I'm always interested in the crowd [at political rallies]. And that's because as long as I've been interested in politics, as long as I've known about politics, I don't think there's ever been anyone that could get me out on a Saturday morning in an airport hangar to hold a sign and cheer for him. When you get to these places and there are thousands of people who have stood on their feet for three hours to cheer the same speech that they've probably heard on TV a thousand times or they could read on the Internet in a second, I think that's amazing.

I don't know these [politicians] like they're my buds, because they're not. I'm a reporter. I'm not their friend. So there's always the shade there that I'm never going to see beyond. I like figuring out what makes them tick.

Do I see myself doing this forever? No. It's very physically demanding. I come home, I'm covered with bruises from hitting plane seats and computers crashing up against you -- because you're on the plane, you're off the plane, you're in the bus, you're off the bus, you're in the hotel room, you're in the baggage room. I remember when I was covering Bill Clinton, who was, like, 24/7 all the time, coming into a hotel around 1 a.m., and he's shaking hands with everyone. I get to bed and it's 2, and the bag call is at 6 a.m., and I washed out my pantyhose. I woke up the next morning -- they weren't dry yet. I called up [a friend], and I said, "I'm never covering another campaign when my pantyhose don't have time to dry overnight."

-- Interview by Patricia E. Dempsey