A little less six hours from now, I’ll be walking out the door, waiting to be picked up by a SuperShuttle which will take me to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, from which I will depart on a Southwest Airlines jet to Los Angeles for a whirlwind, less-than-24-hour-long trip to see the festivities surrounding the presidential debate at USC.
My itinerary will depend in large part on whether I am able to obtain any sort of press access due to my status as a correspondent for the Command Post. The folks at CP have sent me a letter to present to the credentialing folks, requesting that I be let into the post-debate “spin room,” but whether that actually works remains to be seen.
Regardless, however, it seems likely that there will be plenty of debate-related activity for me to report on, blog about, and photograph. Supposedly there are going to be protesters, and certainly there will be supporters: both Kerry’s and Edwards’s people are planning pre-debate gatherings wherein they will cheer on their candidate as he heads into Bovard Auditorium for the debate. (The debate, by the way, begins at 6:00 PM Pacific time and lasts for 90 minutes. It will be moderated by Larry King and aired live on CNN.)
According to the candidates’ website, there will be an Edwards debate-watching party in the Seeley G. Mudd building on campus, and a Kerry debate-watching party at the African-American History Museum in Exposition Park. In both cases, the candidate in expected to drop by afterwards to greet his supporters. (Teresa will also be at Kerry’s rally.) Because Edwards is having a fundraiser in Westwood shortly after the debate, I’m hoping he may be a little more rushed than Kerry, and thus I might be able to see Senator Johnny, then rush over to Exposition Park and catch Senator John. Then again, I might see them both simultaneously in the spin room beforehand. I don’t know. I’ll have to play it by ear.
I will also be playing by ear the amount of live blogging I do. I think I will have access to USC’s wireless network, but that’s not 100% certain, and there are various limiting factors such as battery life, wireless range, etc. Also, there is the fact that I want to actually watch and listen and not spend the whole evening with my nose buried in a computer screen. :) But at the very least, you can expect a bunch of mobile posts and some audio-blog updates. And there may be more than that. We shall see.
After all is said and done, I hope to briefly get together with Kristy, and then I’ll be staying overnight — a rather short night — in my old Troy Hall room, on my ex-roommates’ couch. On Friday, I’ll take another (very) early-morning SuperShuttle and depart LAX on Southwest at 7:00 AM; by 9:25, I’ll back in Phoenix, heading to work. And at lunchtime, I’ll head over to the UPS Store and sent my absentee ballot to Connecticut via overnight mail.
Hey, what can I say? I’m a democracy addict. :)