With the upcoming midterm elections being one of the most anticipated nights in television and politics, Fox News anchors have been going above and beyond to provide the best possible coverage for viewers. Dana Perino in particular felt it was important to take her 2PM show The Daily Briefing on the road and talk to viewers in states where the races are really heating up. Dana talks to us about her business and leisure travels and tips.
Why did you feel it was important to take your show The Daily Briefing on the road this week? Where did you go and why?
We took the show to Dallas and Indiana because I like to meet the viewers where they are. Interest in the midterms is larger than I’ve ever experienced, and while you can do a lot from NYC, it is good to get on the ground and ask people who live in the battlegrounds what they’re seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling. I talked to drivers, waitresses, our hosts and the War Memorial and at the universities. Getting out of the Manhattan and DC bubbles helps keep you grounded, too. Remember, I’m a western girl by birth and upbringing!
Where will you be on election day and why?
I’ll be with my colleagues at Fox News on the days leading up and on Election Day. We are pulling out all the stops - we have Fox Square, which is an outdoor studio. And inside, we’ll be live until the elections are all called. It could be a long night! I think of it like a slumber party without the sleep...or the horror movies.
You’ve been doing your new show, The Daily Briefing for a year now. What’s it like hosting two shows? How are the shows different?
The Daily Briefing is a news program, where I get to ask a lot of questions instead of answering them, like I do on The Five. It’s been a professional stretch for me to take on an hour as an anchor - part of that is just learning as much as I can and trying to improve myself in content and in performance.
With your busy schedule, do you have any time to get away from your routine?
My schedule is a bit daunting sometimes - but I catch my breath on the weekends with my husband Peter and, of course, my dog Jasper! I always make time every day for some sort of exercise, and then I wind down before bed by reading a book - almost always a work of fiction. I’m a fast reader, and I love it when friends and colleagues ask me for book recommendations. I’ve started keeping a list in my notes app so that I can take a look at that before suggesting a book for someone. Oh, and I love to go to the dog park. That’s the best part about NYC - Central Park is leash free from 6-9 am every day. I go with Peter on the weekends.
Do you have any favorite places to travel?
We love Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina. When we didn’t know what the future would bring, we bought a home there, thinking we’d be down there permanently by now. But, career opportunities have us in NYC for a while yet, so we’ve rented that home to a lovely chap. We go to Bay Head, NJ most weekends. This year we went to Spain for our 20th anniversary - we visited Barcelona, Toledo, Granada and Madrid. I loved it - my Spanish is a little rusty, but it got better as the week went on. We plan to return to Spain, but perhaps not before we head out to Wyoming to visit family and to southern Utah for some hiking. Zion Canyon is a stunning place. And we are going to Kenya to visit my friend’s orphanage and go on a safari this winter over New Year’s Eve. It could become one of our favorites, that’s for sure! I also love Canada - Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver and Banff. I haven’t been to Toronto, but it’s on the list!
What are some of your must-haves when traveling?
Eye drops - I have terrible chronic dry eye problems, so I need to take eye drops wherever I go. Other than that, I just take good walking shoes, clothes I can layer, and a good tinted sunscreen and some lip gloss. With that, I’m good to go!
Do you have a best and worst travel story?
I traveled to over 55 countries with President Bush when I was the Press Secretary - all of those trips were amazing and exhausting and something always happened. Once in Prague at lunch, a gentleman next to me accidentally spilled white wine all over my suit. I couldn’t change for hours because of our schedule, and I worried the President was going to think I was drunk on the job! The best trip I ever took was a flight from Denver to Chicago - that’s when I met my husband. We sat next to each other by chance and it was what we call, “love at first flight.” That was 21 years ago, so I always recommend that single travelers give their seat mate a chance!
What’s new with Jasper?
At the moment, Jasper is sleeping with his head pressed into my thigh and his back feet pressed against Peter’s. He has turned out to be such a wonderful companion. He’s incredibly well behaved, and yet he has a goofy personality that cracks us up. Jasper is the only dog I know that is obsessed with fish. He looks for them everywhere - in the ocean, the lake, the pond, the puddles, and even in glasses of water. Sometimes, to entertain him, we drop in a carrot or a tomato and it looks like a fish to him. But his favorite thing to do at night is to watch a fish video on my iPad. It’s probably terrible parenting, but hey, what can I say?!