It’s questionable whether he’ll make it through the day after the election without a cup.
“We might have to supercharge that green tea,” he says.
A secret goal
Doug Rohrbeck thought Baier was acting a little strange back in August. As Baier’s executive producer, Rohrbeck has traveled overseas and across the country with him since 2009. He knows the man’s tastes, that he favors Budweiser with his meat, that he wouldn’t order whole-wheat pancakes or grilled fish without a reason.
“I didn’t notice in the beginning, but looking back, he was making these subtle shifts,” Rohrbeck says. “We weren’t checking into a hotel and having orders of wings anymore.”
In some ways, the staff was too busy to notice Baier’s diet, until viewers started commenting on his weight loss.
“We took the show on the road for election season, visiting swing counties,” Baier says. “And when we were flying out to Nevada in August, I was typing up a list of ‘things to do’ on the flight over. And Number 1 was drop 30 pounds by October 3rd.”
He kept the goal to himself, telling only his wife and his assistant. But the changes became more apparent over time. His car, once filled with Starbucks coffee cups and Diet Coke bottles, was stocked with tea instead. There was no beer, no pork, no fried food in sight.
“When we got to October 2nd, I brought my iPad to Doug, and I said, ‘Doug, I wrote this on the plane when we were flying to Nevada,’ ” Baier recalls. “ ‘I’m down 32. I feel like I’ve done it.’ ”
Some colleagues were surprised that Baier would make such sweeping changes to his diet during campaign season.
“It was easier, believe it or not, being on the road, going to restaurants all the time,” Baier says. “And I exercised. I got up every morning religiously and went to the treadmill at whatever hotel I was in and just did it.”
Still, even now, Rohrbeck finds the diet amusing.
“After this last debate in Boca, we got back to the hotel around 11 p.m., and we all went out to a restaurant and ordered appetizers,” Rohrbeck says. “It used to be that Bret would order sliders. This was the first time I’d ever seen him order a shrimp cocktail at midnight.”