We're front row at one of the media tables set up this year to accommodate those covering the event. Rahul Bali, a reporter with WTOP radio out of Washington, DC, is beside me and Brian Bridgeforth from Waynesboro is on the other side as we sit at the front table left of the stage.
For the first time since I have been attending these debates, tables have been set up beside the stage ... three on the left and three on the right ... to accommodate the media and bloggers. The Virginia Bar Association was very accommodating to those of us in the new media covering the event.
Next to me Rahul is sending a first report into the radio station on "Round 1: Creigh Deeds vs Bob McDonnell." Tyler Whitley with the Richmond Times Dispatch is across the room along with Bernie Niemeier from Virginia Business ... Bob Stuart with the Waynesboro News Virginian is here as he is each year for this event.
Both candidates have been in the room to do sound checks and scope out the room. Bob McDonnell walked through the media area and said hello, shaking hands with those covering the event. Creigh Deeds smiled as he walked by but did not stop.
With less than an hour to go, most of the media are in place, sound checks are going on, and no one from the public is in the room yet. It's the quiet before the storm, so to speak....