Reporter’s Notebook: BET News Climbs on Romney's Campaign Bus

Mitt Romney on the campaign trail

Reporter’s Notebook: BET News Climbs on Romney's Campaign Bus

A veteran political producer returns to the active campaign trail.

Published June 20, 2012

Reporting from Frankenmuth, Michigan — Tuesday morning began with a briefing with business leaders in Frankenmuth, Michigan. The goal of the event was to highlight Gov. Mitt Romney’s approach to working with small- and medium-sized businesses. It is always hard to find the perfect venue for campaign events, but Romney wanted to return to a place where he had campaigned with his father.

Frankenmuth is known internationally as home of the world’s largest year-round Christmas shop. If that were not enough — or perhaps because the Christmas shop is there — Frankenmuth also includes an authentic Bavarian village with a covered bridge and waitresses in traditional southern German outfits. Needless to say, it is another world: think Disney without the rides and with a lot of German speakers, German delicacies and Christmas trees decorated during the heat of summer. The Bavarian Inn Lodge was a unique start to the last day of the bus tour.

We then boarded the bus, found a bit of Wi-Fi, got served lunch and promptly fell asleep. The rigors of the campaign trail!

Temperature Too High

The last time I was on a campaign bus there was no Facebook, no Twitter, there weren’t even smartphones, so imagine me being able to shoot and file using an iPhone as my primary reporting tool. Tuesday morning the weather was brutally hot. By noon, temperatures reached the mid-90s and my iPhone simply stopped working.

An error I had never seen before — "Temperature too high iPhone must cool down in order to operate" — flashed on my screen.

Fortunately, I was able to get a few pictures of Romney, his wife, and the protestors who showed up, but it was a new "error" as I reported on the campaign in a new era. I have used my iPhone in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria — all over the world in harsh, warm conditions and it always kept working. It took the strong Michigan sun to stop it in its tracks. Thank goodness this was the last day of the tour and my iPhone will continue to work the next time I rejoin the campaign trail.


James Blue is an executive producer for BET News and is reporting on the 2012 election for BET Networks. He has reported on every presidential election since 1992 and looks forward to filing additional On the Road reports.


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(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Written by James F. Blue III


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