We observed earlier that to be a part of the Kerry traveling press pool is the journalistic equivalent of writing about watching paint dry. Yet more proof: The best parts of the Kerry pool reports are the subject lines. The body of Kerry pool reports go like this:
There will be seven helicopters, four for press, three for jfk, agents and staff. Jfk will fly around while press gets set up. Pool will go to landing zone. He walks one way, pool walks another way and meets up were trail meets. In short, little time with jfk who continues to dodge the press. Jfk might talk with some rangers, but not with pool, loftus says. Comments to pool possible at 2. More to come....
About to depart. Five per copter. Kerry on knees reading map with pilot. Three cell calls made by jfk because no rnage at canyon. Jfk just said hw would talk to us at canyon
You all missed one cool copter ride.Zzzzzz. But here are today's subject lines, which, while not hilarious, are sort of amusingly sullen: "[Kerrypool] transcript of JK at GC (color TK)." Could not be more apt unless it include a picture of paint drying! (Because, really, the color never does come.) Then, later, "[Kerrypool] also the pool (at least me) owes jodi thanks and booze for transcription." Oh, the sacrifice! Next round is on us, Jodi.
Full report of the copter ride after the jump.
Pool 3, VandeHei, Grand Canyon
You all missed one cool copter ride. JFK, wife and daughter flew on Augusta 109, a two-engine Italian copter made in America, according to Loftus. We flew on the AS350s, another US made craft. We left Flagstaff and flew due North over a mix of public, private and national park land; trees and dirt and mountain here and there. At one point, it was like looking at an ocean of brown as far as the eye could see. Kerry flew behind us, or next to us, to give us time to beat him to South Ring Grand Canyon Helibase, elevation 6920 feet.
One agent said Kerry detoured to see a small forest fire; we could only see the smoke from afar. Kerry landed and spent 15 minutes chatting up forest service types and firefighers out of the sight of your pooler. THK offered poolers some sun block, which she smeared in large quantities on her hands and lips. She complained of a 14-hour headache from the lights last night and said she would hike for ten minutes to determine if she could continue.
THK fashion update: straw hat with red ribbon, white linen shirt with long sleeves and oatmeal pants which fashion guru Patsi described as somewhere between full length and capri. She switched from sandals to sneakers for the hike. JfK: same as I described in earlier pool.
We were herded into the vans to await Kerry's completion of a short hike. JFK hiked from Hopi Point to Powell Point, taking less than 30 minutes. He walked out the Powell Point on the western rim of the Canyon, 10,000 feet up, 1 mile up from the river, Park Ranger said. He took questions. Transcript to follow. Afterwards he greeted several dozen visitors who waited more than one hour atop the Powell Monument, which honors the 1869 Powell expedition. We then departed