Here’s a crappy cell phone photo of the workspace in St. Paul. You might note that it bears a certain resemblance to the workspace in Denver, sans the tent. This is in the basement of a convention center, next door to the auditorium where the Republican convention is being held.
There are none of the wild temperature swings that marked my time in Denver’s Tent City. The indoor climate doesn’t go from Greenhouse to Meat Locker here — it stays at Meat Locker pretty much all of the time. I’m not sure whether that’s good or bad for the case of “campaign croup” — a persistent hoarseness accompanied by some coughing — that I have developed. (The name, by the way, comes from the illness that almost all campaign reporters develop from riding day after day in a plane with no sleep).
The vibe here is odd. Hurricane Gustav put an end to the party atmosphere — and in fact, I’m spending all of my time dealing with the hurricane right now, not the convention. Events here have been more or less canceled today and I anticipate the same thing will happen for tomorrow.
This is the longest time I’ve spent on the road since 1992, when I took two one-month trips. It’s an odd lifestyle, moving from generic outer-suburban hotel to generic work space. And now, thanks to the miracle of computer networking, reporters in New Orleans will file to me in St. Paul, and I’ll write for a newspaper website on the East Coast.