CNBC's Obama Town Hall Blogger: 'This Does Seem Bigger Than Elvis! He's In the Building!'
For Monday's midday town-hall meeting on CNBC, they tagged their producer Mark Koba to live-blog the event from the site at the Newseum in Washington. Koba easily demonstrated an overwhelming enthusiasm for Obama, comparing him to Elvis Presley, before and after the event:
11:56 am EST: This does seem bigger than Elvis. He's in the building!...
1:10 pm EST: Okay, Elvis, I mean Barack has left the room and probably the building in a few minutes. Everyone stays put till he actually does leave...the building.
Throughout the event, Koba mentioned how everyone was hanging on Obama's every precious word -- even after he explained they were instructed by producers to look interested for the cameras. Koba kept returning to Obama's calm and convincing mien:
12:24 pm EST: Mood is quiet right now. Everyone listening. You can hear a pin drop and my typing.
12:27 pm EST: Whoops, don't interrupt the president John, when he's talking about taxes, as Obama makes his case about what he thinks should be done. Got some applause on that one.
12:34 pm EST: President mentions CNBC again and how people "there" were complaining about his actions on the economy. Some mild chuckles with that, maybe even a little nervous laughter. Hey, he can "knock" CNBC even if we're hosting.
12:44 pm EST: Audience sitting straight in their chairs, as is the president. He seems very casual and comfortable, if that's saying the obvious.
12:45 pm EST: 15 minutes to go. Not as many questions as I thought there might be. The president does have long answers, but again, I don't notice any feet shuffling or yawning. Everyone's interested, or maybe looking for answers to their own questions.
12:51 pm EST: 9 minutes to go. No one's moving, just looking at the president. Heads nodding at certain points, chuckles at others.
12:55 pm EST: President doing a good job of making eye contact the whole time. He looks a questioner straight in the face and seems totally engaged with them.
One hopes that Koba got a picture with the president and an autograph for all that "Elvis is in the building" enthusiasm.