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USA 2008 - The Show


Latest update : 2008-02-06

FRANCE 24 sent a special team to cover the Super Tuesday primaries across the USA. Watch their show, USA 2008, and read their campaign notebook below.

Wednesday, Feb.6, 1.45 am EST: Chicago
By Guillaume Meyer , special correspondent

A few months ago, Hillary Clinton was a national front-runner. She and her campaign staff thought they'd clinch the nomination on Super Tuesday. Well, the delegates are still being counted but it definitely looks like the race will go on. The supporters of Obama here were a little sad that their candidate was not ahead, but his performance on stage once again revived the crowd. And he offered a reminder that he is now on an equal footing with the "natural winner", Hillary Clinton. Obama's closest advisor, David Axelrod, was definitely smiling on Super Tuesday night as his candidate delivered another impressive speech. Is the momentum with the Obama campaign?
Tuesday, Feb. 5: Chicago
by Guillaume Meyer, special correspondent
Chicago awaits the fate of its favorite son. Obama moved and settled in the "Windy City" more than 20 years ago to work as a community organizer. This is his home. In the streets of Chicago, many on this voting day wear little stickers on their coats saying "I Voted". Most people also wear a second sticker,  "Obama 08". The senator from Illinois will be here tonight to monitor the result and to give his victory or concession speech. To understand the passion triggered by the Obama candidacy, I want to quote a young chicagoan of sudanese origin who became a citizen 4 years ago. "Sure I like the Clintons but we need change now to end the war in Iraq. When Obama speaks, I believe him. And I don't back him because he's black like me. I will vote for him because he has experience, the experience here with the people of Chicago. I could vote in 2004 but it was John Kerry, so I was not really interested. This time I follow the campaign all the time. I get home at 3 am after work and I turn on the TV to make sure I did not miss anything of what the candidates said during the day".
Tuesday, Feb. 5: New York City
by Catherine Galloway, special correspondent
Super Tuesday and the search for a super view ... our filming day started at the New York Giants victory parade where we were trying to find a spot among the crowds of football fans packed ten deep on the pavement to salute their heros.  New Yorkers are famously blunt and told us to take a running jump when we begged to squeeze through to the road side.  Then - divine inspiration!  Trinity Church on Wall Street and Father Thomas had set up a few ladders.  He was using one to waft incense over the sports stars - he generously agreed to lend us another ... so we were up and away.  The crowd was defeaning, the ticker tape was swirling, James our camera-man yelled 'you've got one shot at this' as the ladder rocked underneath me.  Watch the results on 'The Week in the Americas'!  Go Giants! Go France 24
Tuesday, Feb.5: New York City
by Lea Salame, special correspondent
“Democrats fall in love
Republicans fall in line”

 We’ll see if that comes true tonight, on Super Tuesday. Meanwhile, our fantastic France 24 team in New York has dabbled in the risky business of political forecasting. Each of our team members bet 10 dollars on the names of the two candidates they think will make it through to the ultimate stand-off in November - and on the name of the next US President…with the following results:

-9 of us bet on McCain versus Clinton

*with final victory going to Clinton, say five of us

*and final victory going to McCain, say the remaining four.
Three of us bet on McCain versus Obama, with all three betting that final victory will go to Obama.  As for me, I bet on McCain versus Clinton, with final victory going to McCain.  Well, so much for the forecasts. But I haven’t said who I actually want to win…

Monday, Feb. 4: New York City
by Alexandra Renard, special correspondent

A few days before Super Tuesday, we left Manhattan in a rented Pontiac to head for Hillary's home ground - Albany, which, it turns out, is the real capital of New York. After five hours on the road in snow and hail (it's two and a half hours in normal weather), and 25 car crashes because of the ice, we finally arrived in the state capital with its imposing architecture....

Watch Alexandra's report by clicking the link in the right column.

Monday, Feb. 4: New York City
by Catherine Galloway, special correspondent

White House 2008 is set to be America's first BILLION dollar election and in a real case of "show me the money" we ventured onto the trading floor in Wall Street this morning, coming face to face with the men who don't blink at peeling off a million or two from their end of year bonuses to swell the campaign coffers of their favourite candidate.  This is wealth in the raw, but I was more moved by the giving spirit in Harlem where supporters were flooding into Barack Obama's campaign office, eager to offer five or ten dollars to the cause.  Kids are raiding their piggy banks for him, grandmothers are offering their pensions ... in the race to win a country every little helps.

Monday, Feb. 4: New York City
by Mary MacCarthy and Alexandra Renard, special correspondents
Sunday afternoon and in NYC you could already feel the buzz as Americans geared up for the biggest televised sporting event of the year, Superbowl Sunday. We were sent to neighbouring New Jersey to do a report... And somehow ended up among the apparent minority of East Coasters who WEREN'T thinking about which team was going to win the big game.

We were interviewing a mother, Paula Rogovin, whose son is a Marine who just returned from Iraq. Paula brought us to a meeting of local representatives of various anti-war groups... As the clock ticked and game time approached, we expected them to end the meeting and head to their respective homes to watch the game. 5PM, 5:30PM... And they were still sitting around the oak table, organising the weekly peace vigils across the state, scheduling "movie nights" to get people talking about the war... And above all, planning activities for the 5-year anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, coming up in March. When we asked the activists if they were going to watch the Superbowl, they said, "We have other priorities.
We were reassured to see this other side of the United States: Americans who are thinking BEYOND the media- hyped events and issues like Super Tuesday and the Super Bowl.

Monday, Feb 4: Atlanta, Georgia



By Guillaume Meyer, special correspondent in Atlanta


Is the Christian right deprived of a candidate this year? The evangelicals were king makers in the election of George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, but this year they're almost absent from the campaign. As the race has narrowed down, evangelicals are faced with a dilemma. None of the Republican candidates suits them. I met a family, near Atlanta, Georgia. Paul and Melody Allen are evangelical "homeschoolers", they teach their four children themselves, at home, to make sure they are being taught the right values and the "truth", that God created the Earth and mankind. To them, evolution is just a theory. They think McCain has proved too liberal in the past, on immigration and abortion. The Allens also worry that because he is a Mormon, Mitt Romney cannot "hear from God", and they think it's crucial that their leader hears from God. (Mormons are not Christians according to evangelicals). Mike Huckabee, a very conservative pastor, seems more suited. But, he has a major flaw: he lacks the experience, especially on the international stage. 


Sunday, Feb. 3: Super Bowl Night


By Catherine Galloway, special correspondent in New York
Life is not easy for a political reporter in New York tonight - Super Tuesday has been super-sized into oblivion by the Super Bowl, and even the White House hopefuls are glued to the big game like everyone else.  Fans could barely tear their eyes from the screen to answer our questions in the first half so I'm really no further forward on the rules regarding the big men in tights.  But in politics and in football there are underdogs and favourites, tactics that backfire or set the crowds alight, team colours and flashes of individual brilliance.  Here in New York they've got the Giants and their senator to cheer on ... so, let's play ball!
Saturday, Feb. 2: 7.30 pm (USA - ET)

By Léa Salamé, special correspondent in  New York

Arrived in New York. The "Standing City," as the French writer Céline put it in his novel, Journey to the End of the Night, the city moving now to the rhythm of the Super Bowl and Super Tuesday.
There aren’t posters everywhere like there were in New Hampshire, but New Yorkers aren’t hesitating to wear the name of their chosen candidate on their coat sleeve, on pins and stickers.
I asked the customs agent at the airport who he was voting for. His response was uncertain. "I'm torn between Obama and McCain. I like them both." 
How is it possible to be torn between two men with political platforms so totally opposed to each other? It's the personality of one of the two men that must convince him. Personality is going to weigh heavily in this election, and the Obama effect is a result of that.
Personality, though, is the weak point for Hillary, who has always had trouble when it came to “the likability factor.” Of the two Democrats, Americans are choosing between the woman who reassures them and the man who makes them dream.



Date created : 2008-02-06