-1 minutes. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer amps up the crowd while standing on an empty stage in Tampa, Fla. “All of us will always remember this night,” he says. “Stand by. We are about to begin. The whole world will be watching.” This last part is an overstatement. This fifth Republican presidential debate is going head-to-head with the season premier of Monday Night Football, a game between the Patriots and the Dolphins in nearby Miami. But that is nothing compared to the other live television event, the Miss Universe pageant, which is set to begin in an hour.
0 minutes. Instead of starting with the debate, CNN cuts away to a fancy montage of the eight candidates, giving each a nickname. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is called “The Firebrand.” Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has held elected office since 1985, is called “The Newcomer.” Ominous military music plays as a voice over builds the tension. “Eight candidates,” he says. “One stage.” It’s still not football.FULL STORY