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Ciolli: In Spin Alley, media swarms around politicians and food

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., speaks to reporters in

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., speaks to reporters in the media filing room ahead of the second presidential debate at Hofstra University. (Oct. 16, 2012) (Credit: AP)

Former New York Gov. George Pataki arrived in the spin room at the front of the media center at Hofstra asking, "Doesn't anybody want to talk to me?"

Maybe the members of the foreign press jammed in the rear of the Hofstra sports complex adjacent to the debate hall would try, but they aren't really sure who is who, they just follow the swarm.

Many others with credentials are waiting for the action to start in the popular hospitality tent offering free beer and food. (Lasagna and stuffed peppers -- welcome to Long Island.)


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Pre-debate spin featured Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell, who predicted that Mitt Romney would win his state by "a couple of points."

A few minutes later and about 20 feet away, New York Sen. Charles Schumer gave a brief history of Long Island from the post-war promise of Levittown to the era of stalled growth and struggling families. Schumer also managed to plug his worst-selling 2007 book "Positively American: Winning Back the Middle-Class Majority One Family at a Time," about the fictional Bailey  family of Massapequa. New York's senior senator predicted that  President Obama would win over the nation's Baileys. 

Louisian Gov. Bobby Jindal said Obama should drink some Red Bull tonight before the scrum went on to former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, who was waiting to go on live on Fox News.

Now, with five minutes to go, the press has settled down in long rows to watch the large-screen monitors. Both the current first lady and the one who wants the job are seated, revealing that they are wearing the same deep rose color. And the media has a fresh angle for the moment -- until the debate ends and the spin begins again.

Pictured above: Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., speaks to reporters in the media filing room ahead of the second presidential debate at Hofstra University. (Oct. 16, 2012)

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