The mantra is “Change,” and the 2008 presidential election promises not just a chance to reboot the country—it could also unseat Wolf Blitzer, Chris Matthews, and Tim Russert as the reigning kings of political correspondence. Here are five upstart challengers.
NANCY CORDES, CBS’ national correspondent
Early success: Graduated magna cum laude from Penn, where she was Phi Beta Kappa; received a master’s degree in public policy from Princeton.
Trademark: “Katie, back to you.” Cordes clearly enjoys her comfortable repartee with Evening News anchor Katie Couric.
High-risk career assignment: Taking a hiatus from her consumer-safety beat to cover Mike Huckabee.
Could be the next: Andrea Mitchell.
MEGYN KELLY, co-anchor, Fox’s America’s Newsroom
Early success: Got her start as a legal correspondent and was a hit as a guest on The View. Now presents Fox’s news during the day and helps with political coverage after hours.
Trademark: Sense of humor. She once invited her mother onto her show and teased her for singing along too loudly during Jersey Boys.
Could be the next: Joan Lunden. Intensely likable and energetic, she easily jumps between high- and lowbrow.
DAVID MUIR, anchor, ABC’s World News Saturday
Early success: Has been covering the Clintons since he was 25, starting at his local station in Syracuse. Credits a half-dozen hurricane reports for developing his campaign-trail endurance.
Trademark: A surprisingly deep voice for his dreamy, boyish face.
Could be the next: Brian Williams. Muir’s newscaster delivery and tele-friendly hair are already playing the part.
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN’s Capitol Hill correspondent
Early success: Has already interviewed George H.W. Bush, Laura Bush, Barack Obama, and, last week, a feisty Bill Clinton.
Trademark: “The Rachel,” Yellin’s highlighted, layered brown hair. Also, she once used the phrase “Karl Rove is the dark prince of the Bush administration.”
Could be the next: Campbell Brown. Both worked their way up through local affiliates and have had the White House beat.
CHUCK TODD, NBC’s political director
Early success: Edited the Hotline, the National Journal’s daily online list of political links and analysis, for fifteen years and is now the only blogger running a network political desk.
Trademark: His goatee. Also, optimism: Todd says too few candidates are talking about what makes America great.
Could be the next: James Lipton. Todd has a relatively sedate presence for a political commentator. Plus the goatee.