Andrew Romano

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 percent"--and explains why we still have a battle on our hands:By all accounts and by all odds, Obama is fairly comfortably ahead in the Electoral College—which, as Al Gore will tell you, is what matters.On TV Wednesday night, Obama will give what one aide described to me as a "meaty"...

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 is locked in a tense nail-biter of a presidential race with Barack Obama, one in which the polls gyrate daily and "too close to call" describes most of the contested political landscape...

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.

The Filter: Oct. 28, 2008

A round-up of this morning's must-read stories. ONE WEEK(Barack Obama)After decades of broken politics in Washington, eight years of failed policies from George Bush, and twenty-one months of a campaign that has taken us from the rocky coast of Maine to the sunshine of California, we are one week away from change in America.

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." This is interesting for two reasons.

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...

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 sympathy with the striving immigrant and his disgust with the colluding corporatist.

The "B" Hoax

Funny how a quickly a non-story can become a story. When reports first surfaced yesterday--and by "surfaced" I mean "appeared atop the all-powerful Drudge Report"--that a " 6'4", 200-lb African-American male" in "dark clothing" punched, kicked and scratched a "B" (apparently for "Barack") into the face of the woman he was mugging outside a Pittsburgh ATM after he spotting a McCain bumper sticker on her car, I made a conscious decision not to comment.

The Filter: Oct. 24, 2008

A round-up of this morning's must-read stories. BLAME GAME: GOP FORMS CIRCULAR FIRING SQUAD(Jonathan Martin, Mike Allen and John F. Harris, Politico)With despair rising even among many of John McCain's own advisors, influential Republicans inside and outside his campaign are engaged in an intense round of blame-casting and rear-covering—-much of it virtually conceding that an Election Day rout is likely...The candidate's strategists in recent days have become increasingly vocal in interviews...

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: "Barack Obama's only answer is to double-down on the Bush Administration's legacy of out-of-control spending." The attack on the president is predictable.

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.

Florida, By the Numbers

If Barack Obama swipes the Sunshine State's 27 electoral votes from the Republican column, the 2008 election is over. Can he swing it? Right now, the Illinois senator (who finished a two-day visit Tuesday) is doing his best—but John McCain (who arrives tomorrow) has signaled that he's willing to fight to the finish.

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.

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.

Making Plans for Palin

[youtube:l40nrw3V3GA] Is Palin making plans for 2012? I ask because she's contradicted John McCain on a number of subjects in recent weeks--and every contradiction seems calibrated to preserve (or even enhance) her standing with the Republican base should the Arizona senator lose on Nov. 4.

The Filter: Oct. 22, 2008

A round-up of this morning's must-read stories. IN ENDGAME, METRICS ARE ADDING UP FOR OBAMA(Charlie Cook, National Journal)Today it seems very unlikely that the focal point of this election is going to shift away from the economy.

The Importance of Pennsylvania

The headline posted on 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...

Why Obama Wants McCain to Attack

Call it the Masochistic Maneuver. Each day, political reporters like, say, Stumper are inundated with messages from each campaign's "rapid response" squad--a group of operatives who rebut attacks, forward fact-checks and and flag reports that could damage their boss's rival, all for the benefit of the "overworked" national press corps.

The Liberation of Rudy Giuliani

Nov. 20, 2007 Rudy Giuliani applauds Obama for being open about his teenage drug use: "I respect his honesty in doing that. I think that one of the things we need from our people who are running for office is not this pretense of perfection.

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 exists for the information they peddle.