Monday, January 21, 2008
Behind The Scenes Debate Countdown

-- Alyssa Caplan, 360 Booker


Greetings from Myrtle Beach, home of the Palace Theater, usually home to Le Grande Cirque, apparently the number one show in town --which explains why the make up rooms for the candidates look more Bob Fosse than Presidential.

Anderson will be anchoring the show out of NY tonight. But I'm here where the CNN/Congressional Black Caucus Democratic debate is taking place (tonight at 8p ET) to keep an eye on any show needs and make sure that in the post debate sea of 100's of local and national reporters, all of our guests are in front of the right camera at the right time.

If ever I feel stressed out today, I think I'll default to a dream sequence that somehow the make-up artist for tonight gets switched out at the last minute and replaced with some ill-informed bystander, and through some terrible series of miscommunication and unfortunate events, the candidates end up thrust on stage at the last minute in head dresses and boas.

Fortunately, while the candidates continued to campaign across the country, this place has been overrun with scores of special event professionals whose job is to avert such disasters through endless choreography, and who like millions of Americans yesterday had at least one eye on the ball so to speak.

So like the Giants going to the Super Bowl-do you think there are any surprises left out of these candidates? Anything you could hear tonight that would be unexpected or change your mind? Anything you want to hear out of the candidates but haven't yet?

All right - about to leave the hotel and head to the debate venue that is bracing for over 2,400 people tonight. This is early for us late-night 360-ers, but the excitement and energy in the air made sleeping near impossible last night!

Posted By CNNBLOG: 10:58 AM ET
  11 Comments
I think I'd like to really hear them have a conversation. A conversation they might have if the cameras were not rolling and the stacked audience wasn't applauding every two minutes. A glimpse into the kind of verbal exchange they'd have in private.
Of course the head dresses and boas, would be optional..

Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.
Posted By Blogger Lorie Ann : 11:32 AM ET
Anything I want to hear out of the candidates but haven't yet? Yes, I want to hear the specifics of this "change" Barack Obama will bring about. He has been awfully vague and I want to know if I agree with all these changes. Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous Diane, Providence, R.I. : 11:40 AM ET
I hope on this day we celebrate the legacy of Mr King that Barack and Hillary will call a truce and get back to the peoples' business instead of fighting amongst themselves.
Posted By Anonymous Bill, Lousiville Ky. : 11:44 AM ET
Alyssa,
Hey...there is always room for suprises! But I doubt the candidates will do or say anything suprising. They'll just spout out the same dribble as always.

What I wish they'd do is actually talk about all of the issues and tell their views on them and their plans to change whatever they think needs fixing. But I won't hold my breath as to that happening!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 11:46 AM ET
I hope that one of the candidates will spark something in Americans soon. All Im hearing on the campaingn trail is a lot of bickering and posturing and that ain't right!
Posted By Anonymous ali, orem, ut. : 11:46 AM ET
I'll be glad when this whole election season is over and we can get back to worrying about important things like the writers' strike and the latest celebrity breakdown.
Posted By Anonymous nick d - denton tx. : 12:01 PM ET
Hi,
I would like to hear the candidates give specifics about their plans for the economy, health care and the war. Specifically, how they plan to fund their plans. I fear however, that instead, we will continue to hear how bad the "other guys" plan is. It is troubling to me that President Clinton and Senator Clinton are playing good cop-bad cop with their comments about Senator Obama. I am losing respect for what she is trying to do by sending her husband out to do her dirty work. I know a lot of candidates do this to each other, but this feels so underhanded and obvious- it stinks no matter who does it.
Posted By Blogger pamina : 12:04 PM ET
Yes, I'd like to hear whether the candidates think the $800 tax rebate being proposed by the President and Congress is good for the economy or won't make a difference. . . Id love to hear what other people on the blog think of this rebate check, too.

And Thank you for going to South Carolina to cover the debate- tough assignment in January!
Posted By Anonymous Dane P., Omaha, Ne . : 12:05 PM ET
What would I like to hear from the campaigners tonight? A little less fightin' and a little more lovin'
Posted By Anonymous andrea s , portland, me. : 12:32 PM ET
Alyssa,
Although I find the democratic black caucus very interesting,
I have to ask: Isn't that a separatist movement?
Anyway, I'll be watching with intense interest and hey,
we all know the Patriots are going all the way undefeated.
LOL!

Betty Ann
Nacogdoches,TX
Posted By Blogger Betty Ann : 12:40 PM ET
Hi Alyssa, I think we'll hear more surprises because it's still early in the game. Of course, there's a certain outcome that I hope will materialize in the end, but I've psychologically prepared myself for whatever comes my way. Good luck in the debate tonight! I'll be tuning in!

Lilibeth
Edmonds, Washington
Posted By Blogger Lilibeth : 1:24 PM ET
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