Archive for the ‘New Hampshire Primary 2008 Presidential Race’ category

Obama: Fired up, ready to go.

December 20, 2007

Getting close to Primary Day. I drove to the Radisson in Manchester to see Senator Obama speak. Every group was there-global warming, NH Healthcare and NH Priorities. Saw a rep from the Sierra Club there too.

One year ago I saw Obama speak in the same place, the Armory at the Radission. It was the NHDP fundraiser with 1,500 attendees. The Senator spoke for a bit and literally signed autographs and posed for photos with every single person who requested it. I waited til the room was almost empty to see if he would do it. That, for me, made it clear he was going to be a 2008 candidate.

Fast forward to December 19, 2007: Obama is on an upswing in the early states, people in Manchester are bragging about the Oprah visit and Senator Obama is still drawing huge crowds. He spoke for about 45 minutes, took a few questions, and signed autographs (got one!). Access is much tighter than it was last December. There were plenty of Secret Service and a metal gate kept the unwashed masses away from the Senator.

What did he talk about? Specifics-which seemed different than other times I have seen him speak. The event last night was the 3rd time I have seen him as an official 2008 candidate. Listening to him, you cannot help being motivated. This man could really be President! I love all the cadidates, but I think Obama is got my vote last night. Doesn’t mean I still won’t window shop the other candidates though.

I also met David Broder, a syndicated columnist. Class act, good writer.

See you on the campaign trail as the last 19 days heat up.

Buy this book!

October 16, 2007

Mark Halperin, formerly author of ABC’s The Note, now works for Time Magazine. He is the author of The Page, a political-palooza. It is published today. When I am done with this entry, I am going to pick it up. His prior book, The Way to Win, is probably one of the best books I have ever read, at least when it comes to nonfiction. This guy knows his politics.

Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich

October 16, 2007

Now, how much of a chance do these guys have? Are they tilting at windmills? Either way, they definitely add flavor to the debates. I drove to Hollis NH, to the Alpine Grove Banquet Facility. All candidates were invited to this event, but Gravel and Kucinich signed on.

The event? A meeting put on by NH Association for Independent Voters. I have to be honest. I bailed after meeting Senator Gravel-got the photo and the autograph and I was out of there. Ideally, I would have stayed for an afternoon of exposure to new ideas and so forth, but I wanted to get home. Therefore, yours truly cannot provide a synopsis. The Nashua Telegraph has a nice writeup here. I must say the people who are part of NH CIV could not have been any nicer. I also must say the Kucinich groupies are a bunch of moonbats. Kucinich was late, and I could not be bothered.

Two words you will never see together: Kucinich Administration

Giuliani in Manchester- Taxes, Health Insurance, Socialism! Oh My!

August 25, 2007

America’s mayor spoke about one of his 12 Commitments, cutting taxes. Mayor Giuliani was soft spoken, but well spoken. For some time, he focused on reforming health insurance and making it more affordable for the common person. He made the analogy that competition drives down price-anything from selling iPhones, to TV’s to automobiles. He would support a large tax deduction for people buying their own health insurance. Ideally, with all these people in the market for health insurance, it would drive prices down. Or would it? Answering that is beyond my pay grade. However, would it provide coverage for all? From what I have read, the United States is one of the last industrialized nations on earth to have private health insurance. Maybe that is a good thing-people are motivated by incentives.

Mayor Giuliani also hammered away at the ‘socialism’ of the Edwards plan and the Clinton plan. Here is my question- is health care a human right-should Americans expect universal coverage or is health care a commodity to be purchased?

Mayor Giuliani also spoke at length at how cutting taxes stimulates economic growth and had a cluster of folks of folks on stage who spoke about how the Bush tax cuts have helped them over the past 6 years.

The event was moderated by Paul Cellucci, a Rudy supporter and donator. Cellucci was governor of Massachusetts from 1997 to 2001. Former Presidential contender Steve Forbes also spoke-he is also the Co-Chair for the Giuliani 2008 campaign.

John Edwards- More Clinton than Hillary.

July 30, 2007

I like Edwards. I like McCain. I like Senator Clinton. However, I LOVE the New Hampshire Primary. Senator Edwards was in NH for three days and I got to see him in Londonderry. What a great speaker. It is too bad Obama and Clinton are sucking all the oxygen out of the primary right now.

In 1998, serial campaign loser Bob Shrum told some of his colleagues that Edwards had the potential to be president. Maybe 2008 is his year (Edwards, not Shrum-he has supposedly retired from consulting).

Edwards gave a 20 minute stump speech that was thoughtful, funny and very populist. He seems to be running much more liberal than in ’04. Good for him-maybe this is the ‘Edwards Unplugged’ or ‘Edwards 2.0’. Whatever you want to call him, he has the grasp of the issues, a focus on the middle class and he actually seems to enjoy campaigning. The Senator stayed and talked with people after the event was over, signed autographs and posed for photos. (Please note: Barack Obama will not pose for photos with individual people at campaign stops-I guess he is too busy now. Doesn’t that violate some sort of NH primary ethics?)

Senator Edwards is very Clintonesque-in the political sense, not Monica sense. Bill is already taken as the best campaign advisor, but Hillary may be ‘out Clintoned’ by John Edwards- his personality, his populism and his grasp of the issues are very much reminiscent of 42.

Barack Obama won’t pose for a photo with voters

July 15, 2007

A three hour drive-From Cape Cod, Mass. to Laconia NH. I left at 445 in the morning, I was the first person there. Was it worth it? I am not sure. Senator Obama is a powerful speaker, inspirational and truly someone who is not tainted by the Blue vs. Red wars of the the 1990’s and 2000’s. He can certainly drum up a crowd … He gave a stump speech, emphasizing … ummm … I forget what he emphasized. It was almost two weeks ago. I do know he spoke more about what he wanted to do, than about his resume. That is fine. We are (typically) a forward looking nation and he does not have as deep a resume as Bill Richardson or Hillary Clinton (or Chris Dodd or Joe Biden or John Edwards or even Dennis Kucinich). He is clearly the ‘new thing’ in the Democratic Party. However, last election cycle, Joe Lieberman and Howard Dean were leading the polls right about now, and look what happened to them.

After speaking, everyone wants to shake hands, get a photo or get an autograph, right? The New Hampshire Primary is all about access to the candidates. Retail politicking at its best. THIS was a first-Obama would not pose for photos with people or sign autographs. He apologized and said he could do “candids”. Even Hillary Clinton-a former First Lady, poses for photos! I wonder why he would not. Is this a new campaign policy? In his defense, he did take a few photos with little kids and he did give kids his autograph. His campaign staff also collected books and magazines if people wanted his autograph … staffers indicating he would sign it while he met with some local politicals.

Kind of elitist if you ask me. I know a front loaded primary calendar makes it hectic, but why the lack of access, especially in New Hampshire?

Bill and Hillary in Manchester

July 15, 2007

OK, I am biased. I have always been a huge fan of Bill Clinton. Note: I voted for Jerry Brown in the 1992 primaries and even sent him money, but I think it was more for the counterculture aspect of things. You know … challenge authority. Yesterday, both Clintons returned to New Hampshire. My wife, usually apolitical, was almost as excited as I. We drove up to Manchester and arrived at the entrance gate 3 hours before the rally. Nothing like first in line! Within 1 hour, quite a line had formed-young people, retirees, kids, those who looked like they just left work-quite a wide range of the voting population. We were literally front row. Quick introduction by Governor Lynch and former President Clinton spoke for about 10 minutes. Every book on Clinton, whether fawning adoration or part of the vast right wing conspiracy, will attest to Bill Clinton’s ability to connect with voters. Yesterday was no different. What a great speaker. He said that Hillary was the most qualified candidate for the Oval Office that he had seen in 40 years-and he would say that even if he was not married to her. He also emphasized that the current Democratic field was highly qualified (even Mike Gravel?), but Hillary is the best candidate out of the bunch.

Now, he cannot run for a 3rd term, and he cannot (or should not) steal the show from Hillary. He sat down, did his best Pat Nixon-nodding in approval and clapping and looking at Hillary as she spoke. Having seen Hillary 2 times earlier, this was BY FAR the best stump speech she has given-her humor, the pitch of her voice, her ability to motivate a crowd … wow. If the Senator can hold on to her lead in the polls, it looks like we will have a First Husband in the White House.

If you are reading this blog, you probably like politics as much as I do. OK, maybe almost as much. Post a comment or feedback or song lyrics, whatever you feel like.