In early February, I will be joined by about 40 American University students and a team of incredibly skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced professors in traveling to New Hampshire for a week to capture the experience of the country’s first presidential primary. New Hampshire. The Granite State. It has beautiful beaches this time of year if you look under the 6 feet of snow and ice.
What do most people know about the New Hampshire primary? It’s cold outside. It’s the first primary in the nation (after Iowa’s caucus). We’ve seen it portrayed on shows like West Wing and VEEP.
On the ground, we’ll get real-world experience in political journalism. We’ll be serving as stringers for the Boston Globe one day, and will also serve as contributors to the Snapchat editorial team. We’ll be gathering pictures and video to craft a mini-documentary during the rest of the semester. Some students will attend a live edition of Meet the Press, while others will attend a special edition of The Daily Show, broadcasting from New Hampshire. We’ll fan out across the state each day to cover candidates’ events in every kind of venue. Our professors have also arranged meetings for us with campaign staffers, pollsters, journalists, candidates, and a lot of down-home regular people.
As a student, and a political dork, I couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity, especially this year, when it looks like each voter could almost have their own personal candidate. What began with 23 candidates stood at 14 before Iowa, and has been trimmed to 12 as we pull into New Hampshire. My expectations are to be dropped into an arena that is part debate, part American Gladiators, and part circus, filled with many stressed, overly caffeinated political operatives, and many more veteran New Hampshire voters who are highly skilled at maneuvering the tomfoolery of the nation’s first primary.
I’ll be submitting blog posts on the ground from the class war room, and after the primary as we move through the campaign season, past Super Tuesday and beyond. As we embark on this journey, are there things you’ve always been curious about? Do you have questions you’d like me to ask? Tweet me your questions @Kuhnalicious or e-mail me at PrimaryDaniel@gmail.com.
Let me be your eyes and ears from the campaign trail!