ABC News’ Kevin Chupka reports: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s national press corps was notified this evening that, beginning tomorrow, campaign-provided transport will cease.
Campaign press secretary, Alice Stewart, sent an e-mail to the press Monday evening, stating, "Transportation for the traveling press pool, provided by the Huckabee presidential campaign for the early caucus/primary states, will be halted, beginning Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008. The campaign will continue to provide detailed scheduling information, and make every effort to assist you. When possible, we will provide pool opportunities."
For the past several weeks, Huckabee has been steering his focus to local media markets, seeking out questions from local reporters during his media availabilities. The campaign went so far as to deny the national media access to a press conference in South Carolina, the week before that state’s primary.
Most charter flights of late have been rather empty, with many national media conglomerates reassigning their staff, or depending on staffers already on the ground. No doubt, flying in commuter jets, with limited campaign staff, and only about ten media representatives, is a money pit for a campaign that already operates on a shoestring budget.
It remains to be seen, of course, how the new plan will affect Huckabee’s free media coverage, but once a state-hopping Feb. 5 strategy takes better form, it will prove nearly impossible for the now traveling press corps to cover every event.