Andrew Romano

Stories by Andrew Romano

  • Reductio Ad Absurdum

    (Stephan Savoia / AP Photo)Via Jonathan Martin, I see that John McCain floated a rather curious criticism of Barack Obama this afternoon in Florida:...
  • Rocky Mountain Low

    [youtube:OwARpaKHx_w] When we weighed in Tuesday on reports that McCain insiders now consider Colorado "gone"--that is, breaking for Barack Obama--there was considerable pushback from the campaign's Crystal City headquarters. Unfortunately, actions speak louder than words. As a top McCain strategist told CNN's John King earlier this week, "Most of us have a hard time counting on Colorado." Now, it seems, they're not.A pair of reports released this afternoon reveal that both the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee have decided to drastically slash their ad spending in the Centennial State. According to Evan Tracey of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, McCain ran 195 spots this past Monday, ...
  • Is This Really a 1 Point Race?

    Do you believe that the evangelical share of the electorate will skyrocket from 23 percent in 2004 to 44 percent on Nov. 4? Or that John McCain will clobber Barack Obama by 52 points among voters under 25? ...
  • The Filter: Oct. 23, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.MCCAIN LAMBASTES BUSH YEARS(Joseph Curl and Stephan Dinan, Washington Times)Sen. John McCain on Wednesday blasted President Bush... whose unpopularity may be dragging the Republican Party to the brink of a massive electoral defeat. "We just let things get completely out of hand," he said of his own party's rule in the past eight years... McCain lashed out at a litany of Bush policies and issues that he said he would have handled differently as president... "Spending, the conduct of the war in Iraq for years, growth in the size of government, larger than any time since the Great Society, laying a $10 trillion debt on future generations of America, owing $500 billion to China, obviously, failure to both enforce and modernize the [financial] regulatory agencies that were designed for the 1930s and certainly not for the 21st century, failure to address the issue of climate change seriously," Mr. McCain said... aboard his campaign plane en...
  • Sam Says: 'Young Voters, Get Mad'

    I'm a "young voter"--as are many of Stumper's most avid readers. So I thought it'd be worthwhile to direct your attention to the latest opus from NEWSWEEK's brilliant financial columnist Robert Samuelson: a cogent, impassioned explanation for why those of us under 35 should forget about "hope" and "change" and start demanding that the next president overhaul government retirement programs. Sam may not be young--but he's right. Listen up, kiddies:...
  • The Price of 'Palin Couture'

    (Stephan Savoia / AP Photo) As the old saying goes, "Clothes make the man"--or woman. But can they unmake her as well? Despite a war in Iraq, another in Afghanistan and a world economic system teetering on the brink of collapse, the good people of Washington D.C. are chattering this afternoon about one thing and one thing only: Sarah Palin's wardrobe. As the Politico first reported last night, the Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 "to clothe and accessorize" Palin since she joined the GOP ticket in late August--a sum that includes purchases of $49,425.74 from Saks Fifth Avenue, $75,062.63 from Neiman Marcus, $9,447.71 from Macy's and $5,102.71 from Bloomingdale's. For Republicans, this is a nightmare. To put it mildly. Palinites, of course, will claim that Palin's new duds are irrelevant. The RNC's expenditures weren't illegal or anything, they'll say. Politicians always invest in clothing and makeup. Which is correct--except that it ignores how Amer...
  • The Bradley Effect? Fuggedaboutit.

    George Rose / Getty Images Or so says FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver--who, as I reported earlier this cycle, has a pretty impressive track record when it comes to predicting election outcomes. As Silver writes in an exclusive NEWSWEEK.com analysis, John McCain and the GOP shouldn't count on the polls overestimating Obama's level of support: "examples like Bradley and Wilder are nearly a quarter of a century old, and there's no proof that the Bradley effect still exists." A key excerpt:Everyone remembers New Hampshire, when nearly all polls predicted a big win for Obama, but Hillary Clinton emerged victorious...What fewer remember is what happened two weeks later in South Carolina. In that case, the Pollster projection had Obama winning by 15 points—but he won by 29. That 14-point error was actually of greater magnitude than the mistake in New Hampshire, if less noticeable because the polls hadn't picked the wrong horse. South Carolin...
  • The Importance of Pennsylvania

     The headline posted on CNN.com last night was crystal clear: "McCain Camp Looking for Way to Win Without Colorado." Unfortunately for McCain, how he'd actually go about winning without Colorado is not.According to CNN Chief National Correspondent John King,  "two top [McCain] strategists and advisers" now say "that situation in [Iowa, New Mexico and Colorado] looks increasingly bleak" and that Crystal City is examining "an Electoral College strategy heading into the final two weeks that has virtually no room for error." That's putting it mildly. Especially because the campaign seems to be counting on Pennsylvania. It's no surprise that the McCain camp has all but conceded Iowa and New Mexico, where Obama leads by 11.8 and 8.4 percentage points, respectively; observers have long considered the Hawkeye State (where Obama is seen as a native son) and the Land of Enchantment (where Obama dominates among Latinos) as out of McCain's reach. But Colorado is a shock. In 2000,...
  • The Filter: Oct. 21, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.SURVEY SAYS...(Michael Crowley, New Republic)Leve and his ilk are proliferating because an unprecedented demand...
  • Memo to John Kerry: Don't Quit Your Day Job

    When Republicans say that Barack Obama is "palling around with terrorists," they've clearly crossed the line. But what about when a Democrat implies that John McCain is an incontinent old codger?...
  • The Argument: Are We, at Heart, a Center-Right Country--or Are We Heading Left Again?

    In this week's dead-tree NEWSWEEK, editor Jon Meacham and columnist Jonathan Alter butt heads over the ideological direction of America. It's a fascinating debate. With Barack Obama on the brink of a potential victory and Democrats set to make serious gains in Congress, Meacham argues that America is, at heart, still a center-right country--and that an Obama presidency would be defined by how the Democrat deals with that reality. Alter, on the other hand, says that we're moving left, and that the challenge facing Obama is figuring out how to use the powers of government to act on behalf of the people--a liberal idea. I've excerpted both pieces below; the comments, as always, are all yours. ...
  • The Filter: Oct. 20, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.THE POWELL ENDORSEMENT: HURTS MCCAIN, HELPS OBAMA(Marc Ambinder, The Atlantic) ...
  • FINEMAN: Will Powell Endorse Obama?

    UPDATE: It's a yes. Here's Powell speaking to reporters after his appearance this morning on "Meet the Press," where the former Secretary of State and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a Republican, declared his support for Barack Obama and chided John McCain for the negative tone of his campaign:[youtube:9LbLxja4UHY] Original item follows: My fellow NEWSWEEK blogger Howard Fineman says... well, maybe:Is Gen. Colin Powell getting ready to...
  • Expertinent: Making Sense of McCain's 'Divided Government' Argument

    Expertinent is a regular Stumper column featuring interviews with experts on the news of the day.  There are 19 days until Nov. 4. Barack Obama is leading by nearly 200 votes in estimates of the Electoral College. Experts expect the Democrats to pick up 20-25 seats in the House and six to eight seats in the Senate. If you're John McCain's top strategists--the people tasked with putting the Arizona Senator in the White House--what do you do? Increasingly, it seems that the answer is a) stop pretending the GOP can reclaim Congress and b) start arguing that McCain is the only thing standing between the American people and unrestrained Democratic rule. Call it the "Divided Government Rationale." On Sunday, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis raised the specter of an all-Democratic D.C. on FOX News. "Do we really believe that the American public is going to feel safe by...
  • A NEWSWEEK Trifecta

    I hereby request that you divert your attention from Stumper--difficult, I know--and check out three excellent articles that have cropped up on NEWSWEEK.com in the past 24 hours. First up is my fellow blogger Howard Fineman's insightful new post over at Race to the Finish. Called "The Real Debate," it explains why "this presidential contest is down to a clash of two 'effects:' the Bradley Effect and the Facebook Effect." Here's an excerpt to whet your appetite:Yes, there are white voters, especially...
  • The Filter: Oct. 17, 2008

    A round-up of this morning's must-read stories.POLLS CAUSE CAMPAIGNS TO CHANGE THEIR ITINERARIES(Adam Nagourney and Jim Rutenberg, New York Times)Confronting an increasingly bleak electoral map, top aides to Senator John McCain...
  • Why 'Joe the Plumber' Matters

    Wurzelbacher fields questions from the press outside his Holland, Ohio, home (Madalyn Ruggiero / AP Photo) As you've probably ascertained by now, the real star of last night's debate wasn't Barack Obama, or John McCain, or Bob Schieffer. And it certainly wasn't the financial crisis, or Mess 'o' Potamia, or Bill Ayers, or ACORN. Instead, it was some guy named Joe Wurzelbacher--a.k.a. "Joe the Plumber"--who confronted Obama on Sunday in Holland, Ohio, about his tax plan. At McCain's prodding, the candidates wound up mentioning Wurzelbacher 26 times at Hofstra. For comparison, the economy came up 16 times. The war in Iraq? Six. Thanks to the MSM's raging "real person" fetish, Wurzelbacher's 15 minutes of fame have extended well into today. Intrepid journalistic investigators have discovered, for example, that Wurzelbacher, 34, voted in the Republican primary, doesn't have a plumbing license, still owes $1,200 in unpaid income taxes and is actually named Samuel. Financial crisis! Wha...
  • The 'Evil' Eye

    Pop quiz, hotshot: Whose peepers are peeking out at us over the words "America Must Look Evil in the Eye" on this new mailer from the Republican Party of Virginia? Not sure? Either am I. And that's probably the point.  The mailer hits "Democrats who want to control Washington"--translation: Barack Obama--for wanting to appease terrorists and rogue leaders, so it's natural that some readers would conclude that it's Barack Obama in the picture. Then again, the pamphlet also boasts glamor shots of Kim Jong Il, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Hugo Chavez, so others might assume it's Osama bin Laden. Either way, when TPM's Greg Sargent asked Virginia GOP spokesperson Gerry Scimeca whether the photo was bin Laden or Obama, "he couldn't immediately say." Based on side-by-side images of the two figures, both guesses seem reasonable.  That ambiguity is sneaky--to put it mildly. Virginia Republicans could've chosen to use a full facial photograph on this page of the mailer--just as they di...