Daniel Libit of Politico has an interesting piece on how the rigors and demands of the 2008 campaign trail led many McCain and Obama staffers, as well as the journalists who reported on them, down a road of poor diet and lack of exercise. We excerpt the article below.
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This is life after the protracted adrenaline high that is the presidential campaign: no more bag calls at 6:30 a.m. (or earlier). No more sniffling for weeks straight before a check-up at the doctor. For reporters, no more eating at “the file center,” catching cat naps on the plane and working into the early morning hours.
A few days before the election, Time’s Karen Tumulty blogged about counting calories during a day on the Obama campaign plane:
“So what are we talking about?” Tumulty wrote. “Seven full meals plus multiple snacks? 50,000 calories? And the only real exercise I got all day was unloading my bag from the plane, our weird little ritual at the end of the day.”
Restoring one’s pre-election physique and/or triglyceride levels takes time.
“You have to remind yourself that a campaign is followed by a transition,” Tumulty says, “which is essentially the same amount of work with none of the travel.”
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“The problem with presidential campaigns is, win or lose, you’re a wreck afterward,” says Mark McKinnon, a former media consultant for McCain and, earlier, for President George W. Bush. “When your system hits the brakes after being on the campaign rocket sled going full tilt for a couple years, most people are a mess. I know I was. [It] just takes a couple months for your brain and body to readjust without the constant adrenaline rush.”
McKinnon says he’s taken diametric approaches to it: Once he biked around the South Island of New Zealand. The other time, he spent two weeks “passed out” on an island off the coast of Zanzibar.
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