The airport in Manchester, New Hampshire early this morning looked like a news media convention.
Many familiar faces -- FNC's Brit Hume, Chris Wallace, Alan Colmes, CNN's Tucker Carlson, Wolf Blitzer, Wall Street Journal's Al Hunt, etc. -- were fleeing the huge winter storm which we had been told would start 12 hours earlier but had yet to materialize. Surely it would hammer us any second since we had been put on high weather alert for two days. Everyone expected to be snowed in for a day or two beyond the Tuesday primary and thus every effort was made to book the first flight out to escape the dreaded storm threat.
Of course upon getting the weather news on Monday, we all began developing contingency plans. Our staff had considered leaving at 1 a.m. ET Wednesday morning after our two hour show and driving to Boston to catch a 5:15 a.m. ET train to D.C. which stopped in New York City. Since most of our staff works in New York City, that seemed like a good idea so that they could jump off in New York. But then others said, what if you end up in a ditch in the snowstorm en route to Boston in the middle of the night? That did not sound particularly fun.
The fear mongers were in full bloom and we were all vulnerable to scare stories. No one had any idea whether our rental vehicle was a four wheel drive so someone suggested going on line to find out. Someone else wondered whether trains could go through huge snow storms and huge snow drifts. Of course none of us knew how much a train could take. They are big and fast but there must be some limit. The amount of weather and travel discussion going on in our newsroom during primary day was incredible. We were putting political news on the air but planning madly off air. We also had significant technical issues to think about. With many of our anchors and correspondents in New Hampshire, if we all got snowed in, could we do our shows from there one more night -- or even two? How would we get our correspondents and their producers out of New Hampshire to continue to track the presidential candidates?
With all the weather discussion and rumors flying around the newsroom, it almost seemed like we should simply be ready to concede the obvious and declare residency in New Hampshire and at least avoid a state income tax in our soon to be former home states . At this point, having been a party to so many conversations, I think I am now an expert on modes of travel and schedules for commercial transportation out of New Hampshire.
As it turned out? No snow. None. Not a flake. All was well at least when our flight lifted off at 9 a.m. ET.
When I arrived two hours before my flight -- I did not want to risk losing my seat from over booking -- and went through security, a TSA employee told me that he had just made a mistake. Ten minutes ahead of me to go through the line was CNN's Judy Woodruff. He said that he told her to say "hi" to Shep Smith. He realized a few minutes later that Judy does not work at the same network with Shep. So I said "I will do it."
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