A French perspective on the Lone Star State, 2012 elections - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

A French perspective on the Lone Star State, 2012 elections

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

Cecile Fandos sat and worked in a stranger's kitchen.  Her fellow journalist, Melinda Trochu, was doing the same thing, just a few feet away in the living room.  

Both women, French-born journalists, embarked on a three-week tour of Texas to talk politics and the 2012 Presidential election.

"Everyone is following this news all around the world because it does have a worldwide impact," Fandos said.

Fandos, 29, and Trochu, 27, met in Austin in June.  Together, they hatched a plan: drive to a different Texas City every day for three weeks.

"I really wanted to know more about Texas and more about what you could say "Real Americans' because what we know in France, it's mostly from the East Coast and the West Coast,"  Trochu said.  "We don't have French correspondents in between."

They traveled from Austin to Bandera, San Antonio, Laredo, and Corpus Christi before heading back to Austin so Fandos could teach a French language class.

Then they hit the road again.  They drove to Houston, where they interviewed an undocumented immigrant.  They drove to Port Arthur and spoke to a single mom.  They chatted up college students in Huntsville and Nacogdoches.  

"We've talked to people any place we could find people to talk to," Fandos said.  "Mainly HEB parking lots."

The duo convinced these total strangers to talk about personal topics such as politics, marriage, and religion.  They documented their answers both on video and through blogs.

"If you don't talk with them, you don't know their stories," Trochu said. "You don't know why they vote republican or democrat."

From Nacogdoches, they traveled north to Tyler where they were hoping to interview people at a gun show.  They struck out in Tyler but noticed they weren't far from Paris, Texas.  The French ladies couldn't resist the visit and ended up meeting a woman in her 90s.

And that stop in Paris is how they ended up in the home where we met them.

The "stranger" whose house Fandos and Trochu were working out of is owned by our very own Don Teague, anchor of our 5pm and 9pm newscasts.

"The woman in her 90s who we visited in Paris was visited by her granddaughter (during our visit) who is a friend of Don's wife,"  Fandos said.

Don and his wife are now their friends too though they did not take part in the political interviews.

As their three-week swing through Texas ended, Fandos and Trochu are both certain Texans favor Mitt Romney over President Obama, but they can't predict who will win the national race.

Even so, they did learn a lot along the way.

They're two foreigners, without a vote, in an unfamiliar land but if you ask them if they'd embark on the same journey again, the answer is a quick "Yes."

"It's journalism.  You're going to meet with people.  What is journalism about?  Telling stories about people," Trochu said. "If you don't meet them, how can you tell stories about people?"

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