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McCain Entering 'The Situation Room' - Broadcasting & Cable

McCain Entering 'The Situation Room'

Republican presidential nominee John McCain to guest on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer Wednesday. VP nominee Sarah Palin to make first appearance on the network Tuesday.
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Sen. John McCain will appear on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday.

But he won’t be bringing his running-mate, Gov. Sarah Palin.

Palin will appear with McCain Wednesday evening on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams. (Parts of that interview will also air on Thursday’s Nightly.) Palin's NBC appearance will make her rounds on the broadcast networks complete. She also did an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

But until this week, CNN has had no luck securing Palin.


Palin will make her first appearance on CNN Tuesday. The vice presidential candidate has agreed to talk to Drew Griffin on the campaign trail in Reno, Nev.

Palin has been slowly granting more press interviews on the trail, holding availabilities on her plane and holding a press conference on Sunday in Colorado.

David Bohrman, CNN’s Washington bureau chief and the executive producer of the network’s election coverage, says “there are a lot of conversations” between CNN and the campaign.

“It’s good that Sen. McCain is doing [an interview with Blitzer] and hopefully that will lead to more interviews with him and his running-mate,” said Bohrman.

McCain canceled a scheduled appearance with Larry King Live in early September after CNN’s Campbell Brown persistently questioned McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds about Palin’s experience as commander-in-chief of the Alaska Air National Guard.

In late July, the last time McCain was on Larry King Live, he promised King he would have his running-mate on the program. “I wouldn’t want to risk the wrath of Larry King,” McCain said then.

Of course, McCain did invite the ire of CBS' David Letterman when he canceled a Late Show appearance, he claimed, because he was needed in Washington to deal with the financial crisis and the Treasury's bailout plan. Letterman turned McCain's cancellation into a running gag when the late night host learned that McCain hadn't in fact hightailed it back to Washington but lingered in New York, appearing at a Clinton Global Initiative event and sitting down with Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News.

Last Thursday, McCain appeared on Late Show to offer a mea culpa. He also told Letterman he would bring Palin on the show.

In a post on the Larry King Live blog, McCain’s failure to reschedule has been noted.

“We’re still waiting for the senator to reschedule with us,” read the post. “We’ve also extended an invitation to Gov. Palin to be a guest on the show, as Sen. McCain assured us would happen.”

Bohrman added that the kafuffle with the McCain campaign has been difficult.

“You want to have access to them,” he said. “On some fundamental level, they need to talk to our viewers. We have by the far the biggest group of undecided voters watching CNN. And whichever candidate wants to try to woo the undecideds, they should get on our air. So it’s both frustrating and I think it’s counterproductive for them not to be on our air frequently. God knows they buy enough commercial time. But you want them on when [we] can ask them questions.

“They may not like us for any particular reason. But I think they want to talk to our viewers.”

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