DES MOINES, Iowa – After hours of watching aides tweak the podium and pace the press area, the crowd has finally filed into the ballroom at the Hotel Ft. Des Moines. Dolly Parton's "9 to 5", a Clinton campaign soundtrack staple, filled the somewhat subdued room.
The ballroom is small and will pack fast. One assumes the temperature will rise from chilly comfortable to summer in Iowa.
Red, white and blue lights sit behind the curtains to give the old-fashioned space a patriotic glow. When Hillary Clinton emerges to speak to the crowd later this evening, she will do so in front of a large "Ready for Change, Ready to Lead Banner." There is a long tiered platform behind her posing the possibility that supporters and family members will stand behind her.
Reporters, producers and photographers are crammed on the riser trying to make nice, although there's already been a food spill and a hot light clipped a journalist as it tipped over. One imagines camaraderie will fade when the candidate takes the stage and the whole press corps surges forward to get the shot.
–CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson