The Other Campaign

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.

Photo: John Filo/Courtesy of CBS

NANCY CORDES, CBS’ national correspondent
Age: 33
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.

Photo: Courtesy of Fox News

MEGYN KELLY, co-anchor, Fox’s America’s Newsroom
Age: 37
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.

Photo: Donna Svennevik/Courtesy of ABC

DAVID MUIR, anchor, ABC’s World News Saturday
Age: 34
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.

Photo: Mark Hill/Courtesy of CNN

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN’s Capitol Hill correspondent
Age: 36
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.

Photo: Courtesy of the National Journal/NBC

CHUCK TODD, NBC’s political director
Age: 35
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.

The Other Campaign