQ] In an item last Thursday about Sarah Palin's increasingly incoherent interview performances, I suggested that John McCain had mishandled his vice-presidential nominee. My take:Palin is an unknown quantity--and by sequestering her from...
  • The Peanut Gallery

    (Chip Somodevilla / AP) Hi everyone,It's Friday night and I feel alright... because Barack Obama and John McCain are about to debate. (Yes, I just quoted from Montell Jordan.) I'll be handling the post-debate duties for NEWSWEEK tonight, so check back around 11:30 for my instanalysis. Until then, feel free to weigh in on the up and downs in the comments below. Consider it your own NEWSWEEK liveblog. Something tells me you'll have plenty to say.This, apparently, is how we do it.  Thanks for reading,Andrew
  • The Expectations Game, Vol. 3

    Starring in the latest round of pre-debate Expectations Gaming--read Vol. 1 here and Vol. 2 here--is top...
  • The Bull Leaves the China Shop

    (Gerald Herbert / AP) In a statement emailed to reporters at 11:24 this morning, John McCain spokesman Brian Rogers announced that the "McCain campaign is resuming all activities and the Senator will travel to the debate this afternoon." I'm thinking of suing for whiplash. At first, I was willing to give McCain the benefit of the doubt on his "amazing gambit." As I wrote yesterday, if he, Obama and Bush had emerged from Thursday's White House summit having ratified the fragile preliminary agreement between Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the Administration, congressional Democrats and Senate Republicans--four of the five parties necessary for consensus--I would've said "no harm, no foul." McCain may have been irrelevant, but at least he wouldn't have been a destructive force. In that case, debate away. But instead he's proven to be a bull in a china shop--or, more accurately, a bull that 1) misleadingly says the china shop is in disarray before he enters; 2) vows not to leave ...
  • The Debate: It's On

    Here's the full text of the extraordinarily bizarre statement just put out by McCain spokesman Brian Rogers. To me, it almost seems as if McCain is saying that he's decided to debate BECAUSE Washington wasn't reaching a bipartisan consensus--a stark reversal from his earlier insistence on not debating unless such a consensus was reached. For my analysis of McCain's zig-zag, click here.For Holly Bailey's report on the run-up to the announcement, click here.  ...
  • The Expectations Game, Vol. 2

    In the first installment of our pre-debate Expectations Game series, we focused on the transparently fulsome praise flying back and forth between the Obama and McCain camps in advance of tonight's clash at Ole Miss--the point of which, of course, was to convince the press and the public than anything short of a Cicero-level performance from their rival would represent the most abject of disappointments. But we neglected to provide any examples of that other Expectations Game mainstay: preposterous self-deprecation. Here, then, is Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs trying to spin reporters yesterday in Washington into believing that Obama is the worst debater in the history of the world:...
  • Wolffe: Getting Ready to Rumble... Or Not Rumble

    My NEWSWEEK colleague Richard Wolffe reports on Barack Obama's preparations for tonight's (possible) presidential debate. Obama in Florida. (Chris Carlson / AP) Ensconced this week in his hotel near Tampa, Florida, Barack Obama...
  • The Filter: Sept. 26, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.MCCAIN LEAPS INTO A THICKET(Adam Nagourney and Elisabeth Bumiller, New York Times)As a matter of political appearances, the day’s events succeeded most...
  • Opportunity Knocks...

    [youtube:mvOrNqkSXyA] Hot on the heels of John McCain's request to postpone Friday's inaugural presidential debate comes this press release from Bob Barr, who says he's " more than willing to step in to participate" in McCain's absence. How generous.In case you're wondering, Bob Barr is running for president. As a Libertarian. Who is Bob Barr? you ask. A former Republican congressman from Georgia who led the impeachment efforts against President Bill Clinton, he's probably most famous nowadays for appearing in the Borat movie to accept a block of cheese made from Borat's wife's breast milk. That's right: the little guy with the mustache and glasses who bears an unsettling resemblance to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr.Take it away, Bob. Your 15 minutes seconds begin... now:With the recent proposal of Senator John McCain to postpone the first ...
  • A Question of Leadership

    What if John McCain's "amazing gambit"--suspending his campaign, calling off Friday's debate and inviting Barack Obama to return to Washington with him to work on the economic crisis--ends not with a bang but a whimper? That's the way it's looking right now. When McCain delivered his surprise announcement here in New York yesterday afternoon, both he and the Democratic Party were quick to say that the Treasury's $700 billion bailout bill was in grave danger of collapsing. For McCain, "it ha[d] become clear that no consensus ha[d] developed to support the Administration's proposal" and that the nation was "running out of time." For the Dems, McCain's return to Washington "risk[ed] injecting presidential politics into this process" and delaying the legislation. Of course, this was pure political posturing. McCain wanted to appear as if he were rescuing America from a dire situation. The Democrats wanted it to appear as if he were creating one. But the truth is, the legislation itsel...
  • The Filter: Sept. 25, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.CHANGE ELECTION TURNS OUT CONVENTIONAL...
  • What's the Proper Role of Politics?

    [youtube:zHGs4535W_o] The McCain campaign wants you to see today's "suspension" as McCain sacrificing politics in the service of a higher cause--namely, getting the nation's economy back on track. The Obama campaign wants you to see it as McCain pretending to sacrifice politics for his own political gain. The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder makes the latter case in the sort of language you're not going to hear from Chicago, but that probably reflects how the campaign feels about the proper role of politics in the face of the current crisis:This is the time when politics matters the most, not the least. When the philosophical differences that each party organizes around are put to the test of reality. When conflict builds consensus, not by ignoring conflict. When the public craves answers and debate from their politicians. When the stakes of the presidential election could not be more acute. Comparative...
  • The Tricky Politics of McCain's Maneuver

    (AP Photo / Gerald Herbert) In a statement delivered this afternoon in New York City, John McCain announced that he will temporarily suspend his presidential campaign Thursday morning and return to Washington to address the financial crisis. As a result, he requested that Friday's foreign-policy debate in Oxford, Miss., be delayed and urged rival Barack Obama to join him in the capital for a summit with top congressional leaders. "I am calling on the president to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself," McCain said. "It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem." The announcement comes a day after this blog noted the remarkable similarities between McCain and Barack Obama's lists of recommended "improvements" for the mammoth $700 billion Treasury bailout bill--and criticized both candidates for continuing to "us[e] the bailout to bludgeon each other daily on the campaign trail," suggest...
  • The First 'Postmodern' Presidency?

    In his new article on Team McCain's willingness to say something misleading and then, when challenged, suggest that the truth or falsity of their statements doesn't actually matter--Obama commits the first sin, but not the second--the New Republic's Jonathan Chait highlights a fascinating poly-sci study that I, for one, had never heard of: Last February, political scientists Brendan Nyhan of Duke and Jason...
  • The Expectations Game, Vol. I

    For months, the presidential contenders savage each other on the stump and in the press. They attack their opponent's policies. They question their rival's character. They hurl all manner of insults, accusations and calumnies in the general direction of the only other life form crazy enough to want to be leader of the free world. But every year in late September each White House hopeful suddenly discovers that there's one thing he actually admires about the other guy: his debating ability. So they and their advisers spend the days leading up to the first presidential clash fawning over their enemy's supposedly spectacular skills. Let the Expectations Game begin. An age-old campaign ritual, it involves lowering your own bar for success--inhale, exhale, don't drool--while simultaneously claiming that your foe is the greatest orator since Cicero. Nowadays, no one takes this spin-a-riffic charade seriously--least of all political reporters. But the campaigns continue to indulge. With ...