Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On the Campaign Trail

I did something yesterday I hadn't done in quite a while-- cover the visit of a presidential candidate. I've been on a streak. Local candidate campaign appearances either fell on one of my days off, or after my shift was over.

Yesterday, John McCain was at the Scranton Cultural Center. The theater seats about two thousand and it was filled. It was nice to see so many people interested in the process, many not old enough to vote. Apathy took a holiday, at least for one day.

On the positive side, our area received some national attention, even if some of it came from a cliche ridden network news story. I ran in to some people, old friends, competitors, newspaper people, radio reporters, political types, neighbors, I hadn't seen in quite a while. There is something about covering a campaign and the logistical challenges that get the juices flowing.

It does have its negatives. The candidates, REGARDLESS OF PARTY, have a tendency to say the same things they've said a hundred times before. Complaints of bias always pop up. We get those from both sides, so I guess that shows we're being fair. We're always fighting the clock and political handlers who go above and beyond to restrict access. I know security is a must. Unfortunately, it insulates a candidate from the people he or she wants to serve. You don't deal with the system you want. You deal with the system you have.

The bottom line is that the day was a lot of fun.