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   Date: 11/7/08

JYA Q&A: Students Comment on Election 2008


Abby McIntyre, a French studies and comparative literature major, is spending her junior year in Paris.

Abby McIntyre in Paris.

Gate: How did you spend election night?

Abby McIntyre: We tried to go to an "Obama Victory Party" hosted by the Americans Abroad for Obama, but that failed. The line was much too long—almost every American in Paris was there—and the whole system was much too disorganized. Then, two friends and I ventured via the night bus (it was already after 1 a.m. at this point, so normal public transportation was closed) to my friend Rachel's host family's apartment. We snuggled up on the couch with tea and treats to watch French television election coverage and stalk Internet projections. French election coverage gave a whole new perspective to things. We got the results just after 5 a.m. and we may have been tired, but it was still so exciting. I traveled home with rush hour traffic on the Metro around 7:30 a.m.

Gate: How would you describe the interest in the presidential election where you are?

AM: In France, everyone is in love with Barack Obama. They find him articulate, intelligent and elite—exactly what the French are looking for in a politician. A recent poll shows that more than 80 percent of the French would vote for Obama. This isn't too surprising since France is considerably more Left than us and would almost always vote for the Democrat. But this time they were/are very excited about him. Whenever people find out I am American, they always want to talk about the elections. It’s been the case since I got here in August but it's been even more true in the past few days. Whether at the crêperie, grocery or a bar (where the English spoken among us Americans has recently solicited drunken shouts of "Obama" from others), the French love to talk about the current state of American politics, especially Obama. They love him here. They are almost as excited as we are.

Gate: Did you vote by absentee ballot? When did you send that in?

AM: Yes, I voted by absentee ballot. I sent it in around the first week of October, right after I received it in the mail. I was so excited to be able to vote that I didn't want to miss out!


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