Anyway, I wasn't on CNN a whole bunch. I was eclipsed by a taller and much more aggressive Bush supporter, who upstaged my sign (typical), elbowed me in the face repeatedly, "accidentally", (not entirely typical, but that was about his height,) and then ripped my sign from my hands and tore it in half for the cameras (not typical).
So since CNN had a bit of a hostile environment, and I needed a new sign, I wandered up to the CEC, made up a "Four Fewer Years" sign, found a discarded "Help
This time, over at MSNBC, as requested by the coordinator of the College Democrats. She liked my description of the situation as "sign chess," in which each side tried to get more visual space of their signs compared to the opposition, in two fronts. There were literal coordinators for the Kerry supporters, guiding us to where our signs would do the most good.
But having a creative and small sign helped. My "4 Fewer Years" sign was nice and manuverable, also legible, and served as a backdrop for one of the commentators on MSNBC's 4:00 political update. (I really should know his name...) It showed up quite nicely, and though I only got covered by one camera pan, it was quite legible enough even when not in camera focus. I even manuvered it so it wasn't obscured by the actual news anchor.
I went and ate dinner at 5:00, and came back for Hardball at 6:00. This is when the "creative" bit of signage came in really, really handy. Because the crowd-scaning camera favored abnormal signs. And it was so damn much fun to watch this camera pointing at me, focused directly on my sign, and glance to the left, and there I am, being broadcast.
And the camera's aim remained. It moved, and it remained trained on me. I moved my sign to match, and the camera kept its aim. It actively moved to turn me away from a Bush sign being placed in front of it. The camera actually dug through the signs and got a good clear shot of me, not just the sign I was holding- quite a miracle.
I, and my "4 Fewer Years" sign, got a six-second camera shot on national cable television. I actually find that sort of cool. Anybody watching?
Photos to come probably on Monday, after the gag order lifts and I'll have enough energy to actually do it.
So I didn't get picked to see the debate; at the last possible moment, Washington University was given 105 tickets to distribute, but my number was over 300 (and that's all the information I Got) and therefore I didn't get to see it live.
I think it was more interesting from Graham Chapel, because the audience was not under any form of "Please Shut Up" constraint. There was enraged shouting and booing at Bush's botching of the Dred Scott Trial- he would have been much better off not mentioning it, and he personally offended many people with that. (I talked to people after the debate about that- it really stuck in peoples' minds.) I lost his next thirty seconds of speech to the enraged reaction of my classmates- one that I partook in. I also was rather pissed. And somewhat frightened- even when it's not directed at you, and you happen to agree with it, being surrounded by that much raw rage is terrifying.
But that was a local faux pas- I know damn well that nobody outside of Misourri is likely to be as mad at that as we were. So for single botched lines? I think Bush's "Internets" was worse than Kerry's "Look into your guts".
edited to add
Bush recieved a far more thorough reaction than Kerry to their respective dumb lines, although I suspect that reflects in part the partisan nature of a random sample of campus; Washington University is strongly anti-Bush.
The reaction to Bush was very amusing. The small level of ambient chatter at that point just dropped dead at the sound of that 's'. There was this second-and-a-half of dead silence, an almost-tangible (tangible to an empath) air of "did he just say that?", and then, in unison, Graham Chapel rocked with laughter. The entire remainder of Bush's speech, and the start of the reply, was inaudible in the ocean of mirth. It was a beautiful moment.
Something that peeved me: Even more than last debate, candidates seemed quite prone to attempting to dodge the question. But Bush trying to tell off the moderator was a priceless moment- I don't think he looked better in anybody's eyes at that point.
I'm too exhausted to be coherent. So I'm going to collapse now.
FOUR FEWER YEARS!