This is an excellent recap of what it’s like to actually cover a debate on the campaign trail. Live-blogging is actually more entertaining. An excerpt:
The majority of these news-filers were writing their stories then and there, listening to but not watching the debate, a kind of mood music they knew well. They were listening not for the recurring melody but for the cadenza, the counterpoint, the long silent measure. There were a few of these. When Mitt Romney joked that our immigration problem wasn’t “11 million grandmothers,” the journalists guffawed. When Rick Santorum said “Mitt Romney is a wealthy guy because he worked hard,” a few loud sighs escaped. But for the most part, the Muzak droned its smooth staccato-less tones. There is an idea of a Republican Party, and they have an idea of Florida. Their idea of Florida on this night was Cubans and NASA. Their idea of Florida was 1981.