That might be a head scratcher for some, but if you like politics there's so much going on, so much to talk about, we couldn't wait to get in here to hear what our guests had to say about it. I liked the mix: BET's Pam Gentry, Luis Clemons (a frequent TMM guest, former editor of Candidato USA, which was a must read about Latino politics while it was in publication), and Tyler Clemons, editor of The Daily Mississippian, the student newspaper at Ole Miss, which hosted the debate.
By the way, did you watch the debates?
I confess, I have never seen anything like it. Here in D.C. I suspect the water pressure was low because so many people were taking showers and getting dressed to go out ... to DEBATE parties. When in your lifetime has anything like that happened? Was it like that where you live?
Where did you watch the debate? There is something going on here. TMM producers Teshima Walker and Lee Hill are among those on our team who mixed and mingled about town on Friday night in the name of politics.
I'll let Teshima fill you in on the venue of her debate watch party:
I watched the first Presidential debate at the Busboys And Poets restaurant in Washington, D.C., at their newly opened Mt. Vernon Square location (not far from the NPR offices). There were flat panel television screens throughout the restaurant. The place was PACKED. Luckily, my little group arrived early and we had seats (not necessarily comfortable — my "bun" could have used a seat cushion for the hard wood chairs). My sister friend kept complaining that she couldn't watch the monitors because the sound and the mouth movements didn't match up. For her, it was a bad Japanese sci-fi movie from the late 70s. I concentrated on reading the caption text.
Michel, I can't say that my experience was the same as Teshima's (sorry, 'Shima!). I attended a gathering at a local hotel, hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Foundation's young professionals group — the chairs were nice and soft and there was one huge screen, onto which the debate was projected for all to see. There were moments that seemed reminiscent of an HBO primetime boxing match ... and a charismatic, spirit-filled church service. Certain responses to questions posed by the moderator Jim Lehrer were met with uproar, people standing to their feet and clapping. (I should also mention that Sen. Barack Obama is a member of the CBC, the legislative arm of the foundation, which is the parent of the young professionals group that hosted the event ... so, the cheering was overwhelmingly in support of Obama. Nonetheless, there were a few moments that won Sen. John McCain a show of affirmation in the crowd. Like Teshima, the event was PACKED. All in all, a Friday night well spent ... with good shrimp! I ended the evening with Michel, actually. She hosted a post-debate NPR special with a group of local graduate students.
We also checked in with Ani DiFranco, surely one of the most political singers/songwriters out there out there right now. Ani DiFranco evokes strong reactions. Love her or hate her, you have to admire that she has put everything on the line, organized her life and her business to allow her to say what she wants to say in the way she wants to say it.
We also had our weekly visit to The Washington Post Magazine, meeting with Laura Blumenfeld who wrote a remarkable and complicated piece about three people of faith whose lives intersect in ways they could not have possibly imagined. I am eager to know how others react to this piece, which in some ways makes it clear how much we all have in common and yet how little we know each other as we go about our daily business side by side.
Later this week, Lee Hill is going to check in with some important new changes — happening this week — to the BLOG and how you communicate with us on this end. I'm going to listen in too because I am not sure I understand it ...