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I am in the debate hall, where the well dressed gathering of politicos and major donors are almost all seated, and Wolf Blitzer is now on stage. He couldn’t resist: “…And the Oscar goes to…”

The irony is that, if the strike goes on, there may be more famous figures (mostly political) in the audience tonight than the date of the Oscar ceremony.

“This is an exciting moment,” Blitzer said, echoing a theme that has been

Blitzer just opened it up to questions.

“Where’s Anderson?” someone asked, to audience laughs.

“Anderson worked last nigt,” Blitzer said, wryly adding, “Thank you.”

A bittersweet moment for Edwards supporters: The candidates will be seated at a three-person desk, but it has only two chairs.

Someone has just asked Blitzer what his favorite movie of all time. He says it is “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

“Just get ready for history because you will be present at this historic event.”

In the audience: Carl Reiner, and Steven Spielberg was on the guest list. Also present: former Governor Gray Davis and just about every Democratic state official.

The shocking thing is just how many empty seats there are — given that they were so hard to get.