August 26, 2007
I had a unique opportunity today to interview one of the nation’s premier political journalists, Face the Nation moderator Bob Schieffer. To be in the same room to see Schieffer work is one thing, but to be able to sit down and interview him for 20 minutes is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
With a career that spans 50 years, Schieffer is CBS News’ chief Washington correspondent and he has covered all four major beats in Washington, including the Whitehouse, the Pentagon, Congress, and the State Department.
He has covered every presidential campaign as well as Democratic and Republican National Conventions since 1972. Schieffer has been to New Hampshire many times over the years to report on the presidential primary and he easily admits his fondness for the important role the New Hampshire Primary holds in presidential politics.
In this interview, Shieffer discusses some of the issues with the current presidential selection system as well as the current state of journalism and how it has changed since he began his career.
Photo by Alex Witkowicz ‘08
August 26, 2007
Thanks to all the students and staff for an early start on this particular Sunday morning, and yet another example of Benedictine hospitality being extended to the media and presidential candidates. Traffic at the main entrance of the college looked a bit like rush hour congestion on an interstate as returning students jostled for momentum in between the Edwards campaign bus and local community members headed to Mass in the Abbey Church.
Father Jonathan’s office was converted to the CBS green room, and students were successful in rounding up a few bottles of Diet Coke for Senator Edwards on a campus that is otherwise fully committed to Pepsi products. The morning’s most memorable moment came when a parent walked into the admission office where Bob Schieffer was working at the reception desk before the broadcast and tried to hand over a check for tuition. Schieffer directed the parent to the business office on the second floor of Alumni Hall, and later commented that he hoped he’d sent that parent in the right direction.
The cables, cameras, and the lights were carefully packed up before CBS producers and Bob Schieffer headed back to Washington. I had not yet made it home when a CBS producer in Washington called to tell me that they were thrilled with Saint Anselm College as a venue for political coverage from New Hampshire, and that she’ll definitely be looking to hire our students for their 2008 election coverage. Who could blame them?
Photos by Alex Witkowicz ‘08
August 25, 2007
School hasn’t even begun yet, but the on campus activity has already picked up, both with students, and Presidential aspirants.
Sunday, CBS News will broadcast a live interview from Alumni Hall with Senator John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth. Although the interview will take place while a majority of the student population of Saint A’s is just returning to campus and starting to move into their residence for the academic year, a number of students have arrived early to assist with the broadcast - myself included.
After speaking with CBS News producers in Washington on Friday, I met with Saint Anselm staff, and other students to set our schedules for the weekend. Although the CBS crew would be setting up on Saturday, students were not scheduled to report for duties until Sunday morning. With this plan, I went about my day, greeting new students during a round-robin orientation in the morning, and helping my roommate move in early in the afternoon.
And then my cell phone rang.
Bob Schieffer and his producer were on the road in Manchester, but had become lost in Manchester with some confusing directions provided by their hotel to get to the college. After speaking on the phone with Mr. Schieffer’s producer, I was able to figure out where they were, and drive to their location. Upon locating their car, and escorting them onto the Saint Anselm College campus, we met briefly with the on-site technical crew before I returned them to their hotel for a busy afternoon of preparations.
I soon arrived back on campus, and reported to the Alumni Hall office where the interview would be set. The crew had placed their cameras, lights and audio equipment but were lacking a few pieces of furniture needed to “fill out” the shot. With a shopping list in hand of: academic books, a lamp, a few end tables and flowers, I set out to do my best. My first stop was none other than the Presidents office where not only did I find our College President working, but also found everything on my list! With the assistance of the crew, Father Jonathan and I relocated several items from his office to the interview set which will be seen in the background during the broadcast on Sunday morning.
…And so goes just another day in the amazing experience that is the Presidential Primary season; only at Saint Anselm college…
August 23, 2007
Saint Anselm College is pleased to host Bob Schieffer and the CBS News crew for a special live broadcast of Face the Nation, this Sunday, August 26.
Sen. John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth are this week’s guests on the program that will air from Alumni Hall beginning at 10:30 a.m. EST.
Check your local CBS listings for schedule information and be sure to tune in! Then visit the Saint Anselm College Blog for behind-the-scenes photos and reports following the program.
For viewers in the Manchester, N.H. or Boston area, Face the Nation can be seen on WBZ-TV 4.
* This will be a closed broadcast and not filmed with a live audience; no tickets will be issued.
June 11, 2007
During last week’s CNN debates, nearly 600 media descended upon Saint Anselm College, including a global contingent of reporters from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, among others.
Prof. Dean Spiliotes, director of research at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and Matt St. John ‘09 were both quoted in a BBC News story over the weekend. A photograph of St. John was included with the story. You can read an excerpt below and view the full story at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6728595.stm.
Want to meet the next president of the United States? Move to New Hampshire and you stand a good chance.
In a country of some 300 million people, the state’s 1.3 million residents are perhaps the most heavily-canvassed and targeted voters of any in the nation, bar Iowa.
Last week each party’s candidates flocked to New Hampshire for the latest televised debates, as they seek the all-important nomination to run for president in 2008.
It’s not for lack of attention on the part of the candidates, however.
Rather, such is the buzz surrounding some of the frontrunners that instead of meeting them at a cosy coffee morning, people have found themselves in a crowd of hundreds or even thousands.
Senators Clinton and Obama have attracted large crowds to events
Dean Spiliotes, director of research at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, says this has been particularly true of some events held by Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
“Early on some of Obama’s advisors suggested in the media they would do something a bit differently from the traditional New Hampshire model,” he says.
“They are still doing some of these larger events - but also the smaller ones. But it’s difficult. Part of it is that they are popular candidates.”
He warns it is important not to underestimate the power of retail, or face-to-face, politicking - especially in a state where the residents are very switched-on.
“Voters meet the candidates directly and in general, what we have found is that voters seek out candidates that they already have an affinity for,” he says.
“Then they get more excited and so bring in their friends and their families and it has a multiplying effect. It helps the candidates mobilize networks of supporters.”
Both the Clinton and Obama campaign teams have said they intend to organize more small-scale events.
That should come as a relief to 19-year-old Matt St. John, who moved to New Hampshire to study precisely because he wanted to meet the political movers and shakers.
“I realized it was a different world,” he says. “I’ve seen every presidential candidate at least once or twice, I’ve seen Hillary Clinton, Karl Rove, President and Laura Bush.”
“There are 18 candidates. If I go to 18 events and ask the same questions of them all, I will be able to ask the next president of the United States something that is important to me.”
“It’s an amazing opportunity to have as a 19-year-old.”
For the full story, visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6728595.stm.
May 31, 2007
Boston’s 96.9 FM Talk will be at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP) on Sunday, June 3 and Tuesday, June 5 for the Democratic and Republican Presidential Candidates Debates and Post-Analysis live remote broadcasts.
People are invited to stop by and watch the the debates, 7-9 p.m. on both nights on two big screens and then participate in 96.9’s post-debate analysis, immediately following, 9-11 p.m. both nights. If you can’t be at the NHIOP, the debates will be carried live on 96.9 FM Talk, courtesy of CNN.
Immediately following the Democratic Debate on Sunday, June 3, from 9-11 p.m., the live broadcast, post-debate analysis, will be hosted by Margery Eagan, Jim Braude, and Jay Severin.
Following the Republican Debate on Tuesday, June 5, from 9-11 p.m., the live broadcast, post-debate analysis, will be hosted by Jay Severin and Michael Graham.
Seating is limited for both events and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Doors will open at 6 p.m. both nights.