By Samantha Hayes, for NEWS 9
Nov. 7, 2008
WASHINGTON -- A blog, by definition, is supposed to be a regular entry of commentary, a description of events, or in the case of Running Mate, a daily description of one very important event: the 2008 Presidential Election.
We knew when the project began, way back in July of 2007, that this election would be different. Change was coming, because either way, a new President would be occupying the White House. The campaign trail provided more twists and turns than we could have ever imagined, and we've enjoyed telling you about the many things seen and heard along the way in this blog.
Today I went back through our archives to find the very first Running Mate blog entry. On July 23rd, 2007, we were reporting from Charleston, South Carolina. That was the site of CNN's first YouTube debate featuring 8 Democratic candidates taking questions from voter-generated videos. That was also the first time we explored another technological feat, the CNN Election Express which I described as a "one stop shop for reporters in the field." After that, we met up with the Election Express bus at nearly every stop, from the bitter cold caucuses in Des Moines, Iowa on January 3rd, to the day of the general election November 4th in Chicago, Illinois. Along the way, we've seen the democratic process up close. And experienced the enthusiasm of voters from Charleston, West Virginia, to big cities like Los Angeles. Early on we met a young college student in Iowa who painted his car and named it the "Ron Paul Mobile." We watched in Indianapolis as thousands of people gathered for an Obama rally where Stevie Wonder performed. We were there when Hillary Clinton ended the roll call vote at the Democratic convention in Denver, graciously clearing the delegate path for Obama to accept his party's nomination. We experienced the electricity inside the GOP convention when John McCain introduced Sarah Palin and she delivered her acceptance speech. And on Election Night, we watched as people inside Chicago's Grant park hugged, cried, and congratulated each other on Obama's ultimate victory.
In the end, we have this incredible diary of experiences to remember the Election of 2008. And a heck of a lot of frequent flier miles, and maybe a few permanent wrinkles, too. When this started, producer Karin Caifa and I were told that this would be the election of a lifetime to cover. It has been. We're glad you've been with us for the ride.