Andrew Romano

Stories by Andrew Romano

  • Forget Scarlett Johansson. "Hillary4U&Me" Is Dynomite!

    Sometimes something goes viral in a good way--like, say, the pro-Obama video "Yes We Can," which has racked up 3.7 million views in the last week. And other times, something goes viral... like hepatitis B.World, meet "Hillary4U&Me." Upon first seeing the pro-Clinton clip--to call it a "music video" would suggest that the years 1982-2008 never happened--I wondered whether it was part of a sadistic plot on the part of the Obama campaign to convince the few remaining sentient beings who believe Clinton is "cool" that she is, in fact, not. But alas--this is user-generated content. The ceaseless, maniacally delighted dancing; the grinning Asian flautist; the lyric "The world is getting hot / But our global warming plan is not;" and the song itself, which sounds sort of like a commercial jingle for a used futon store circa 1979, only less catchy--all of it is the brainchild of a real live Hillary supporter named Gene Wang, a 50-year...
  • Double Trouble

    For Democrats, the problem with extending a bitter nomination contest any longer than necessary: every attack that Barack Obama launches on Hillary Clinton--or vice versa--is immediately legitimized so that it can be turned against her (or him) in the general election. And with no primary opponents to battle, John McCain is free to adopt and deploy those newly-legitimate barbs at his leisure. I'm not playing partisan politics, the logic goes. His or her fellow Democrats are making the exact same points.Want to see how this works? McCain's already off and running. During last night's victory speech, the presumptive Republican nominee fired his first shots at Obama--and they sounded suspiciously familiar. "To encourage a country with only rhetoric rather than sound and...
  • Why the Dems May Decide by the Ides of March

    Rise and shine, happy campers. It's June 8, 2008. Last night, Democratic primary voters awarded some of Puerto Rico's 55 delegates to Barack Obama; the rest went to Hillary Clinton. After six unbroken months of intraparty squabbling, the primaries and caucuses are finally over. But there's still no nominee. Obama leads in the delegate count--his unbroken string of 10 sweeping victories last February opened a 170-pledged-delegate gap that, thanks to proportional allocation and tight finishes in Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania, Clinton hasn't been able to close. Neither contender, however, has yet hit the magic number: 2, 025. Which means that it's up to the superdelegates--hundreds of whom are still uncommitted--to put one of them over the top. Welcome to "The Intermission." With 80 days until the end of the convention in Denver and no voters left to win over, Clinton and Obama will struggle to navigate a weird, unprecedented lull in the action as long...
  • Hard Times for Huck's Bunch

    By Matthew Philips Nothing is easy on the Huckabee campaign these days. As if the inevitability of the McCain nomination wasn’t enough for the traveling press corps to sometimes feel a little forgotten, the road (and skies) traveled haven’t exactly been smooth. First, the press plane made an emergency landing last week in New Jersey after the controls went dead, forcing the two pilots to muscle the small craft safely down through thousands of feet of turbulence. Then on Sunday, with high winds causing delays to many commercial flights across Virginia, the campaign endured two harrowing plane rides (DC to Lynchburg; Lynchburg to Richmond) with enough bumps and drops and wind-blown landings to raise a round of applause upon touchdown. Finally, on the way to the Dulles Airport to catch a plane to Little Rock this morning, the press van ran out of gas and had to pull over to the side of the Dulles Toll Road. We all looked at each other, still bleary and starting to laugh. As the driver...
  • For Clinton, Potomac Primary Is About Spin, Not a Win

    By Arian Campo-Flores The news cycle in the past week has not been kind to Hillary Clinton. There were the crushing defeats in the contests over the weekend, the signs of tumult at headquarters as her campaign manager was replaced. Unfortunately for her, today isn’t shaping up to be much rosier. Clinton’s campaign is expecting another string of defeats in today’s Potomac Primary, as voters head to the polls in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. “We’ve got this run where it’s not going to be good for us,” says one campaign adviser who declined to be named discussing internal matters. Among the pre-eminent challenges the campaign is facing right now, the adviser says: “the national media chatter” about Clinton’s waning fortunes, and “nervous supporters.” As a result, the candidate has been phoning backers and superdelegates to reassure them that her campaign is righting itself. “She’s trying to keep their eye on the ball, which is the long march to delegates,” says the...
  • The Filter: 2.12.08

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.WHEN REALITY BITES(David Brooks, New York Times)There’s a big difference between the Republican and Democratic...
  • Ad Hawk: Hillary Shreds!

    Hey, guess what, kids? Hillary Clinton wants your vote. So what if Obama dominates among voters aged 18 to 29, speaks in the Millennial generation's native tongue and boasts a YouTube hit created by actual young supporters instead of high-paid media consultants. Hillary recently released her own "hip" ad (above), and it's full of things that really capture the spirit of being young and fun in America today: asymmetrical hair cuts, stubble, hoodies, striped polo shirts and white Futura lettering on a blue background. Plus, in chronicling Clinton's brief but meteoric career as a shredding rock guitarist, "Hillary and the Band" even manages to pay homage to VH1's "Behind the Music"! And as every youngster knows, that's the coolest show ever--even it hasn't aired regularly since, like, 2006.Gnarly. 
  • McCain: 'Like Hope. But Different.'

    Okay, so I have to admit: I wasn't a fan of "Yes, We Can"--you know, the pro-Obama video by Will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas and Bob Dylan's son (no, not the "One Headlight" guy) that featured celebrities--and Tatyana Ali--staring earnestly into the camera and swaying in black and white as they crooned the "uplifting" words of an Obama speech over the pregnant strum of a single acoustic guitar. It felt like an indulgent, condescending Gap ad, and made me embarrassed to be under 30. But apparently my peers disagreed, and the clip quickly became a viral hit on YouView, or whatever you call it.Thankfully, the good folks at "Election08"--a comedy group featuring veterans of MTV, ABC, NBC, The Daily Show, Second City...
  • The Filter: 2.11.08

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.CLINTON REPLACES TOP AIDE AMID LOSSES(Anne E. Kornblut and Dan Balz, Washington Post)Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton shook up her presidential campaign yesterday, replacing campaign manager and longtime aide Patti Solis Doyle with Maggie Williams, her former White House chief of staff, in an acknowledgment of the unexpectedly difficult struggle in which she finds herself against Sen. Barack Obama... The removal of Doyle, 42, was portrayed as an amicable one initiated by...
  • Wolffe: 'Three State Sweep'

    Here's NEWSWEEK's Richard Wolffe on Obama's big (but expected) wins:Even before the polls closed, the Hillary Clinton campaign was trying to raise expectations about Barack Obama's...
  • He’s One Of Us Now

    Ah, the folly of youth. On Sept. 24, 2007, I pitched a story to my boss at NEWSWEEK about "Barack Obama...
  • It's Hard to Be a Republican in the City

    By Elise Soukup Let me make some generalizations about the women in my mommy group: They're young. They live in Manhattan. They're Mormon. They're registered Republican. They voted for Mitt Romney. There are exceptions, of course. Jennifer Strent, for example, is a registered Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton. As everyone was e-mailing about their votes, she sent an e-mail that asked these questions: one, "Doesn't a Republican agenda go against the teachings of Christianity and Mormonism?" and two, "Doesn't interfering with a person's right to choose interfere with God's plan for us?" The e-mail spurred some 50 e-mails within the next 24 hours. The responses, if you were wondering, almost universally said to number one: no and to number two: no. But amidst all of this chatter, another theme emerged: encounters at the polls with workers who were shocked, and baffled, to meet Republicans. (Especially young, cute ones.) I&apos...
  • Fineman: Burying Mitt

    Here's my formidable NEWSWEEK colleague Howard Fineman with the Romney postmortem. In case you're wondering, I agree with his take. If Romney had stayed true to himself from the start, I think he would've been a more compelling candidate. Nobody blinks when you reinvent a business; but people aren't products, and in politics, unlike commerce, authenticity counts. Would 'the real Mitt' have won? Who knows. But I do suspect that he would've been less disagreeable than McCain or Giuliani among "true conservatives." And in this scrappy, sloppy race, that might've been enough. Here lieth the campaign of Mitt Romney,...
  • Ad Hawk: It's Never Too Early for Fear-Mongering!

    In case you weren't sure how Republicans would go after the Democratic presidential nominee in the general election, here's a hint: Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton will get you killed. That's the message of the new RNC ad ("Protect America Alert") posted above. Sure, it's ostensibly calling on Congress to make the 2007 updates to FISA (the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) permanent. And, yes, it criticizes Obama and Clinton for  "vot[ing] against the... FISA updates in 2007 and remain[ing] opposed to them today." But if the ad were really about, you know, the legislation, it might note that neither Obama nor Clinton objects to surveillance of potential terrorist calls from overseas into the U.S.; instead, they oppose ending debate on a bill that in its current form will immunize telecommunications firms that may have spied illegally on Americans, at the request of the Bush administration. (They recently returned to Washington to vote...
  • We Apologize for the Interruption...

    ... but Stumper will spend the next day or so on a brief blogging hiatus. The powers-that-be have asked that I focus my attention on a big story I'm writing for next week's dead-tree magazine, and I've (begrudgingly) accepted the challenge. I'll try my best to pop back in whenever possible, but posting should be relatively light through Saturday. Thanks so much for reading,Andrew 
  • The Filter: 2.7.08

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.DEMOCRATS' NIGHTMARE: BACK TO SMOKE-FILLED ROOMS(June Kronholz, Wall Street Journal)If neither Illinois Sen. Barack Obama nor New York Sen. Hillary Clinton...
  • Romney Wishes You a Happy Hanukkah. Now Will You Give Him Money?

    By Holly Bailey Mitt Romney has spent more than $35 million of his own cash on his campaign for the White House, but maybe somebody should lend the guy a few bucks to buy a calendar. In advance of next week's so-called Beltway primaries, where Republicans in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., will cast their votes for the nomination, the Romney campaign is apparently putting out robo-calls to drum up financial support for the former governor's campaign. A campaign aide to John McCain, who declined to be named, received one of the calls this afternoon on her cell phone and played the voicemail for reporters riding the campaign bus back into D.C., where McCain will spend the night tonight.The message, received at 3:46pm on Wednesday, is a recording of Romney's voice and lasted about 30 seconds. "Happy Hanukkah!" the governor says, almost two months after the official Jewish holiday. "This is Mitt Romney...I am running for president ...
  • February: Advantage, Obama

    Surprise, surprise--the Dems' Super Tuesday "Battle Royale" ended in a tie. It was a tie in the delegate race, with the Obama camp claiming a slim 14-delegate lead and Team Clinton citing an even smaller spread of five or six. It was a tie in the popular vote at 7.3 million ballots apiece. And it was a tie in the state-by-state sweepstakes: while Obama took more golds (14 to Clinton's eight), the former First Lady captured New York, New Jersey, California, Arizona and Massachusetts--nearly all the big battlegrounds. As Ron Brownstein put it, "The two candidates emerged from the unprecedented test still running...
  • The (Morning After) Filter: 2.6.08

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.TWO PARTIES, TWO DISTINCT PATHS TO THE NOMINATION(Adam Nagourney, New York Times)It is hard to see how Mr. McCain can be a strong general-election candidate — particularly going up against a Democratic Party...