Elections 2016

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Elections 2016

November 24, 2016
 
On the night of November 8, Americans in Paris were glued to their screens as they followed the voting in the U.S. The Paris Center offered an election day livestream of CNN and broadcast of France 24, to allow people to watch the big day from both French and American perspectives. Afterwards, in coordination with Columbia Undergraduate Programs in Paris and the Columbia Alumni Club in France, the Center hosted events for students, alumni, and the public in which participants could discuss the results, and what a Trump presidency would mean for the United States and the rest of the world.

The Morning After
They came for the post-election conversation, and they stayed for the pancakes and bacon.
 
On November 9, after a bruising and seemingly interminable campaign season, students and alumni met over an American-style breakfast at the Paris Center to reflect on the events of the day before. Philip Frayne, Minister-Counselor for Cultural and Public Affairs at the American Embassy in Paris, led a discussion about the election and its unexpected results. In the lead-up to the big day, most polls had predicted a Clinton victory, and much of the conversation focused on the failure of these pollsters to accurately predict the Trump win.

The morning was also an occasion to discuss the impact that a Trump presidency would have on France. The French go to the polls in May 2017, and many wondered if Trump's victory was a sign that Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate of the Front National, would prevail in the French presidential election. 
 
Media Coverage

A week after the election, the topic was still on everyone's lips. Why had Trump won? Why was the Clinton loss such a surprise? How did the media fail to anticipate the real possibility of a Trump presidency?

On November 15th, representatives from various media outlets gathered at the Center for a moderated discussion and a Q&A session. The discussion focused primarily on the way that the campaigns were covered, the impact of social media, and the role of "traditional" media as the landscape shifts, and candidates no longer have to rely on traditional outlets to reach the electorate. The panel discussion featured Christopher Dickey (Paris-based Foreign Editor, The Daily Beast), Douglas Herbert (International Affairs Editor, France 24), Jonathan Holler, (Democrats Abroad, Youth Caucus), Jake Lamar (Author), and Catherine Viette (France 24), who moderated the event.