The event with Barack Obama today was quite interesting, although people who watched it on TV probably got a better sense of the man than those of us relegated to the print (and blog) portion of the media mob. We got to sit at long tables with plugs for power cords -- behind the risers set up for the TV and still cameras. It's obvious at most political events and has been for years that TV is more important to politicians than the near-obsolete print media, but it was really obvious at this event. From our spot we could see exactly nothing except the rear ends of some cameramen (they're still almost always men) and they didn't even provide a TV monitor. We could hear, however. And the amateur guards were officious.
Word is that the OC Fair folks got the word Friday that Obama wanted to do an event on Wednesday, so it was obviously set up rather hastily. The building was far from suitable, essentially a big barn-like structure usually used for trade shows and the like, with terrible acoustics (if any).
Must say Obama handled the event very well, and the audience was utterly gaga for him. If one expected intellectual coherence, however, one had come to the wrong place. I wonder if he actually believes this stuff. The financial crisis was caused by the banks being mysteriously loose with credit (the government played no role in this explanation) and the cure is to get credit markets going again with $1 trillion from the govt. and subsidize refinancing. I thought law professors were supposed to value at least a modicum of logic.
Here are the blogs Steve Greenhut and I produced on the event. Editorial here, with a little more detailed critique of the event.