Thursday, June 11, 2009

In Green Bay with the President - Part 1

I am here at the press table at President Obama's town hall at Southwest High School in Green Bay. The event is being held in a fairly small high school gym -- a very intimate venue for this kind of thing.

Driving in from right off the airport, there were police at every street corner. An hour ago some people were already camped out in front of their houses, with flags and signs, hoping to catch the president's attention as he motors by -- which won't happen for about a half-hour or so.

After being wanded and my electronics checked, we were ushered into the hall where hundreds have already gathered for the meeting. There are already some dignitaries mingling with the attendees; Lt. Gov. Barb Lawton, Sec. of Administration Michael Morgan, and others soon to follow.

There is a definite caste system, much like I saw at the Dem convention in Boston in '04. The national travelling press corps is screened off in their own area backstage (usually the cafeteria) and their tables out here in the staging area are better positioned than local riff-raff like me, who find ourselves behind the camera riser. I assume we'll be able to walk around and get a better angle once the President gets here.

Speaking of the President, I already have been sent a copy of his remarks to open the town hall. The remarks are "embargoed", so I will not be sharing, or they'll boot me out of here. The majority of the town hall meeting will be spontaneous and without the teleprompter -- somebody please call a wing-nut and tell them that, so they can lose that ridiculous talking point. Nah, they'll harp on it anyway. Never mind.

Protecting our children from themselves as they should, I cannot get on Facebook or Twitter on this school server (The page you requested is in the following filtered category: Personals & Dating. Well, excuuuse me!). So I guess you'll have to catch my updates here. I also can't do pictures until later tomorrow, probably.

Having a great time -- wish you were here. Send me a comment (no, not you, Anony)! What do you want to know?

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