Andrew Romano

Stories by Andrew Romano

  • The Filter: March 5, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.THE RESULTSDemocratsTexas (p): Clinton 51; Obama 48Texas (c): Obama 52; Clinton 48 (with 35 percent counted)Ohio: Clinton 54; Obama 44Rhode Island: Clinton 58; Obama 40Vermont: Obama 60; Clinton 38RepublicansTexas: McCain 51; Huckabee 38; Paul 5Ohio: McCain 60; Huckabee 31; Paul 5Rhode Island: McCain 65; Huckabee 22; Paul 7Vermont: McCain 72; Huckabee 14; Paul 7Obama has won 26 contests and Clinton has won 17 ('contests' counts D.C., territories, Democrats Abroad). Obama has won 23 actual states and she has won 16.  BIG WINS IN TEXAS AND OHIO FOR CLINTON; MCCAIN IS IN AS GOP CHOICE(Adam Nagourney, New York Times)Mrs. Clinton also won Rhode Island, while Mr. Obama won in Vermont. But...
  • After D-Day: Hillary Clinton

    Final Ohio Polling Average: First Place, 50.1 percent (7.1 ahead of Obama)Final Texas Polling Average: First Place, 47.4 percent (1.7 ahead of Obama)Current National Polling Average: Second Place, 42.5 percent (5.3 behind Obama) Good news for Clintonites, bad news for Haters--it looks like Hillary is sticking around at least a little while longer. Simply...
  • After D-Day: Barack Obama

    Final Ohio Polling Average: Second Place, 43.0 percent (7.1 behind Clinton)Final Texas Polling Average: Second Place, 45.7 percent (1.7 behind Clinton)Current National Polling Average: First Place, 47.3 percent (4.3 ahead of Clinton)...
  • Decision Day: Comeback Gal or Knockout Punch?

    Or, you know, neither.Finally. After two long, unendurable weeks with no caucuses or primaries--how did I even pass the time?--the day has come. As we speak/type/read, the voters of Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont are already heading to the polls to cast their votes for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain, Mike Huckabee or Ron Paul (yes, he's still kicking). Huzzah. On the Republican side of the aisle, the stakes aren't particularly high. If McCain wins 172 of the day's 256 delegates, he'll clinch the nomination; if not, he may have to wait a week (for Mississippi) or a month (for Pennsylvania). Either way, he's the nominee. Sorry, Huck. As for the Democrats... well, you've probably heard that there's a little something riding on today's results. With wins in Texas and Ohio, Obama could deal Clinton a death blow. On the other hand, a Clinton sweep would kick start (yet another) Comeback Gal narrative and extend the contest at...
  • Obama's Credibility Gap?

     First there was Watergate. Then came Irangate. Travelgate. Troopergate. And, lest we forget, Nipplegate. ...
  • Tomorrow's Spin Today

    As you may have heard--despite the media's, like, near-total silence on the subject--tomorrow's primaries and Texas and Ohio could very well decide the Democratic race. What's clear is that there are three possible results: an Obama sweep, a Clinton sweep or a split decision. What's not particularly clear is how the Clinton camp would react to each of those outcomes. Curious to find out more, I just masochistically subjected myself to two hours of dueling conference calls. First up was Team Clinton, with chief strategist Mark Penn and communications Howard Wolfson at 11:00 a.m., followed shortly thereafter by Obama campaign manager David Plouffe at 1:00. Fun! Here's what I found out. If Obama wins both Texas and Ohio--on average, he leads by .5 percent in the former and lags by seven in the latter--Clinton is toast. Or at least that was the implication. Neither campaign addressed the "Obama sweeps" scenario, which means it's a) obvious to Team...
  • All You Need is Hate

    In the YouTube era, nothing goes unnoticed. (And by "noticed," I mean endlessly decoded, debated and dissected on the Internets.) Appearing last night on "60 Minutes," Hillary Clinton was asked by correspondent Steve Kroft whether she "believe[s] that Senator Obama's a Muslim." Her response, according to CBS: "No, there is nothing to base that on. As far as I know." The clip (above) spread across the Web like wildfire, surfacing on (among other places) ABC.com, Andrew Sullivan and the Politico, where it drew more than 300 comments overnight--most of them outraged at Clinton for "stoking" the blatantly false Muslim rumor. For those prone to bellyache about the state of politics today--and the longer I cover the campaign, the more I sympathize--the Kroft-Clinton exchange is a perfect little case study in how craptastic the process has become. The culprits: 1) The Media: Why was Kroft asking Clinton whether she "believe[s] Se...
  • The Rezko FAQs

    As federal prosecutors in Chicago begin laying out evidence today in...
  • The Filter: 3.3.08

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.HOW DID THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN GET HERE?(Peter Nicholas, Los Angeles Times)Already, some in Clinton's senior staff are pointing fingers over what...
  • Clinton's Closing Argument

    Looking back at the past few days of doom-and-gloom Hillary Clinton coverage, I'm tempted to paraphrase Mark Twain: ...
  • Smalley: The Kitchen Sink

    Here's NEWSWEEK's Suzanne Smalley with a dispatch from the Clinton caravan in Texas:...
  • The Filter: 3.1.08

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.'RED PHONE' RESPONSE COULD DECIDE TEXAS(Ben Smith and Beth Frerking, Politico) Republicans said it was just the faintest preview of what voters are...
  • The Superdelegate Situation

    Don't let us hyperventilating media types distract you. We may prattle on about the latest spreads in Texas (Obama's up by two) and Ohio (Clinton's up by five), but it doesn't matter all that much, at this point, who wins those primaries--or the contests in Mississippi (probably Obama), Wyoming (Obama again), North Carolina (still Obama) and Pennsylvania (perhaps Clinton) that follow. This is a race for delegates, not states. And because Democratic delegates are awarded proportionally, there's simply no way for either candidate to reach the magic 2,025 majority--or for Clinton to significantly slash Obama's current 100-plus earned delegate lead--before the end of primary season on June 7.In other words, only the party's 795 superdelegates can pick a winner--no matter what happens next week and beyond.Of course, you've probably heard all of this before. But with the MSM barking away about this poll and that attack, it's important every...
  • The Audacity of Spin

     My inbox is still dizzy.At 11:02 this morning, I received the...
  • Ad Hawk: Vote for Hillary or These Children Get It

    On February 26, an aide to Hillary Clinton told the New York Times that the campaign would launch a "'kitchen sink' fusillade against [Barack] Obama" in the run-up to March 4's potentially decisive primaries in Texas and Ohio.Here's what the kitchen sink looks like....
  • The Filter: 2.29.08

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.FOR OBAMA, A TASTE OF WHAT A LONG BATTLE HOLDS(Adam Nagourney, New York Times)If Mr. Obama becomes the Democratic presidential nominee, he is sure...
  • Why Bloomberg Isn't Running

    Photo by Eliane Vanderborght, via FlickrAfter months of "will he or won't he" speculation--if only in Manhattan media circles--Big Apple mayor Mike Bloomberg finally declared this morning in a New York Times op-ed that he would not throw his hat in the presidential ring. "I listened carefully to those who encouraged me to run, but I am not--and will not be--a candidate for president," he wrote. Why not, and why now? On its surface, the essay actually seemed to argue for, not against, a Bloomberg bid. Hizzoner opened with a sanctimonious put down ("watching the 2008 presidential campaign, you sometimes get the feeling that the candidates--smart, all of them--must know better") followed by a guided tour of policy areas where his "common sense solutions" presumably stand in stark contrast to the tired pabulum emanating from the mainstream candidates' unimaginative maws. The point, according to Bloomie: "the vast majority of...
  • Obama's Logo Is Feeling Groovy

    During our conservation yesterday about the intricacies of Barack Obama's unprecedented branding effort,...
  • William F. Buckley, R.I.P.

    Say what you will about the divisive politics of the 1960s or the democratization of discourse in our Internet age, but this much is clear: when it comes to "pundits," they don't make 'em like they used to. Of course, Buckley, who was found dead yesterday at the age of 82 in the study of his Stamford, Conn. home, was slightly more than a pugilistic showman (or, for that matter, a pundit). For more, read Timothy Noah's nuanced take on the intellectual father of modern conservatism here; National Review, the journal he founded in 1955, has the view from the right.
  • Decoding the Debates

    Sick of hearing Chris Matthews bark about who won and who lost the Democratic debates? So are we. That's why NEWSWEEK's Katie Paul called up Allan Louden, a professor at Wake Forest, the head of the National Debate Tournament and the principle academic partner at Debatescoop.com. They got past political theater and faddish punditry to talk about how Clinton and Obama are actually performing as debaters--and how that's influencing the election. Excerpts:PAUL: What debate strategies was each candidate employing last night that maybe the average onlooker wouldn't catch?LOUDEN: You can see Obama’s legal training at work in the debates. Arguably, she has the same legal training, but it doesn’t seem to be the case. She’s probably more removed, since she was a lawyer longer ago. The common wisdom is that you never give ground in politics because it will come back to haunt you. You always deny or oppose something because giving ground is a sign of weakness. She tends to...
  • The Filter: 2.28.08

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.BLOOMBERG SAYS HE WON'T RUN BUT WILL BE ACTIVE(Diane Cardwell, New York Times)Bringing an end to a long flirtation with a bid for the White House, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has officially closed the door on a presidential candidacy this year. In an Op-Ed article published in Thursday’s New York Times, Mr....
  • 'Brand Obama,' in the Beginning

    Reader Phil James, a Barack Obama supporter, writes from Des Moines (wait, Iowa still exists?) with an anecdote that shows Obama's aggressive branding strategy in action: I knew there was something special to this campaign back in November prior to the Jefferson Jackson Day dinner in Des Moines.  My wife and I were in the parade that followed the Obamas up to the front door of Vets Auditorium.  Before the parade began, we pushed to the front of the crowd with our twin baby boys on our shoulders.  Someone from the side of the crowd handed us two handmade signs to carry in the parade, and we were all set to march with these signs until a campaign staffer grabbed it from us and gave us a campaign issued sign instead.  This was complete message control at its finest. Point is, the Obama team has been on top of its branding from the start. Despite what some of the commenters have said, the seamlessness of the candidate's "corporate identity" does not automatically...
  • No Country for Old Friends

    Here's NEWSWEEK's Sarah Elkins with a dispatch from the Clinton caravan in Texas. DALLAS, Texas--Lloyd and Drenda Clemons have a knack for getting around Bill Clinton's...
  • Expertinent: Why the Obama "Brand" Is Working

    Let's be honest. Barack Obama is not on the verge of clinching the Democratic nomination because of his policy positions--whatever his most evangelical supporters might tell you. If policy was all that mattered this year, Hillary Clinton would've won five or six of the last 11 contests instead of losing them all. When it comes to specifics, there's simply not that much space between the candidates. Obama's success owes a lot, of course, to his message--the promise to pass Democratic policies by rallying a "coalition for change." But watching Obamamania over the past few weeks, I've become convinced that there's something more subtle at work, too. It's not just the message and the man and the speeches that are swaying Democratic voters--though they are. It's the way the campaign has folded the man and the message and the speeches into a systemic branding effort. Reinforced with a coherent, comprehensive program of fonts, logos, s...