January 24th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
9 years ago

On the trail: Toilet seat travel with Huckabee

CNN Photojournalist Jung Park's unusual front row seat on history.

CNN Photojournalist Jung Park's unusual front row seat on history.

(CNN)Amid reports that GOP presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee's campaign is running low on cash and making cutbacks, embedded CNN photojournalists Derek Davis and Jung Park filed this diary entry just days before the campaign announced it would no longer give journalists an opportunity to buy a ticket and travel with the candidate. This week, the campaign grounded its chartered press airplanes entirely.

A ton of gear, a non-stop schedule, and constant airplane travel. If you’re a CNN photojournalist like me who’s embedded with a presidential campaign, those things are part of a typical day.

Not so typical: an afternoon riding a toilet seat in a propeller plane over South Carolina.

Late last week, we were with the former Arkansas governor as he campaigned in South Carolina in his final push before the GOP primary.

As photographers for CNN, we have the opportunity to witness politics up close, literally to have a front row seat to history in the making. But, politics also means something else to people like us in the trenches: It’s physical. It’s exciting. It’s tough.

Our recent travel with Huckabee took the toughness to new heights. After covering an event where the GOP presidential candidate discussed the economy with South Carolina steel workers, we made our way to the airport and discovered that we’d be flying the rest of the day on a double-propeller, 8-seat airplane. There were a total of three of these planes – one for Huckabee and his staff, and two more for the press traveling with the campaign.

We shared our plane with a crew from CBS News. Once we’d loaded our gear (two cameras, tripods, audio equipment, tapes, boom poles, etc.) and the other crew had loaded its equipment, there wasn’t much room left for us.

I am now much closer to a CBS sound technician than I ever wanted to be – we shared a seat on the flight. But at least I had one.

My colleague Jung wasn’t so lucky. It may have been covered and padded but make no mistake about it, Jung flew all around South Carolina on a toilet. (They did a good job on camouflage: He didn’t know it was a toilet and nobody thought to tell him.) Isn’t cable news glamorous?

Related: Huckabee struggles to keep 'scrappy little army' in fight

–CNN Photojournalists Derek Davis and Jung Park

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Darth Vadik, CA

    When you travel with Huckabee, do they serve you squirrel.

    January 24, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Brian

    How about a Romney article for a change?

    January 24, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. Jr., California

    Ladies and gentlemen, President Huckabee. Nawww!!!

    January 24, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. pmac

    Nope, they serve you a giant serving of god,god,god and god for dessert.

    January 24, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  5. Tim, Minnesota

    Toilet seat? the campaign is going down the toilet

    January 24, 2008 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  6. Kael

    Hes done....

    January 24, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  7. Brad

    I am with you Brian. CNN fails to display anything of Romney and when they do they mess with the wording to make it look negative. What happened to a fair chance in America???????

    January 24, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  8. Jerry

    Yep, shoulda ridden around with Uncle Moneybags Mitt...they'd have chauffered you to the airport...good night what would some of these other people do as president? If they're that scary with they're money, what will they do spending my money!

    Huckabee understands tightening the belt for his campaign, and for the country!

    January 24, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. Chris, Bethesda, Maryland

    "On the trail; toilet seat travel with Huckabee."

    "Where every Huckabee speech belongs."
    "What is a toilet seat?"
    "Right you are!"

    January 24, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  10. josh

    i don't care. this is the most irrelevant political ticker of all time!!

    January 24, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  11. Justin, Burlington MA

    Why is Huckabee even discussed? This is a 2 man race – Romney and McCain. And Romney is up in the delegate count and up in the polls in Florida. Yet he seems to get half (or less than that) media coverage. Romney should (and hopefully will) win the Republican nomination despite the liberal media bias toward McCain.

    January 24, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  12. william walsh,

    stick a fork in it mr jesus freak

    January 24, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  13. josh

    justin romney has the cash. he doesn't need extra help. stop whining

    January 24, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  14. Diana

    CNN photojournalists don't get enough credit...
    Hard-working, under-appreciated, dedicated professionals!!

    January 24, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  15. anniesmiles

    ahhh...thanks for the laughs. I really enjoyed the story.

    January 24, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  16. Big Brother 2008

    Anyone have any good squirrel recipes? Were gonna need them soon.

    January 24, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |