Quest Quips

blog devoted to CNN International Business anchor, Richard Quest, who looks like a cross between Roger Daltry and a Muppet. You have to see him to believe him...

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Thursday, January 22, 2004
 
Quest for Votes
LIVE FROM...
The "Quest" For Votes
Aired January 21, 2004 - 13:26 ET

MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Well, if you're going to live in New
Hampshire,
there are a few things just have to accept. One happens yearly, that
is, a
long, cold, miserable winter. The other's every four years. A barrage
of
presidential wannabes followed by around by round- the-clock
infestations of
reporters, photographs, pundits, producers and other media types who
won't take no
comment for an answer and generally are bad tippers. This year, though,
the
horde includes one whom we dare say the Granite State may not be
prepared for.
CNN's Richard Quest is in Manchester. We can't wait to hear how he is.
He is
a rather substantial tipper, except of course he's handing out euros.
Hello,
Richard Quest.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Miles.

O'BRIEN: How's the bus?

QUEST: Welcome aboard the CNN Election Express. I'm here in Manchester,
New
Hampshire. And what a fun ride it has been.Look, there are certain
things
that if you are a foreigner like me, coming to this part of the world,
you
really do have to understand. New Hampshire, winter, lots of this.
You're going to
almost certainly need one of those, big shovel, to help the snow. And
you're
going to have to ensure that you decide what is best to wear. So, come
with
me. As I have had to discover -- I've had to throw away my usual
British/English trench coat. I managed to get some sort of rather posh
garment that might
help last. I've certainly got a woolly hat...

O'BRIEN: Richard, where did you get the parka? Was that at a half price
sale
on the side of the road there?

QUEST: Let me tell you, as long as I'm warm and have got all sorts of
things
to help, then I'm going to be just fine.

WOODRUFF: So it's a long way from Burberry, isn't it? Who is that --
who
just walked in front of your live shot there? Who was that?

QUEST: Well, I think this is what we call a voter. Then we have....

O'BRIEN: I believe -- I believe we have a voter, yes in our sights.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: It's too bad you are tethered, you could after her and find
out who
she might be supporting. In any case...

QUEST: I tell you, that's a he. That's a he.

O'BRIEN: I'm so sorry. I was afraid of that the minute I said it. OK,
well,
the view we had, it was a little difficult to tell. Now, what are your
impressions of this place? I assume you had not been to the Granite
State before,
where, after all, on the license plates they say "Live Free or Die."
Which I
believe they have something to do with that unfortunate little
revolution
thing we had between our two countries.

QUEST: Picky, picky, picky. Facts, facts, facts. No, what we are aiming
to
do here is understand why is this such a pressure cooker of U.S.
politics? Why
in such a short period of time do all the candidates come to one of the
smallest states in the union, spend so long, which at the end of the
day, can
make and break -- or break, and certainly will, certain campaigns? And
explaining that to the rest of the world -- because let's face it,
within a few weeks,
days even, this place won't matter. The campaigns will move from the
West
Coast to the North to the South to the East. And yet, for this six or
seven-day
period, New Hampshire is what the entire U.S. electoral process is all
about. The rest of the world finds it fascinating.

O'BRIEN: Fascinating? It really is when you put it that way, because a
lot
of us take this all for granted. But it really is rather interesting
that we
invest so much power in this small state, which is not demographically
representative of this country.

QUEST: Well, the other thing to bear in mind of course is that once New
Hampshire is over, the rest of the election is television- engineered
in terms of
advertising. There are vast distances to be covered, people aren't in
the
same place at the same time, except for debates. So put it all together
and you
-- look, the best analogy I can give you for New Hampshire that I am
trying
to use is that this is a pressure cooker. It's a political pressure
cook that
for some candidates will explode and for others will create a nice,
rosy,
hot meal.

O'BRIEN: Speaking of pressure cookers, can you give us a glimpse inside
the
bus, please there? Just hop on in there. See who's on tight deadline
and
bother them a little bit. See what kind of scripts they're working on.
You know,
we have to give you a wireless microphone for the next live shot. Can
we see
if we can get that done? Poor Richard, dragging around this cable all
around
New Hampshire. Who is on board there?

QUEST: We've tidied up the bus for you.

O'BRIEN: Oh, no, why did you do that, why did you tidy up?

QUEST: Well, because we wanted to make sure -- hello, welcome aboard
the CNN
Election Express. Very kind of you to join us. Are you comfortable? Can
I
get you some coffee, tea, a doughnut? Hello. Nice to -- welcome aboard.
This is
the Election Express. And as you can see, it is positively palatial.
When
you need to remember is the facilities -- I would show you in the back
of the
facilities. But you never know, Bill Schneider might be doing something
that
is best left...

O'BRIEN: Let's not go there. Is that where he keeps his fur coats and
hats
and so forth? Is there a meat locker back there?

QUEST: Who knows what he keeps back there? Suffice it to say, provided
we
feed it twice a day, it's happy.

O'BRIEN: Who is that right beside you who refuses to turn towards the
camera?

QUEST: Right. Well, hello.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello.

QUEST: One of our senior executive very director of producers here at
CNN,
working hard on the future of coverage. As you can see, this is all --
and
basically what this is going to how us to do, more than any other
network --
forget those other people. What this allow us to do is bring more
coverage from
more parts of the country in better focus than just about anybody else.
We
will travel on this. We will sleep on this. We will argue on this. We
interview
on this. This going to be your election campaign headquarters.

O'BRIEN: I have only one request. I don't want you driving. You will be
on
the wrong side of the road, OK?

QUEST: OK.

O'BRIEN: Richard Quest. All right. The "Quest" for votes continues in
New
Hampshire. Richard Quest there on the bus. Thank you very much. Kyra
Phillips.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Where do we go from there? God bless
Richard