The STL Debate Night Experience

A friend and I (Craig here) decided to venture down to Washington University to soak in the atmosphere surrounding Sunday night's presidential debate. While there was no way for a regular Joe like me to get into the debate, or even near it, I figured there would be enough activity on campus to make the trip worthwhile.

Before I headed out, I made a map in order to orient myself and find the festivities:

The roads highlighted in yellow were closed down, and I denoted the Uber dropoff point (top center) and the locations of the media sets (in the green areas).

Upon arriving, I first encountered the C-Span bus, the Fox News set, and the MSNBC set.

The CNN set was off by itself on the other side of the library.

The Fox News set was the only one that was set up for an audience to watch the debate. It had chairs, a large elevated TV screen, freebies, and ice cream. Here's a news story on the debate-watching crowd.

 Anderson Cooper on the big screen

A T-shirt, pin, and magnet

Here are some of the characters and sights I encountered:

This was at the MSNBC set, of course.

Not sure what this is about.

There was a line at the Trump cutout, but not for Hillary.

Chris Matthews
There wasn't a huge crowd out and about during the debate, though a lot of students and signs were present during the weekend's pre-debate coverage. Maybe I will check that out next time (Wash U hosts lots of debates). Beyond the group at Fox News, there were only about a dozen people watching at MSNBC and 2-3 dozen at CNN. I think most students joined the rest of America and went back home to drink during the debate. About an hour into it, I took another lap around campus to see what was happening, and then left a bit before the verbal duel ended. Therefore, I did not get to hear the crowd react to the Ken Bone moment.

In all, it was a fun night. I like to involve myself in events like this in whatever way I can, as long as I don't have to fight a crowd or wait in a long line (it was for the latter reason that I did not attend the Trump rally here in March).

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