Back To Reality

January 23, 2008

It’s a little surreal that the Primary is over. In the first week of January, I was weaving in and out of satellite trucks parked on the Quad and avoiding walking through a live shot in Cushing Student Center. No longer are credentials required to pass through police to gain access to campus. The protesters and supporters are gone, the hundreds of international journalists have dispersed and the candidates have all moved on. It’s almost too quiet right now, even with 2,000 students going about their day heading to and from classes.

Earlier this week I thought back on some of the events that I’ve found myself in over the past two and a half years: I’ve worked for CNN, ABC and CBS. I’ve met - at least twice - and in most instances several times - all of the candidates, one of whom will become the next President of the United States. I’ve been inside lectures, speeches and at rallies that most American’s see on their televisions, or read about in their newspapers. And I’ve gained an understanding of, and appreciation for a unique New Hampshire event, it’s Primary.

Four years ago, during the 2004 New Hampshire Primary, as I contemplated my big decision: where to attend college? I remember seeing Fox News broadcasting live from a quaint snowy campus on the outskirts of Manchester. Every once in a while, the camera would pan across some ivy covered brick, with the television personality noting they were “broadcasting live from Saint Anselm College.” Little did I know at the time in 2004, but four years later, I’d find myself in countless situations where Charles Gibson, Shepherd Smith, Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Bob Schieffer and dozens of others would say that - as I stood within earshot.

I’ve watched my campus morph for five nationally televised debates. I’ve had front row seats for policy addresses, and I’ve been in the background of so many live shots that my parents don’t even bother calling anymore to alert me that they just saw me on the Nightly News or Larry King Live. In the past two years, it has become such commonplace to bump into a candidate or media personality that I’ve almost started to take it all for granted.

And so it ends, for now. Time to get reacquainted with our quiet campus, to develop the dozens of photographs, and to recount the stories with friends about the crazy things we saw and did as part of the unique tradition that is the New Hampshire Primary.


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