IOWA FALLS, IA.—It’s almost 11 p.m. on Saturday and Barack Obama is about to call it a day, his first on the campaign trail as a candidate for president of the United States that started with his announcement 13 hours earlier in Springfield, Ill.
The traveling Obama entourage—Obama, his wife and daughters, staffers, reporters—are staying the night at two modest inns across the street from each other in this town.
Here’s how it works for the reporters in the Obama travel bubble. Once they commit to a travel swing organized by the campaign, the details—charter air travel, buses, baggage transfers, hotels, food, beverages and internet service at filing sites, even getting checked into hotels and room assignments—are handled by the campaign with costs of course, to be billed to the journalists who have already surrendered credit card information.
It’s a pretty standard arrangement for presidential campaigns when there is a large press contingent to manage.
The campaign decides on a swing-by-swing basis if they want to do this.
Reporters are on their own on Monday when Obama visits New Hampshire.
Overseeing logistical issues for Obama traveling press on the press bus on Saturday was Liz Reiter, unconditionally pleasant and a veteran of all this, reprising a role she played in the 2004 John Kerry campaign. She called attendance on the bus a few times to make sure everyone was accounted for, because in the Obama campaign, Reiter wants to make sure there is No Reporter Left Behind.
Obama mingled a little bit in the lobby. (Michelle stayed in).
David Axelrod, the strategist was there as were press spokesmen Bill Burton, Dan Pfeiffer and Tommy Vietor, to name a few.
Obama seemed energized, not tired at all. He was getting used to some of the new campaign lingo.
Saturday was Obama’s first “RON,” or rest overnight. Earlier, at a town hall meeting in a high school gym, Obama was given his first t-shirt of the campaign, but he did not put it on, handing it to an aide.
End note: Even reporters with a candidate see only a slice of the campaign day...turns out Obama met with student leaders too....for more details on Obama on his bus....click over to the Des Moines Register and read excerpts from a very interesting interview Obama had with the papers's David Yepsen. about race in the race and Obama's views on how Washington based reporters see him.... http://blogs.dmregister.com/?cat=33