Uncategorized | 3:26 pm | January 6, 2008 | By Thomas Kaplan

Camera-sniffing dogs and the Obama phenomenon

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MANCHESTER, N.H., 9:45 a.m. — I walk into the Palace Theater in downtown Manchester this morning and head to pick up my media credential for a rally scheduled here for Senator Barack Obama.

Two problems, the press aide tells me. First, we’re out of media credentials, because there are so many of you, she says. But you have a camera, so you look like a journalist, so you shouldn’t have a problem, she adds.

“Oh, one more thing,” she says as I was heading into the theater. “Make sure to go outside so your camera can get swept.”

What?

“You know, the Secret Service. They need to let their dog sniff it.”

And sniff it the dog did. All of the photographers and cameramen on hand had to leave their cameras and other equipment in a corner of the theater lobby, lest they be denied entrance to the rally. With our equipment sitting there unguarded — tens of thousands of dollars worth of cameras, I’d guess — we were escorted out of the room while the Secret Service came through with their bomb-sniffing dog.

I guess they had to make sure my Canon was not, well, an actual cannon?

— Thomas Kaplan

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