Andrew Romano

Stories by Andrew Romano

  • There Will Be Luck

    By Holly Bailey Maybe John McCain is onto something with these superstitions of his. Just as he did in New Hampshire, McCain toted his lucky penny, his lucky nickel, his lucky compass and other good luck charms around South Carolina yesterday. His wife, Cindy, wore her lucky color, purple. And his staff is now just as superstitious. Mark McKinnon, McCain’s media advisor, showed up at the senator’s victory rally at the Citadel in Charleston wearing a black felt hat that he wore two weeks ago when McCain won New Hampshire. “I can’t take it off now,” McKinnon told Newsweek. Ditto for Mark Salter, McCain’s longtime aide, who has been honoring his own ritual—willing or not. “I’ve been wearing the same clothes for the last 12 days!” Salter joked. It's unclear if McCain will shed his once-honored tradition of seeing a movie on Election Day. He was aiming yesterday for a 4:00 p.m. showing of "There Will Be Blood," the new Paul Thomas Anderson flick, but he and aides ran out...
  • The Winner's Circle

    NEWSWEEK's Arian Campo-Flores on Clinton:The scene on Saturday morning in the employees' cafeteria at Las...
  • 'Mac is Back'

     CHARLESTON, S.C.--That's what the crowd is chanting here at the...
  • After South Carolina: Fred Thompson

    UPDATE, 8:00 p.m.: As he battled for third with Romney in South Carolina, Fred Thompson delivered remarks from the USC campus that seem to suggest an imminent departure from the race. “My friends, we will always be bound by a close bond because we have...
  • After South Carolina: Mike Huckabee

    So while I'm at it, here's another reckless prediction:  If Mike Huckabee finishes first tonight, he may become the only Republican since 1980 to win South Carolina and not end up as the nominee. I contradict history at my own peril, but this much is clear: Huckabee would have a much harder time than McCain springboarding from South Carolina to a decisive win on Super-Duper Tuesday. For starters, he has yet to expand his base beyond evangelicals. In Iowa, he won 46 percent of the evangelical vote, and if he wins tonight, they'll be largely responsible. But while there are enough evangelicals in the Palmetto and Hawkeye States to propel a candidate to victory, the landscape is vastly different in Florida, California, Illinois, New York and many of the 22 other Feb. 5 states. (See Michigan, where he won only 16 percent of the vote.) In fact, Huckabee's early appeals to social conservatives--this week he provoked Fred Thompson's ire by calling the Constit...
  • After South Carolina: John McCain

    Screw it. I'm feeling reckless. If McCain wins South Carolina tonight, he will probably win the Republican nomination. There, I said it.  Before you flood my inbox with hate mail, let's examine the evidence. After South Carolina, the Republican race moves to Florida on Jan. 29. Who's out front there? McCain, who leapt to the lead immediately after winning New Hampshire. He hasn't let go, even after losing Michigan to Mitt Romney. A month ago he polled at 10 percent; now he's up to 23. If the Palmetto State proves that New Hampshire wasn't a fluke, expect those numbers to climb higher--meaning that at that point it'll be up to Giuliani and Romney, both of whom need wins in the Sunshine State to stay viable, to knock the new frontrunner off his pedestal. If they fail, the Arizona senator will close out the first round of nominating contests with the wind at his back. I'm guessing that his (already sizable) 9.5 percent lead in the national...
  • After Nevada: Hillary Clinton

    UPDATE: CLINTON WINS--'UNFAIR' CAUCUSES AND ALL!Final Pre-Caucus Polling Average: First Place, 37.8 percent (4.0 ahead of Obama)...
  • After Nevada: Barack Obama

    Final Pre-Caucus Polling Average: Second Place, 33.8 percent (4.0 behind Clinton)Current National Polling Average: Second Place, 33.2 percent (8.1 behind Clinton)Make no mistake: Obama has the most to gain from a Nevada victory....
  • After Nevada: John Edwards

    Final Pre-Caucus Polling Average: Third Place, 18.0 percent (15.8 behind Obama, 19.8 behind Clinton)...
  • The Moment You've All Been Waiting For.

    CHARLESTON, S.C.--Whew. Finally. The wait is over. It's been four whole days since Michigan, our last presidential primary. For the Dems, it's been eleven. As a wise man once said, looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue....
  • Slideshow: McCain's Monomaniacal Closing Argument

     CHARLESTON, S.C.--Pop quiz, hotshot. What does John McCain want the voters of South Carolina to keep in mind when they head to the polls tomorrow?A. His 24-year pro-life recordB. His ad slamming Hillary Clinton for supporting a Woodstock MuseumC. His opposition to "the breakdown of the family"D. His military credWhen I attended McCain's first post-Michigan stop in South Carolina--11:00 a.m. Wednesday at the Carolina First Center in Greenville--he mentioned all four. With third-party groups attacking his anti-abortion bona fides and evangelical darling Mike Huckabee posing a serious threat, McCain has spent much of the week protecting his right flank. Hence A through C. But tonight I attended his final stop before Saturday's all-important Palmetto State primary, and he mentioned only D --the military. Mentioned might be too weak a word.  A closing argument--the candidate's final pitch before an election--has to be clear, concise and indelible. Tonight,...
  • Romney, Riled Up

    By Suzanne SmalleyReporters on the Romney bus are starved for drama. Mike Huckabee...
  • The (Abbreviated Primary-Eve) Filter: 1.18.08

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories. DEMOCRATS SKIRMISH FOR SUPPORT IN NEVADA (USA Today)EDWARDS ATTACKS OBAMA FOR VIEW OF REAGAN (NY Times) BILL CLINTON, STUMPING AND SIMMERING (NY Times) OBAMA HIT OVER LABOR UNION ADS (Washington Times) A NEWLY CONFIDENT CLINTON FOCUSES MORE ON ECONOMY THAN OBAMA (Washington Post) SOUTHERN BLACKS ARE SPLIT OVER CLINTON VS. OBAMA (NY Times) ROMNEY LEAVES SOUTH CAROLINA TO FOCUS ON NEVADA (NY Times) S.C. PRIMARY MAY YIELD FRONTRUNNER, ANSWERS (USA Today) GIULIANI HAD TIES TO COMPANY TRYING TO SELL BORDER TECH (NY Times) THOMPSON HOPES S.C. REVIVES HIS CAMPAIGN (Washington Post) 
  • Best. Campaign. Question. Ever.

    CLEMSON, S.C.--Imagine a wiry little man with a flop of gray hair. He's wearing a brown leather bomber jacket. Medium build. Every word he says, he shouts. Like he's half deaf. Sounds like an irate hillbilly, even if he's not. (He could be.) After each sentence, he pauses, lifts his chin, then plunges back in. Theatrical. Now imagine him saying the following to Fred Thompson at the Stable Steakhouse in Prosperity, South Carolina, with one hand resting on the back of his booth and a portrait of a horse hanging over his head: Thompson: Yes, sir. Man: Fred, I drove over 500 miles to see you.Thompson: Bless your heart. Let's give this man a hand. (Applause, cheers)Man: I came over Finch Mountain in a snowstorm. (Pause) May I call you Fred? Thompson: Absolutely. Man: That's okay until January and I can call you Mr. President. (Laughter, more applause). Now, I've got a question. Thompson: Yes sir.Man: (Pause) I'm looking for a tall man who will stand...
  • Nevada: A Chancy Proposition

     While I zip around South Carolina covering the Republicans, Richard Wolffe reports from Nevada on the confusion surrounding the Silver State's Jan. 19 Democratic caucuses:...
  • No Clear Winner in GOP Debate

    After the latest Republican presidential debate, the crowded contest remains as muddled as ever.
  • The 1,440-Minute Cycle

    Is there a dirtier phrase in politics than "the media"? Some days it's hard to see why you hate us—"you" being liberals, conservatives, candidates and all other carbon-based life forms. There's as much good journalism getting done now as, say, 40 years ago. But other days, I get it. Take Nov. 20, 2007. At 9 a.m., Barack Obama launched a comprehensive education plan at a Manchester, N.H., high school; an hour later he told students that he "got into drinking," "experimented with drugs" and "wasted a lot of time" as a teenager. Obama had already written about his wayward youth. But the press perked up. "That's going to be the story of the day," said one reporter. By noon, OBAMA ON PAST SUBSTANCE ABUSE was atop the Drudge Report. Education, to say the least, was not.This is the first presidential election to move at the speed of the Internet. After years of dismissing bloggers as peanut galleryists in pajamas, every major media outlet is requiring reporters to provide a daily play-by...
  • Bracing For the Gender Neutral Test

    For Hillary Clinton, a funny thing has happened on the way to the Democratic nomination: one of her biggest potential handicaps—her gender—has become her biggest strength. Seeking to "smash" what she calls "the highest glass ceiling," Clinton has secured a 20-point national lead among Democrats almost solely on the basis of her support among women, who favored her by 42 points over Barack Obama in the October ABC/Washington Post survey.But does Clinton's early advantage mean we're past gender when picking presidents? Not so fast, say experts. The Democratic primary is one thing—Dems are typically more comfortable than Republicans when it comes to voting for women. But the general election is a much different test. (Assuming Clinton gets that far: the latest ABC/Washington Post poll shows Obama ahead in Iowa, and tied among women there.) "The idea that gender won't matter in the general election is just insane," says unaffiliated Democratic pollster Mark Blumenthal. "Gender brings...
  • Al Gore's Nobel Patrol

    A vigilant fan of the former veep keeps watch as the Nobel Committee announces its peace prize.
  • Can the Youth Vote Save Obama?

    With the Hillary juggernaut growing in strength every day, Barack Obama is hoping Iowa's youth can help keep him in the game.
  • How Obama Rolls

    Barack Obama, meet Adriana Lima. Adriana, Barack. Barack, Adriana. ...
  • Gee, These Newfangled Webcast Thingies Are a Lot Like the Old-Fashioned TV Debates, Only a Little Duller

    John Edwards may have put old-fashioned populism at the heart of his message, but, of all the 2008 candidates for president, he's probably proven himself the most comfortable with the new-fangled medium of online campaigning. He typically leads left-wing blog straw polls and has even built an in-house online community--complete with social network, user blogs and heated message board debates--that's largely modeled on DailyKos, the massive progressive hub. Thursday afternoon he further burnished his Netroots credentials by becoming the first presidential candidate to participate in an MTV/Myspace dialogue--a sort of live "town hall" Webcast that allowed online viewers (plus an audience of University of New Hampshire students) to ask questions in real time and then vote on Edwards's answers. ...