“…when the TV people began appearing in large numbers on the press bus, the older newspapermen had regarded them with outright loathing – they were dilettantes, glamour boys, know-nothings…”
That’s a quote from Timothy Crouse’s book the “Boys on the Bus” – which chronicles the lives of the press crew following the 1972 election.
The story hasn’t changed much nearly 50 years later. Every time a presidential candidate hits the road, a crew of reporters can be found trailing close behind.
However, one part of the story has changed: the reporters following Hillary Clinton are overwhelmingly female. In her latest piece “Women in the Van,” Politico writer Hadas Gold writes about the new vibe on the campaign trail.
“The demographics overall of the political reporting class have changed,” Gold says.
“No editor I talked to said that they would ever assign somebody to cover somebody else just because of who they are or where they come from,” she says, “but women are drawn to the story because it is historical and how Clinton’s candidacy intersects with a lot of the conversations we’ve been having about gender and power dynamics.”
Because of the natural overlap in staff between Obama’s administration and Clinton’s campaign staff, and others covering the State Department transitioned to covering her campaign because they were familiar with Clinton.
“She has said to her staff that she’s noticed there are a number of talented young women who follow her around,” she says.
Gold says most female reporters following the Clinton campaign think Clinton views them as she does any other member of the press, no matter what they look like.
“We all know how Hillary Clinton normally feels about the press, which is wary,” Gold says.