The Presidential Debates: the Highlight of My Senior Year

June 7, 2007

Just two weeks prior to the CNN presidential debates, I was sitting in Sullivan arena as a graduate of the class of 2007. As a nursing major who has always been passionate about following politics, the debates were most definitely the highlight of the end of my time here at Saint Anselm as an undergraduate.

The perks of being a CNN “Runner” were far more than I ever imagined. Below is a picture of fellow runners and me as we were “stand-ins” on Saturday’s dress rehearsal. I was soon dubbed “Senator Clinton” by the stage director as I was standing at her podium. It was truly an awesome feeling knowing I was standing on the stage of our next President of the United States.

Over the course of my 4 days working as a Runner, I saw the incredible work that goes on behind the scenes. When it came to both debate nights there was an excitement in the air amongst every staff member. Personally, I was so lucky as to meet and shake the hands of several candidates. Trying to act professionally, I remained cool, calm, and collected but internally I was buzzing with enthusiasm.

At a CNN reception following Tuesday night’s debate I was fortunate enough to chat with Wolf Blitzer. Our conversation was the perfect way to end one of the most exciting events of my life. I described to him the immense appreciation I now have for what goes on behind a major media event, TV shows, and even commercials, Wolf replied “I hope it doesn’t spoil the magic for you.” When I responded “No, it greatly enhanced it” he answered, “Then we’ve done our job haven’t we?”