Hang Tough, Road Warriors

Meryl Gordon in the current issue of New York magazine lets us in on the travails of a life trailing after the candidates.

The John Edwards press corps was recently stranded for an hour in 3-degree weather outside the shut-down Berlin, N.H., airport, after the van coming to pick them up hit … a moose. Finally, a station wagon (driven by the Democratic state party director’s mother) showed up to rescue the frozen band of scribes.

Howard Dean reporters complain that the candidate favors flea-bag motels with no room service and, worse, no bars. During a stop in Columbia, S.C., Dean’s staff booked reporters into what one reporter for a major newspaper described as “a red-light hotel right across from a strip club,” complete with bulletproof glass and shady characters in the hallways.

Reporters trailing Gen. Wesley Clark have become so disgruntled at lack of access to the candidate himself that they’ve taken to chorusing “We Shall Intervyoo-ooh” to the tune of “We Shall Overcome.”

Finally, in Columbia last week, journalists on the Edwards press bus were presented with bags of “mediocre” ham-and-cheese sandwiches — only to watch as the senator’s staff bus pulled up to Palmetto Pig and ordered hot takeout. “There are two Americas,” intoned Scott Martelle of the Los Angeles Times. “One has barbecue, one has ham sandwiches.”


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Steve Lovelady was editor of CJR Daily.