September 15th, 2012
12:01 PM ET

Behind the scenes: Journalist's packing list

How do you prepare for a job that could take you anywhere? Over his 22-year career with CNN, National Correspondent Gary Tuchman has traveled to all 50 states and 27 countries – often at a moment's notice. He has the logistics down to a science, starting with his list of must-have items for the road. One essential may surprise you.

“Wherever I go, I have my rollerblades,” he says. “I've been skating for 20 years and these have been with me all over the United States, Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Japan.” Not only are his rollerblades great for exercise, they’re also a way to meet people.


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Filed under: AC361° • Gary Tuchman
September 15th, 2012
01:14 AM ET

Letters to the President #1335: 'Catching up on chores'

Reporter's Note: I write to President even on the weekends, and even when I have other things to do.

Dear Mr. President,

Not sure what you have planned for this weekend, but I suspect we’ll be pretty busy around our house. The front porch needs resealing before the autumn rains come, my younger daughter is going to be tied up with college applications, and I have vowed for several years now to get more tulip bulbs into the ground. As far as the weather goes this may be my best hope for the first and last of those chores.

On top of all that, I need to get in a couple of long runs. I have been recovering slowly from a low level cold that I picked up at the conventions (and no, I can’t say whether it came from the Republicans or Democrats. Ha!) so I have not been on the trail much. Accordingly, my legs are a bit stiff and I’m a little itchy to get out there.

I don’t imagine I’ll go too far. If I grab twelve or thirteen miles today, and another ten or so on Sunday I’ll be fairly happy. Truth be told, with the races I have in mind for the next couple of months I could use some bigger distances for practice; at least one or two twenty mile runs would be good. We’ll see.

I’ve always said the challenge is not “getting fit” through running, but rather getting running “to fit” the rest of your life.

Ideally, I like to start out early in the morning and have the bulk of the miles done before the rest of the house is even awake. But my wife has become an earlier and earlier riser, so unless I started at 3 a.m. I’d be hard pressed to cover much ground before she is stirring. Plus, when fall comes on a bit more it’s kind of depressing to be out running in the dark so long before the sun appears.

In any event, that’s probably what I’ll be up to today. I’m sure you are quite busy with all that campaign strategizing, but if you have a moment and want to swing by, you can join in the work. We’ll be happy to have the extra hands, and we’ll all share some dinner later on.