Say what you will about CNN, but they did a bang-up job hosting the Tea Party debate in Tampa, in my opinion, and they almost always seem to conceptualize and execute the coolest staging for these events. The network's Senior Executive Producer for special events, Kate Lunger, offers viewers a short but fascinating peek behind the scenes as she and her crew prepare for tonight's GOP showdown:
Note Lunger's coy hint that another CNN debate may "pop up" between tonight and their next scheduled forum in late November. Sure enough, CNN has just announced a national security and foreign affairs-focused debate in mid-November, co-sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and AEI. If Herman Cain remains a national frontrunner between now and then, circle November 15th on your calendar. That could be a consequential evening.
Tonight's exchange airs live on CNN at 8pm, and my colleague Katie Pavlich is in Sin City to cover the proceedings. Check out her debate preview, and be sure to follow our live open thread and Twitter widget as the debate unfolds.