Some of my best campaign memories come from air travel. I once awoke from a nap on a transcontinental flight to find Alan Keyes hovering over me. After I rubbed my eyes, he was still there. Apparently, I was sitting a row behind his kids. Where Keyes traveled in first class, he kept his kids back in the cheap seats. As I arose, Keyes delivered a lecture on the curvature of the planet. It was a stunning performance--the same slap shot gesticulation and stentorian tone that he deployed in his compulsively watchable turns at GOP debates. There was no difference, apparently, between his public and private personas--a disturbing and (weirdly) delightful epiphany. Keyes, by the way, will join today's Des Moines Register debate.
When I journeyed to Des Moines last night, I hopped a flight that should rebrand itself Conventional Wisdom One. It is the lone direct flight from Washington National to Des Moines, and it leaves every afternoon at 4:55. The airline assigned me to sit next to a colleague from National Review--not nearly as awkward as you would imagine. Needless to say, David Broder was there, too. (Yes, he talks about the virtues of America's governors even in his down time.) National Review had just endorsed Romney, a source of much buzz. There were lots of jokes about what John Edwards might say about the exceptionally cramped conditions on our Northwest jet. As I plugged in my earbuds and began to read through a stack of manuscripts, I imagined the screed Glenn Greenwald might write after witnessing this scene.
Thanks to Crowley and Scheiber for inviting me to guest blog for The Stump for the next few days. I'm sure not every boss would have been able to extract that kind of space from his employees.