Tonight, Wednesday April 16th, at 8pm eastern time, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will debate live on the ABC broadcast network, i.e., your local ABC channel. It will take place at the National Constitution Center’s Kimmel Theater in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’m guess there will be a little bad blood considering Obama’s recent “bitterness” comments and Clinton’s continued exploitation of them.
A video report on Philly’s debate, it’s from yesterday so “tomorrow night” is really tonight, 4/16:
Here’s a report on the debate from Philly.com:
Tickets to tomorrow’s Democratic presidential debate at the National Constitution Center are so hot that NCC president Joe Torsella had to turn down his own mother.
“She really laid into me,” he said. “I think I let her down. She told me she would give her right arm for tickets.”
With the Pennsylvania primary one week away, Torsella has been overwhelmed with ticket requests, including one from “the sister of the cousin of a friend’s podiatrist,” he said, tongue firmly in cheek.
He cannot accommodate them. Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama will face off in the center’s tiny – Torsella prefers “intimate” – theater-in-the-round. It seats 350, with 25 seats lost behind the backdrop.
The last time Democrats debated here, Oct. 29, the venue was the 842-seat auditorium in Drexel’s historic Main Building. NBC had to extend the stage 16 feet to accommodate the seven candidates.
ABC, to telecast Clinton-Obama live from 8 to 10 p.m., will add about 100 seats around the perimeter of the NCC’s Kimmel Theater, said David Chalian, the network’s political director.
Also, an NCC-record 800 reporters will set up in the center’s Great Hall.
Usually ratings kryptonite, debate telecasts have generated record numbers this season. The NCC event is expected to draw more than 10 million viewers.
“I continue to marvel at the level of interest in this election,” Chalian said. “We see it in debate ratings, registration statistics, polling. It reminds us how high the stakes are.”
ABC will have a production team of 125 staffers, along with 12 cameras and several satellite trucks. Chalian would not estimate the cost.
According to Torsella, the NCC had to raise $300,000 for additional security and other services. “To put on an event like this,” he said, “the preparation is like a mini-D-Day.”
A few months ago, it looked as if Ben Franklin himself couldn’t have lured the Democrats to Independence Mall.
In December, the NCC proposed a February debate to Clinton, Obama and former Sen. John Edwards. They were “close to a deal,” Torsella said, but when Edwards quit the race Jan. 30, “that changed the calculus with the candidates, and we couldn’t make it work.”
As always, we will have full coverage and analysis of the debate. We’ll also have the entire unedited debate video uploaded once it airs. So check back here later this evening around 8pm eastern time as the debate begins.
Here’s another debate rundown with one of the moderators, George Stephanopoulos:
Debate analysis and video clips:
Analysis: ABC News Democratic Debate From Philly, PA
Here’s the full debate video:
Video: ABC Clinton/Obama Debate from Philadelphia, PA