The first part of this story about Magnificent Seven Writer and Author Tim Imholt’s arrival and mine at St. Anselm and our denial of press credentials is here I pick up the story at the top of a rise under a tree overlooking the parking lot & entrance to the press and candidate area of the hall were the event takes place.
By the time I recharged my laptop candidates like Rick Perry & Rick Santorum had arrived. There were a few passers-by including a visiting couple that had inquired about getting in and had been initially told that some spots were reserved for students if some of the ticket holders didn’t make it they might gain admission. I offered to interview them, as the lady worked for the state department she demurred but her husband, a naturalized citizen, was kind enough to give me a few minutes:
I found his interest in a challenger for Hillary fascinating but what I found much more immediately interesting was the revelation that all of the attendees were pre-screened (which I suspect had a lot more to do with their inability to get in). That said more about the event than anything else.
I spent a fair amount of time with a retired local resident who was a former local official who I would consider fairly far left, nevertheless we had a great and friendly conversation and his anecdotes concerning various candidates were quite amusing. (It’s often forgotten that people can strongly disagree on political beliefs but get along famously.
With the colleges wireless internet signal I was able to tweet and write a bit but with a limited battery I had to occasionally head into the building behind me to charge, while charging I was able to monitor the event just as effectively as if I was in the press room since they had no access to the stage (many people don’t realize that at the vast majority of events like this press are in rooms like this and wait until either individuals leave a state or said event ends before approaching to try to get their interviews (or wait in a “spin room” for the candidates or their reps to come). With lightning flashes outside (but not rain) in sight I went back inside and decided my plan would be to watch the stream until the event was over, then go outside to try to grab interviews of either individuals or candidates.
As far as the event itself, it was very substantive except for the stupid $20 bill question. (Frankly the answer should have been. “I think american women care less about who is on the twenty than having an economy that makes jobs so they can have more of those $20 in their pocket.”) The main effect was to display to political junkies (who frankly were the only people watching) that all of the candidates are competent people of actual accomplishments. Any one of them in a normal year would be a credible candidate.
But with 17 candidates including Donald Trump who changes the normal dynamic it remains to be see what will happen.
The drawbacks were large, it was dark so the video quality might be iffy and as candidates would likely be moving I’d want the microphone connected to the laptop to get audio on the fly and as the mic drew its power from the laptop it would kill my battery faster, so I would have to carry the open laptop, the mic and the monopod with the camera all at once, so the plan was this. I started the record button on Audacity with the mic off and let it run, cradled the laptop with my arm while holding the mic in my right hand turning it on with my thumb while carrying the monopod & camera in my left figuring I’d could hit record with that thumb when ready.
I would produce two products my normal video interviews and an audio (coupled with stills from the video) with the entire set of interviews which you can watch here:
The people coming out that I approached seemed disinterested in talking to me. I briefly considered trying to enter as the event was over but given the tightness of the security decided against it (that decision was validated when after everyone left I was challenged when I tried to get a drink from a bubbler that was near the door within seconds.)
I noticed that the SUV’s were approaching the exits for some candidates but was too slow to get to Gov Perry with all I was carrying but I had better luck with Gov Pataki who came out right as I was near his door.
It was a bit tough keeping the gov centered while keeping the separate mic steady (I could really use an intern but finances can’t justify one), but the interview was good.
A few minutes later I noticed Gov Scott Walker in another part of the area doing what appeared to be an interview. I moved over and requested 2-3 minutes but he declined. So I headed back toward the parking lot just as Governor Jindal was leaving and managed to get 40 second walking interview 25 second of it on video.
by now most of the lot was empty but I saw Rick Santorum coming and the Senator recognizing me was kind enough to stop for a full interview which contained the line of the night concerning Iraq:
And in this interview he gave, in my opinion the line of the night (emphasis mine)
“Here’s what I would say is that everybody who votes against this resolution and votes for the Iran deal, everybody who votes for the Iran deal owns everything Iran gonna do from this point forward. If you feel comfortable that this deal will do what the President says, you go and vote for it, but if you don’t if you know and I can’t imagine anyone whose watched Iran for any length of time knows Iran’s not going to keep this deal they’re going to pursue a nuclear weapon and they’ll probably be a nuclear power within in a very short period of time under this deal. You’re going to own that and you’re going to take responsibility for everything that happens.“
You can see the flashes lighting up the sky behind the senator and as I couldn’t cover the 3rd exit that I presume the candidates I didn’t see left from I figured it was time to get myself as I’d been there since 1 PM before those thunderstorms became rain.
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