On a lark, I e-mailed back and asked whether I, a lowly blogger, qualified as "press." I was hoping the answer was in the affirmative, but I wouldn't have been surprised if it was a stern and parental no. After all, they ("the press") get paid to write about this stuff. I don't.
After checking with WTAE, they got back to me saying the answer was yes, I could attend the debate. I'd be sitting in a room next to the studio with the other members of the press who weren't participating in the debate.
This, in fact, is that room.
That enormous grey door on the left side of the picture led into the studio. I got to sit next to Dan Majors (of the P-G) and David Browne (of the Trib).
To make a long story short, after the debate we "press" folks went through the big doors to ask the candidates any follow up questions we might have. A LOT of them were about the Mayor's charge that DeSantis had "sold the city down the river" for the FOP endorsement.
I had two questions for the candidates. They were:
- Is there anything that hadn't been raised in the debate that you wanted to mention?
- How do you think you did?
I know, they're not the greatest questions, but I thought they were fair and reasonable if a bit tepid. But I figured I was on someone else's turf (WTAE's) and I didn't want to do anything that would make the rest of us look bad.
I asked Mr DeSantis first. And to be honest, he gave a rather pat answer. There wasn't anything that wasn't in the debate that he needed to bring up, he said, and he thought he did OK, though it's the people who will be deciding on how well he did.
Then I made my way over to the Mayor. He was finishing a round of questions from (I think) David Highfield (of KDKA) on whether there was anything he's done as mayor that he regretted. As soon as Mayor gave his answer and Highfield moved away, I asked the mayor for a few seconds.
He asked who I was (a fair enough question, I thought, as I was a new face) and as we shook hands, I introduced myself as "David DeAngelo, 2 Political Junkies." I don't think I got to the end of the word "junkies" when he interrupted me with a quick, "I'm not interested, thanks." He turned and walked away, right out the door.Wow, I thought. I just got dissed by the Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh.
As he had no idea what I was going to ask, he must have thought I had a doozy of a question picked out for him - one that he wasn't interested in answering.