Frank James, NPR

Frank James joined NPR News in April 2009 to launch the blog, "The Two-Way," with co-blogger Mark Memmott.

"The Two-Way" is the place where gives readers breaking news and analysis — and engages users in conversations ("two-ways") about the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

James came to NPR from the Chicago Tribune, where he worked for 20 years. In 2006, James created "The Swamp," the paper's successful politics and policy news blog whose readership climbed to a peak of 3 million page-views a month.

Before that, James covered homeland security, technology and privacy and economics in the Tribune's Washington Bureau. He also reported for the Tribune from South Africa and covered politics and higher education.

James also reported for The Wall Street Journal for nearly 10 years.

James received a bachelor of arts degree in English from Dickinson College and now serves on its board of trustees.


2012 Presidential Election
12:16 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

Is Cain's View That Voters Have No Right To Know Of Harassment Past?

Originally published on Thu November 3, 2011 9:48 am

Herman Cain's campaign spent late Wednesday accusing the rival presidential campaign of Texas Gov. Rick Perry of unleashing the information that he had sexual harassment settlements in his background, an allegation the Texan's campaign has denied.

As Politico reported, Cain called out the Perry campaign directly during a Tea Party event:

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2012 Presidential Election
12:05 pm
Mon October 31, 2011

Herman Cain's Long Odds Get Lengthier After Sex Harassment Report

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Herman Cain on CBS' "Face the Nation" in Washington Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011.

Chris Usher AP

Originally published on Mon October 31, 2011 10:48 am

It should have been another good weekend for Herman Cain. It wasn't.

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2012 Presidential Election
4:04 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Rick Perry 'Brothers' Herman Cain And Sets Some Nerves On Edge

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 2:58 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry likely didn't know when he twice referred to Herman Cain as "brother" during Tuesday night's debate that his attempt at easy camaraderie would set a lot of people's nerves on edge.

But he did.

That's because in the U.S. when a white man calls a black man "brother" and if they are not actually brothers (think adoption), or in a Greek-letter fraternity, or soldiers sharing a fighting position, indeed, if they are strangers or close to it, many a brotherized black man will immediately feel condescended to.

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2012 Presidential Election
4:39 pm
Tue October 18, 2011

GOP Las Vegas Debate Finds Focus On Cain As Romney Cruises

Mitt Romney and Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki (r) take photos with supporters as Romney opens his state headquarters in Las Vegas, October 17, 2011.

Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 18, 2011 7:09 pm

As Republican presidential candidates gird for their eighth debate, this one in Las Vegas, Nev., Tuesday evening, a central question is: how will the Herman Cain phenomenon shape the event?

With the one-time pizza company CEO near or at the top of the GOP field depending on which poll you consult, he's likely to draw more attention from the other candidates at the debate than was true in any of their previous meetings. The two-hour debate will be carried by CNN at 8 pm ET.

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2012 Presidential Election
12:35 pm
Fri October 14, 2011

Anita Perry's Telling Defense Of Husband May Explain Much

Anita Perry watches while her husband Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks to an audience in Orlando, Fla., September 22, 2011.

Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 11:19 am

Anita Perry's defense Thursday of her husband Texas Gov. Rick Perry may provide an important piece of the puzzle that explains the remarkably underwhelming nature of her spouse's presidential campaign.

In South Carolina, Anita Perry made it sound like the governor was essentially talked into making the race, perhaps by others but definitely by her.

According to Mrs. Perry, it was she, not her husband, who first heard the divine call that her husband should run for president.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:27 am
Fri October 14, 2011

Mitt Romney Raised $14 Million In 3rd Qtr

Originally published on Fri October 14, 2011 9:35 am

Mitt Romney put up respectable if not breath-taking fundraising numbers for the third quarter of 2011, collecting somewhere north of $14 million.

But Romney is only raising money now to compete in the state caucuses and primaries to capture the Republican presidential nomination; he's not yet raising any money for the general election.

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It's All Politics
11:01 am
Tue October 11, 2011

Pressure On Perry To Perform At Debate On Romney's Turf

Originally published on Tue October 11, 2011 10:16 am

Can Texas Gov. Rick Perry turn in a performance at Tuesday night's presidential debate in New Hampshire that makes his past debate meltdowns and missteps things of the past?

That's a primary question for many of those who will watch the Bloomberg News-Washington Post debate at Dartmouth College at 8 pm ET. Bloomberg TV will carry the debate.

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2012 Presidential Election
10:14 am
Mon October 3, 2011

Rick Perry Caught Between Racist Rock And Toxic Mortgages

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks to Hampton, NH audience, Oct. 1, 2011.

Kayana Szymczak Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 3, 2011 4:40 pm

If there's been a worse week and a half for a presidential candidate, it's hard to remember when.

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2012 Presidential Election
3:19 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Chris Christie Isn't Running For President (For Umpteenth Time!)

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 2:04 pm

Just like zombies, rumors that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination refuse to die no matter how hard the governor beats them back.

Tom Kean, the former governor of the Garden State and co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, unleashed the latest round by telling the National Review Online that Christie was "very seriously" mulling a presidential run.

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It's All Politics
12:29 pm
Wed September 21, 2011

Twitter To Sell Political Ads

Twitter's homepage.

Originally published on Wed September 21, 2011 12:22 pm

Some news, when you hear it, has an almost inevitable feel to it. For many people, such will be the case with the report Wednesday that Twitter plans to start selling political advertising.

With the social media and micro blogging giant seeking ways to boost revenues that are disproportionately small compared to its user base and Google and Facebook already deep into selling political ads, the pressure was strong for Twitter to move in this direction.

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2012 Presidential Election
3:59 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

Poll: Perry's Ponzi Scheme Stance OK With Many Republicans

Originally published on Fri September 16, 2011 10:46 am

If Texas Gov. Rick Perry is going to have problems with Republican voters over an issue, it apparently isn't going to be his controversial use of the phrase "Ponzi scheme" to describe Social Security.

A new USA Today/Gallup poll found that 43 percent of Republicans were either inclined to increase their support or unswayed by his negative characterization of the entitlement program. Curiously, 36 percent said they didn't know enough to venture an opinion.

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2012 Presidential Election
11:58 am
Thu September 15, 2011

Perry's HPV Vaccine Record Exposes Confusing Inconsistencies

Originally published on Thu September 15, 2011 11:30 am

If nothing else, the controversy over Texas Gov. Rick Perry's mandating the use of the human papillomavirus vaccine in 12-year old girls, demonstrates the pronounced contradictions in his professed world view.

The frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination accepts the scientific consensus when it comes to the safety and efficacy of the vaccine that prevents the HPV virus that causes cervical and other cancers.

But he has openly expressed doubts about the scientific consensus in the matters of evolution or the human role in global warming.

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2012 Presidential Election
4:22 pm
Fri September 9, 2011

Perry's Social Security Stance Lets Romney Make Electability Argument

Originally published on Fri September 9, 2011 2:47 pm

Social Security must truly have near magical transformative powers if it can make a self-professed conservative almost sound like a liberal.

As we witnessed at Wednesday night's Republican presidential debate Mitt Romney, the former frontrunner for his party's nomination, has determined that Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the present frontrunner, has left himself hugely vulnerable on the Social Security issue. And Romney plans to make him pay.

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2012 Presidential Election
6:32 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Mitt Romney's (Steve) Jobs Plan

Originally published on Tue September 6, 2011 5:27 pm

Was that a jobs plan Mitt Romney unveiled Tuesday or a Steve Jobs plan?

Wanting voters to see him as the political version of the black turtleneck-clad business visionary, Romney compared himself not only to Jobs but to someone using a smartphone (President Obama was still in the coin-operated payphone world, Romney said.)

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2:45 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Rick Perry's Absence At DeMint Forum Sign Of Strength In Key Primary State

GOP presidential candidates in South Carolina Monday.
Stephen Morton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 6, 2011 9:58 am

If Sen. Jim DeMint's Labor Day Republican presidential forum demonstrated anything, it was that Texas Gov. Rick Perry is so confident about winning over South Carolina Tea Party devotees, including the senator, that he could beg off attending the event without any political risk.

Perry, who had been in the Palmetto State, returned home, he said, to be with his citizens as many of them face massive wildfires.

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