First off, let me say I thought I was the only person who loved Candy Crowley from CNN so much that I would search her out at political rallies. After reading this article I am starting to think I am more mainstream than some would have me believe. I had always said to James that it would be great fun to have Crowley over for dinner (that perfect dream meal), and now after this article I know she could really have used some home cooking.
But seriously, I think this is just an excellent piece about the chaotic nature of being a journalist on the campaign trail. It still sounds exciting to me……and I still think Crowley a CNN star.
CNN political correspondent Candy Crowley has taken to running through a checklist before bed. Every night she travels with the Obama campaign, she orders a wake-up call, sets one regular alarm and one back-up on her cell phone, which she places strategically out of slapping distance across the room. Then she writes down her vitals: What city is she in? What time zone? What time does she have to be out of the hotel room the next morning? What day is it? With that, she can drift off before the next day’s campaign coverage. Most of the time, though, Crowley is so scared to oversleep that she’s awake and waiting, long before the alarm–any one of them–ever rings.
“After the previous campaign, it took me a good month to stop waking up in the middle of the night in a panic that I’ve missed something,” Crowley says.
On most days, adrenaline is enough to get her through the “The Situation Room” and “Anderson Cooper 360,” but it’s all she can do not to zonk out in the car between events. At campaign rallies, Crowley, a self-described loner, is mobbed by “CNN junkies,” all of them clamoring for a picture or an autograph. (“That’s why I love my iPod,” she says.) Crowley was with Barack Obama when he declared his candidacy in February 2007, and has been going nearly non-stop ever since. She has heard all the speeches, covered all the campaign ads. She can’t remember her last furlough and her “strategic nice reserve” ran out two months ago. Now in the final lap Crowley just wants to go home.
“After a while, you just miss your house, you know?” she said from Chicago on Monday. “I miss my back yard. I miss going to the grocery store.”
She’s not the only one pining for a more mundane life. “I haven’t seen a movie in about a year,” said New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny, also in Chicago with the Obama campaign. “I’m looking forward to getting reacquainted with civilians.”
Matt Bai, his colleague at the Times and himself a seasoned political reporter (who, with two young children at home, has mostly recused himself from intensive travel this year), speaks as if he’s watched his countrymen go off to battle. “There are guys who went out to the primaries in November, December, and thought they’d be done in February or March, and they just never came home,” he says with grave admiration. “They never came home.”