‘America does seem, at times, to forget that it’s on camera and the entire world can see when it strips naked and rants at itself in the mirror.’ So wrote Laurie Penny of the US presidential race back in February. Since then, well, that guy from The Apprentice won the Republican nomination and Hillary Clinton was embroiled in a cloning conspiracy.
But the bizarre pageantry will come to an official end on 8 November as Americans vote for their 45th president. With such extraordinary candidates, the outcome will be explosive no matter who wins. You’re going to need to commune with your fellow nerds as the results roll in and – don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.
At Deakin Edge on the morning of 9 November (time zones, remember!), the Wheeler Centre will bring you up-to-the-minute coverage.
Our panel of experts will recap the highs and lows of this truly weird, ‘post-truth’ presidential race. We’ll cross to correspondents on the ground to decode the exit polls. We’ll even reminisce about the Obama presidency: the hope that preceded it, and the legacy the first African-American president leaves behind.
Come and kick some balloons, Bill Clinton-style, as we count down to the (possible) apocalypse.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, the Fifth Estate, now in its sixth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Ben Eltham studied neuroscience, philosophy and cultural studies before editing the University of Queensland's Semper Floreat in 2000. He has worked as a freelance journalist and essayist since 2001 for a range of national publications, including New Matilda, Crikey, Guardian Australia, the Courier-Mail, Overland and the Sydney Review of Books. Ben is New Matilda's National Affairs Correspondent and a Research Fellow at Deakin University's Faculty of Arts and Education.
Jess McGuire is a writer, broadcaster, MC, film reviewer, trivia host and DJ based in Melbourne. She can be heard each week talking about music documentaries with Myf Warhurst on Double J, and discussing a variety of topics with Raf Epstein on 774 ABC Melbourne's Drive program. For many years, she was the editor of pop culture website Defamer Australia, and was a former co-host on Triple R’s Breakfasters.
Crispin Rovere is an analyst of US politics and defence policy. He is one of the few who correctly predicted Donald Trump's rise to the Republican nomination from last year, and has been a widely cited expert during the course of this election. He is also a recognised specialist in nuclear policy and arms control, formerly in the Secretariat of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament. Crispin is currently writing a book on the 2016 election titled The Trump Phenomenon: How one man conquered America.
Sophie Black is the Wheeler Centre's Head of Publishing. Previously she was Editor in Chief at Private Media, where she headed up the titles Crikey, Women’s Agenda, SmartCompany, StartUpSmart and Property Observer.