Washington has always been home to the nation’s most notorious stakeouts. Remember the winter of 1999, during the height of the Monica Lewinsky-President Clinton impeachment brouhaha, when the dark-haired intern was her own news beat?
That’s when journalists camped out in front of the Mayflower Hotel — temporary home to Lewinsky — for so long that the freezing pack actually became a part of the sightseeing circuit of tour buses, tacked on after the Lincoln Memorial.
Back then, the media had to bring “bags of quarters so when something happened, we could go run for a pay phone,” recalled veteran stakeout queen Debbie Pettit, a producer for NBC News. Pettit spent Wednesday morning in Washington running her vehicle’s heat, bundled in a winter coat and guzzling cups of Starbucks black coffee.
This time, she was staking out a grand Mount Pleasant Georgian Revival mansion where Paula Broadwell — biographer of David Petraeus — is said to be holed up. Revelations of Broadwell’s affair with her subject led Petraeus to resign as CIA director last week.