MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — I got a new appreciation for the journalists who report on the President, and one person in particular.
If you follow politics on Twitter, chances are you follow CBS White House Correspondent Mark Knoller. He’s been covering U.S. presidents for about 35 years.
From his cramped space in the White House press office, he has cultivated nearly 84,000 followers. What he’s most famous for is the obscure information he keeps at his fingertips, not committed to memory.
“What would you think of me if I could tell you how many times Obama has been to every state of the union. You would probably think that guy is really weird,” Knoller said. “I do keep lists and a log of presidential travel, activity, pardons, news conferences, speeches, vetos and that type of thing.”
And keeping track does pay off for him at certain times.
“During the Bush years I noticed that the second President Bush was coming up to his 100th visit to Camp David. I said I’d like to do a story about that, what does he like about Camp David, why do they go that often,” Knoller said. “So I put in a request with the First Lady Laura Bush to interview her about it. Her press secretary got back to me saying they weren’t even close to 100 visits. I sent them my list, I got the interview.”
According to Knoller’s list, President Obama has visited Minnesota four times. He came once in 2009, once in 2010 and twice this year.