Live from Philadelphia, it's the 'Today' show!

It's only 6:28 a.m. but Today Show co-host Meredith Vieira is already on the set in Philadelphia Independence Mall (that's The Hall in the background) as she gets wired up before the show. (Photo by Clem Murray / Inquirer)

Those Today trumpets blare and there's a voice -- Matt Lauer? he's not here -- while coanchor Meredith Vieira sits on a wood studio chair on grass on Independence Mall. She talks about "our tour of today's battlegrounds," including Pennsylvania. "The suburbs around this city could very well determine whether John McCain or Barack Obama could become our next president."

Lauer's voice talks about the financial crisis, then promos that story about THE MAN WHO WAS CUT IN HALF AND LIVED! HE CAN STILL PLAY BALL WITH HIS KIDS!"

Then it's Ann Curry with the news.

 After Roker does the weather, Vieira introduces an interview she did last night with McCain right here in Philadelphia. She asks about whether he's in favor of regulation. McCain says this is the most serious crisis since World War II and that he's been speaking out about Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac for years, and "I'm not going to raise anybody's taxes."

Gov. Rendell takes a seat  next to Vieira here, while the McCain interview rolls.

McCain defends having ex-Hewlett Packard CEO as an advisor, despite her getting a $24 million "golden parachute," while workers werer being laid off. He also speaks highly of veep candidate Sarah Palin.