Network Anchors Pack Their Bags (Some Lost) For Iowa

By Chris Ariens 

MSNBC’s Morning Joe and half of CNN’s American Morning hit the road today, broadcasting from Iowa one day before the first ballots are cast to choose the next President of the United States.

Settling in at Java Joe’s in Des Moines, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski welcomed guests including candidates Chris Dodd and Mike Huckabee (who’ll book-end his day with NBC by appearing on the first new Tonight Show in two months). Also the regulars, Tim Russert, Pat Buchanan and Andrea Mitchell stopped in.

CNN’s John Roberts anchored from a restaurant in Iowa City talking with caucus-goers including “some Obama supporters at the Bill Clinton table.” Roberts also spoke live with candidate Mitt Romney who’d just finished up an interview with Fox & Friends. The FNC morning show anchors remained in New York.

— Arriving today CBS’ Katie Couric, NBC’s Brian Williams and ABC’s Charlie Gibson, who’s had one day (New Year’s Eve) to try out the new World News set. Gibson won’t be back in New York until next Wednesday.

— Mika Brzezinksi’s Chicago-Iowa flight was canceled, her bags are back in Chicago, she’s been wearing the same clothes for two days. Russert, sensing Brzezinski’s angst, said, “I have three sisters, I know that look.”

— John Roberts and his crew also had to make the drive from Chicago to Iowa after a flight cancellation.