Not Your Parents' Campaign

This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
A guy I know who was there said there were at least 100 reporters covering Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign swing through Iowa. There were crews from Japan and Europe — a real media horde.

It's not supposed to be like that, not yet. Campaigning in the "Caucus State" has usually meant lonely car rides from small town to small town to address small gatherings of interested voters. It's real retail, face-to-face politics.

Back in the good old days — four years ago — if a reporter like me called a campaign and said I wanted to tag along for a day, it was easy. Even for a top-tier candidate, the press rarely included more than a couple of print types and some kids with DV cameras. Well, the kids are everywhere now — which means that whatever a candidate says, no matter where or when, can be on the Internet in a second.

Those days when a politician would sit in your living room and make you believe in their candidacy seem quaint, and sadly passed. Especially if your name is Hillary.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.

By Harry Smith