Off the Cliff: Journalists in Predawn Marathon on the Hill
For some unlucky journalists, New Year’s Eve meant patrolling the marble halls of the Capitol.
Imagine: You’ve spent a couple of years covering the Washington budget battles, a deal is finally reached to avert the fiscal cliff—okay, technically after we had slid off the cliff—and it happens at 2 a.m. on New Year’s Day?
Who in America was still up to see your live shot? Or to read your hastily crafted web piece?
The Senate’s predawn vote to raise taxes on individuals earning more than $400,000—which still faces a tough road in the House—was what passes for Beltway drama. Joe Biden negotiating with Mitch McConnell, racing to the Hill, and the senators (by an 89 to 8 margin) pushing through an ugly compromise that only delays the automatic spending cuts for two months.
And it happens while the country was sleeping.
No wonder the reporters, including CNN’s tireless Dana Bash, who fruitlessly shouted a question at Biden when the vice president first showed up, looked exhausted. (And who would have thought that Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin’s New Year’s revelry would be overshadowed?)
I’m tired from writing a late-night story and updating it early this morning. But I wasn’t on the Hill.
Now we get to do it again, covering what John Boehner’s House does or doesn’t do when most people are spending Jan. 1 sleeping it off or watching bowl games.
This is the life we have chosen.
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