Everyone knows the media love a horse race, so it’s no surprise journalists covering the Iowa Caucus have gathered at the starting gate in the derby for the White House. A conspiracy theorist might enjoy how they all end up at the same Des Moines bar.
- Juli Weiner, writing for Vanity Fair, recognizes New York Times editor Jill Abramson during a layover and soon is at the downtown Des Moines Marriott drinking with (or near) her. “The nexus of all media activity in the Iowa capital, where the all-important presidential caucus will take place on January 3, is the downstairs bar at the downtown Marriott,” Weiner writes.
- And Gabriel Sherman finds BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith there, “At the zoo that is the Iowa Caucus, the lobby bar in the downtown Des Moines Marriott is like a communal watering hole where roving packs of reporters, political hacks and even candidates assemble nightly to drain drinks and exchange political gossip.”
- The same bar appears in New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich’s scene-setter, where the Center City Lounge is a “hall of mirrors” for journalists and politerati who are “a prime data point for Mr. Santorum’s broader conceit: that the usual suspects of American politics operate in a well-worn feedback loop.”
Some journalists are venturing out of the hotel bar. Politico’s Mike Allen shares a photo of the media following Mitt Romney Sunday to an Iowa diner where “the aisles were so clogged with craning journos that the servers gave up delivering food.” Allen spots Abramson in the crowd (perhaps that was how she contributed reporting to this story), along with writers for the Boston Globe, Washington Post and NPR. If you’re wondering how political reporters packed for the trip, the Times has that covered. || Update: Journalists leave Marriott bar to see Ron Paul … one flight up from Marriott Bar (Vanity Fair) || Related: Top 5 electoral outcomes journalists are secretly rooting for (New Yorker) | An annotated field guide to the Campaign 2012 press corps (Capital)