Remember way back when we Americans were getting our first introductions to Barack and his wife?
A little over a year ago, Michelle, in an interview with (ironically) "Glamour" magazine, informed America that her husband was so “snore-y and stinky” when he wakes up in the morning that their daughters won’t crawl into bed with him.
Well, yesterday, Dean Reynolds (of CBS) informed us that Barack still stinks... err... at least his plane does... but I'll get back to that in a minute.
After having spent most of the past 12 months covering Barack Obama's campaign for the presidency, Dean is now spending a bit of time with McCain and his crew. Dean explains in his first paragraph how the change of atmosphere is (From the Road - Reporter's Notebook: Seeing How The Other Half Lives) "interesting, instructive and, well, relaxing", and after being up close and personal with both candidates, Mr. Reynolds concludes that "The differences between the two are striking."
Among the contrasts:
Obama is the big time orator, McCain is the guy who struggles with a teleprompter. Obama's crowds are larger but McCain's events are better choreographed. McCain enjoys (and is good at) taking questions from the audience in town hall-style settings. He likes to converse and connect personally with voters. Obama, on the other hand, does it well too, but "seldom achieves that intangible bond with the people that all politicians crave -- or fake."
Then Mr. Reynolds gives us his opinions regarding that side of a campaign that the average American seldom sees... and this is where it gets interesting.
He explains that while Obama's campaign schedule is fuller, it looks "hectic" and "improvisational" (meaning, they are overloading their schedules by making it up as they go along) and the aides who deal with the national reporters on the campaign plane are often "overwhelmed, overworked and un-informed about where, when, why or how the candidate is moving about."
As for Obama's national headquarters in Chicago, Dean says staffers there "airily dismisses complaints from journalists" who ask them why a schedule cannot be printed up or at least e-mailed in time to make arrangements to coverage an upcoming event."
McCain's staffers and aids are, as Dean observes, "more helpful and generally friendly". He also marvels at how McCain's schedules are printed, on actual books you can hold in your hand, read so reporters can actually plan accordingly. Dean also says McCain's press aides are, "more knowledgeable and useful to us in the news media" and the events themselves are "designed with a better eye, and for the simple needs of the press corps".
In other words, McCain's people know A) what they are doing and B)when they are doing it... Obama's people just seem... lost.
As for the candidtaes themselves, Dean describes John McCain as "friendly and loquacious". Obama holds news conferences, but seldom banters with the reporters who've been following him for thousands of miles around the country."
Wow. Dean thinks Obama is a snob too.
Now... remember Michelle's observation that he husband is... "stinky"?
Well, after having spent a lot of time on that big plane that Obama is so proud of, Mr. Reynolds has this to share:
The McCain campaign plane is better than Obama's, which is cramped, uncomfortable and smells terrible most of the time. Somehow the McCain folks manage to keep their charter clean, even where the press is seated.
Hmmm... Seems like BO are more than Barack's initials.
(Oh yeah... above emphasis mine, of course)
Mr. Reynolds concludes, sharing with us this one last threat... errr..thought:
Maybe none of this means much. Maybe a front-running campaign like Obama's that is focused solely on victory doesn't have the time to do the mundane things like print up schedules or attend to the needs of reporters.
But in politics, everything that goes around comes around.
Hmmm... being that Barack has been under an unusual amount of scrutiny by his pals in the media lately... maybe Dean and his fellow reporters and journalists are paying Barack back for all of the... (ahem)... kindness and consideration, which he and his campaign staff have given them throughout this campaign season.