Reporters on the Job
• But Can Your Candidate Dance? Correspondent Stephanie Hanes was in Namibia for the launch of the nation's first opposition party this past weekend . "It seems as if there are two main parts to political rallies in Africa: speeches and music," she says. "The speeches are pretty recognizable to an American like myself – long, filled with platitudes and generalities, of varying levels of dynamism. They're not much different than a candidate speech anywhere in the US."
But the music, she notes, is different.
At the launch of Namibia's new Rally for Democracy and Progress Party, a crowd of a couple thousand waited patiently through talks by a few leaders. Some people chatted with each other, others came and went, and everyone struggled to get under umbrellas and out of the brutal desert sun.
But after each speech, a band came on. "Everyone started dancing – from the people in the stands to the kids who were dragged along for the day to the politicians on stage. At one point, the on-stage dignitaries even formed something that looked like an African-style conga line," she says. "Maybe Hillary, Barack, and all the rest should take notes...."
We don't have any video of Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama in a conga line, but there is video of a Namibia campaign rally at www.csmonitor.com.
– David Clark Scott