imageWhat a constant contingent of reporters trailing a presidential candidate gets you:


It's been one week since the Obama campaign agreed to a "protective pool" or "bodywatch" -- allowing reporters to follow the Illinois Democrat, not only in his public moments, but his private moments of down time off the campaign trail, as well.

The pool has followed Obama to the gym, to neighborhood BBQ’s, to get his haircut, to his daughter’s soccer game, and even taking his wife out for a date at a hip Italian restaurant in Chicago. When Obama is inside his Hyde Park home, reporters wait for his next movement in a van parked outside. The additional amount of monitoring has left the presumptive Democratic nominee with a certain level of unease about his privacy and the pomp and circumstance of his every move -- even after a full week.

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For example, pool reporters caught Obama heading to the gym every single day in the inaugural pool week. Reporters also now know the routine of Obama’s grooming schedule. The candidate gets his hair cut on a weekly basis, usually on Sundays in Chicago. The schedule also shows how the rigors of a candidate's lifestyle spill over to his private life. Reporters caught Obama yawning six times in 30 minutes while watching his oldest daughter’s soccer game, for example.

We can't get reporting on his Iraq position beyond reprinting RNC press releases, but we know the exact frequency of his yawns and the days he gets his hair cut. I wrote a while back about why it takes so long for the media to start actual fact-checking and I can now propose a solution - stop Yawn Watch 2008 and start checking statements during Obama's time on the treadmill. While I'm glad he pushed the incline from 8 to 9 during the second ten minutes of his workout, it doesn't really tell me anything about how he'll be president.

Well, except for when he visits the independent nation of the ESPNZone and is required to compete with their lord and soverign Dan Patrick in a series of physical feats in order to prove his leadership and get $5 off his total order.