contact Steve Ransom
The Adventures of Steve


Monday, January 12, 2004

Right now, there is a TV crew standing next to me interviewing people. Apparently the idea that people are willing to stay in a "winterized cabin" for Howard Dean is pretty novel. Yesterday, we had four film crews out here in the morning.

It's been a bit challenging being on the media stage here. One night my van arrived in camp right before midnight. I came into my cabin to find a photographer for the Kansas City Star there, snapping shots of my laundry. If that wasn't invasive enough, he was still there after I washed up and was ready to hit the hay. I waited a bit and said, "Well, can we help you?" "Nope," he said, "just waiting for the right shot." "Okay boys," said I, "let's go to bed so this guy can get pictures of us sleeping and go home." "No no no," the photographer says, "it has to be natural." I wasn't about to drop my drawers for a newspaper photographer, so I went outside and made some phone calls and waited for him to leave.

Yesterday, we had about fifteen minutes notice before the CBS, NBC, CNN and Washington Post people arrived. That was enough time to hastily get decent for the media. I'm a bit slower about getting up than others, so I was still shaving when the NBC crew burst into my cabin. They filmed me doing that and putting my shoes on. They also escorted me to the bathroom house and shot me washing my face and brushing my teeth.

On the way back to the cabin, Dan, a friendly guy from San Diego who had been chatting up the NBC guys with me, said that we were nothing but "media whores." Willing to do anything for the camera, brushing our teeth, shaving, whatever. "Hygiene for Dean!" I shouted.

It's true, we were willing to do anything for the cameras. Many of us were scheduled to have a meeting at 10:00, but we called into headquarters and they were perfectly willing to postpone it for more media coverage.

Yesterday afternoon, I got an excited call from Wade who reported my eight seconds of fame on the NBC nightly news with Tom Brokaw. Shaving. He reports my quote as: "Gotta look professional."

Today, we got a second round of cameras, this time ABC and New York Times. The media relations lady was rounding up the post-25 crowd and herding us into one cabin, so we could try to shatter the "Deanie-babie" motif. There was Bill, a World War II vet, who became something of a celebrity himself being 81 years old. He appeared in so many newspaper and magazine stories, some of the reporters would ask for him by name.

While sitting on a bunk, I decided to bust out my laptop to try and catch up on some writing, and sure enough, this attracted the cameraman's attention. Willing to do anything for the camera, that's me.


All of the Adventures of Steve

   Episode 1: In which Steve leaves Eugene and arrives in Rancho Cordova.
   Episode 2: In which Steve visits the Jelly Belly factory and gets a haircut.
   Episode 3: In which Steve gets a cold, a big box, and a seat on a train.
   Episode 4: In which Steve receives shiny new toys and loyal old friends.
   Episode 5: In which Steve departs for Iowa and rants a bit about why.
   Episode 6: In which Steve takes a trip to Des Moines.
   Episode 7: In which Steve gets really involved.
   Episode 8: In which Steve starts hobnobbing but is haunted by Arne Baker.
   Episode 9: In which Steve becomes a groupie and is informed that we all have love in our hearts.
   Episode 10: In which Steve becomes a media whore.
   Episode 11: In which Steve takes on Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine and Michigan.
   Episode 12: In which Steve is pitted against Fort Dodge, Iowa and seven vans of unruly Texans.
   Episode 13: In which Steve learns that all his hard work wasn't enough to put the candidate back together again.
   Episode 14: In which Steve does nothing.
   Episode 15: In which Steve reaches a decision and attempts to get virtually hired.
   Episode 16: In which we thank the good doctor for all he did.
   Episode 17: In which Steve suits up for a new life in the Cap City!
   Episode 18: In which Steve starts to realize he’s not in Eugene anymore.
   Episode 19: In which Steve switches from job seeking to home seeking.
   Episode 20: In which Steve starts to learn some things via the error side of trial and error.
   Episode 21: In which Steve experiences his first blizzard.
   Episode 22: In which Steve contemplates his next move.
   Episode 23: In which Steve prepares to switch gears... again.
   Episode 24: In which Steve spends a week in a hotel with four thousand teenagers and then gives his 30-day notice.
   Episode 25: In which Steve reminisces about his 10 weeks in Columbus while waiting in the wings.
   Episode 26: In which the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
   Episode 27: In which Steve changes everything.
   Episode 28: In which Steve finds Brood X, gets a teeny crush on a fellow trainee and learns where he's going, approximately.
   Episode 29: In which Steve starts to see how politics really works.
   Episode 30: In which Steve writes a letter to Kelly, executive director of the group that fired me.
   Episode 31: In which Steve spends a tentative week commuting to work in Maine.
   Episode 32: In which Steve learns he's just one piece on the board.
   Episode 33: In which Steve settles in for three months of intense campaigning.
   Episode 34: In which Steve is deep into the final countdown.
   Episode 35: In which Maine wins, the nation loses and Steve heads home.
   Episode 36: In which Steve doesn’t do much more than comb the classifieds and update his Web site.
   Episode 37: In which Steve slips into a normal life.

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