[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/11/art.blincoln.0611.gi.jpg caption ="Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln was once a stranger to the national press corps."]Washington (CNN) - One day late last year, Blanche Lincoln held a news conference in the Senate. That sure doesn't sound like much of a headline, but at the time it was.
For much of 2009's heated health care debate, she avoided reporters like the plague.
She was such a stranger to the Capitol Hill press corps that when she walked into her news conference, she commented on what she thought was a new backdrop for the press studio frequented by senators. It had actually been renovated more than a year earlier.
Lincoln barely acknowledged Washington reporters - this one assumed she was being strategic and limiting her interaction - especially about the divisive health care debate.