Too Much Access? McCain Campaign Reporter: "It Gets To The Point Where You Just Want Them To Shut Up Sometimes"

Mar 28, 2008 | Updated May 25, 2011

Via of the North Country Times, NPR correspondent Scott Horsley has some fabulous tidbits from the campaign trail, having first been assigned to Mitt Romney and then switching to John McCain of late. Here's the flipside of McCain's vaunted access:

Lately, he's been covering presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, whose campaign has been busy sapping the energy of even the most health-food-fortified reporters.

"They just hold court constantly," Horsley said. "They are an open book when it comes to their strategy, their tactics, their view of the race. It gets to the point where you just want them to shut up sometimes."

Double-edged sword, eh? He goes on:

McCain has been amazingly accessible to the press, with the exception of a few days after a supposed sex scandal broke out, Horsley said.

"You can talk to him three times a day if you want," he said. "At every event he does a news conference, and then he gets on a plane and has another news conference."

The problem for Horsley is simple: "What can I possibly ask that hasn't been asked three times today?

Other tidbits,:

  • Ann Romney had to stop her husband from wandering into a beauty salon in Iowa as he was being tailed by the media. Said smart Ann: "You cannot take the TV cameras into a hair salon."

  • McCain is more press friendly than not only Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, but also John Kerry ("not particularly accommodating") or, in a surprise call out, George W. Bush, whom he said was "utterly contemptuous" of the press. And they still wanted to have a beer with him. Geesh.

  • He characterized an Obama audience as having a "euphoric" experience, and said Clinton was impossible to stump in a marathon question-and-answer period in New Hampshire: "There was not a problem that she didn't have a four- or five-point plan for or something to say about it. She showed everybody, if they had any doubt, that she has a very solid grasp of arcane policy details."