For those of you who wonder what it's like to be a political reporter, might I suggest you consider one example of the downside of this beat: trying to find anything newsworthy out of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's visit this morning to the California State Fair.
To be fair, the gubernatorial photo op is a time-honored tradition. But in the Schwarzenegger era, it's a staple of the weekly calendar. And sometimes, the photo op turns into a brief Q&A where, for lack of a better term, news is made.
Well, you read it here first today: news was not made at the fair.
With a state fair PR employee encouraging applause from fairgoers off in one corner, the governor arrived to shake hands, and then pose for photos with two bodybuilders and two boxers.
Then it was on to the smoothie hut, where we're told the governor sipped a strawberry and pluot smoothie (for those of you who don't know pluots, like my editor, it's a cross between a plum and an apricot).
Next, Schwarzenegger posed for photos beside a sand sculpture of his chiseled face. "It looks just like me, but it doesn't have any wrinkles," he joked.
Of course, reporters shouted questions: Will you ask for a stronger power to declare an emergency on the border, given all of this week's debate for him to do so in response to illegal immigration issues? Are you working with lawmakers on the issue of high school athletes and performance-enhancing supplements? Are you worried about those recent low poll numbers?
But Schwarzenegger, who will sometimes stop and answer a question or two, this time decided to stay on message.
"Everything is great, okay?," he said with a smile.
And with that, off he went to peruse displays in the fair's exhibition hall.