Andrew Romano

Stories by Andrew Romano

  • 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 
  • The Filter: September 1, 2008... Republican Convention Edition

    A round-up of this morning's must read-stories.PARTY'S PLANS UNSETTLED; MCCAIN VISITS GULF(Patrick Healy and Adam Nagourney)Senator John McCain and his advisers decided on Sunday to halt all but the most essential activities for the Republican National Convention...
  • Alter: McCain's 'Hail Sarah' Pass

    Here's NEWSWEEK's Jonathan Alter on why Sarah Palin is all but set up for failure in the fall.(READ STUMPER'S TAKE ON THE "EXPERIENCE" QUESTION HERE; MORE THOUGHTS ON PALIN HERE.)  ...
  • Palin from 35,000 Feet

    CHARLOTTE, N.C.--John McCain really, really wants to win. So badly,...
  • The Partisans Loved It. So Did The Pundits. But What Did the Only Undecided Voter* in Mile High Stadium Think of Obama's Speech?

    DENVER--Barack Obama just wrapped up his nomination speech here at Mile High stadium, and it's already clear that the chattering classes are content. "Magnificent," said Pat Buchanan. "Awfully impressive," added Bill Kristol. "A masterpiece," concluded David Gergen. The reaction in the stands--shouting, stomping, phoning loved ones, snapping photos, weeping--wasn't much more equivocal. That said, it's worth remembering, despite all the understandable uplift, that neither pundits nor partisans will decide November's election--and worth wondering what the people who will (that is, undecideds) thought of Obama's performance. Considering that Chicago distributed the evening's 60,000 civilian tickets solely to supporters who'd agreed to volunteer for the campaign, I wasn't expecting to find many Nobamans in the crowd. Fortunately, I stumbled upon Malissa Garcia. Her path to Mile High was somewhat circuitous--to say the least. Last weekend, CNN asked Garcia, a 23-year-old hairstylist at ...
  • Obama's Doppelganger

      DENVER--Barack Obama may not look like the presidents on our printed money--but there's at least one guy out there who looks a lot like him. With more than 50,000 people packed into Invesco Field and security everywhere, it isn't easy to get around. But be thankful you're not Gerardo Puisseaux. A young Cuban-American PR rep for Miami's Americateve 41, he has the unfortunate burden--at least for today--of bearing a striking resemblance to the newly-minted Democratic nominee. I spotted Mr.Puisseaux on the stairs of Section 134 struggling to escape from a Ukrainian TV interviewer determined to capture him on camera. "I'm not the man," he told the reporter, pointing to Obama's stage. "He's the man." Soon, the entire section was snapping photos. Behind me, a woman in a red Obama t-shirt said that she had buttonholed "the lookalike" earlier. "I asked Obama if he'd take a picture with me," she said. "He even kissed my hand!" Maybe being Obama isn't so bad after all. 
  • The Toga Party

    DENVER--The Democratic convention has already moved to Invesco Field, but that hasn't stopped the GOP from making mischief back at the Pepsi Center. On my walk from the parking structure to the NEWSWEEK workspace this afternoon, I stumbled across a posse of young men and women wearing togas, waving "The One" placards and chanting, in the adoring drone of brainwashed Branch Davidians, "Change! Hope! O-BAM-A!" One sign read "The Temple of O." I figured they were referring to the neoclassical stage where Obama is planning to accept the Democratic nomination tonight....
  • Hirsh: The Anti-Cheney?

    Here's NEWSWEEK's Michael Hirsh on how Joe Biden would compare to George W. Bush's No. 2.During the hard-fought primaries last spring, Barack Obama swooped in from the campaign trail for a brief stop at the Senate hearings on Iraq. With Gen. David Petraeus...
  • The Filter: August 28, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories, coming to you live from the Cherry Creek Hotel in sunny Denver, Colo.TROPIC BLUNDER...
  • FINEMAN: 'A Master Craftsman'

    Here's my NEWSWEEK colleague Howard Fineman on Bill Clinton's just-completed convention speech. Especially smart: Howard's point about Clinton "not laying it on too thick." He went far further than Hillary in describing why Barack Obama--and not just any old Democrat--would make a better president than John McCain. But with a "hint of jealously and rue" in his voice, Clinton's compliments sounded totally credible. He hadn't been force-fed or coaxed or cajoled. He wasn't just doing his duty. You got the sense, rather, than Clinton really (if begrudgingly) respects Obama, another Democrat said to be "too young and too inexperienced," for outwitting him--even if he hasn't completely "gotten over" the first loss of his career. After all, what better testament is there to someone's skill as a politician than defeating the Natural? I'll pass the mic to Howard:I just watched a master at his craft. It was like watching Michael Jordan in his prime. Bill Clinton showed the world—and...
  • Slideshow: The View from the Floor

    In case you couldn't tell on TV, the Pepsi Center went absolutely wild when former President Bill Clinton strode on stage. After more than three minutes of sustained applause and frantic flag-waving, Clinton started his speech with a line not included in his prepared remarks: "I love this." You could tell. Here, courtesy of NEWSWEEK Washington Bureau Chief Jeffrey Bartholet--and his trusty BlackBerry Curve--is the view from the floor.     
  • Sebelius: What 'Hillary Holdouts'?

    [youtube:cMaGVB4tDlU] DENVER--Remember the Hillary holdouts--the 48 percent of former Clinton supporters who tell pollsters they're either undecided or backing John McCain? (I'm assuming that this evening's "Love Train" roll-call vote didn't erase every trace of Clinton-Obama drama from your memory.) Well, at least one Obama supporter doesn't believe they ever really existed. Her name? Kansas Governor--and vice-presidential shortlister--Kathleen Sebelius.Asked this afternoon during a lunch with NEWSWEEK's convention team whether the Hillary holdouts spell trouble for Obama in November, Sebelius said the entire conversation was "oddly anti-feminist." "The notion that women who are passionate supporters of Hillary Clinton's would honor her by voting for John McCain seems to me to be totally insane," she said. "It keeps being raised as real, but I haven't ever found anybody that can confirm that. I'm absolutely convinced tht 99.9 percent of the people who supported Hillary Clinton...
  • Biden: Literally Serious That's He's Not Joking or Making This Up

    [youtube:UpCe5kfoS9g]DENVER--After a somewhat shaky debut alongside Barack Obama last Saturday in Springfield, Ill., Joe Biden made his first solo appearance as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tuesday at a roundtable on Economic Security for American Families. Flanked by a quartet of struggling women preselected by the campaign, Biden offered a preview of what's sure to be his central role on the campaign trail from now until November: using his own trials and tribulations to reach out to working-class voters who are still wary of Obama. "My mom says, you have to walk a mile in someone's shoes to understand them," he said. "Now, I haven't walked a mile in the shoes of these incredible women, but I think I understand them." By asking Biden to pull a Bill Clinton and feel voters' pain, Obama is betting that his running mate's straight-shooting style will pay off. But what was clear from Biden's initial performance as empathizer-in-chief is that the only thing more important...
  • Rahm's Entourage

    Spotted by NEWSWEEK's Jonathan Darman: "Rep. Rahm Emanuel and entourage, making their way into the Politico/Glover Park Group party on Tuesday night after exiting a black suburban with a three police-car escort. For good measure, as Rahm worked the room inside, his motorcade picked up a fourth car that joined the others in blocking part of Market Street. Clearly, Democrats will do whatever it takes to avoid the Constitutional crisis that would no doubt ensue in the event of something unfortunate happening to the House Democratic Caucus Chairman. Rest easy, independent voters, Rahm and the Republic are safe." [BrightCove:type='mini';titleid=1757572632;featuredName=null;playerName=null;rsslid=1729287462 ;rsspid=1243698382;configpid=1243698382;lineupCollapse='true';lineupName=null;stylesheet=null;numItems=null;startMinimized='false';height='500';width='500';podcastURL=null;placeAd=99,'video';] 
  • The Filter: August 27, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories, coming to you live from the Cherry Creek Hotel in sunny Denver, Colo.FOR OBAMA, A CHALLENGE TO CLARIFY HIS MESSAGE(Jackie Calmes, New York Times)The challenge for Mr. Obama in establishing his identity as the best...
  • Would Someone Please Give This Schweitzer Guy a Keynote Address?

    Warner keynotes the Democratic conventionDENVER--The most telling line of Mark Warner's keynote address here at the Democratic Convention came near the end. It's "daunting," he said, "delivering the keynote speech four years after Barack Obama [and] speaking before Hillary Clinton."Warner was right to feel daunted. Aiming to link his background as a successful tech businessman and wildly popular former Virginia governor with the theme of the night ("Renewing America's Promise") Warner may have hit the right notes tonight--but he did so with little authority, agility or verve. It was partly his reliance on halfhearted speechwriting devices that disappointed. Under...
  • About That 3:00 a.m. Text Message...

    DENVER--When the Obama campaign announced last Saturday by text message that its candidate had chosen Joe Biden as his running mate, it undoubtedly woke a few folks up. After all, the news arrived on people's phones right around 3:00 a.m. Most recipients--supporters and journalists, probably--weren't particularly bothered. But a miniscule clique of devoted Clintonistas (and the conservative troublemakers who enjoy stirring the pot) interpreted the time stamp--which happened to mirror Clinton's famous 3:00 a.m. ad--as a "slap in [Hillary's] face." "The most substantive proof so far that Obama's youthful arrogance is getting the better of him," wrote the National Review's Jonah Goldberg.So were the Clinton conspiracy theorists correct? Did Chicago purposefully choose the 3:00 a.m. launch time as a way of saying that with Biden on board Obama was, in fact, ready to lead?Not at all, according the campaign. I was told today on background--my source knows of what he/she speaks--that the...
  • McCarter: Broken News

     NEWSWEEK's new cultural critic Jeremy McCarter--late of New York magazine--posts a must-read essay on the insanity of cable TV convention coverage. This is exactly what I'd say on the subject if I were as smart as Mr. McCarter:...
  • Biden Feels Your Pain

    DENVER--It's not often that the fourth longest-serving member of the U.S. Senate gets to be a rookie again. But that's exactly what happened to Joe Biden today at the Colfax Event Center here in Denver. After a somewhat shaky debut alongside Barack Obama last Saturday in Springfield, Ill.--during which his fluent assaults on John McCain were followed by marble-mouthed paeans to 'Barack America"--the senior senator from Delaware made his first solo appearance as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee at this morning's roundtable on Economic Security for American Families. The name of the event was telling. Flanked by a quartet of struggling women preselected by the campaign and who's who of leading Obama surrogates--Michelle, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire and others--Biden offered an early taste of what's sure to be his central role on the campaign trail from now until November: using his own trials and tribulatio...
  • Denver's Finest

    (AP Photo / Matt Rourke) DENVER--Overheard blaring from the two-way radio of a Denver cop working security at this morning's Roundtable for Working Families with Joe Biden and Michelle Obama:[Beep, static] Everyone over on Colfax, just FYI. We've spotted two individuals walking up the street. They're wearing backpacks, and they've got some anti-war stickers. They're just walking right now, but be alerted. [Static]Stickers? Backpacks? Next thing you know these troublemakers will be wearing Che Guevara t-shirts and listening to Bob Marley.Thank goodness for tear gas. 
  • The Filter: August 26, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories, coming to you live from the Cherry Creek Hotel in sunny Denver, Colo.21ST CENTURY MAN(David Brooks, New York Times)I flew into the airport here on Sunday and the pilot could barely land...
  • Chocolates on Your Pillow, a Fully Stocked Minibar--and a Pair of Nutjobs?

    Sometimes, political conventions make for strange bedfellows. Case in point: at 2:38 a.m. on Sunday, police in Aurora, a suburb of Denver, made what they believed to be a routine traffic stop. In the car: methamphetamine—and two rifles (one of which was apparently a "sniper rifle.") Not so routine. According to CBS4 News, the first arrest led the authorities, who believed they had stumbled upon an "assassination plot," to a second man staying at a nearby hotel. When they knocked on the man's door, he reportedly "jumped out...