The View from 30,000 Ft.

Covering a campaign from the back of a plane

Some call it a cocoon, sealed off from the realities of the world. Others call it home. It offers perhaps the best view of a presidential campaign, and the worst. Tightly knit and suffused with the cramped camaraderie generally enjoyed only by soldiers enduring basic training or inmates in an asylum, the fuselage of a candidate's plane provides the skewed perspective from which many of the country's most prestigious political reporters view the electoral process.

Reporters often try to escape its claustrophobia. "I'll be traveling,...

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