Bill Clinton nearly got through his entire eight years as president without ever visiting Nebraska, according to this morning’s charming Journal story about Mark Knoller, the longtime CBS Radio reporter and presidential fact-checker, who serves as a sort of one-man statistical bureau of the presidency.
At the end of the Clinton administration, the White House distributed a report detailing the president’s globe-trotting-then corrected it when Mr. Knoller pointed out some mistakes. When Mr. Knoller noted that Mr. Clinton had visited every state but Nebraska by the end of his tenure, the White House jammed in a trip to Omaha.
(This is perhaps understandable. Mr. Clinton only got 29 and 35 percent of Nebraska’s vote, respectively, in ’92 and ’96, and the Democratic chair of the lone county he carried once said: “I don’t think I’d want him as a husband and I don’t think I’d want him as a son-in-law, but I think as a president he has done a wonderful job for us.”)
According to the Journal, Mr. Knoller keeps a detailed database of presidential stats, frequently corrects the White House press office, lives for his work, has never married, and is down two toes thanks to a trip he took to India and Pakistan with President Bush–who once introduced him to the First Lady as “the guy who counts it as a vacation day when we get to Texas on a Friday night.”