In Des Moines, CNN scored itself rooms at the downtown Marriott, the same hotel as the Romney campaign. Nothing like standing in the taxi line beside the wife and sons of the likely next Republican nominee—or bumping into the campaign manager at the bar—to give you that feeling of being at the center of the action.
In New Hampshire, alas, CNN was only able to get rooms at the Four Points Sheraton, out by Manchester Airport. It's functional enough, and for those who had to catch 6 AM flights out of Manchester to get to Atlanta for primary evening broadcasting duty, certainly more convenient than a downtown location. But you do feel a little cut off from the action.
In both cities, Fox scored some of the very best locations of them all, including apparently unprecedented permission to broadcast from beneath the dome of the amazingly impressive Iowa statehouse. I toured that building on the afternoon before the caucuses. There were Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly testing the mikes. Baier improvised a little script for himself:
"Good evening. In a stunning upset, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has won a decisive victory in the Iowa caucuses ...." Wishful thinking? Or inside joke?