NEW YORK--There are red, white, and blue lights flashing everywhere and I think I might be the oldest person in the room; I'm in the Uptown Studio at MTV's Times Square headquarters for the "Closing Arguments" event co-hosted by MTV, MySpace, and the Associated Press.
Presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, and Ron Paul will be videoconferencing in to answer questions from the studio audience, as well as questions submitted online.
Outside, a huge crowd has amassed outside MTV Studios, primarily student groups in support of Obama, though a number of Clinton supporters were also present as well as one guy with a Paul sign. (UPDATE: A number of passionate Ron Paul apologists have let me know that there were ultimately many more people who showed up to voice their support for the Texas congressman, which video of the event has confirmed to me after the fact. There was only one when I got there, and since we were inside, we couldn't see the crowds grow outside.)
Inside the studio, MTV News' Gideon Yago, with a can of diet Red Bull in one hand, gave a pep talk on proper live TV conduct for the audience members. They're primarily local college students (the one sitting next to me is part of a pro-Obama group at NYU, and one said "I have a friend who works for MySpace"). "It's pretty much live, so what you say when you say it will be seen by lots and lots of people," Yago told them as he asked them to keep it courteous.
Also in the house are a few of the "Street Team '08" members who will be submitting live reports on Nokia N95 cell phones during the "Super Tuesday" primaries next week.