By Angela Campion
It’s a race to the finish, and the candidates are just lacing up
their shoes. The first hurdle can be found smack dab in the middle of
it all…here in Des Moines, Iowa. As an aspiring journalist, rubbing
shoulders with political gurus and schmoozing with high-profile
reporters is an answer to a prayer.
There’s nothing better than starting your day off with an
early wake-up call. Unfortunately that meant I had to suppress
the urge to push the snooze button. Yet, the thrill of my first
assignment was enough to get me out of bed. First stop
was staking out in front of a the local NBC station. We
were waiting for former Governor Mike Hukabee and Senator Barack Obama
to walk out after taping a segment on “Meet the Press.” At first it
seemed a little creepy, and each of us felt more like the paparazzi
than hard-hitting news junkies.
The first candidate to walk out into the mound of media
was Mike Huckabee. The Arkansas politician was bombarded with
questions about Mitt Romney’s recent attacks. Huckabee, who is
currently neck-in-neck with Romney in the Iowa polls, spent most of
his time counter-attacking Romney’s recent ads. The other media
outlets left after getting their soundbites from Huckabee. So our crew
was the only one waiting for Obama.
The saying goes “good things come to those who wait.” Well,
we waited…and waited….and waited. During our downtime, I
spoke with some of the security guards as well as a campaign
secretary. Today, the Golden Rule proved to be my best friend. By
starting casual conversation with people in the business, you create a
relationship, and they’ll help you. The campaign secretary was kind
enough to allot me time to ask Obama a few questions. After waiting
for about half an hour, we got an exclusive interview with the
presidential hopeful. Obama greeted me with a smile, aknowledging
our crew traveled all the way from Boston. I cannot explain how
exciting it was to be talking with a top tier candidate, whose
famous face seems to show up on every news station. To my
surprise, I didn’t get star shocked. Obama’s cool and calm character
seemed to make conversation very easy.
The rest of the day was spent uploading video and writing
scripts. For me,the Iowa caucus is off to a great start, and I feel so
lucky to be witnessing first hand history in the making.