Q&A: Students Comment on Election 2008
Emilie Lerner (foreground)
celebrates with friends at an Obama victory party.
did you spend election night?
Emilie Lerner: I
spent election night from 1:30 to 6:30 a.m. at Palais Maillot
at an Obama Victory party with many Americans and two French
friends I brought along. There were multiple televisions
broadcasting the polling results and music playing and Barack
O'bagels served. There were many Americans there living in
Paris but also some Parisians.
would you describe the interest in the presidential election
where you are?
EL: There has
been a lot of interest in the victory of Obama and the elections
in general in France. The past month I have read multiple
articles in French journals predicting Obama's victory over
McCain. The day following Obama's victory I had my French
Political Life course. Instead of having a normal lecture
about French politics, the professor,
Olivier Duhamel, decided we would use the course to talk
about this important moment in history, not only for the
Americans, but for everyone in the world. He invited all
of the Americans in the class to the microphone and asked
us questions about why we voted Obama (it turns out everyone
in the class voted Obama, if they were honest at least) and
what we think he has to offer to our country. We also talked
about the implications of having a Black president. Professor
Duhamel talked about
how the French are impressed with our country for electing
a Black president because they know that France is not ready
to elect a Black president.
was the reaction about the election of Barack Obama?
was a very positive reaction. I put my Obama pin on my coat
and people on the streets would stop and tell me how happy
they were for our country when they saw the pin. Obama's
victory made the cover of just about every major French
newspaper, including the cover of Le
very right wing, conservative French newspaper.
you vote by absentee ballot? When did you send that in?
EL: I voted
by absentee ballot and I sent it in three weeks before casting
ballots in the U.S.