Belmont Debate 08: Behind the Scenes & Celeb Sightings

I made my way alone down to Belmont’s campus Tuesday night for the Presidential debate. I just wanted to see all of the action unfold. Why not, right? After all, I was credentialed. Police, search dogs and Secret Service agents greeted me at the Wedgewood entrance. I passed thought the medal detector, my purse was searched and finally I was on the other side.

Believe it or not, it was relatively quiet on the campus painted with debate banners. Rain dropped on the freshly manicured lawn that Belmont officials spent months beautifying. Network trucks packed the soccer field. The Curb Event Center shined up ahead with dramatic lighting and red, white & blue decor. It felt dignifying and looked gorgeous.

It was another story inside the media tent- the cameras were on and the lights bright as bloggers and reporters rushed about. Nearly everywhere I looked I recognized a face, not just my crew here at News 2, but national media personalities were all around.

The hospitality tent was set like a typical restaurant/bar. A table provided one of the best food spreads for media that we had seen. Reporters dined on smoked turkey, ham, scalloped potatoes and pecan pie. A slew of tap beers kept those of us that weren’t working relaxed.
There was lots of mingling and elbow rubbing. That’s where I snapped a pic of Terry Moran and his crew from Nightline.

Brad Paisley, John Rich, Cowboy Troy, Vince Gill and Amy Grant were among the artists that had a ticket inside the debate hall. Eddie George was also in the house.

It was awesome, a once in a lifetime opportunity and I built memories that I will share in years to come.

Among those pictured- News 2′s Amy Napier Viteri, Stephanie Langston (me), photographer Michael Dennis, Tiani Jones, photog Beau Fleenor & Ray Arzate, Nightline’s Terry Moran & crew, News 2 anchor Bob Mueller with Bob Corker’s press secretary Laura Leffler and Nashville Post’s Ken Whitehouse

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