CNN mobile studio visits Chambersburg

September 19, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- John McCain, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and most of the other presidential hopefuls from the 2008 presidential campaign have been on the CNN Express sometime in the past year and a half.

On Thursday, Chambersburg Mayor Peter Lagiovane got a tour of the cable network's mobile studio when it stopped on Memorial Square.

"With what's happening on Wall Street in the past few days, we're going to do some man-on-the-street interviews" about the economy and the election, said Josh Rubin, the Election Express producer for CNN. The bus is going from Washington, D.C., through Pennsylvania and Ohio, then to Oxford, Miss., for the first presidential debate next week, he said.

The bus has logged about 60,000 miles in a year and a half, including the Democratic convention in Denver and the GOP convention in St. Paul, Minn., Rubin said.


"Anything we shoot here, I can edit right there," Rubin said, pointing to the production board. With a small studio, satellite communications and an array of television monitors "we're a fully self-contained bureau," he said.

"Chambersburg came up on the list as a really historic and interesting town," Rubin said when asked why he picked the borough. Research on the Internet and a location scout led the Express to the borough, he said.

"I'd have to say quality of life, affordable housing and nice people," Lagiovane told Rubin when asked why he came to the area about 35 years ago.

As senior photojournalist Philip Littleton taped the interview, Rubin asked how Lagiovane, a Democrat, was able to win in a heavily Republican area. Lagiovane responded that at the local level voters tend to look at the person, not the party, but in national politics the GOP has been dominant.

"John Kerry got 29 percent of the vote" in Franklin County in 2004, Lagiovane said.

"A lot of people don't think we make anything in America anymore, but we manufacture a lot of things here in the valley," Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce President David Sciamanna said when asked about the local manufacturing base.

"Central Pennsylvania has done a lot better than the rest of Pennsylvania and better than most of the country" in weathering tough economic conditions, he said.

Rubin said some of the tape shot in Chambersburg will end up on and be used in network programming as needed.

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