Missed connections and odd time zones: Political reporters talk life on the campaign trail
June 5th, 2012
01:55 PM ET
3 years ago

Missed connections and odd time zones: Political reporters talk life on the campaign trail

(CNN) – Ever wonder how political reporters survive on the campaign trail, traveling from city to city, trailing a presidential candidate? And how do they keep track of the time zones?

CNN's political team held the second election roundtable Tuesday, fielding questions on presidential and down-ballot campaigns in real time, giving viewers insight into life on the trail.

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Wolf Blitzer, anchor of CNN's "The Situation Room," moderated the panel of political reporters and producers. Peter Hamby, Shawna Shepherd, Rachel Streitfeld and Shannon Travis all participated in the discussion.

"We've got our amazing team of 'embeds' – those CNN reporters and producers who have been traveling around the country with the presidential candidates as they campaign to become the next president of the United States," Blitzer said in his introduction.

Questions included a query into CNN's system for allocating delegates after primary elections, a request for insight into Tuesday's gubernatorial recall in Wisconsin and a question about why CNN doesn't cover Ron Paul or third party candidates as much.

"We've had Ron Paul on all of the CNN shows, including mine, many many times, arguably more than any of the other candidates, mainly because he is so available, ready to be a guest," said Blitzer in response to the question.

Asked what the funniest thing they had seen on the campaign trail, the reporters and producers pointed back to early moments from the 2012 campaign.

"I've had the pleasure of going to a number of zoos with Newt Gingrich, and a number of bowling alleys with Rick Santorum," Shepherd said.

Hamby also remembered accidentally hitting Romney in the head with a boom microphone in 2008. "That has not happened this cycle, so far, probably because Mitt Romney is a little more protected than some of the other candidates," Hamby said.

CNN's political team also answered a question about what it's like to cover a candidate at the end of their campaign.

"It's always amazing to me that a candidate can clearly be in the losing days of their campaign but still put on their game face," Hamby said.

And as for their biggest challenge?

"The one thing that was always been difficult for me was remembering which time zone I was in," added Travis. "There would be times where I was late, or running late, because I didn't remember which time zone I was in."

Also see:

Barrett says Obama visit would have been distraction

Veep contenders in the spotlight this week

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Filed under: 2012
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. cali girl

    Why didn't the embeds talk about Robmey and his "Trees are the Right Height?" Or "I ate cheesy grits for breakfast"

    June 5, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  2. Guess What

    maybe if these people spoke equally rather than liberal, then people would listen, but blitzer and the rest of these liberal cronies are wastes of human flesh and should be treated as such.

    June 5, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Stuffit

    Old Wolf and CNN have been missing for several years now, still pushing the old liberal agenda and making sure their stories favor the democrat liberals. No wonder their ratings are so far down, the only ones who watch anymore are union bots and Wisconsin proves if you give them a choice, they won't either.

    June 5, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. Devon

    Protected, Thats an understatement, Mr Personality uses the Secret service as a Shield from the Press. He definitly gets The Wuss of the Year Award. God help us if a guy who is SEVERLY afraid of the Press becomes Commander in Chief!!!!!!

    June 5, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. JoeP

    Do you know one thing I detest about political coverage? Reporters talking about "life on the campaign trail". It has nothing, nada, zilch, to do with the issues, and everything to do with these people stroking their own egos. Get over it, and report on what matters.

    June 5, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. heinok9

    where can I see the roundtable again? I missed it. Is CNN planing it again, I'd like to participate.

    June 5, 2012 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. ED FL

    One major problem is that reporters are not from the old school.They flagrantley show their personal favoritism and are never unbiased. CNN was once an organization that had some credibility, Today their bias against President Obama is so profound and pro Romney no one wants to watch or listen to thier spiel. Once a favorite channel in our household is now a mistake while changing channels.

    June 5, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  8. heinok9

    Where can I see the roundtable discussion again? Is CNN planning it again, I'd like to participate.

    June 5, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |