Uncategorized | 12:32 pm | December 31, 2007 | By Zabrahamson

Political junkies battle boredom, swap stories on back wall

PERRY, Iowa, 12:32 p.m. — The back wall of a political event is a little like a fraternity. Photographers and reporters lean against the wall, usually butting up against a candidate’s posters or signs, and swap stories. Did you hear the latest one about Biden? Who’s this joker doing Candidate X’s introduction? Weren’t you in Hawaii just two weeks ago, Jim?

After the Obama event, photographer Matt Lucas and I were approached by a young man named Edward. Twenty-two years old, just graduated from Oxford in the United Kingdom. He’s been working for the Daily Telegraph – a major London-based paper – for a little over a month, now, and he is covering the American presidential primaries.

“Yeah, I’m a little bit of a political junkie,” he admits. “But not quite as much as you two, eh?”

We walked him through the basics of an American campaign event – Perry was the first stop on the trail for Edward – and how to accost (read: approach) an American voter politely. But as for how to fight off the boredom of hearing the same stump speech day after day, we had no answer.

“I watched basically this same speech on C-SPAN last night,” Edward said of Obama’s pitch. Then, pointing at the row of tables reserved for the traveling campaign press – reporters from the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Atlanta Journal-Constitution — he asks, “These guys must hate it. Day after day – how do you find something new?”

-Zack Abrahamson

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