Axelrod Bringing “Freshness” To W.H. Beat

By Brian 

“There are few reporting jobs more important, romantic, visible and sometimes downright miserable than the coveted White House correspondent slot,” the CBS Public Eye blog says at the beginning of a conversation with new chief White House correspondent Jim Axelrod.

Suddenly, this “bureau correspondent” with little experience covering national politics will be leading the network’s coverage of the Bush administration. Is that a virtue or a handicap? Axelrod said it’s both.

“This is more than just reading the paper in the morning, so to that extent, yeah, it’s an overwhelming thing to sort of get up and running,” he tells Vaughn Ververs. “On the other hand, I think fresh eyes are always an advantage, especially in journalism. How many times have we heard that whole idea about ‘inside-the-beltway?’ And you know what? I’m not a creature of the beltway, so I think there’s probably some merit, some value” in an outside perspective. “Until I’m completely absorbed by the machine and end up a creature of the beltway, hopefully I’ll be able to maintain a sense of freshness and vision and be able to supply the viewers with a sort of translation.”