The Saint Anselm campus was seemingly deserted as I left my dorm at 6:15 Sunday morning to meet Bob Schieffer and his producer at their hotel to bring them back to campus for the interview with Senator John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth. I served as the runner for the crew for the day, a job that requires one always to be close at hand for an assignment, but never in the way of the action.
And such was the case: from locating a variety of local and national newspapers before 7 a.m to tracking down a few bottles of Diet Coke minutes before the Edwards campaign caravan arrived on campus, I was afforded a front row seat to the action, and a truly unique understanding of what goes into producing the interview that you may have seen on your television Sunday morning.
I joined the crew outside Alumni Hall during the 7 a.m. hour to pre-tape the introduction and closing commentary to the program. I stood alongside the crew behind the camera as Bob Schieffer read his narration, introducing the broadcast from "historic Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire." During the 8 a.m. hour, I was called upon to sit in for a camera check, and was placed in the seat that Senator Edwards would occupy shortly thereafter. By 9 a.m. we welcomed Senator Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards, and were making final preparations for the live broadcast. Shortly after 10:30 a.m. I walked from the site of the live interview and into Father Jonathan's office where campaign and college staff had gathered around a TV to watch the interview being seen around the country.
In a slightly surreal atmosphere, we watched the interview as it occurred only 20 feet away. Thirty minutes passed quickly, and the show came to a close. Ushering the senator and his wife outside with other staff, we prepared for our final challenge: getting the Edwards motorcade back to Saint Anselm Drive against the flow of traffic entering the campus for move-in day. With a little luck, and a suggestion that the Edwards van drive onto the lawn, we were able to get them back to their campaign bus, and on their way to the next campaign event to be held minutes later in Manchester.
And in less than an hour the cameras were gone, the cables were coiled back into the satellite truck, and the crew was on their way to the airport. As they departed we exchanged handshakes, business cards, and the expectation that we would all see each other again soon.
Photos by Cory True '09