Tuesday night we traveled to the Old Post Office Pavilion so that we could bring you as close as possible to the news story of the day: that Senator Kerry (search) has clinched the nomination for the Democratic Party (technically he has not yet done so but that is to come shortly). As with every "on the road" show, there was much that went on behind the scenes that we don't talk about on air. As promised, here is some "stuff" you don't see or hear about:
First, do you every wonder who shows up at political events? Of course supporters, but this is Washington, DC so we had some surprises. Picture No. 1 is a photo of two of my "new friends" -- they are 8th grade students from Dallas who are visiting DC with their class. I think their entire class or group wandered into the Kerry event, but I only met these two guys. I have no idea their names but they wanted a picture so there it is.
As always with "on the road" shows, we had technical problems. The first problem was the teleprompter. Within three minutes of starting the show, it was turned on and I was asked by a New York producer, "Is the prompter OK?" I looked up from my notes and said, "Ah... not exactly." I was then asked what the problem was from the producer in the New York control room. I replied, it looks like "Chinese in green." To prove my point, I grabbed my camera from the table next to me and took a picture of the prompter. So here it is, picture No. 2... and you decide, is this Chinese in green?
Of course it does not help me much that I don't read "Chinese in green." This was only the beginning of the prompter problems. Throughout the show it was so unpredictable. I won't bore you with all the details but suffice it to say, it was not good.
Midway through our second hour, and luckily it was during a commercial break, all our power went out. The crew (and my husband who I brought along to watch the show) scrambled to find out what happened. I was told that the building crew cleaning up and closing the building pulled out our power cords. I know it is not funny, but I laughed. Just exactly what were we going to do if we could not solve the problem at the end of the commercial break? It is live TV so I figure the viewers would not find it fatal. My husband was then "assigned" to watch the power cords.
If you are a blog regular, you will recognize the woman in picture No. 3. Her picture has been in the blog several times. She is one of my producers who travels with the show often. And, if you are a regular blog reader, you will note that she always is on the phone. I don't have one picture of her without her being on the phone. I think the phone is permanently attached to her ear. (FYI: she is talking to the producer in New York - a constant need on the road.)
Picture No. 4 is of Bert and Dan about an hour before the show. Bert is one of my cameramen and Dan is the floor manager. Both work every night on our show in the DC Bureau but you never see them because they are obviously behind the camera. As usual in this business, they have become my best friends. I hate it when one of them is off since we have fun together.
Now that Sen. Kerry is the nominee, security has gotten tighter. He has Secret Service protection and his events are harder to get into. For instance last night we all had to go through metal detectors (it felt like the airport only no one asked if I packed my own bag!). Media must enter through a certain door and get a media pass. Picture No. 5 shows what we had to wear walking around.
Finally, there's picture No. 6, for which I can take no credit.
Our "set" was in a balcony overlooking the Kerry event. My colleague Carl Cameron, who you saw many times on our air during Super Tuesday coverage, was right below me on the floor where the candidate and his supporters were. During one break in our second hour, and after the hall had emptied except for Fox News Channel, Carl yelled up to me, "Ask Richardson (meaning Governor Richardson) if he would accept the VP slot." I yelled back that I would (and I did).
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