Posted: 2:00 am Wednesday, January 27th, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
From Des Moines, Iowa
It wasn’t hard to figure out which plane was going to Iowa on Tuesday from Washington, D.C., as the waiting area at the airport gate was jammed with radio, television and newspaper reporters, TV cameramen and women, newspaper photographers, big shot anchors and more.
It was almost like we had our own Press Charter.
Those dynamics weren’t known to the flight crew when we piled onto the plane with all of our gear, as the heckling soon began while watching two cameramen friends of mine struggle to get their stuff in the overhead bins.
“Hey! Hurry up!” I yelled in mock anger, prompting concern on the face and in the voice of one of the flight attendants, who hadn’t yet realized that she was on the commercial version of the Zoo Plane for 2016.
Up in first class, we had Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace, sporting a baseball cap, holding down the fort, along with a New York Times reporter.
Back in the regular seats, there were reporters from the Washington Post, the Associated Press, camera crews from C-SPAN, Fox News and more.
There was more than enough firepower to start our own news bureau.
As our plane moved out from the gate, one of the flight attendants started quizzing a former work colleague of mine about the campaign.
It wasn’t a surprise as to where she started.
“Donald Trump is hysterical,” she said. “Is he a nice man?”
Once we got on the ground in Des Moines, it was time to sprint for the rental car counters and our mounds of equipment.
“We are out of cars right now,” the lady at the rental car desk said to me with a smile.
“But we can put you in a transit van if that’s okay.”
It wasn’t exactly my first choice, but it did get me on the road.
And we’ll see where it takes me over the next few days.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.