Archive for November, 2006

Missouri Senate race

I travelled to St. Louise Tuesday afternoon to cover the heated race between Jim Talent and Claire McCaskill.

Their two headquarters were about a 25 minute drive, via interstate, between eachother. I first checked out Talent’s party, which was still in its early phases when I arrived. After checking in at the press checkin and proving my personal info “for this night only” I got my groundings before heading to McCaskill’s. I needed a place to transmit, and the Hilton which hosted Talent’s party was charging fees, so with time left on the countdown I drove out to McCaskill’s party located in downtown St. Louis.

Her party was about 3x the size of Talents, including numbers of media. Found my two-feet of reserved table space to set up my own headquarters for the night. no pic. sorry. Once everything was up and running, including the free internet, I gathered my cameras and headed back to Talent’s party. It was known that McCaskill was going to speak at “9:30” (current time 7:00) So with some time to kill I arrived at Talent’s hoping he would come out before McCaskill.

Talent was going to initially speak at 8ish (perfect, i thought) but the rumor was due to something at dinner, Talent pushed his speech back an hour. it was going to get close.

So, with an hour to go I started to get hungry. The other media folks already had ordered in pizzas. Thought of pizza didnt sit well, so I decided to go exploring. damn i wish i took photos at this point… Across the street was a grocery store, with my utility belt (hence the nickname “batman”) and a camera over each shoulder, i felt the need to get in and get out. after all i didnt want to miss Talent. So i grabbed the largest prepackaged sandwich i could, and two cokes. it could be a long night. i needed the essentials. I returned to the party, found a small spot in the media orgy and dug in.

Talent eventually came out, looking pretty happy. The results were in the early stages but he was up over 10% points.

But just in case, I needed to cover my bases and get a less exicted looking shot. Not the best, but shows the little dough boy in him…

I got out of there quickly after his talk and sped my way towards downtown.

I arrived. 9:25. 5 minutes till McCaskil supposedly gets on stage. I rush in switch gear and begin processing the Talent shots. Turns out McCaskill delayed her speech. She decided not to make an apearance till later, way later.

So, in the meantime, I finished up Talent’s stuff, and passed the time away.

We waited. and waited. still no show. I was about to head back to Talent’s party since he was still slightly in the lead, even though McCaskill was within 2% points. Occassional cheers from the crowd would distract things. She eventually pulled ahead Talent in numbers and increased her lead.

Time to get in close. The press were initially told to stay in their “pool” which included a stage about 40 feet directly across the podium. Borrring. Restrictions quickly became a thing of the past as tension grew and small signs of McCaskill’s apearance were nearing (security guys getting anxious, moving about, etc.)

So McCaskill finally took the stage some victory words which I hardly remember, cheered, hugged her family then made her way towards the press in the back of the ballroom. She was quickly surrounded and a mob of fans, press pushed their way around the room.

McCaskill actually spent a lot of time with the press going back and forth down the line.I finished up, sent my photos in, packed my bags and headed home.

I was hoping to get a concession shot of Talent, but staying so late at McCaskill’s made my chances pretty slim. Talent’s party was on the way back, so why not. Sure enough, his party ended a long time back. oh well, cranked the tunes, the a/c, and managed to get home by 4am. yee haw. I love election night.

My Grandfather’s Funeral

My grandfather was buried Friday, Nov. 3, 2006, at the Dallas/Ft. Worth National Cemetery.