Monday, December 03, 2007
Seeing New Hampshire... at 80mph
Sent: Tue 11/27/2007 1:24 PM
To: Reisner, David
Subject: Can u go to nh
And that was the request... could I go to New Hampshire to help with Anderson's interview of Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee. Hopeful indeed; after the CNN/YouTube presidential debate, and some strong numbers in recent polls, the Huckabee campaign has a re-newed life to it, and we've been offered a glimpse, with a 'day in the life' on the campaign trail. The assignment seems really exciting, plus I've never been to New Hampshire and I've heard its beautiful this time of year... I'm in.

I should have known how this trip was going to go by the flight. It's 7:55a, and before we are ready to take off in one of those small turboprop planes, the flight attendant asks passengers in the front portion of the plane to move to the back because the plane was 'nose heavy...' What?! ('s hourly forecast of Manchester, NH listed it as 'WINDY, WINDY, WINDY' and 'WINDY...' That should have been a good barometer too.)

After a bumpy ride, we touch down, hop in the rental, and hit the road. Claire Brinberg, my producer, is in the front seat and Anderson's in back. She tells us how much she loves New Hampshire - the changing of the seasons, the political windfalls that sweep through this state every election... I just hope I get to see some of this stuff she's talking about.

We arrive in Concord, a beautiful town with all the quaint stores, shops and restaurants you could imagine. We're meeting Huckabee on the first leg of today's campaign... The Concord Holiday Inn. He's speaking to the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce and the place is packed. Huckabee tells the crowd about his upbringing... how growing up his family was a generation away from dirt floors and outdoor toilets... and he was the first person in his family to graduate from high school.

Next up is Tilton H.S. Anderson hops in the car with Huckabee to interview him on the way ... and we follow in our car- zooming right behind. Huckabee arrives and we talk about everything from his faith as a child to his dreams of playing guitar with Keith Richards... and in fact, Huckabee is here to not only speak with students, faculty and local residents about why he should be their next president... he's here to jam out with the school's rock band. (He plays a mean 'Louie Louie')

In the midst of all the cheers in the school bleachers we find out our day is going to change, and quickly. Seems someone had entered a Hillary Campaign office on the other side of New Hampshire in the town of Rochester... and he has hostages. We get the call to get over there ASAP... so we say our goodbyes, jump back in the car - and head for the story. Details were sketchy and emails/radio reports only make us more anxious as we're gunning it down the highway to get there soon. I'm seeing New Hampshire after all... at 80 mph.

We finally arrive in Rochester to a flurry of blue police lights, yellow tape, and a city on lockdown. The press is starting to set up shop - unraveling cables, wires, lights... this is going to be a long night. For a city with a police force of about 45... seems like they're all here. And they've brought backup.

We go out to find facts, grab guests and gain information on what is developing a block away. There's a news conference slated to start in the next hour and I'm asked to stay to get more info. It's amazing being on the flip-side of things. We've all seen the press conferences with 18 microphones in front of someone... but to see the wires of those 18 microphones all leading to real people; people working the story on the ground, working on it together... all from different newspapers and tv oulets. It is really something else.

We hook up with our satellite truck, and end up using our car's battery to power part of the broadcast. (As they say, when in Rochester...) Lights up, cameras on, we are on the air. The standoff ends without tragedy. We go live from the scene at 8p and 10p... in 30 degree weather.

After the show we pack up our equipment - and by midnight we were back in the car, ready to head back to where this entire day began... Manchester. As we drove back with the heat on full, and a light snow beginning to fall outside, I realized how right Claire was. New Hampshire was exciting this time of year.

- By 360 Associate Producer David Reisner
Posted By CNNBLOG: 11:32 AM ET
What a great blog post, David! Thank you for that. I felt as if I was there. That was scary last Friday, with the hostage crisis. Thankfully, it ended peacefully. But what a day you had...up and down, like a rollercoaster. The news just keeps you on your toes, doesn't it?

Edmonds, Washington
Posted By Lilibeth : 12:25 PM ET
Hi Anderson - Im excited to hear what Huckabee has to say. He's one of the more civilized people on the political landscape. Now cover your head + don't come home with a cold !
Posted By Phyllis, Stamford, Ct. : 12:26 PM ET
AWESOME!!! I can't wait to se this interview, while I do not agree 100% with Mr. Huckabee on all the issues, I think he is one of the few that can lead this country into the right direction. I think he is a man of faith but also a man of principals. Besides if we wait for someone we agree with 100%we will be waiting for a long time.
Posted By beaslma : 12:26 PM ET
Finally a politician who has a mode of governing that seems both expedient and from the heart, AND he plays a mean bass guitar.
Posted By Terry - Fayetteville, AR : 12:34 PM ET
I think Gov. Huckabee changes the perception in a good way for the party. A lot of people have conservative values, but don't like the 'corporate greed' types who dominate the party. The traditional view of Republicans being rich and white has to change.
Posted By Cary - Lowell, In. : 12:39 PM ET
I find it exciting to see so many viable candidates still in this presidential race. Compared with say, what's happening in Venezuela, this is one thing that makes our country so great -- the people have a voice!
Posted By Dianne, San Mateo, Ca. : 12:42 PM ET
This is exciting to see Iowa and the rest of the nation embracing the candidacy of Mike Huckabee. People are starting to realize that Gov. Huckabee's appeal is far broader than his religious base.

Bundle up guys, and safe travels !
Posted By Shana, Durango , CO : 12:44 PM ET
Friday night's braodcast from NH was really well done and I appreciate all the work that was put into it by you David and everyone on the team. If you were all dressed the same way Anderson was, you all must have froze your butts off. It was as cold in Toronto as it was in NH and it was pretty darn cold.

I can't wait to see Anderson's piece with Mike Huckabee tonight. I really like Mike Huckabee and I hope he wins the nomination. I'll be watching tonight :)
Posted By Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada : 1:01 PM ET
Anyone who pardons a Rolling Stone for speeding is OK with me... Rock on, brother !
Posted By Jaime S., Memphis, Tenn. : 1:16 PM ET
Huckabee says "strong families are the foundation of a strong country" and although it sounds simple, when's the last time Americans really stopped and considered something so basic?
Posted By Liane Marie, Clearwater, FL. : 1:19 PM ET
Thanks for the field report. Huckabee was the first to graduate high school in his family?! What a refreshing change from the old money candidates. This proves you don't have to be rich to be considered for President.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow !
Posted By Riley R. - Exeter, Ma. : 1:49 PM ET
TV journalism is partially about the adrenaline rush, right? Interviewing a presidential candidate, a hostage situation at another presidential candidate's campaign office, how much more excitement could you ask for in a day? The only thing I could think of beyond are these people o.k. is this. We have a huge mental health crisis in this country. This guy was telling the world that pretty loudly Friday. He sounds a lot like many of the people I've worked with and known personally over the years who self-medicate and/or suffer because they can't get access to quality mental healthcare or the meds and therapy out there just don't work even with the best care available to them. Sometimes mental health disorders aren't treatable or curable (like some physical disorders). It takes sheer desperation to do what this guy did on Friday and a lot of pain. At least they will hopefully be able to provide help for him now that will be successful. And his family will be lucky enough to get another chance with him. Those of us who've lost those we love to mental illness just weren't that fortunate. Healthcare wasn't even covered in the debate, and we have some serious healthcare issues in this country including access and quality in the mental health field. Friday's events pitifully illustrate this. Maybe someone will finally listen. Having been in the profession for 15 years, I'm not holding my breath, though.
Posted By Tammy C., Berwick, LA : 2:58 PM ET
Thanks for the great coverage on NH. It is always great to hear how it works behind the scenes! Anderson looked so cold on Friday! I can't wait for AC360 tonight!
Posted By Anonymous : 3:24 PM ET
Hi David,
That was a cool post! Thanks for the "behind the scenes" info. I have wondered what it was like to be broadcasting from a breaking story. You all did a great job under the circumstances. I look forward to the broadcast tonight!
Posted By pamina : 3:59 PM ET
Maybe Governor Huckabee can prove the naysayers wrong who think the most moneyed campaign will automatically win the nomination.
Posted By richard h -- atlanta, ga. : 4:04 PM ET
Thank you David for your account of "Life with Anderson". You are very prolific in your post, with all the pictures and details. Viewers get a kick out of the trials and tribulations you have to go thru to get the story. Now don't get caught in a drift of snow while driving through the wilds of New Hampshire.
Posted By jessica d , albany, ny. : 5:32 PM ET
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