Who's at the debate? And a by the numbers guide
From inside the theater, fuzzy shot of Charlie Crist, his wife, Carole, talking to Adam Goodman.
Former Gov. Charlie Crist sat a few seats down from former Sen. George LeMieux, his ex-chief of staff now running for Senate who has spurned their history together. LeMieux greeted Crist’s wife, Carole, with a kiss on the cheek.
Other notables: Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn; St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster; Attorney General Pam Bondi, who sat next to Ann Romney; former AG Bill McCollum; Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam; Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel; former Gov. Bob Martinez; Rod Smith, chair of the Florida Democratic Party; financier and philanthropist Bill Edwards; Kevin Romney, a nephew of Mitt from Naples; USF president Judy Genshaft; Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, Rays president Matt Silverman; former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco; and Peter Westmacott, Britain’s ambassador to the United States.
The crew from NBC included Chris Matthews, Chuck Todd and David Gregory. And, of course, moderator Brian Williams, who just before the debate joked about having a half-full water bottle. Mitt Romney left the stage to give Williams his.
By the numbers
1st out of 18 debates to be seen on a primetime network broadcast on a weekday
400+ members of the media received credentials to cover the debate
400 seats inside the theater for the audience
11 minutes before a question went to someone other than Gingrich or Romney.