In this Kerry campaign pool report -- which is actually a memo about pools -- we learn that there is a right way and a wrong way to describe the three hundred and forty-seventh trip to Ohio. Specifically: DO say what people are eating and if Ben Affleck has visible "pillow furrows" on his face. ("A pool report should consist of a thorough briefing about everything that happened at a pooled event, including the candidate’s comments, color, details about the location and those in attendance"). DON'T pretend that you didn't hear Teresa and John fighting. ("Pool reporters must share all information they gather at pooled events with his or her colleagues, and may not use details in their stories that day or in the future that they did not share with the rest of the press corps.") The dos and don'ts are about as exciting as any actual pool event; the sample pool included is funny, but old:
Continuing the tradition established on their wedding night, Sen. John and Elizabeth Edwards celebrated their 27th anniversary with a lunch at Wendy's, the only restaurant they could afford back in the day - and still a favorite. The Edwardses came into the restaurant first, followed by Sen. John Kerry and THK. The audience broke into applause. Big John clapped Younger John on the back and said, "John, I'm treating. It's my anniversary treat."It's all after the jump.
With guests of this magnitude, the manager himself took the order. "Here or to go?" he said. JE and EE each had a single burger with cheese, fries and a diet coke. They got one Frosty to share between them. Awwww.
KERRY PRESS CORPS
POOL REPORT GUIDELINES
The goal of our pool coverage is to be thorough, precise and timely, with a premium on disseminating news as fast as possible. In that spirit, please refer to the following guidelines when providing pool coverage of Kerry events.
1. A pool report should consist of a thorough briefing about everything that happened at a pooled event, including the candidate’s comments, color, details about the location and those in attendance and any other pertinent context. Whenever possible, the pool reporter should attempt to get the name and other identifying details about people who have substantive interaction with the candidate. Pool reports should identify any relevant news at the top of the briefing.
2. The pool reporter should provide a thorough and prompt written pool report to his or her colleagues. This pool report should be emailed out shortly after the pooled event to the pool listserv. In addition, the pool reporter should deliver an oral briefing immediately after the event, whenever possible, to alert the press corps to any news.
3. Pool reporters should provide regular updates to the press corps about the candidate’s movements when arriving at and departing a pooled event, as well as information about other pool activities later in the day.
4. Pool reporters must share all information they gather at pooled events with his or her colleagues, and may not use details in their stories that day or in the future that they did not share with the rest of the press corps.
5. A pool reporter must have the necessary technology to distribute prompt pool reports, such as a Blackberry or an aircard. Those who do not have the appropriate technology are responsible for making other arrangements to distribute pool information in a timely fashion, or they cannot serve as the pool reporter.
6. When pooling local television interviews, please note the station’s call letters and network affiliation in the pool report.
7. In the interest of getting the most thorough and complete picture of what happened at a pooled event, both print and TV poolers should send their pool reports to the entire press corps.
SAMPLE POOL REPORT:
Tom Fitzgerald Philadelphia Inquirer/KR
Summary: Visit to Wendy's on Union Street, also known as NY Route300, produced no news, some color, an awkward moment with Marines, and one family of converted Republicans named Reagan. (No kidding.)
Continuing the tradition established on their wedding night, Sen. John and Elizabeth Edwards celebrated their 27th anniversary with a lunch at Wendy's, the only restaurant they could afford back in the day - and still a favorite. The Edwardses came into the restaurant first, followed by Sen. John Kerry and THK. The audience broke into applause. Big John clapped Younger John on the back and said, "John, I'm treating. It's my anniversary treat."
With guests of this magnitude, the manager himself took the order. "Here or to go?" he said. JE and EE each had a single burger with cheese, fries and a diet coke. They got one Frosty to share between them. Awwww. JK had a tub of Wendy's chili and a Frosty, while THK had the chili and an iced tea. No discernible mushiness between JE and EE, but hey, they had more than a dozen of their closest electronically wired media friends looking on.
The manager was into it. He referred to Wendy's 1984 slogan "Where's the beef?" that played a role in the presidential campaign and told Edwards, "I was kind of hoping you'd come up with a new one." JE's response was inaudible.
Note: Wendy's is headquartered in Dublin, OH. It's a swing state kind of restaurant.
EE greeted a family that was celebrating their little girl's graduation from Vacation Bible School. The girl showed Mrs. Edwards her certificate. "Thank you, hon," she said. "Congratulations, Victoria." She chatted with the parents for a moment - pooler was too distant to hear the exchange - and said, "God bless" as she took her leave.
JE went to greet a table of Marines, two of them in uniform and two off duty, hunkered down over their chow. Kerry spied the uniforms too and came over. "Where are you guys serving?" he said. Right nearby at Stewart AFB; they are in an aviation unit. The Marines were monosyllabic: "Yes sir. No sir." Kerry asked one master sergeant to explain his ribbons, then shook hands all around. "Thank you for your service."
Queried later, the Marines were not impressed. They all support Bush, though none would give his name. "He imposed on us and I disagree with him coming over here shaking our hands," one Marine said. "I'm 100 percent against" Kerry, he said. "We support our commander in chief 100 percent." The sergeant, a 10-year veteran who has spent time in the Balkans, said, "I speak for all of us. We think that we are doing the right thing in Iraq." He said he is to be deployed there in a few weeks and is "eager" to go and serve.
Debbie and Earl Reagan, Republicans from Wallkill, N.Y., were having lunch with their son Ed, 22, to celebrate his enlistment in the Air National Guard today. Both Debbie and Earl are retired veterans of the air guard, and Earl served in Desert Storm.
Debbie Reagan, 47: "I've always been a Republican but after the speech last night we made the decision that we were going to vote for Kerry."
Earl Reagan, 49, also R: "I liked what he said about the tax situation. The middle class has been taking a hit and the big corporations seem to be getting away with everything." r
Debbie Reagan: "I also like what he said about science and technology and taking it to the next level with medical cures and all that."
Earl Reagan: "I liked the part about the question 'What if?'" He said he also believed strongly in Kerry's call for the urgent development of alternative fuels and packaging of energy independence as a national-security issue. "There's no reason why we can't have hydrogen fuel-cell cars. We need to stop using all this oil and gas from the Arab countries."
Ben Affleck, one half of the former Bennifer juggernaut, had obvious pillow furrows in his face. Chris, Andre, Vanessa and Alexandra, who straggled into the restaurant, also looked beat.
Affleck caused a stir when he stepped outside of the restaurant. New Yorkers are not shy. "Hey Ben," someone shouted. "Let's go Yankees!" There were some catcalls about his failed relationship with J.Lo and also Gigli, said to be the worst movie ever made. "I just came out here to Wendy's and John Kerry showed up," Affleck said. "I'm starting to think he's following me around." Local reporters asked him what he thought of the road trip. "So far I've been asleep so I haven't formed any concrete opinions yet," he said. "I'm going to wait for the talking points." He said he enjoyed talking to the Johns about polling - i.e. what it says about "what voters care about." A local TV reporter asked whether he had any political aspirations of his own. "After I've seen the glamour and the glory? Thanks guys." Hmm, that sounds like a non-denial denial.
THK said she was up until 3:30 a.m. or 4 a.m. and was very tired. "We're all so tired. I conked," she said. "I think the chili will wake me up. It's good chili...It could even be made by Heinz. It's very well made."
Not surprisingly, she loved the speech. THK: "I felt he was given a chance to do well, the way he knows how to do best, to be thoughtful and complete...to give the passion and the substance together." The only other time she saw him hit a speech so well, she said, was when JK spoke about 5 years ago to a reunion of the Swift boat veterans at the Anacostia naval station. "There was not a dry eye in the house," THK said. "When he has the time to write, to get that (emotion) out, he's beautiful."
At 1:28 p.m., JK left Wendy's after giving an interview to Associated Press and greeting workers in the kitchen. He went down the rope line, accepting wishes of good luck and shaking hands. Pool and candidate moved to the buses at 1:30 p.m.