FORT DODGE, IOWA -- It was 6:30 pm Eastern time and I had a serious dilemma.
We were set up to talk live and on camera from Ft. Dodge, Iowa to the CBS Evening News.
We were perched along a railing on the balcony of the auditorum where the man who would be the next "leader of the free world" was just beginning his stump speech.
It's a nice scene-setter that shows off the immediacy of television. But it works best when the candidate is not shouting to be heard over the dulcet tones of some network star correspondent -- or me.
Which is exactly what happened Wednesday night. What to do?
I was no more than 50 feet from him and clearly audible in my normal stentorian delivery.
I could adopt a whisper worthy of the 18th hole at the Masters but it would sound dumb to the viewing audience who could not judge the distance between us.
So when anchor Russ Mitchell introduced me, I plowed ahead. Uncomfortably live on national television.
Even worse, my first words were about a new poll that had Obama well behind his nemesis, Sen. Hillary Clinton.
I apparently got the senator's attention because before I really got started I heard a very familiar speaker deviate from his speech.
"I can hear you up there, whoever you are," Obama bellowed from the stage. (By the way, Obama is one of the loudest bellowers running today).
I feared the Secret Service might silence me. I thought the crowd might turn on me. I wondered whether Obama was going to make an example of me in some way.
Well, mercifully none of that happened. Obama kept speaking to the packed auditorum. I finished my report, and emerged unscathed, perhaps living to interrupt another day...