See: "Covering 2012, Youths on the Bus."
For decades, campaign buses were populated by hotshots, some of whom covered politics for decades, from Walter Mears to David S. Broder to Jules Witcover. It was a glamorous club, captured and skewered in Timothy Crouse’s best-selling “The Boys on the Bus,” about the 1972 campaign.And see The Other McCain, "A Special Kind of Stupid." (At Memeorandum).
Now, more and more, because of budget cutbacks, those once coveted jobs are being filled by brand new journalists at a fraction of the salary. It is not so glamorous anymore.
For these reporters the 2012 campaign is both the assignment of a lifetime and the kind of experience that is tying their stomachs in knots. Three of them are just out of college. One just got engaged. And none of them seem quite sure what to expect from more than a year on the road.
“We hear all this stuff, all this advice,” said Rebecca Kaplan, 23, who is giving up her apartment in Washington’s Chinatown for the duration of the campaign. “But I don’t think we’ll fully realize what’s going on until we get out there.”