Dear god, we’re one debate down and I can feel the endorphins draining from my body.
About thirty minutes before the first debate of the evening—AKA the loser round—starts, I hear a commotion in the press room. Turns out, Ben Carson is in the building.
At first, I wondered why Ben Carson was here, considering that the first debate was starting soon so shouldn’t be be getting ready? Then I remembered that DEAR GOD BEN CARSON IS A FRONTRUNNER.
All the press in the room had a very chill response to his presence.
I accidentally got very close.
Right after that party, I made a very important discovery: They serve alcohol here at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Well, they serve beer and wine—but I’ll take it. I purchased two bottles of champagne (thanks, Gawker Media) because I believe that utter absurdity of all this requires some sort of celebration.
Also, shoutout to homeboy at the end of my table who is on my “Can’t do this without a drink” tip.
Someone named Natalie Hill prances onstage to sing the national anthem. Who is Natalie Hill? Never mind, doesn’t matter.
Because I didn’t donate $50,000 or so to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, I am watching the debates from the filing room which is full of other esteemed journalists like myself. About a third of the people in the room stood up for the singing of the national anthem. So there’s that. I am sitting here sipping my brut.
During the opening statements, I make the mistake of laughing at all the inanity come out of these men’s mouths—particularly when Rick Santorum basically said that he loves one of his children more than the others. No one else is laughing.
Ok guys, this debate is so boring. It is as boring as it is watching at home, I’m sure, but I’m surrounded by a roomful of stressed-out looking people in button downs.
Jake Tapper has great hair.
On another side note, it’s pretty beautiful out here in Simi Valley, even with the press trucks.
By the way guys, they have an OK free snack spread out here.
Their swag bag game, however, could use some work.
That box that looks like a pack of cigarettes is in fact filled with jelly beans.
Guys, NO ONE IS LAUGHING. This is sort of worrisome. I let out a guffaw when Bobby Jindal put his self-hatred on display and rambled about how when his parents came to the United States, they followed the rules and are not “hyphen Americans,” but simply, Americans.
I also laughed loudly when he said that America is not a country that discriminates. I laughed because that is ridiculous and untrue. Howerver, no one else in this room is laughing. I know they’re all professionals and they’re working hard to meet deadlines and all, but seriously how can you watch this with a straight face?
At some point towards the end of the debate, the live feed in the press room cuts to the spin room instead. All we see is this guy chatting away.
Blood pressures get even higher and everyone starts looking around wildly wondering outloud if this is broadcasting on CNN also, or if it’s just us. The consensus is that it’s probably just us. The feed comes back but the mood is tense. I open my second mini bottle of brut.
I am the only person laughing but I am likely the only person drinking champagne, so that might have something to do with it.
It is 4:18 pm PST and I am facing a dilemma. I have to go to the bathroom, but I also feel like I should be staying for this debate. I am also hungry and want to get some snacks in before the next debate, but Rick Santorum is starting to wave his hands arounds.
Whatever, unlike Bobby Jindal, I love myself.
On my way to get a burger and another mini bottle of champagne, I pass Michael Steel talking to press....
Chris Matthews yapping....
and Anderson Cooper taking a selfie
When I sit back down, I ask the reporter sitting next to me what they’re talking about. Her reply: “I have no idea.”
See you at the main event, folks.
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Lede image via Getty.