With the stroke of a finger, John King has been able to traverse hundreds of miles across states on big primary nights, zooming in and out of towns and cities on an enormous touch map to collect and display the latest results for CNN this campaign season.
As CNN's ratings have surged this election year, the profile of Mr. King and his electronic sidekick has risen as well.
While this is hardly Mr. King's first high-visibility assignment -- he has covered the Clinton and Bush White Houses, as well as the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina for CNN -- the seemingly never-ending Democratic race has probably cemented his status as a prime-time cable television star.
"He's a tenacious, terrific reporter," Tim Russert, the host of MSNBC's "Meet the Press," said in a telephone interview last week. When asked if he regarded Mr. King, 44, as part of a farm team made up of those who might someday take the helm of a Sunday public affairs show like his, Mr. Russert said, "I think he is certainly on that track." And lest there be any doubt that Mr. Russert is watching, he noted that "John substituted for Wolf yesterday," a reference to Wolf Blitzer and his late afternoon show, "The Situation Room."