magazine for culture, politics and life from a transatlantic perspective

Transatlantic Blog Review Vol. I – “Amerika Wählt”

There is a niche for everyone on the Internet, the saying goes. tapmag feels quite comfortable in the transatlantic corner, so we thought maybe it’s time to take a look around and meet our compatriots.

Every week, we will feature one blog that we think you should know. To kick of the series, we invited Igor and Adrian from Amerika Wählt to answer our questionnaire. Their blog has intensely covered the past elections, and they will continue to report on American politics, the Obama administration and everything else with wit and knowledge.

Amerika Wählt

tapmag: Who’s blogging on Amerika Wählt? What is your background, are you American, European, or both?

Adrian: I am German, honorary Texan, and also a kind of wannabe New Yorker. I studied American Cultural Studies, Political Science and Journalism and now work in online communications for a PR agency in Berlin. I have always been interested in American politics ever since I went to Washington as part of a political awareness program called Close Up – and then Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole enthusiastically forced me to shake their hands (they apparently didn’t know that I was not a prospective voter).

Adrian Rosenthal

Igor: Well, I have been living most of my life in Germany, but I was not born here. I was born in CCCR (in the part that is known as Republic of Moldau). After a few different stations in different countries we ended up being in Germany where I finished high school and studied Political Science in Frankfurt am Main. Like Adrian I was pretty much from the start very interested in US politics and I’m also a wannabe New Yorker. Mostly, because I have family there and visiting this amazing city quite regulary.

Igor Schwarzmann

Plus there’s also Ranty Islam, who works as an editor for Deutsche Welle and was with us from the start. We occasionally also have various guest bloggers.

tapmag: Which topics do you write about? Who do you write for?

Adrian: Pretty much erverything that is related to the election and now the Obama administration, often with a wink and an emphasis on the absurdities of the campaign. Although my job did not (and still does not) leave a lot of time to cover the election, I try do write as often as possible. I wish I had more time to really write more in-depth pieces though. There are so many drafts of articles I was never able to finish. As for the target group: everbody that is interested in American politics.

Igor: Yeah, time is really the problem. I’m working in the same agency as Adrian, so it leaves me with about the same time frame for blogging.

After the election we had this wish to be covering the Obama Administration in a very in-depth, “The West Wing”-kind of way. It’s still something that we want to do, but we probably won’t be producing 7 seasons of it, if you know what I mean.

tapmag: Why are you blogging? Why did you start in the first place?

Adrian: Out of pure interest for the topic. I’ve been following American politics for a long time now, especially since I majored in Political Science and American Cultural Studies. And blogs now gives us the easy opportunity to share what I discover while surfing and what I think about the elections with others. I also have a private blog and we are also planning something for the European Elections later this year.

Igor: I started blogging back in 2004 – which is like a century ago in Internet standards. Why? Well, because I can. It’s the most important part of it. It’s definitely not because I think that I’m smarter then everybody else. Sharing thoughts, discussing them with others and creating the largest library of the world (=Internet) is fun.

tapmag: Soccer or Football?

Adrian: Definitely soccer.

Igor: Yeah, soccer.

tapmag: Which one is your favorite articles on Amerika Wählt? Which one is the most clicked?

Adrian: The most read piece on our blog not surprisingly was our live coverage of the election night, which we spent at the Democrats Abroad event in Berlin, plus every other article which was prominently featured on the homepage in the days leading up to election day.

As for my favorite articles: From an analytical point of view, I really liked “Legacy of the Gingrich Revolution and the Era of Small Government” by guest blogger Aaron Wu. Other than that, I really enjoyed writing all those Sarah Palin articles.

Igor: Aaron did an amazing job with his blog posting about Gingrich.

tapmag: Jesus or Obama?

Adrian: Obama.

Igor: Obama.

tapmag: Which question would you have liked to answer?

Adrian: Will Sarah Palin run in 2012?

Igor: What will really *change*?

tapmag: Tatort or The Wire?

Adrian: Since I don’t really know The Wire, I have to go with Tatort.

Igor: Sopranos.

tapmag: Your favorite blog?

Adrian: I really don’t have a single favorite blog. I do read all across the board and there are a lot of good ones out there I check regularly:
Talking Points Memo, Wonkette, Huffington Post, The Daily Dish by Andrew Sullivan, FiveThirtyEight, USA Erklärt, Internet und Politik… and tapmag of course.
I also enjoy some of the conservative blogs from time to time. Chuck Norris is definitely my favorite blogger over at Human Events.

Igor: That’s a hard one, because I’m really reading a lot of them and it’s hard to pin point the favorite. USA Erklärt would be one my favorite German blogs, but for the rest… I really can’t answer that and just will leave you with a link to my social bookmarks: www.mento.info/igor

tapmag: Thanks.

You can find all the blog posts of this series here.

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