Luck of the Draw

Dear Viewers,

This is really behind the scenes.

When FOX takes us all on the road for a big event — like the presidential debates (search) — the network reserves a bunch of rooms. What room you get when you arrive at the hotel is the luck of the draw. In St. Louis, our White House Correspondent Jim Angle (search) got either the "old maid card," or "hit the jackpot" — depending on your view. I got the "junior old maid," or the "junior jackpot" — again, depending on your view.

After landing at the airport and checking into the hotel, I went immediately to my room. I opened the door to discover in the room (yes, in the room), a heart-shaped Jacuzzi.  I thought it was funny (yes, it the first time I had ever had a hotel room with a heart-shaped Jacuzzi in the middle of it) and e-mailed a few colleagues who had beaten me to St. Louis and learned that Jim Angle had one, too... but Jim had more. He also had a canopy over his bed. I did not have the canopy (hence the junior prize.) As far as I know, only Jim and I got the rooms with the heart-shaped Jacuzzi in the middle of the room.

After our show, I returned to the hotel and noticed that there is an advertisement hanging on the wall for Jim's room (Jacuzzi AND canopy.) I snapped a pic of the advertisement — see picture No. 1 in the Part I of my photo essay — and also learned he had the Honeymoon Suite. I am anxious to see what we get in Arizona on Wednesday. Frankly, no smoking and a coffee pot is what I like.

The spin room in St. Louis was its usual wild and noisy self. Reps from both parties walk around the room with signs and members of the media approach to do interviews. The signs are used because the scene is so mobbed that it is the only way you can see who is there to be interviewed.

What was MOST notable is that a new sign appeared in St. Louis that we had not seen in Cleveland, or Miami — Senator Hilary Clinton (search). Her sign was absolutely mobbed by the media — mobbed more than any other sign. Of course I wanted to get into the mix, so I went over to the huge crowd... but, upon my arrival into the crowd saw that it was a sign without a senator. It was "expected" that she would be on the floor at the spin room and a sign was created by the Dems for that purpose... but she did not do the usual cruise through the spin room. Until you got up close, you did not realize she was not there — so when her sign appeared in the air, the media mobbed to it. What we got was a sign mobbed... not a senator mobbed. (I learned later that she slipped in to one interview from the spin room but did not do the sign routine on the floor.)

Also new in the St. Louis spin room was the Republican sign. It was twice the size (or more) of the Democrats sign in Cleveland. You can see the size of the Republican sign in picture of Karen Hughes in the spin room (photo No. 6 in Part II of my photo essay).

And finally, everyone's favorite... Comedy Central was on the spin floor. Check out the last picture in the photo essay — their correspondent had a sign, too.

Our show plans are as follows — Monday night we will be live in Redwood City for the Peterson trial (the prosecution rested last week and the defense starts its case tomorrow) and in Arizona on Wednesday for the third and final debate.


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