Reporters on the Job
• It's All About the Ride: Staff writer Danna Harman says that spending the weekend on the campaign trail with Mexico's leading presidential candidate, Felipe de Jesús Calderón, was a study in contrasts.
The official campaign stops and speeches were rather low-key events. The candidate is not noted for his political charisma. But the scene on the Calderón media bus was just the opposite.
"I have followed a lot of presidential campaigns in dozens of countries, but this might have been the funniest and most raucous press bus I have ever been on," Danna says.
She was the only foreign journalist on the bus. Her Mexican colleagues were all in their 20s - and thoroughly enjoying the experience. "The distances between the campaign stops were from one to four hours each, and went from early morning until late at night. So, the majority of the time was spent on the bus with my colleagues."
Between stops, there was a steady stream of in-bus videos (Capote, Munich, Crash, Havana Nights, etc), and, often, someone was in the back of the bus playing guitar while people sang ballads and danced. "It was one long party. They could not have been more welcoming to me, and kept saying 'the blondie' should chose the next song or movie. As you may recall, I have brown hair, but I guess it's all relative."
She has not gone on the campaign trail with the other Mexican candidates yet. But her new friends on the Calderón bus say that the Andrés Manuel López Obrador campaign, for example, has older, more serious journalists in tow, and is no where near as fun.
David Clark Scott