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A Reporter's Busy Campaign Schedule
By Ellie Bosies, 10
Scholastic Student Reporter


Ellie Bosies relaxes with a bowl of firehouse chili after covering an event with Senator John Kerry in Hampton, New Hamsphire, in January. Click on the picture to read more about Ellie. (Photo by Suzanne Freeman)


New Hampshire is the nation's first primary and the center of attention for presidential candidates every four years. This year, as a member of the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps, I got to cover several of the Democrats hoping to be selected as the Party's nominee to run against President George W. Bush in the fall. I also covered a Republican event that supported Bush.

I first went to the Auburn Firehouse pancake breakfast on Saturday, January 24. Auburn is about 30 miles from Manchester, the largest city in New Hampshire. At the event, I talked to Wesley Clark and two of his supporters, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen. Danson is the star of the TV sitcom Becker. Mary Steenburgen plays Joan's mother in the TV drama Joan of Arcadia. Steenburgen and Clark are both from Arkansas. They told me they know each other because their mothers were best friends.

Alexandra Conway and Molly Wienberg—my fellow reporters and classmates—and I were able to ask them a lot of questions. It was there that we first met Chris Jansing, reporter for NBC News and an anchor for MSNBC. She interviewed us about our jobs as reporters. Later in the week, she interviewed us live on an NBC set in the Holiday Inn in Manchester. She wasn't the only other reporter interested in the Scholastic Kids Press Corps. It was pretty funny that we got a lot of news coverage even though we are reporters just like them.

Later, we all went to the Sheraton Tara Convention Center in Nashua, New Hampshire, to the annual 100 Club Dinner. The dinner is held by the New Hampshire Democratic Party, and featured all the main Democratic candidates. Each candidate was allowed seven minutes to speak. We watched on TV monitors in another room with other reporters. We took down notes, and later we all put them together for a story for Scholastic News Online.


Senator John Kerry signs autographs after speaking to a packed crowd at a firehouse in Hampton, New Hampshire, in January. About 400 more people were sent to a nearby building because they could not fit into the fire hall. Kerry added the overflow crowd to his late night campaign schedule. (Photo by Suzanne Freeman)


The next day, Molly and I went to a firehouse in Hampton, New Hampshire, and saw Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. We stood in the front and I was able to ask him a question.

"You are a hero to many American eyes. Who is your hero?" I asked from the stage where he handed me the microphone.

Senator Kerry responded with a very good answer. He said his heroes were people like former Congressman Max Cleland and actor Christopher Reeve, who have overcome tremendous odds to live successful lives.

On Monday, Alexandra, Molly and I went to hear former Vermont Governor Howard Dean speak at the Palace Theater. Actor Martin Sheen, who plays the President on the TV drama West Wing, welcomed candidate Dean onto the stage. Alexandra asked the first question from the audience after the speech.

Afterward, we went to the Center of New Hampshire, a hotel complex, and visited the NBC work area. We talked to some of the NBC reporters who gave us advice on how to be better reporters. We spoke to Campbell Brown of NBC News and Weekend Today, and Tim Russert of Meet the Press.

Tuesday morning, Alexandra, Molly, and I conducted exit polls at the primary election at our school. The people in charge wouldn't let us go inside, so we had to go outside. Our pens began to freeze and so did we, so we didn't spend too much time with that! Later that day we went back to the Center of New Hampshire and were interviewed live by Jansing. She asked us about our experience as junior reporters.

At Merrimack's restaurant on Election Day, we spoke to Senator John McCain of Arizona. McCain came to New Hampshire to remind everyone that the Republicans already have a candidate, President George W. Bush. McCain won the New Hampshire primary in 2000, when he was running against Bush for the Republican nomination. This election year, he is supporting Bush for reelection.

I had a wonderful time, and it was very exciting. I got to meet a lot of interesting people. Having this experience has made me think about being a reporter. If I ever get another chance, I would definitely do this again!!