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

Posted August 25, 2007 by lkuntzman
Categories: New Hampshire Primary 2008 Presidential Race, Rudy Giuliani, Steve Forbes

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.

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John Edwards- More Clinton than Hillary.

Posted July 30, 2007 by lkuntzman
Categories: Clinton, John Edwards, New Hampshire Primary 2008 Presidential Race, Uncategorized

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.

Data mining, micro targeting: What subscriber lists would candidates like to buy?

Posted July 24, 2007 by lkuntzman
Categories: Uncategorized

The Boston Globe recently reported that Governor Romney bought subscriber lists from Newsmax.com in order to better reach potential voters. Giuliani did as well. What if other candidates did the same thing? What magazines would the 17 (or 19- including Newtie and Fred) go after? Below are my serious and not so serious suggestions, based on political beliefs or that somehow the title or genre of the magazine says something about the respective candidate. If any of the campaigns want more of my advice on who to solicit, send me an email. (Note: Dems get priority.)

Dems (in no particular order)
John Edwards- The Nation
Dennis Kucinich- Utne Reader
Bill Richardson- Foreign Affairs (look at his resume)
Barack Obama- Time Magazine (middle of the road)
Hillary Clinton- Rolling Stone (baby boomers and Gen X and Y)
Mike Gravel- Mad Magazine (no disrespect to its readers!)
Chris Dodd- AARP Magazine
Joe Biden- drawing a blank here. Got a suggestion?

GOP (in no order)
Tom Tancredo-help me out
Sam Brownback-National Liberty Journal (from the Moral Majority)
Ron Paul- The Freeman
Mitt Romney-The Weekly Standard
Rudy Giuliani-Cigar Aficianado
Tommy Thompson- help me out
Mike Huckabee-Weight Watchers
Fred Thompson-Variety Magazine
John McCain-Soldier of Fortune

Senator Edwards-why is Bill Richardson beating you in New Hampshire?

Posted July 24, 2007 by lkuntzman
Categories: Bill Richardson, John Edwards

How did Richardson pull ahead to the ‘top tier’ of candidates in NH? Granted, Richardson is certainly qualified. Maybe it was face time with Granite Staters. Since January, Richardson has made 44 visits to NH, recently beating out Edwards. Richardson has pulled ahead to 11% and Edwards has dropped to 9%, according to a WMUR/CNN poll.

Wow.

Richardson has pulled it off while having a full time job back in New Mexico. Senator Edwards’ full time job has been campaigning all over the country. Note to the Senator: retool your campaign to spend more time in New Hampshire. You will do fine in Iowa-you have the union vote nailed down there. Come back to NH.

(PY FYI: Yes, it is only 2 poll points, and are polls really accurate? And what about being so fare away from the actual date of the primary? Maybe this is part of the Edwards strategy, hoping to ‘peak’ closer to the primary date. Uh …. sarcasm mode on)

Oh, Mitt, sorry I missed you in Exeter this past Sunday.  I will try to catch up with you this Wednesday.

Barack Obama won’t pose for a photo with voters

Posted July 15, 2007 by lkuntzman
Categories: New Hampshire Primary 2008 Presidential Race, Obama

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

Posted July 15, 2007 by lkuntzman
Categories: Bill Clinton, New Hampshire Primary 2008 Presidential Race

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.

July 4th on the campaign trail

Posted July 4, 2007 by lkuntzman
Categories: Uncategorized

New Hampshire is great. Note to the National Democratic Party: Don’t mess with the First in the Nation primary status. Where else will you find candidates doing retail politicking? First off was the Merrimack Rotary Club breakfast. I paid my $6, grabbed some good food and met Duncan Hunter (R). Very nice guy, but most people that I spoke with at the breakfast had no idea who he was. Maybe he needs more face time in the Granite State. According to a WMUR/UNH poll in mid June, ‘No Opinion’ beat Hunter in the polls, 8% to 0%. I wonder if ‘No Opinion’ has one of those “I’m a Healthcare Voter” stickers to wear.

Then it was on to the Amherst NH Parade.  The theme this year was the NH Primary.  The ‘rcok stars’ of the Dems, Clinton and Obama had the largest group of staffers and volunteers, with Edwards and Dodd right behind.   The Biden group seemed the smallest, but they won bonus points for having a dog with a Biden for President shirt on.

On the Republican side, Tancredo gets props for having a HUGE truck, almost one of those you see in the commercials for the Monster Truck Mash (ummm, ok, maybe not-it was just a big truck).  The Giuliani camp had a Segway, a sweet looking vette and a small group of parade walkers. McCain, the best Republican IMO, had a small group of staffers and volunteers.  Question to anyone who wants to answer: Why does the GOP beat on McCain so badly? The Romney crew had a good turnout as well, but I got the sense they were all paid staffers and NO volunteers.  Just a feeling, no hard evidence there.

If you were there, or follow the NH Primary or want to comment, please do!  Tell me what you think!