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Setting the Scene for the Town Hall Live Blog

NEWSEUM in Washington, DC.
Getty Images
NEWSEUM in Washington, DC.

For Monday's hour long town hall with President Barack Obama, CNBC's John Harwood and I will be the only reporters in the room.

Let me clarify that just a little.

John will be sitting next to the president in the center of the hall, hosting the event for those in the audience asking their questions and he'll ask a few himself.

I'm the silent partner so to speak—at least when it comes to the questions. Instead of asking, I'll be live blogging the full hour from a perch above the audience to give you the inside take of what's going on between the questioners and the president—so I'll let my typing do the talking.

For their part, the White House correspondents will be in a room just off town hall room, watching it all on monitors. What that means is if you want to know what's going on as it happens, you'll have to watch CNBC or check out the blog. Better yet, do both.

There will be some 200 people in the audience, described as a "cross section of Americans who are interested in the economy. From college students and union workers to small business owners and retirees." They will be asking questions of the president on issues ranging from the economy, stimulus, jobs, taxes and more I expect.

The image you see in this post is of the Newseum, where the town hall is taking place. It's an interactive museum of news and journalism located on Pennsylvania Avenue, between Capital Hill and the White House. It's funded by the Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation "dedicated to free speech and free spirit for all," according to their web site.

It's quite a place and if you never heard of it, which I have to admit I didn't, you are missing out on a lot of history of how news has been covered in this country. And if you didn't know, ABC's "This Week" is broadcast from the Newseum every Sunday.

Why have it there? I'm told it's perfect for this type of event, loaded with the latest technology, including a fully equipped broadcast center (as "This Week's" crew can attest to). And CNBC has used it before, most recently a town hall with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Also, CNBC feels it's the this is also a place that "reflects the values of the first amendment" to quote one of our executives.

I asked some people I know how this all came about. CNBC has been working on this event for some time I was told and was anxious to have it after President Obama was elected. Those execs are more than happy they've pulled it off.

We'll of course have full coverage all day on CNBC and CNBC.com, before and after the town hall. We'll have insight on what might get asked before it begins—and we'll get reaction from those in the audience to what the president said— and what he didn't say. CNBC.com's senior writer Jeff Cox will be filing stories for the web site on the town hall, so make sure you look for Jeff's latest.

As for me, I'll see you Monday in the live blog, starting at 12 pm EST.