US News Blog
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By Caitriona Perry, Washington Correspondent
As he arrived into the hall at the Lyndon B Johnson Library in Texas last week, Barack Obama apologised for being a little late.
The delay, he said, was caused by his wife Michelle playing him a tape of Lady Bird Johnson critiquing her husband’s presidential performance.
Nothing has changed in 50 years, joked Obama. But of course everything has changed. Continue reading
“Is there anything else I can help you with today Ma’am?” It’s not the polite customer service agent’s fault, but no, after a second 45-minute phone call, and the magic words “you are now enrolled”, there’s nothing else you can do for me.
After four phone calls, and several hours spent online, I’d finally been cleared to buy a health care insurance policy…not a free one, or a subsidised one, but one I would pay for myself. The bureaucracy involved to willingly part with your own money – for something you hope never to have to use – was mind-boggling.
By Washington Correspondent Richard Downes
Dr Kermit Gosnell’s House of Horrors was well-known to the local community of West Philadelphia.
His reputation was as sleazy as it comes. He was the “go-to” doctor if you wanted a late term illegal abortion. But you had to pay cash … and lots of it. This was sketchy but not cheap. Continue reading
Some readers may find the contents of this blog disturbing
By Richard Downes in Philadelphia
The courtroom in Philadelphia is jammed, with standing room only at key times. But strangely the case has not ignited the imagination of the public or the big networks.
CNN isn’t there. Nor is ABC or CBS. Just little old RTÉ. When you spend some time in the courtroom, you quickly get to understand why.
In his final blog from Washington DC, RTÉ News Deputy Foreign Editor Anthony Murnane reflects on the events of voting day and looks ahead to the second term for President Barack Obama.
And so the ‘longest night’ comes to an end.
It was a 24 hour period that saw 130m Americans queue, some for as long as three hours, to exercise their right to vote.
A time frame that saw the polls close and the count begin. Then the time came for the electorate and political junkies to settle in for the night and watch the election results unfold.
Anthony Murnane, Deputy Foreign Editor, is in Washington where he assesses the situation facing the country’s 133 million likely voters on Election Day.
Washington is a bustling city around election time. The world’s media has descended in ‘the Nation’s Capital’ even though the candidates for the White House are usually in another place, their home states watching and waiting for the result.
We congregate on rooftops overlooking the White House where banks of cameras are trained on presenters and reporters as they bring the latest news of the election to the country and the world.
By Robert Shortt in Virginia
It’s quiet, cold and the sun is shining. Washington DC is eerily calm.
It’s a professional city, full of ambitious people caught up in the cut and thrust of politics and all of its attendant courtiers in the lobbying and policy worlds.
But the two tribes of American politics have migrated to the seven or so battleground states where this closest of elections has been fought.
By Cian McCormack in Virginia
It’s been a gruelling campaign, not just for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but also for the armies of volunteers working tirelessly behind the scenes.
In Virginia, the Democrats are getting to the doorsteps by busing in young “surrogate” canvassers from Washington DC.
Lynn Schneider, an attorney from California, based herself in Norfolk for the election. She says: “Every vote is precious for every citizen, but especially in a state like Virginia.”
By Anthony Murnane, Deputy Foreign Editor, who is en route to Washington DC to help cover the US elections for RTÉ News special programmes output. In his first blog, he wonders what mood awaits him in the US.
At immigration clearance in Dublin Airport a photo of President Barack Obama looks down over the US officers checking travellers’ passports, visas and immigration forms.
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By Richard Downes, Washington Correspondent
Everybody – it seems – loves a battle; a contest. Be it the All-Ireland finals, the World Cup or Wimbledon. We all love the head to head match between the two strongest teams or individuals. And the American Presidential election has all the qualities of one of these epic encounters, which is why so many of us find it so compelling.
And because there are generally only two combatants, the battle is all the more easy to follow. I wouldn’t be the first to point out that you have more choice in terms of numbers of candidates in voting for Roscommon county council than you do in the United States, with 330 million people.