CHARLOTTE, N.C. Gwen Ifill did her PBS show Washington Week at UNC Charlotte on Friday, but the best laugh line didnt come until after the broadcast.
In a post-taping session called Convention Eve Town Hall Webcast, Ifill and her guests took questions from about 300 people in the audience. One asked about why the convention was being held in Charlotte.
I think you needed to hold it someplace, said Jeff Zeleny of The New York Times.
And you meant that in the nicest possible way, Ifill cracked.
Zeleny was joined by panelists John Harwood of the Times and CNBC, Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post and Alexis Simendinger of RealClearPolitics. They looked back on the high points of the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., and ahead at the Democrats in Charlotte.
And then they cut to the topic of the day actor Clint Eastwoods performance on the RNCs final night when he spoke to an invisible President Barack Obama in an empty chair next to the lectern.
Greatest stagecraft blunder I can remember, said Harwood.
It was just a head-scratcher and thats not what you want right before your nominee is going to walk on the stage, said Tumulty.
Ifill took questions from the audience at the Anne R. Belk Theater during breaks. Does she get a bonus for working late doing the conventions? No. Do they fake the talking during the closing credits? No. How does she keep up the pace? Adrenaline.
Ifill said security in Tampa was as tight as shes ever seen it. Then she mentioned she hadnt yet seen how it was in Charlottes downtown.
She was quickly fact-checked by the audience.
Uptown. I meant uptown. Thanks, she said.