So I’ve actually made it into this thing. At the current time I’m sitting on the lower deck of the St. Petersburg Times Forum waiting for the presentation to begin. I’m surrounded by media representatives. Bloggers. Journalists. Newscasters. I haven’t seen anyone I recognize yet as far as media personalities are concerned, and I really don’t suspect that at this particular event that I will. I’ve heard mention of Politico.com so far, and there is a large group from NBC sitting right in front of me.
For a moment when I first arrived I really wondered if I was actually going to be let into the door. They asked for my credentials, and I had to tell two different people I was registered as an independent blogger. When I mentioned that I had per-registered, though, they whisked me right through. I have an official badge with my name and web site on it and everything.
Lord, that makes me sound like an utter and complete rube, doesn’t it?
Tampa seems to be going all out to make a nice presentation. We were all given swag bags that have various items from sports teams and other organizations in the area. Bright House networks is on hand offering information on their internet access packages, so that causes me to wonder if there will be free wi-fi during the event itself. I may want to be safe and get myself a cellular modem just in case.
I’ll take pictures of all the various swag I’m picking up later. I’m feeling out-of-place enough without whipping the camera out during this thing.
The event itself should be starting shortly, so I’m going to finalize this post and make the rest of my updates via the live blog feature. I’ve recently updated the plugin so my individual tweets aren’t going to be linking back to this page any more. Check back here if you want to see non-truncated updates.
Oh, crap. That was a false ending. Who wrote this speech? Peter Jackson?
Looks like he’s ending on a “praise the military” note again. Well played.
Biden keeps looking at his hands! IS HE ON A SMART PHONE?
Hrmmm…Hillary didn’t look like she cared for the “no options off the table” comment about Iran.
Didn’t President Bush make the same “up or down vote” request of a Democratic majority?
Wait, what? You mean elected officials shouldn’t be able to own stocks in industries they regulate?
Tom Coburn is like “Dude, what?! Leave me out of this crap!”
Ugh. He said “fair share” again. #drink
You don’t think the President is pointing out that whole tax rate thing because of Mitt’s return, do ya? #naaaahhh
“No side issues. No drama.” Oh, Mr. President. You’re so cute.
Boehner grudgingly applauds calls not to raise the payroll tax again.
Yeahhh…No Republican applause on Richard Cordray. Not a big shocker there. #sourgrapes
Obama says he won’t go back on Dodd-Frank or the Affordable Care Act.
Wooooow. That was a REALLY bad joke.
As a homeowner who is seriously underwater on his mortgage and paying 6.75% interest I’d really like for that refinancing thing to go through.
“Do some nation building right here at home.” Yet another novel concept!
Actually, the easiest way to save money is to not spend it, Mr. Presdient. I mean…technically speaking.
Stop subsidizing big oil? More crazy talk!
Umm…Mr. President? Not sure you want the Government to take credit for frakking. #justsayin
And another promise from another President to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. #believeitwheniseeit
POTUS reminds everyone that the internet was basically created by the Government. Kinda counters that whole “government can’t innovate” thing.
“Women should earn equal pay for equal work.” Well…yeah. I thought that was pretty well accepted as the right thing.
How many Presidents have promised to do something about illegal immigration during this address?
“If you can’t stop tuition from going up, the funding you get from taxpayers will go down.” How will that help students?
Huh. The President wants to require that all states force kids to stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18.
“Stop teaching to the test.” YES. YES. THAT.
Thank you, Mr. President, for reminding the nation that Teachers are freakin’ important.
Er…I didn’t know that getting an education was that hard.
Ooo…The President is promoting education. That’s crazy talk!
Sounds like maybe Obama wants to try and find better ways to do what SOPA and PIPA were supposed to do.
That’s a lot of tax cuts, Mr. President. Republicans like tax cuts, right?
I really, really wish that Obama would stop using the term “fair share.” It’s a lightning rod for the right.
Obama is taking credit for the recovery of the auto industry. That’s a good thing for sure, but it was a circumvention of the Free Market.
Mr. President, I love how you’re sounding all full of conviction. Where has that been the last three years?
Eric Cantor applauds the fact that 3 million jobs have been created. Boehner? Not so much. Boehner apparently hates jobs.
Boehner almost forgot to clap dis-affectedly for that last statement.
Obama says the most important issue of our time is to keep the American Dream alive. Subtle nod to his “rags to riches” story.
Start off by praising the armed forces and the accomplishments they made in 2011. “Imagine what we could accomplish if we followed their example.”
Yay Gabby Giffords!
Wow. Boehner already looks like he smelled a fart and Obama hasn’t started talking. Must be Biden.
Just tuned into the pre-show at whitehouse.gov. There was video of the first lady and Desmond Tutu doing pushups. PAUSE.
Whelp. Debate is over. I’ll be back tomorrow night to cover the State of the Union. I’m sure you’re excited.
Gonna have to agree with my Twitter buddy from across the aisle @BXGD. Good showing for Romney.
Brian Wilson says “Go Bulls.” Best audience reaction of the night.
Newt – “Don’t be for me. Be with me. I have an open candidacy.” #hesaiditwithhiseyes
Holy crap. ANOTHER nod to Bondi?
“I have a record. You should look at my record. It has ALL FOUR BEATLES ON IT.” – Romney #oknotreally #wouldbebetter
“Conservative means smaller Government and more liberty.” – Ron Paul. Says Gov should get out of our personal lives.
Dude. Romney and Santorum are both sucking up to Pam Bondi. What the hell?
OBAMA CRUSHES FREEDOM.
Apparently raising a family promotes Conservatism. Shit. I’m a Conservative!
The Republican Party has a soul? #cheapshot
Annnnnd Gingrich falls back on Dodd-Frank criticism. Wow.
“If tax cuts create jobs, why didn’t the Bush tax cuts work.” THANK YOU FOR FINALLY ASKING THAT QUESTION.
Romney says that Obama doesn’t have a mission or vision for NASA. Bush did, though! Get to Mars! Oh….wait…
Ron Paul makes the only valid point about the Schaivo case. Have a Living Will. Can we move on now?
You know what the Terry Schaivo issue begat? Glenn Freakin’ Beck.
A Terry Schaivo question? Wooow. Kickin’ it old school.
If these candidates are supposed to demonstrate that they understand Florida issues they are all failing miserably.
Romney says that EVERYTHING Obama has done has made it harder for people in Florida. #thoughtIlivedinFlorida
“Get rid of subsidies and let the market work.” – Romney. A point I agree on!
Gingrich seems almost giddy over getting questions over the sugar subsidies.
“We’d have a card that shows that people are here legally.” – Romney. You mean…like….a…Green card?
Gingrich says it’s ok to break the law if you serve in the military, but not if you go to college. Got it.
Umm…Did Romney just say “they no speak English?”
“Our kids were being taught in foreign languages in our own schools.” – Romney. THE HORROR.
“Why is it ok for you to court voters in Spanish, but not ok for the government to offer services to those same people?” OH SNAP.
Santorum claims that tankers are the oil spill problem. Deepwater Horizon? Not a tanker.
Santorum is dodging the question, but if you listen to what he’s saying? Offshore Drilling all over the Gulf.
Yessss…Offshore oil drilling questions. This should be fun.
Santorum is again claiming that a Theocracy is bad. The irony, it burns. #familyfaithvalues
Santorum stares at Brian Wilson like the question he’s asking is completely ludicrous.
Tonight’s debate is brought to you by Cigar City Jai Alai IPA.