“I am Ari Shapiro, and no, you all look nothing like I expected either. I think I may have woken some of you up in the morning, so I apologize,” began Ari Shapiro when he addressed a packed room of about 200 students, community members and the interested public on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Shapiro visited Saint Louis University to share perspective on the news coming out of Washington. If the laughs, line to greet him afterwards, and the need to cut off the questions, were any indication – he delighted his audience.
Shapiro is NPR’s White House Correspondent – the youngest person to ever be promoted to a NPR correspondent position. His success, he says, is partially due to performing well in an internship with NPR. Afterward, NPR kept him on and he was able to rise through the ranks to where he is today.
Shapiro transitioned seamlessly through the recent presidential election, Hurricane Sandy, partisan politics, how the country is changing, and Washington gridlock with poise and humor. His speech was filled with facts and commentary. According to Shapiro, citizens cast 1 million more votes for Democrats running for the house. but because of how the districts were drawn Republicans still maintained a majority of seats in the House. Also, Vice President Biden was so adept at finding common ground that two of the most conservative senators to ever serve in the senate, Strom Thruman and Jesse Helmes asked Biden to speak at their memorial service.
The audience members I spoke to all seemed to enjoy the speech. Linda Honigfort said that she though he was well prepared and he had tailored the speech to his audience. “Ari Shapiro was interesting and humorous. I appreciated his explanation of how politics has become so partisan,” Honigfort said.