Charlie Bird's American Year
This two-part series follows RTÉ's Washington correspondent Charlie Bird on a candid behind the scenes journey through an remarkable year in American Politics.
Against a back drop of economic turmoil, an unpopular war in Iraq and huge uncertainty in the minds of most Americans, President Obama has faced huge challenges since he took office just over one year ago. With America at a cross-roads, it's a fascinating time to be a political correspondent in Washington. Just before Obama's inauguration, Charlie Bird arrived in the US to take up his post as RTÉ's US correspondent. This two part series follows Charlie through his first year in the US and gives a frank and revealing view of his experiences in the American capital.
The series starts with Charlie arriving in Washington with little time to settle in before the Obama inauguration. Charlie is an experienced journalist but he's now operating in a different world where his old Irish connections and contacts count for little. He's in at the deep end and feeling a long way from home. The two programmes follow his ups and downs, frustrations and successes as he pursues his mission across the continent.
Charlie begins his new life in Washington DC and covers Barack Obama's inauguration in January 2009. We see behind the scenes of the Taoiseach's first visit to the White House for St. Patrick's Day celebrations and as Obama promises to close the base down.
In programme two Charlie Bird travels to Detroit and the Mexican border to meet victims of the economic downturn including newly homeless middle class Americans living in tents.