After six weeks of continuous campaigning and media attention, it is not surprising that the atmosphere was tense as the primary arrived in Pennsylvania. Emotions were running high as the world media descended on Philadelphia. Yet I was shocked to see people yelling, screaming and pushing at one another. Representatives of the Clinton and Obama camps were positioned in front of City Hall, looking to garner attention for their candidate. From an outsider perspective, it just seemed to be about who could yell louder.
I attended the Hillary Clinton event at Penn's arena, but this time avoided any confrontation with the former president. I opted to flash my press pass in order to enter before the public where I chatted with the international press about the election. Everyone was very cordial until the press from "on the bus" arrived. The CNN camera guy knocked over any gear that was in his path with a gruff, "Move it." While I soaked in the energy of the crowd, it was clear that a few more weeks on the trail would leave me mildly disillusioned and bleary eyed. But I am not covering this election from the risers in the back of a gymnasium.
This is what led me to decide to leave city center to the 30 television trucks camped out in front of Governor Rendell's Philadelphia office and instead travel to North and South Philadelphia to find out what the people were saying. It didn't surprise me that I didn't see any other media during the time I spent there reporting nor did I see anyone conducting exit polls. What I was truly grateful for was the kindness of Vivienne Crawford, a former special education teacher turned attorney, who drove me around Philadelphia because she was concerned about the media disparity she was watching on network news. Mrs. Crawford made no bones about her political affiliation, but she was more focused on something larger than politics. At this stage in the campaign, that hardly seems possible.
In case you can't get enough Rocky parallels, watch this.