09/17/09 Virginia’s gubernatorial candidates Bob McDonnell (R) and Creigh Deeds (D) squared off in a much anticipated debate Thursday morning sponsored by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and held at the Capital One Complex in Tysons Corner, Va. Here are some behind-the-scenes photos.
The moderator David Gregory, host of Meet the Press, gets a pre-debate briefing.
Bob McDonnell looks over the stage beforehand. When staff informs him that the candidates will come in front of the podiums to shake hands at the start of the debate, McDonnell walks over and rehearses shaking hands with no one.
Creigh Deeds tries out the podium before the start of the debate.
Robert Demeria [Manager, Gvt Affairs Fairfax Co. Chamber of Commerce – sponsor of the debate] explains the ground rules.
Gregory and McDonnell greet each other backstage. The organizers and the campaign staff were careful the candidates not see or talk to each other before the start of the debate. They were sequestered in rooms away from each other and each viewed the stage while the other was not there.
Creigh Deeds waits to be introduced backstage.
The debate begins.