Andrew Romano

Stories by Andrew Romano

  • Bruce and Barack, Born to Run

    As a native New Jerseyan, I am duty-bound to post this video of the Boss rallying Cleveland for Obama:  Via Richard Wolffe:
  • McCain Hits the Home Stretch

    With only 72 hours to go, Stumper will periodically highlight "on the trail" dispatches from my fellow NEWSWEEK bloggers Holly Bailey and Richard Wolffe, who will be traveling with McCain and Obama (respectively) through Election Night. Here's Holly on McCain's final countdown:
  • Ad Hawk: McCain's 'Troubling' Association

    For the past five months or so, Barack Obama relentlessly harped on a single message: You don't like George W. Bush. John McCain is George W. Bush. So vote for me instead.In contrast, McCain has careened between at least eight different themes--in the past 48 hours alone. At a national-security roundtable in Tampa, Fla., he questioned Obama's readiness to be commander in chief. At a pair of "Joe the Plumber" events in Ohio, he claimed that Obama wants to "spread the wealth" around. Meanwhile, he managed to remind voters of Obama's past relationships with Bill Ayers, Khalid Rashidi and ACORN; accuse him of planning cut defense spending in Virginia; characterize him as soft on criminals; warn about the dangers of one-party rule; charge that Obama is just "a typical politician"; and slam him for voting in favor of Bush's 2005 energy bill. All of which, I suppose, was meant to drive one overarching message: that Obama is an unsavory character. Call it the "Choose Your Own Attack"...
  • Why Are the Candidates Suddenly Treating Iowa Like a Battleground State?

    (Charlie Neibergall / AP) If you'd fallen asleep on Nov. 2, 2004 and awoken, a la Rip Van Winkle, on Oct. 31, 2008, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Iowa is a battleground state. For starters, it flipped from blue to red in 2004. So you'd assume it could swing again. Then you'd check the papers. "Obama Rallies 25,000 is Des Moines" one headline would read; "McCain Chief Claims Iowa 'Dead-Even,'" would read another. At that point, you'd be crazy not to conclude that the Hawkeye State is, yet again, too close to call. The only problem? It's not. Or at least there's not a single shred of scientific evidence that it is. On Jan. 3, the Hawkeye State caucuses catapulted Obama into contention and nearly torpedoed McCain, who committed the cardinal Corn Belt sin of opposing ethanol subsidies. So it's long been clear which candidate Iowans prefer. Since July 10, only four polls--out of nearly 20--have shown Obama leading McCain by less than 10 points. Of those, only o...
  • Halloween Special: The Scary Prospect of Life After the Campaign

    The end is nigh. For political junkies, the prospect of going cold turkey on Nov. 4 is terrifying--understandably so. In a new series for NEWSWEEK.com, a group of the magazine's political scribes went on camera to discuss life after Election Day--including yours truly. Whether you're horrified (like me, at least a little) at the prospect of life without Stumper or simply horrified at the sight of my sallow, unshaven visage (the medical term for it is "Blogger's Tan"), I thought I'd post the video here. Consider it my contribution to the All Hallow's (and Election) Eve fright-fest.[BrightCove:type='mini';titleid=1889922724;featuredName=null;playerName=null;rsslid=1886196077;rsspid=1691028268;configpid=1378342539;lineupCollapse='true';lineupName=null;stylesheet=null;numItems=3;startMinimized='false';width=500;height=500;podcastURL='http://www.newsweek.com/id/40211';placeAd=99,'video';]Not scary enough for you? Then I'd heartily recommend reading Julia Ioffe's wonderful story over at...
  • Mixed Messages on the McCain Ground Game

    Everyone knows that Barack Obama has built an unprecedented Democratic field organization this election cycle. But the big question as Nov. 4 approaches is how well McCain--who trails by massive margins in the money race and has invested far fewer resources in field offices and get-out-the-vote efforts--will be able to mobilize his voters. The answer could potentially decide the contest. That's why I found today's papers so intriguing--and confusing. Scanning the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, I stumbled upon a pair of seemingly contradictory reports on the state of McCain's ground game. First the WSJ's Laura Meckler covered the sunny side of the street:...
  • Joe the No-Show

    From John McCain's rally this morning in Defiance, Ohio: [youtube:j1TT7gt5F0w] Where was Joe, you ask? Perhaps he was meeting with his new, Nashville-based manager, Jim Della Croce. Perhaps he was rehearsing tunes for his potential country album. Perhaps he was plotting a run for Congress ("Joe the Congressman '10!"). Perhaps he was auditioning for a Home Depot ad. Perhaps he was sharing his recent epiphany--as a guy who was "undecided" until last week--that President Obama would bring "death to Israel." Or perhaps he was doing what he's always said he wants to do--that is, "get[ting] on with [his] life and do[ing] [his] job" as a plumber. On second thought, never mind.
  • What's Next? A Black Cat?

    Over at Sprint to the Oval, my NEWSWEEK colleague Holly Bailey has some ominous color from the McCain caravan. Sign of trouble? Or mere coincidence? We report, you decide: If a reporter wanted to craft a dire lede about the final days of...
  • The Khalidi Connection

    Posting over at her new Sprint to the Oval blog, my NEWSWEEK colleague Holly Bailey reports on the McCain campaign's outrage du jour--i.e., demanding that the Los Angeles Times release a video (mentioned in its own pages last April) that captures Obama's remarks at a 2003 banquet honoring Rashid Khalidi, a Columbia University professor and Palestinian scholar who has been critical of Israel. I intended to weigh in on the Khalidi "controversy," but Holly beat me to the punch, so I'll just condense the crucial parts of her item into a handy italicized excerpt:...
  • An Obama Landslide? Watch These States.

    Call them the Icing States. The candidates aren't visiting. The reporters aren't calling. And the rest of the country barely knows they exist....
  • FINEMAN: About Those 'Tightening' Polls...

     Over at "Race to the Finish," my fellow NEWSWEEK blogger Howard Fineman takes a look at the latest "traditional" Gallup tracking poll--which shows "Obama lead[ing] McCain by only two percentage points, 49 to 47 ...
  • The Filter: Oct. 29, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.HOW JOHN MCCAIN RAN AGAINST HIMSELF(Walter Shapiro, Salon)Just over the horizon lies an alternate universe in which John McCain...
  • The Cold Shoulder

    Spotted this morning on the I-95 overpass outside Obama's windy, rainy, 45-degree rally in Chester, Penn.:  GREENPEACE VOLUNTEERS:  [Shivering, dripping, rubbing hands together] STUMPER: Have you won any converts?  GREENPEACE VOLUNTEERS: Not really. STUMPER: Perhaps you should try "Increase Global Warming" instead. GREENPEACE VOLUNTEERS: [Silence, more shivering]  
  • Neither Snow, Nor Rain, Nor Heat, Nor Gloom of Night ...

    Obama rallies at Widener University in Chester, Pa.  CHESTER, Pa. -- Appearing this morning on the main quad of Widener University here in suburban Philadelphia, Barack Obama braved the blinding rain, rising mud and whipping, 40-degree wind to make one last push for the battleground state of Pennsylvania. But the sense I got sloshing through the crowd of more than 9,000--many of whom stood in the storm for hours before Obama even arrived--was that they didn't come out of concern for anything as prosaic as electoral math. They came because they hoped to witness history.Take Dot Wilson and her daughter Liz. When I caught up with the Wilsons, they were standing ankle-deep in the middle of a swampy outfield. Obama had just finished speaking. I asked what they thought.  "Barack was mesmerizing," said Dot. "Just mesmerizing." So I assume you'll be voting for him in Pennsylvania, right? "Oh no," said Dot. "We came up from Delaware." Turns out that Dot, like some 18 million othe...
  • What If Ridge Were on the Ticket?

    (Mary Altaffer / AP Photo) As longtime Stumper readers will recall, I suffered this past summer from an affliction that could only be described as Ridgemania--that is, the feverish belief that John McCain would be best served choosing former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge as his running mate, despite Ridge's pro-choice views.Now it looks like someone agrees with my previous arguments. His name? Tom Ridge. Asked on Friday if McCain should have picked him over Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the guy all but said yes. "I think the dynamics would be different in Pennsylvania," Ridge explained. "I think we'd be foolish not to admit it publicly." He added that McCain "had several good choices, and I was one of them."As McCain and Palin spend the day stumping across Pennsylvania, Ridge raises an interesting counterfactual question. Would the McCain campaign be better off--today, right now, with one week until the election--if Ridge were on the ticket? As always, hindsight is 20/20--especially ...
  • Barack the Redistributor!

    Today in Cleveland, John McCain made an interesting comment: “That’s what change means for the Obama administration. They’re redistributing. It means taking your money and giving it to someone else.”...
  • Will America Vote Against a 'Dangerous Threesome'?

    (Stephan Savoia / AP)Speaking this morning in Cleveland, Ohio, John McCain sharpened an argument that has emerged in recent days as a central element of the GOP's case against Barack Obama: that electing him president would give Democrats--or, more ominously, "liberals"--complete control over Washington. "This election comes down to how you want your hard earned money spent," he said. "Do you want to keep it and invest it in your future, or have it taken by the most liberal person to ever run for the Presidency and the Democratic leaders who have been running Congress for the past two years -- Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid?" Together, he said, they represented a "dangerous threesome." McCain's basic premise is sound. Right now, Democrats narrowly control both chambers of Congress, and experts estimate that they'll pick up between 23 and 28 seats in the House and between seven and nine seats in the Senate. So if Obama wins, it's all donkeys all the time. That said, I'm not sure how...
  • Haass and Bloomberg: Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue

    In this week's NEWSWEEK, two of America's smartest policy wonks--Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg--send unsolicited letters to the next president of the United States. Haass warns of the international challenges ahead; Bloomberg tackles the economy. Below are key excerpts. But be sure to read the whole "President's Inbox" package; it's a important reminder that winning the election will be the easy part. The comments, as always, are all yours. HAASS: There are only two and a half months—76 days, to be precise— between...
  • The Filter: Oct. 27, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.CEDING THE CENTER(David Brooks, New York Times)McCain shares the progressive conservative instinct. He has shown his...
  • Should Gore's 2000 Comeback Give McCain Hope?

     Sometimes strategists say the darndest things. As Dan Balz reports in this morning's Washington Post...... McCain's team dismisses the most dire polls -- those showing the race...
  • The "B" Hoax

    Funny how a quickly a non-story can become a story. When reports...