Political Pics and Other Hail Marys

The candidates, the corps, and the crush on the campaign trail

In the Press Room of Bush Headquarters Tuesday evening photographers sipped courtesy brews and listened to radio reporters screw up their live broadcasts--"Bush''s field manager...Shit. Let's try that again." It's all part of the media blitz on the New Hampshire primary--an onslaught of lights and microphones which itself received so much attention, it became a self-perpetuating news story.

When Bush finally emerged from his hotel room to concede in a speech reminiscent of his grinning television commercials--"I really feel good about this country; I really feel good about this campaign"--camera crews, journalists and photographers clogged the hallway like cholesterol clogs the bloodstream.

Down the street, Howard Baker's issue-oriented theme song ("I believe in this country, I believe in this land, I'm gonna do everything I can, To make it special again") preceded the candidate into the ballroom. An AP photographer of the twelve-Nikon ilk rattled forward and loomed over the diminutive Republican, to the exclusion of all press behind him: "Definite Cretinism," whispered a photographer next to me.

During her husband's speech, an unsuspecting Mrs. Baker was molested from above by an irrate ABC boom-man, presumably a Reaganite. She nobly shrugged it off.

Things over at Anderson Headquarters were far more...well, okay, they were mellow. John was there with the wife and kids, as at home among the college crowd as Reagan was among geriatrics, and he was...well, okay he was very pleased with the results, but more important he just wanted to get out of the hot T.V. lights, eat potato chips, and talk to some folks.


A photog who had arrived late squeezed in next to me, but wasn't quite tall enough to shoot over the fray. Turning his camera upside down, lifting it into the air like a divine offering, he fired off about a hundred and twelve frames with his motor drive. "A few Hail Marys and I'm out of here," he winked, and took off.

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