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THE PRESS ROOM: For the Specter campaign, loads of media but no spokesperson

THE PRESS ROOM: For the Specter campaign, loads of media but no spokesperson

An occasional series of articles exploring how political campaigns are playing out in the media.

Senator Arlen Specter’s reelection campaign is arguably the most high-profile race in the country, followed by reporters and bloggers from coast-to-coast.

But despite millions of dollars in the bank, the campaign still hasn’t hired someone to handle all those pesky journalists. That sometimes means a deluge of media requests to be handled by campaign manager Christopher Nicholas. And it can also mean delays for reporters seeking answers. A brief phone interview with Nicholas Wednesday was the first time managed to reach him in over a week. News reports that include some variation of “could not be reached for comment” have seemed to increase in recent weeks.

“We always have a lot of press, that’s for sure,” Nicholas said, declining to say if or when the campaign would bring on an official spokesman.

Most of his major opponents, including Democrat Joe Torsella and Republican Pat Toomey, have hired campaign spokespeople.

Specter does have a legislative spokeswoman, Kate Kelly, but as a taxpayer-funded employee she tends to stay away from media requests that are more political in nature.

“Sometimes I do it, sometimes the Senator does it, sometimes his chief of staff does it,” Nicholas said of answering media requests. “It depends.”

For now, reporters will just have to keep nagging Nicholas for answers.

May 13, 2009 at 12:32 pm

--Dan Hirschhorn

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