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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Some Light Reading

John King CNN August 22, 2008

The Providence Journal has an article on John King. Below are a few highlights:

He’ll be CNN’s King of convention coverage By Bryan Rourke

King cut his political news teeth in Rhode Island.“I didn’t know much about the state when I got there, but I loved it,” said King by phone last week. “It was a great experience.”

King, 44, is now working his sixth presidential election, and he predicts that interest among the public this time around is high.

Achieving party unity will be the story of both conventions, says King, whose own story is one of hard work and good timing. It began in the fall of 1981. King, a native of Boston, matriculated into the University of Rhode Island. An older brother went to Boston College, an older sister to Boston University. King wanted to blaze a new trail.

“My rebellion brought me all the way to Rhode Island. It wasn’t much of a rebellion.”

Among other topics, King covered the Rhode Island State House, amidst a pack of Providence reporters.

John King CNN May 13, 2008

“I joke about this all the time that I worked in the shadow of a guy wearing suspenders, Charlie Bakst. Now I have Larry King in suspenders, so I feel very comfortable.”

One advantage a television broadcast of the conventions offers over a newspaper article about them, King said, is the ability to not just learn about the candidates, but to learn by listening to them.

“When you’re trying to get to know someone better, whether it’s a date or a business relation, it’s better to sit across a table than to exchange letters. It’s easier to get to know them by watching them.”

But print has its place, according to King, who hopes that people who watch CNN convention coverage will seek supplemental information from the network’s Web site.

In the midst of this past year’s political campaign coverage, King, who has two children from a previous marriage, married again, May 25 on Cape Cod to Dana Bash, a CNN reporter.

“We managed to get married in a presidential election year. I give us both points. And I give credit to our boss to help work things out.”

Managing their demanding jobs with their married lives, King said “adds complication. We know what we do. No one makes us do this. We both love our work.”

The brunt of this year’s work will subside after the first week of November. After that, King said, “I think there is a beach somewhere on our horizon.”

divider ribbon

Tom Foreman CNN Election Center August 11, 2008 from the Election Express Bus

Last week, Editor & Publisher posted an article announcing that the free Metro papers in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia would be running articles by various CNN correspondents for the next 12 weeks.

"Emmy award-winning correspondent Tom Foreman will be chief columnist and key political reporters such as Bill Schneider, John King, and Candy Crowley are anticipated to serve as guest contributors," a Metro release stated. "Metro and CNN International have an already established relationship in which 70 Metro editions on 4 continents have exclusive access to content produced by CNN for Metro. The deal today signifies Metro’s growth on the domestic front and strengthens Metro U.S.’s editorial coverage."

Adds Metro New York publisher Georg Tsaros: "Metro is delighted to be able to offer our readers CNN's unique insight into the election campaigns. As the country's leading provider of political news, analysis and comment, CNN is a perfect partner for Metro."

CNN’s senior vice president and Washington bureau chief David Bohrman added: “This is an election like no other and CNN continually looks for new ways to connect with its audience here in the United States and across the world. This partnership allows CNN to provide Metro’s extensive readership with our unrivaled coverage of U.S. politics and the 2008 presidential election.”

The first article, Foreman: Welcome to the surprise party, appeared in Friday's Metro:

Have you ever been at a party when unex­pected guests show up? Maybe it is an odd couple that the host does not even remember inviting, or out-of-town friends of some­one who is on the list. Worse: The ex-spouse of a current friend arrives on the arm of some new fling. No matter how it happens, the whole affair can suddenly get uncomfortably electric (like a poolside karaoke machine) because no one can fully predict what will become of the interlopers.

So if you notice a certain edginess to Democratic Party leaders as their convention roars to life in Denver, you might want to consider whether it is a case of “unexpected guest jitters.”

For months the media have been making noise about the success the Democrats are enjoying in registering new voters and drawing new faces to the polls. Barack Obama, arguably, would stand little or no chance of mounting the party’s medal platform right now without all those folks turning out over the past few months to validate his message of change. But the thing is, Washington does not like change much. Neither do the major political parties.

Sure, they approve of progress: steady, methodical, reliable and predictable. That kind of change can be measured, budgeted and eased onto the scene in a way that assures everyone gets a piece of the pie. But explosive change, like say the arrival of millions of people in the voting booths who are playing the game of politics for the first time, can make politicians jumpy.

The problem for Old Line Democrats is figuring out just who these people are. Everyone knows the Obama army tends to be young. We know many of them are frustrated with political failings in Washington. Many don’t like the Republican party, or at least not at the moment. But are they really Democrats? Are they really interested in the Party’s values, or just his?

That is the crux of it. Obama is now the standard-bearer for the Democrats. If he wins the White House, by default his party will be beholden to the voters who put him there. And while those voters may share some touchstones with traditional Democrats, they may also pull the party in a much more centrist, moderate direction, and that could make traditional Democrats squirm. Remember, the older Democrats voted for Hillary Clinton.

The Democrats want these newcomers playing on their team. But even some top Democratic strategists have told me for months they do not know quite what to make of them. And in whispered conversations in the convention hallways, the old guard is wondering if these unexpected guests might change the whole party. | Catch Tom Foreman on CNN every Saturday at 6 p.m. on This Week in Politics for a look back at the presidential campaign trail.

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