Live from Copenhagen: Q&A With CongressDaily‘s Goode

We caught up with CongressDaily‘s Darren-Goode in Copenhagen where he’s covering the UN Climate Change Conference. He’s writing on how developments there will impact the legislative process here.

It’s nighttime in Copenhagen and Goode’s out to dinner with a crew of D.C. reporters including Politico’s Lisa Lerer. They’re dining at Madklubben Bistro-de-luxe where Goode is seriously considering ordering the “free range piggy.” He thought that sounded only slightly more appetizing than the “crispy belly curly kale” with apples in Christmas sauce.

Q:Have you been to Copenhagen before?
A: No, I’ve never been to Denmark. It’s very pretty. Pretty chilly.

Q:What strikes you about Copenhagen?
A: It’s a good mix of old European architecture, almost a midieval look in places with a modern bent.

Q:What has the trip been like for you so far?
A: It’s my second day. Last night I was so jet-lagged and I had a cold, which I still do. I went home and took some flu pills and went to sleep for about 14 hours.

Q:What do you hope to learn there?
A: How to cover a convention. I’ve never covered a international convention before. I covered the GOP Convention in Minneapolis. Here I’m the only representative of my company.

Q: Is that nerve-wracking?
A:It is. But climate change is an area I have followed for awhile. There is so much happening all at once. It’s just a busy array of events happening everyday, and unless you stay focused on what you’re trying to do you can really get lost. [I have to not get] caught up not trying to cover 900 events. By the end of it I will hopefully understand what it is to cover something of this scale.

Q: Does competing with all the other reporters there worry you?
A: I’m always nervous I’m going to miss something or get scooped. At the same time, we’re not going to compete with AP. We’re not going to compete with the wires that have teams of folks here. It’s finding our own niche and writing stories you can’t get from the wires. My job is to not feel like I have to compete with everybody else. There is always that tendency. I have competitors here that I see almost everyday on Capitol Hill. You still have the same mindset that I have to beat you and you and you and you. For me, that means finding a congressional angle and trying to run with that.

More Goode-ness after the jump…

Q: What was your work day like today?
A: EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson spoke at 12:45. Then I had to go to hear Todd Stern, head U.S. negotiator here. [Reporters are] wondering what constitutes news here. You listen to things back home and you feel like you heard it already. Is the bar lower here because it was said here? To a certain extent, yes.

Q:Is there any fun to be had there?
A: Well, hopefully tonight will be the first fun night. I think so. A lot of people I think use this opportunity to network and such. We’re being paid to go to Copenhagen — it’s a pretty cool thing.

Q: How’s the place you’re staying, is it nice?
A: My place is okay. I rented out an apartment. It’s not what I was expecting. I think my expectations were higher. It smells like an ashtray, frankly. The guy that rents out this place really likes to smoke a lot and doesn’t go outside to smoke. I either have to get used to that or find another place.