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'Girls on the Bus'

Political reporter describes hard choice: Cover the election, or stay at home with her sick daughter

October 21, 2016

“Boys on the Bus,” a 1972 book by Timothy Crouse, profiled the then mostly male journalists who hit the campaign trail to cover the presidential election. In that spirit, CNN has created a series profiling the changing demographics of their current reporters covering the election — fittingly, it’s called “Girls on the Bus.”

On the eve of the final presidential debate, Maeve Reston had to make a choice — should she leave her daughter, Lila, sick with croup, at home with her husband, or should she go to Vegas to conduct the interviews she had scheduled and attend the final presidential debate of 2016?

Even as a four-time veteran of the campaign trail, Reston explained, having to balance a young infant with the grueling schedule of the presidential election was a challenge. Coming home after a long trip only for her child to cry because she had grown used to being with the nanny, wrote Reston, was painful. And after Lila picked up the flu while traveling with her during the Florida primary, Reston said she had to reevaluate whether it was right to bring her along — even if it made Reston herself happier. In search of advice, Reston consulted other campaign trail moms, such as her colleague Dana Bash. The feeling of guilt that comes with leaving a child behind to hit the trail, Bash told her, “doesn’t ever stop.”

Reston left for Vegas, leaving Lila at home. She attended a 2:30 a.m. meeting for the morning show and conducted her interviews. Then she headed home, and watched the debate with Lila from her living room.

Read the full story at CNN.


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