‘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. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. 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.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.
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, DJ, broadcaster, and MC based in Melbourne. She appears regularly on ABC Local Radio and Double J as a reviewer and cultural commentator, and for many years she was the editor of pop culture website Defamer Australia. She is a former presenter of Triple R’s flagship Breakfasters show.
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 head of publishing at the Wheeler Centre where she has worked on projects such as the national to writers scheme The Next Chapter, the multi-award-winning podcast, The Messenger, and the ABC RN program, Talkfest. Previously she was editor-in-chief at Private Media, where she headed up titles such as Crikey, Women’s Agenda, Daily Review and SmartCompany. In 2013, she delivered the Adelaide Festival of Ideas as Director. She sits on the advisory board for Melbourne University’s Centre for Advancing Journalism and the human rights publication Right Now.