On the Road

Biltmore Dispatch #1: Main Street U.S.A.

Much of the Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix has been turned into a sort of political theme park. The Frank Lloyd Wright Ballroom is "TV Land" with a hundred or so reporters standing in front of cameras delivering stand-ups. The lawn in the middle of the 37-acre resort is "Country First". This is where John McCain will deliver his speech tonight — outdoors, on a stage draped with a "Country First" banner. Behind the stage, there's a huge American flag. Hundreds of print, radio, and online reporters are in the Grand Ballroom, AKA the press filing center. Let's call that "Digital Frontier Land."

Right now the crowd is mostly media and campaign operatives. Guests are just starting to arrive, but when they do they won't approach the numbers in Chicago; most estimates are in the 3,000 to 5,000 range. This is an invitation-only event. Besides, there's nowhere to park.

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