COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) - Today’s the Super Bowl of Democratic politics in South Carolina – and this afternoon, the top teams found themselves in some pretty close quarters.
This afternoon, Barack Obama staffers and reporters following the Illinois senator’s campaign made a stop at the Liberty Tap Room & Grill, a Columbia watering hole and dining establishment, where several CNN-ers, including myself, were having a peaceful lunch.
About halfway through my bowl of chili, men in earpieces began sweeping the restaurant. Then Hillary Clinton’s press pool showed up, followed by her handlers and finally, the candidate herself along with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton. They worked the room, shaking hands and encouraging diners to vote.
Finally, Hillary Clinton herself stopped to greet our table - our first encounter with the New York senator since we were berated by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, at a campaign stop earlier this week. (It was a brief, pleasant exchange - so brief, in fact, we didn't get a chance to ask her to pass a message on to her husband: We swear, we don't live to "hurt the people of South Carolina.")
The surprise Clinton-Obama campaign meeting had the two sides shoulder-to-shoulder in the suddenly-cramped restaurant - but unlike Monday night's CNN showdown, there were no fireworks.
–CNN’s Carey Bodenheimer