DALLAS TO ABILENE, Texas (CNN) – If you decide to nap on the Huckabee plane, you do so at your own peril.
Flying from Dallas to Abilene Monday morning after a rally, Sarah Huckabee - Mike Huckabee’s daughter and a senior campaign staffer - snuck up to the front of the plane where her father was sitting by the window in the first row. Having gotten up early to do the rounds of the news networks’ morning shows, Huckabee had nodded off.
Sarah quickly snapped a picture of her father “holding” a piece of paper reading “When I close my eyes, it feels like I'm on Air Force One.”
Cheers and applause erupted from the plane as the staff and traveling press achieved the weeks-long goal of photographing the former Arkansas governor in a game of “Nap Tag.”
In recent weeks, “Nap Tag” has grown from a friendly rivalry between Huckabee’s bodyman and the Fox producer into fun for the whole plane as everyone waits for the next victim to close his or her eyes for too long.
When the hapless and weary traveler is good and asleep, a group gathers and scribbles a joke on a piece of paper with a marker. Someone then holds it in front of the napper while another conspirator pops off a picture.
One staffer caught dozing changed camps while he slept, as “Obama ‘08” floated under his chin. Campaign Chairman Ed Rollins claimed “You won’t take me alive” while he slept, and Gina Norris held up the doubtful “M.H. can beat me up” in front of husband Chuck.
Most are inside jokes developed after weeks in each other’s company, others not appropriate for a family website. But after weeks of Nap Tag, only a handful haven’t been caught slumbering and often proudly declare that we won’t get them. We’ll see about that.
– CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt