OMT One Man's Trash...from Norman Leahy

Monday, October 10, 2005 :::

Notes from Inside the Debate

From a reader who got to observe the debate up-close and personal come a few humorous observation:

First, NBC 12 was apparently concerned that ol’ Russ (or al Qaeda, who knows) was going to rush the place. There were more Richmond cops there than I’ve ever seen anywhere, save a shooting in downtown. I had to show two photo IDs just to park, and that was behind a giant, prison-looking enclosure. But, hey, free parking in Richmond is free parking in Richmond.

The CFP had its checkpoint set up on the far side of the building, so you had to do a little perp walk past all the cops and the management to get your credential, for which I needed yet two more photo IDs. Apparently Russ is now a shape shifter.

Once inside, I and the other pressies were informed that we would have to watch the debate from the newsroom ... on TV.

So in a way, they were more like witnesses to an execution than anything else. I actually suspect security is always this tight at Channel 12. No, not because of the candidates or a possible gate crashing by ol' Russ. But because of doddering, half-sane Channel 12 news anchor Gene Cox (I am convinced Cox was the model for Kent Brockman of "Simpsons" fame).

All in all, I was surprised at how professional it was. Biggest press complaint, other than being locked in the Internet free void? Just talk to us... lose the bloody talking points already. I’ve heard what these guys said a million times before tonight... it’s all the same script. Candidates can stay on message without using the same script every time.

Yes, the news types noticed the eyebrow. It was almost as bad as that quiver in Kilgore’s voice. Afterward, he was smooth, calm and collected. Not a hair out of place. Wonder why he can’t do that on TV? On the other side, it was fun to see Kaine get flustered. A lot of us have tried to make that happen, and he’s been able to shrug it off. Hats off to Bob for putting on the make up and standing up.

I noticed as the sound went off, but the camera's kept rolling, that Kilgore's body language seemed to change almost immediately. He looked relaxed taking off the mike and talking to the reporters afterwards. Some people are just camera shy and nothing can ever change their reaction. Kaine (aside from the eyebrow) is obviously more at ease in such situations. But I suspect both men were drained after the event. How could they not be? There was tension in the air...and it wasn't from Sabato's cologne.

But will any of last might's event make a difference? I kind of doubt it. And I would be very interested in seeing the ratings.

::: posted by Norman Leahy at 10/10/2005 0 comments


"You know what the fellow said: In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they also produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love -- they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." -- Orson Welles, The Third Man

"The graveyards are full of indespensable men" -- Charles de Gaulle

"Oh, so Mother Nature needs a favor? Well maybe she should have thought of that when she was besetting us with droughts and floods and poison monkeys. Nature started the fight for survival and now she wants to quit because she's losing. Well I say, hard cheese!" -- Montgomery Burns

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