Captive Audience

The president came to town and all I got was a good look at his red neck

Clinton turns toward the business people crowding the stage in rows (no "round" table anywhere) and gives a little one-two air punch, then sits down to speak.

I'm sure everyone wants to hear what the president has to say, really, but the fans are so loud and it's so crowded and so hot that few people pay attention. Reporters are schmoozing pols, pols are schmoozing pols, and some people are even pleading with the Banana Republicans to be let out of the building. Bundgaard slips out.

And yeah, I have to admit, the speech itself and the ensuing "round-table discussion" turns out to be a big rah-rah, say-nothing political event. But what did everyone expect? Great Thoughts? Tangible Breakthroughs?

By 6, the whole thing is over. Clinton's done the grip 'n' grin and heads out to his motorcade, where he--surprise!--pops out to shake more hands.

The warehouse is still officially sealed, and this time they're not letting anyone out. Leah Fasten is still pointing and shooting.

What did she think of the speech?
"I think there's news and I think there's advertising," she says. She trains her camera on the crowd again.

Outside, it's actually cool. A dust storm kicks up and a group of locals stands at the entrance to the parking lot, selling Clinton tee shirts, reduced now, from $10 to $5.

Contact Amy Silverman at 602-229-8443 or at her online address:

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