Ari Shapiro, NPR White House Correspondent, spoke on Tuesday November 13, in the Turner Conference Center.
He spoke about his journey as a journalist covering Mitt Romney’s campaign and also gave some general insight into the election’s outcome.
He talked about many specific individuals he met over the course of the year, traveling from place to place and said
“There are voices I will always remember from this past year.”
He also talked about a story he did on the voters’ gender gap in Daytona, Florida. In a large crowd of white males, he found only one Obama supporter.
He also mentioned something that got him a lot of negative feedback from listeners. He did a show where he played a clip of a woman who claimed that she didn’t like the Obamas because the first lady doesn’t look like a first lady.
Shapiro said he loves that he gets “to hear people’s stories, put them on the radio, and let listeners judge for themselves.”
He said there were two times when he saw a different side of Governor Romney that he said most people didn’t get to see. He said in an off the record conversation, Romney seemed genuine, human, reflective, funny, sincere, and relatable and that was something that Shapiro felt Romney had trouble getting across on camera. The second time Shapiro said he saw this side of Romney was onstage at the first presidential debate in Denver, Colorado.
Shapiro then went on to list reasons why both Romney and Obama struggled in this election.
He spoke about demographics and how social media changed this election.
He spoke to many undecided voters and said there is no single profile and no single issue they are stuck on.
Michael Renland, a physical therapy student said, “I went to get extra credit for a class and it ended up being really entertaining.”
Another student, Christie Lacey, said “He was a really charismatic speaker and it was really cool how he cited different facts not necessarily in the news.”
Shapiro answered many questions after the event ranging from topics of foreign policy stances, NPR, Romney’s position, debates, etc.
Shapiro said he majored in English in college and that the most important thing is not your major but learning “to read and write and think.”
He said his favorite stories so far deal with “average people in extraordinary moments.”
He feels like he is performing a “public service by sharing a voice who needs to be heard that nobody would have heard otherwise.”
Shapiro said “When I can keep someone in their car even if it will make them late for work, that’s a great moment.”
*Published in the College of DuPage Courier, 2012.