When Helene Cooper ’10 checks in for a flight, often it is to board the world’s most famous plane, Air Force One, as she follows President Barack Obama’s every move from Milwaukee to Munich, Baghdad to Beijing.
Cooper covers the White House for The New York Times, working out of the Washington bureau a few blocks from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The journalist and author also is a frequent guest on the news talk shows, including Meet the Press and The Chris Matthews Show.
“I do have to pinch myself quite a lot, actually,” said Cooper, a woman known for her straight talk. “As a journalist, I’ve been really lucky in the places, people and events I’ve been able to witness. Whether it’s standing among a crowd of thousands in front of Prague Castle [Czech Republic] waiting for Obama to speak, or finding out — after the fact — that the Black Hawk helicopter tour I’d just had over what the military called ‘future kinetic areas’ south of Kandahar [Afghanistan] was actually a tour of Taliban-held areas, there are so many times when I can’t believe somebody is paying me to do this job.”