F&L 2020: Are They For Real?

It’s been a grueling day in New Hampshire.  Running for office is nothing; it’s the press that suffer.

Spitting snow is expected in February, and it’s just a few pellets.  Besides, soon we’ll be inside where it’s nice and warm, packed with all these people, right?  …right?

Some free advice:  When next you go to a Bernie Sanders town hall, show up well in advance and get inside quick.  Don’t waste time talking to the Trump demonstrators across the way.  Distract the crowd; cut in line; don’t be afraid to strategically employ your elbows.  Politeness will defeat you.

Ah, well; chalk that one up to a learning experience.  Besides, we got some good pics of Bernie’s S.U.V. convoy.  Which is odd for a carbon-neutral candidate, come to think of it, but what the heck:  it’s New Hampshire in February.  Nobody really wants zero carbon now, right?  …Right?


On to the Yang event!  This is gonna be great:  a live radio show in a brewpub with regular hosts.  It’s official, set up through local public radio, and we’ve got tons of time.  And… where the heck is the brewpub?  No, not there… turning around… one way street… no, not that way…  Dammit, Google Maps is lost again!  It thinks the middle of the intersection serves beer!

Finally found the place.  Google Maps is insane.  Yang canceled, but there’s a crazy lady sitting in a bus stop yelling at the anti-Trump protest.  So that’s entertaining.  And I got to talk with the protestors and get some nice pics.  Turns out, they’re not protesting because of the Primaries; they’re there twice a week all year round.  Did I mention it’s bitter cold?

Another learning experience:  Candidates sometimes change their schedules last minute.  Frequent breaks to check intel, plus good communication with The Not Fake News advance team (that’s Kelly; say hi, Kelly) can save us the aggravation next time.  Plus side, we got there in plenty of time to find the brewpub.

All is not lost; we’ve got two more events today.  On to the Tulsi Gabbard protest and news conference!

Arrived in plenty of time; tons of protestors.  Posters of Tulsi’s face with a CNN gag over her mouth.  Curiously, it’s ABC and the Party that’s stopping her from attending Friday’s debate… Oh!  Apparently, CNN is for no apparent reason denying her a televised Town Hall event here in New Hampshire.  She’s polling high, but CNN doesn’t care.  OK; I’m even on board with that.  Crowds chant, “LET TULSI SPEAK!”

Tulsi doesn’t show.

I’m suddenly one hell of a lot less sympathetic.  But only because it’s cold.  I wore a Hawaiian shirt for this, dammit!

*grumble* *mutter* *whine* *piss* *moan*

The mood in the Tech Van is grim.  (Actually, it’s a car; we don’t have enough gear to need a van.  It’s an Impala.  Tech Guy Griff named it Vlad the Impala.  See?  I suffer from bad puns too.)  And I just heard that Vermin Supreme blocked Mayor Pete’s campaign Caddy in down at the Climate Summit — and I wasn’t there to watch!  Dammit!

(We’re told Vermin Supreme used his mystical future android powers to prevent the car from leaving, chanting “Boot Head Head” over and over.  The picture looks like he was just standing in the way, but I’m going with mystical future android powers.)

Plus side?  Plenty of time before the next event.  We explore the area and find a lovely little neighborhood bakery.  Michelle’s Bakery in Manchester — excellent sandwiches and ohmyGod pastry, and one of the best pickles I have ever tasted in my Whole. Damn. Life.  Suddenly, everything is better.

But Tom Steyer better not be a no-show.  I brought my red plaid scarf specially for this.

Steyer ad is on the radio as we leave.  Another customer says, “I’m getting sick of his ads.  All the time, it’s Tom Steyer.  ‘Real billionaire’.” **disdainful sniff**

Tom Steyer is not a no-show.  Holy crap, that man can speak.  He’s not eloquent; he’s sincere.  Most of his statements aren’t followed by applause, but rather by people thinking and nodding.  It’s startlingly like a Yang talk except everyone can understand him and it all makes sense.

Maybe it’s the free beer.  Damn good beer.  To Share Brewing in Manchester; well worth the trip, and just a block or three from a great local bakery.

But maybe it’s not just the beer.

Heading back to the hotel, I’m having West Wing flashbacks.  Josh is standing outside Sam’s law firm’s conference room, just looking at him:  “I think maybe this guy’s for real.”

Right.  Sending this installment back on the Mojo Wire.  Got to get at least some sleep; there’s a blizzard on the way and Bill Weld has a breakfast with the local Rotarians at oh-dark-thirty.  Dammit.  Tell me again why I’m here?

(Oh.  Right.  Donations.)

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