Wednesday, September 5, 2012

In the FLOTUS pool

I'll be among a handful of  "pool"  reporters covering First Lady Michelle Obama's speech at a luncheon today honoring lesbian,  gay,  bisexual and transgendered elected officials.  It's another first for me in a week that has seen Charlotte  --  and the Observer  --  turned upside down.

I'd like to say my editors hand-picked me to track the First Lady of the United States  (or FLOTUS, as we insider-wannabes like to say).  But actually,  they picked reporter Elizabeth Leland.  As you may have heard,  she has fallen ill with West Nile virus.  So I stepped in.

I'd like to say the White House admired my work from afar and requested me for the pool.  Yeah, right.  They actually offered John Frank,  one of the (Raleigh) News & Observer's political reporters,  the chance to be the local pool reporter.  (Raleigh, local?  Do these people have a North Carolina map?)  He had moved into our newsroom for convention duty and happened to be standing next to my cubicle when the email arrived.  He bemoaned the time demands of being a poolie.  I said,  more or less,  "Gimme that!"

Frank has warned me there is nothing glamorous about pool duty.  I've seen the sample reports the White House sent along,  and yeah,  it's pretty dry stuff.  (I did request a personal interview.  Mrs. Obama's staff was kind enough to send their prompt  "no"  without adding "ROTFLOL").

But you know what?  It's new and different for me.  And that's been the great thing about the Democratic National Convention.  I've been seeing a whole new world of journalism and politics.  (I did veer off to do some education reporting in the middle of an 8 a.m. to midnight shift Tuesday,  and will file on that as soon as I get time.)  For the most part,  this is making me appreciate the relative ease of dealing with local education folks.  I hope I will not be nabbed by the Secret Service for disclosing that most of the pool communications come with the header "OFF THE RECORD."

I haven't garnered any big bylines or broken any big news this week.  But after 31 years in the newspaper business,  I am reminded that I'm still getting paid to have fun.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Better than the SINKUS pool...

Anonymous said...

I'm sick of this ridiculous POTUS, SCOTUS, and now FLOTUS junk. What's wrong with plain old "President" or "First Lady"?

Anonymous said...

If you happen to run into Dr. Jill Biden, English Professor, please ask her why she has a full-time job at a community college, but over 120 instructors in the dept. of English at CPCC do not. Does she consider this a "best practice"?

Anonymous said...

I am surprised Ann Clark and half of CMS adminstrators were not at that lunch. OR did they attend?

Just Sayin

Anonymous said...

Well, this explains why Theoden was put in charge of George Clooney jogging down Tryon St. sightings.

I'm stickin' with "the hunk" of Brawley School Rd.

Hope Elizabeth Leland is better soon.

-AD

Pamela Grundy said...

Remember, Ann, these national celebrities may toy with your affections, but when they're gone, we'll all still be there for you!

Anonymous said...

Aw heck, Pam, why did you have to remind us?

Anonymous said...

Just think 1 more day and the mess leaves town and we get our city back. Mr. Foxxy will have to let us see the numbers on the financial loss to the city. Ann did you speak with Mrs. Perdue and ask for more money? DId she tour our run down schools? Did Mr. Morrison strike a relationship with her? Sure would have been a cheap lunch with good time spent. Oh well so much for positve thinking.

Anonymous said...

And the exodus of taxpayer money continues with the DNC leaving town.

Please, will the last qualified principal in CMeS turn out the lights and take down the flag.

Wiley Coyote said...

Good luck Ann....

You deserve the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Ann , Please dont drink the Kool Aid its spiked with TFA,Perdue,Gorman,Broad,LIFT ice.

Anonymous said...

Too bad you weren't at the RNC where you'd have covered SCRWUS and FKUS: Romney and Ryan.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:44 pm.
I've already been RPD by Obama's policies.

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I am surprised Ann Clark and half of CMS administrators were not at that lunch. OR did they attend?

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