Student - November 15, 2012

'Four more years'

Who? Erwin Hofman
What? Doing an internship at the World Bank in Washington DC
Why? Saw the US elections from close up

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What is it like to witness the election from the heart of American politics?
'The World Bank is just one block away from the White House. And yet the run-up to the elections was not as much in the air as you might think because the parties concentrate almost entirely on the swing states. Much of the politicking takes place on TV, with the debates, the massive ads and the endless analysis of the polls.'
Was election day itself exciting?
'Yes, that was a unique experience. I was sitting in a big bar near the White House with a Dutch colleague. When it became clear that Obama had won we went to the White House. It was a big party there with lots of camera crews, hooting cars and a crowd of people yelling "four more years" and "O-BA-MA!" and giving each other high fives.'
See any famous people?
'Suddenly I was face to face with Jan-Peter Balkenende. I shook his hand and we got a photo of ourselves with him. He said, "Nice that Obama won, I always got on well with him". He also said that he doesn't get recognized much, and that he had already been mistaken once for the Norwegian Prime Minister. As if to illustrate that he was then hugged by a large African American woman who had no idea who he was.'

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