November 4th, 2008 | Uncategorized

Before the McCain Spectacle: Hotel, Flags and Chips

By Paul Needham

PHOENIX, 3:05 p.m. — The Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa was inspired by the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, but you wouldn’t know it today.

Reporters have strewn themselves all over the posh resort, so much so that its geometric patterns are largely hidden. I counted more than three dozen satellite trucks and there are hundreds of cameras positioned everywhere imaginable.

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We were told to park several miles away, at the North Phoenix Baptist Church, but few — if any — reporters did so. Instead, every parking space at the Biltmore is filled and some cars are parked on lawns. (I haven’t seen anyone parked on the golf course yet.)

But the media is only part of the spectacle here. Preparations for McCain’s speech here tonight are underway and his podium is already in place. Behind it is a massive American flag; the campaign is worried that strong winds may make for a few too many ripples in it.

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There are other concerns being discussed here, too. I just overheard a CNN producer telling someone from ABC not to eat the chips provided by her network.