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Watching the Circus


Romney’s ‘binders full of women’. Pro-choice versus right-to-life. The rise of China and the slump of the American economy. These are just some of the issues that will decide the results of the closely fought American presidential election, for an electorate more polarised than ever, and divided by race, religion and class.

What are the cultural issues that truly matter for the American people? What will drive them to leave their houses and vote? And just how much does the campaign circus of conventions, debates and pressing the flesh influence what happens on election day?

Former Foreign Correspondent host George Negus, author and speechwriter Don Watson and the ABC’s Eleanor Hall, just back from covering the first presidential debate, will talk about the culture, rhetoric and atmosphere of America, as reflected through the presidential campaign.



Don Watson

Don Watson is an author, essayist and speechwriter. He is the author of the Quarterly Essay ‘Enemy Within: American politics in the time of Trump’, and the multi-award-winning American Journeys, amongst others. Don’s books, articles and essays have been widely acclaimed. ... Read more

Eleanor Hall

Eleanor Hall is the voice of ABC Radio’s The World Today at lunchtime, which delivers national and international news and analysis to more than a million listeners nationally, throughout the region and online. She is also a presenter on The Drum on ABC television. She made her professional home a... Read more

Sally Warhaft

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 ... Read more

George Negus

George Negus has written, directed and presented Australian commercial and public television current affairs since 1975 – with a special passion for international affairs and Australia’s place in the world. He worked independently via Negus Media International for more than 20 years, as well as ... Read more


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