Andrew Romano

Stories by Andrew Romano

  • Everybody Loves Palin!

    Amount raised by the John McCain campaign in the two-and-a-half days after Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin joined the ticket: $10 million.   Amount raised by the Barack Obama campaign in the 24 hours after Palin delivered her speech at the 2008 Republican Convention: $10 million.Uniting both parties' bases in one fell swoop (or, er, woman): Priceless. Although, it must be noted: Obama's post-Palin fundraising rate ($416,666 per hour) is more than twice as fast as McCain's ($166,666 per hour). Talk about reaching across the aisle.
  • Obamans on Palin: What, Us Worry?

    [youtube:vKgNrb3baNM] Stumper reader T.O.--a smart Democrat who's worked in state and national politics--kicks in a compelling outline of the reasons why Obama supporters shouldn't be stressing over Sarah Barracuda, who appears to have the entire nation (or at least, the entire punditocracy) in deep swoon mode after her performance last night here in St. Paul. I think T.O.'s note is a pretty perceptive summary of what Dems are saying to reassure themselves right now--even if it's too early to tell if any of it is, you know, true. Here's his diagnosis:(1) McCain is running for President, not Palin. After today, it's all McCain/Obama, all the time. (2) McCain is going to die in office. Voting for Palin for VP is voting for her for President. Probably not too many independents, who are the people she needs to win over, are going to be ready to do this. Obviously, we don't argue this directly.(3) Loyalty oaths from Wasilla workers? Banned books in the library? Troopergate? Earmark...
  • Meadows: A Cynic's Take on the Palin Family Tableau

    NEWSWEEK political ace (and personal Stumper favorite) Susannah Meadows takes a break from caring for her twin boys to deliver a heartfelt reaction to one of the most interesting aspects of Sarah Palin's much-discussed convention speech--the nod to her four-month-old son Trig, who was born with Down syndrome and present in the hall. Did you find the moment moving? Or calculated? The comments are open for business. Here's Susannah:I'm not one to be moved by political speeches. Having covered John...
  • Can Dems Deal with the 'Republican Obama'?

    ST. PAUL, Minn.--One of the most entertaining aspects of "Palinsanity"--the Republican Party's long-awaited response to Obamania--is how it's forcing both conservatives and liberals to contort themselves into pretzels of irrationality to justify their feelings about the newly-minted Republican vice presidential nominee. As someone who falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, I have to say: I'm enjoying all the hypocrisy. Let's start with the right. Last night, Sarah Palin gave a speech. It consisted of words. It was short on specifics. And it got a lot of Republicans really, really excited. "She's our Obama," a delegate from Alaska told me a few hours after Palin left the stage. The problem is that the GOP has spent many months cautioning the country against talented, fresh-faced candidates unleashing lofty but less-than-substantive language to woo worshipful crowds. Just words, they've quipped. A vapid celebrity, they've added. Never mind! As Slate's John Dickerson puts it, ...
  • McCarter: The GOP'S Natural

    Here's NEWSWEEK cultural critic Jeremy McCarter on Sarah Palin's speech--and why she's the Republican Obama. As usual, I'm in total agreement......
  • The Filter: September 4, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories, coming to you live from the Holiday Inn in cloudy east St. Paul.EASIEST TASK FOR PALIN MAY HAVE BEEN SPEECH(Adam Nagourney, New York Times)From here, Ms. Palin moves into a national campaign where she will...
  • Assessing Palin's Big Speech

    ST. PAUL, Minn.--Game on. Alaska Governor and freshly-minted Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin just finished her much-anticipated acceptance speech at the Xcel Center here in St. Paul, and I can say with 100 percent certainty that the most powerful part, at least for the journalists in attendance, came about a quarter of the way in. "Here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators," she said. "I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion--I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country." I say "powerful," but mostly I mean "terrifying." That's because immediately after Palin finished the line, a large group of enraged delegates turned from the floor to the press rafters and began chanting "NBC! NBC! NBC!" They were shaking their fists, but that was only because their torches and pitchforks were confiscated at the security checkpoint. Throughout the night, one gentleman in particular kept shooting me unsettling glances, as i...
  • Ralphie Cifaretto Lives

    Spotted: actor Joe Pantoliano of Sopranos fame attempting to get down on the floor of the 2008 Republican convention. This is Stumper's first celebrity sighting here in St. Paul, so I have to say, I was impressed. Apparently, the authorities didn't agree: Joey Pants was turned away at the gate. No word yet on whether he plans to resurface during a dream sequence later in the convention.
  • The Romneybot Goes to 11!

    ST. PAUL, Minn--Former Massachusetts governor and alleged human lifeform Mitt Romney just finished his remarks here at the 2008 Republican Convention and, boy, was he excited. I'm told that CNN, MSNBC and FOX News didn't broadcast the governor's speech in its entirety. That's too bad, because excitement like Romney's deserve to be enjoyed by the broadest possible audience--not just the people who are crazy enough to attend a political convention or watch one on C-SPAN. That's why I've decided to share the essence of Romney's address with you, the people who are crazy enough to read about a political convention on a NEWSWEEK political blog.As I said earlier, Romney was excited. I know this not because Mitt spent his first few minutes on stage shouting that all the stuff controlled by Republicans since the year 2000--the Supreme Court, the government, the Congress, the spending--is liberal. "We need change all right," he said. "Change from a liberal Washington to a conservative...
  • Fineman: Palin Goes Prime Time

    Here's my NEWSWEEK colleague Howard Fineman on the promise and the peril of Sarah Palin's speech tonight at the Republican convention....
  • Hurricane Sarah

    ST. PAUL, Minn.--When I arrived here in Minnesota Monday morning, the big question on the mind of every delegate, donor, pundit, prognosticator and politician was whether Hurricane Gustav would flood the Gulf Coast and wash the entire Republican convention away with it. Thankfully, that nightmare scenario never came true. The problem for John McCain, however, is that another storm system seems to have swamped the convention instead. Its name? Hurricane Sarah.As in Sarah Palin, the current Alaska governor and presumptive Republican vice-presidential nominee. Maybe you've heard of her?St. Paul has spoken of little else since the start of the week. On the ground and in the hall, it's clear that the Republicans are running a more organized convention than their Democratic counterparts did in Denver. The magnetometer lines are blissfully brief. Food products are available for purchase. Transportation exists. The press works indoors, with access to actual toilets (Denver had porta-potties...
  • McCarter: How to Speak Heartland

    Here's NEWSWEEK cultural critic Jeremy McCarter deconstructing the first full night of the GOP convention--and its "Country First" rhetoric. ...
  • The Filter: September 3, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories, coming to you live from the Holiday Inn in sunny east St. Paul.THE BIZARRO GOP(John Dickerson, Slate)The first official night of the Republican Convention was one for...
  • Pawlenty's Close Call

    (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast) ST. PAUL, Minn.--There's a joke making the rounds here at the Republican National Convention: Some veep runners-up miss the White House by hair's breadth. Tim Pawlenty missed it by one chromosome.  Gender, of course, was only one of the many reasons McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin over Pawlenty. But that doesn't change the fact that the Minnesota governor was extremely close to getting the gig. Indeed, Pawlenty didn't discover that he'd lost out until shortly before Palin stepped on stage in Dayton last Friday--and even then, he had to guess. "When...
  • McCarter: Eye of the Storm

    Here's NEWSWEEK cultural critic Jeremy McCarter on the GOP's akilter convention debut.The Democrats couldn't have had a much more exuberant week last...
  • Patriotic K-9... or Cheese-Eating Surrender Dog?

    We report, you decide. Spotted in downtown St. Paul by NEWSWEEK's own Steve Tuttle: On the one hand, he was attending the RNC with owner Iain St. James, 37.On the other hand, his name is Jacques. And his stripes match le pavillon francais. And his owner sounds like the sort of fellow who plays baccarat in Monaco with dapper British secret agents. More mixed messages in Minnesota...
  • The Filter: September 2, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories, coming to you live from the Holiday Inn in sunny East St. Paul....
  • The Buck Stops Where?

    As we noted earlier today, several prominent Republicans--including Fred Thompson--have taken to mentioning Harry Truman when asked about Sarah Palin's skimpy resume. Turns out that the references to 33rd president are part of the GOP's latest talking points--as NEWSWEEK's Jonathan Alter reports. "Look at Harry Truman, where he stood, how much experience he had before he was chosen as vice president," said Thompson this afternoon. Alter did--and what he found doesn't exactly flatter Palin. Here's Jon:The GOP talking points on Monday instructed all surrogates to compare the selection of Sarah Palin to FDR's choice of Harry Truman in 1944. The idea is that a plain spoken candidate who isn't an expert can become a great president. In some iterations, the surrogates mention that FDR and Truman met only briefly before Roosevelt died, and that he never told Truman about the atom bomb.The Truman-Palin comparison is a bad one. By the time of the 1944 Democratic convention Truman was a...
  • Karl Rove Weighs in on the Palin Pregnancy

    Suzanne Smalley and a handful of Washington Post colleagues cornered Karl Rove this afternoon to ask about today's announcement that 17-year-old Bristol Palin, the daughter of newly minted GOP veep pick, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, is five months pregnant--and find out what (if anything) that news has to do with the completely unproven (and completely ridiculous, in Stumper's humble opinion) Internet rumors that the Alaska governor faked an earlier pregnancy to cover for her teenage child. Excerpts: REPORTERS: Can you comment on what you think of the way that this pregnancy story made its way from a left-wing blog to the national media? Does that trouble you?Karl Rove: You know, I didn’t see the original left-wing blog. But as you probably know, it questioned whether Governor Palin herself [faked her pregnancy to cover for her teenage daughter]?Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I saw the Daily Kos [a blog that posted such rumors]. I see that as a separate track, that’s a...
  • Protesting on the 'Mean Streets' of St. Paul

    ST. PAUL, Minn.--Talk about a time warp. On the streets of St. Paul, a pair of anti-war activists approached a phalanx of riot police bedecked in traditional billy-club-and-gas-mask regalia--and offered them some freshly-picked flowers. The protesters received a face full of pepper spray in return.Apparently, SWAT teams don't like daisies--even after all these years. As approximately 10,000 protesters--and what seemed like nearly as...
  • Stumper's Republican Convention Coverage Starts Now...

    (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast) ... even if you won't be seeing balloons anytime soon. With Hurricane Gustav bearing down on the Gulf Coast, John McCain and the GOP have suspended Monday's convention festivities; depending on the damage, the suspension could extend through the rest of the week.  Still, our convention coverage continues. I'm boarding a plane for Minneapolis now; when I land, I'll post my thoughts on the politics of this unfortunate situation. Later, expect reports from NEWSWEEK's exclusive meetings with key Republican movers and shakers--including Mark McKinnon, Fred Thompson, Rick Davis, Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney. Should be a strange and fascinating week.  Thanks for reading,Andrew