Abortion doctor in the dock

Some readers may find the contents of this blog disturbing By Richard Downes in Philadelphia The courtroom in Philadelphia is jammed, with standing room only at key times. But strangely the case has not ignited the imagination of the public or the big networks. CNN isn’t there. Nor is ABC or CBS. Just little old RTÉ. When you spend some time in the courtroom, you quickly get to understand why.

The longest night

In his final blog from Washington DC,  RTÉ News Deputy Foreign Editor Anthony Murnane reflects on the events of voting day and looks ahead to the second term for President Barack Obama. And so the ‘longest night’ comes to an end. It was a 24 hour period that saw 130m Americans queue, some for as long as three hours, to exercise their right to vote. A time frame that saw the polls close and the count begin. Then the time …

World's media descend on US capital

Anthony Murnane, Deputy Foreign Editor, is in Washington where he assesses the situation facing the country’s 133 million likely voters on Election Day. Washington is a bustling city around election time. The world’s media has descended in ‘the Nation’s Capital’ even though the candidates for the White House are usually in another place, their home states watching and waiting for the result. We congregate on rooftops overlooking the White House where banks of cameras are trained on presenters and reporters …

Virginia crucial to Romney's battle plan

By Robert Shortt in Virginia It’s quiet, cold and the sun is shining. Washington DC is eerily calm. It’s a professional city, full of ambitious people caught up in the cut and thrust of politics and all of its attendant courtiers in the lobbying and policy worlds. But the two tribes of American politics have migrated to the seven or so battleground states where this closest of elections has been fought.

Every vote counts in swing states

By Cian McCormack in Virginia It’s been a gruelling campaign, not just for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but also for the armies of volunteers working tirelessly behind the scenes. In Virginia, the Democrats are getting to the doorsteps by busing in young “surrogate” canvassers from Washington DC. Lynn Schneider, an attorney from California, based herself in Norfolk for the election. She says: “Every vote is precious for every citizen, but especially in a state like Virginia.”

Result is not expected to be clear cut

By Anthony Murnane, Deputy Foreign Editor, who is en route to Washington DC to help cover the US elections for RTÉ News special programmes output. In his first blog, he wonders what mood awaits him in the US. At immigration clearance in Dublin Airport a photo of President Barack Obama looks down over the US officers checking travellers’ passports, visas and immigration forms.

Down to the Wire

By Richard Downes, Washington Correspondent Everybody – it seems – loves a battle; a contest. Be it the All-Ireland finals, the World Cup or Wimbledon. We all love the head to head match between the two strongest teams or individuals. And the American Presidential election has all the qualities of one of these epic encounters, which is why so many of us find it so compelling. And because there are generally only two combatants, the battle is all the more …

Advantage Romney?

By Richard Downes, Washington Correspondent We were almost writing off Mitt Romney’s chances of taking the Presidency only a couple of weeks ago. His campaign was plagued with errors and was running out of steam rapidly. Then came the October surprise. Romney took to the stage in Denver and demolished a lacklustre Barack Obama.

Debating Power: Obama vs Romney

By Richard Downes, Washington Correspondent The first Presidential debate is one of those key moments in this campaign. Both candidates have been preparing intensively for it. Mitt Romney has been holed up in various hideaways to hone his skills with Senator Rob Portman, a close associate, playing the role of debate opponent.

Romney Wobbles : Obama holding

By Richard Downes, Washington Correspondent With less than 60 days to go to the Presidential election, the pundits are moving into overdrive as the opinion polls show little change on the pattern established over the last few months. Some are writing Romney off as a poor candidate with a confused and confusing message. But that is undoubtedly premature. Mostly it is based on the speech (recorded without permission) of Mitt Romney discussing the 47% of people in America who pay …