Why? Three reasons:
-Politicians think they're bullet proof. The laws don't apply to them, they can get away with anything, cheat on wives, steal, cook the books, knock up the maid, or send lewd pictures to women.
-Politicians are egomaniacs who love the sounds of their own voices.
-Every politician has enemies, both in the opposing party and their own.
So, you're a young reporter. All you need to do to cover a political beat is remember the following:
-Always follow the money. There's always a paper trail in any illegal activity.
-Keep a politician talking. Eventually, he'll say something stupid. Or give you a clue that something fishy is going on. If a pol answers a question and you want something more, say nothing. Trust me, they'll keep talking.
-Be friendly with members of both parties. Don't have an agenda. Now you have sources who live to dump dirt on other politicians, and they'll trust you when they need to deliver said dirt. These people know all the backroom deals, and they love to backstab. They need a messenger.
-Arrogance is a dead giveaway that something's amiss. When a politician gets testy if you ask about a certain subject, start digging. And you can start by calling the politician's enemies.
-Bear in mind that not all dirt you receive is the truth. That's where your reporting skills come in. You have to verify which version of political mud is the good stuff.
-Be fair. Believe it or not, politicians respect journalists who don't have an agenda more than they do those who are simply mouthpieces for their own party.
-Don't be swayed by a charming politician with an agenda that fits your own. Bear in mind that the number one priority of every politician isn't health care, foreign affairs, or the economy. It's getting re-elected.
-Keep in mind that there are sleazeballs and crooks in both parties.