7:20 p.m. -- Just had the national anthem, beautifully sung without unnecessary embellishment. Now, Bobby Schostak and Reince Preibus are whipping the crowd into a frenzy.
Okay, not exactly a frenzy, but there is a tremendous energy in the room. People are very excited to have this debate at Oakland University, and the University has done a tremendous job. The arena looks great, everything works in the Media Center, and this should be a fascinating evening.
Dr. Gary Russi, Oakland's president, is speaking now. He has done a great job here, and the faculty have fought him at every step. He is a very classy, gentle guy and, but for his devotion to higher education, he would make a great governor or senator.
Uh, oh -- Brooks Patterson is up. He's playing it pretty straight, talking up Oakland County. He's got a lot to brag about. Now he's ripping into the President's record. Well done.
Now comes our governor -- wearing a tie! And his hair is parted with a draftsman's precision. He's talking about his record and goals now, focusing on Michigan-specific ideas. His enthusiasm and optimism are infectious, and, frankly, I like his approach to problem-solving. You may disagree with his policies or his legislation, but it's tough to argue with his approach to problems -- "No blame, no credit, focus on solutions."
And there's a pause in the action.