Senator John McCain's trip to Iraq last spring was a low-key affair: With his ordinary retinue of reporters following him abroad, the NBC News anchor Brian Williams reported on his arrival in Baghdad from New York, with just two sentences tacked onto the "in other political news" portion of his newscast.
But when Mr. Obama heads for Iraq and other locations overseas this summer, Mr. Williams is planning to catch up with him in person, as are the other two evening news anchors, Charles Gibson of ABC and Katie Couric of CBS, who, like Mr. Williams, are far along in discussions to interview Mr. Obama on successive nights.
And while the anchors are jockeying for interviews with Mr. Obama at stops along his route, the regulars on the Obama campaign plane will have new seat mates: star political reporters from the major newspapers and magazines who are flocking to catch Mr. Obama's first overseas trip since becoming the presumptive nominee of his party.
The extraordinary coverage of Mr. Obama's trip reflects how the candidate remains an object of fascination in the news media, a built-in feature of being the first African-American presidential nominee for a major political party and a relative newcomer to the national stage.
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