(Picture: Parking lot in what turns out to be Milford, New Hampshire, waiting for the bus)
So here we are in… you know, as I’m saying this, I don’t have a clue where we are? It’s the woods in New Hampshire, thirty miles from anywhere, and somehow there’s a massive inflatable domed sports arena. I don’t get it; it’s not hockey, which might make sense. But somehow the Buttigieg campaign found the only domed stadium in (more…)
I’ve already told you about coming into Exeter a good hour ahead of schedule, and still seeing a horde of people already lined up around the block, waiting for Amy to show up at the Old Town Hall. I didn’t mention the freezing drizzle, but there was that too. Gotta love New Hampshire in February.
I’ve checked out the press arrangements ahead of time. This event does have some nice perks (more…)
When we roll into Exeter, N.H. a good hour ahead of schedule, there’s already people lined up around the block waiting for Amy to show up at the Old Town Hall.
Now Exeter is a fine town, home to Phillips Exeter Academy, a marvelous downtown, and some truly friendly people. But one thing Exeter is not known for is its parking. Another is the capacity of its meeting venues. Neither is in copious supply.
NOTE: The following transcription has been heavily edited to reduce profanity. Nevertheless, reader discretion is advised.
The cesspit that is modern politics has surpassed itself.
Scene: It’s the middle of the night and I just now finished fixing my writeup on Sanders and Yang after a couple of hours of desperately needed sleep. Some of that was not fit to read; glad I got to it. Sleeplessness and politics should never mix; this is how we got Eagleton in ’72, after all. I’m just about to go back to bed when (more…)
It’s easy to forget, but there’s a big chunk of New Hampshire that exists cheek-by-jowl with Vermonters that live on opposite sides of the Connecticut River valley. It’s a demographic the state doesn’t quite know what to do with; the urban centers (such as they are) are lumped in with mountain recluse compound-dwellers to form the Fifth State Senate District. Fifty thousand people live right along here; two thirds are Pantsuit Nation loyalists and the rest vote MAGA. There might be a moderate somewhere but if so he’s in hiding. The only reason there isn’t open war is only the MAGA faction is armed — and they just want to be left the hell alone.
You couldn’t pay me enough to canvass for a Democrat outside city limits. (more…)
It’s a miserable night in a way only New Hampshire can provide. Water is falling out of the air not as snow or ice but in actual lumps of slush. I can hear it going *splat* all around me as we slip and slither up to the door of the VFW hall where Tulsi is scheduled to speak. We’ve tried for her and missed twice now; as I understand it her defense committee needed her on the Hill — but of course the campaign doesn’t talk about that sort of thing; I had to (more…)
“Come away, come away if you’re going; Leave the sinking ship behind!”
It’s no random choice that selected CCR’s “Around The Bend” as Tom Steyer’s theme song. On the face of it, his candidacy is absolutely insane; he’s an honest-to-God billionaire running on a platform of “Get Money Out Of Politics”; I’ve never (more…)
It seems like everywhere you turn in New Hampshire, there’s another Common Man property. There’s restaurants, diners, at least one honest-to-goodness pub, a couple of resorts, and on and on. And yet, for some reason, it never occurred to me that I might stop. After all, there were other places with better neon; McDonald’s may be crap but it’s familiar crap. But then random chance took a hand, and I stopped.
And then I went back. And did it again the next day.
Right. So, first and foremost: Cracker Barrel? A bunch of poseurs. You only think they (more…)
New Hampshire, by state law, has the first primary contest in the nation. Yes, I know; Iowa comes before New Hampshire — but that’s a caucus, not a primary. It’s a fundamentally different sort of contest, at least in a technical sense. And technicalities are the soul of the law.
(Ideally we’d have a legal system based on right and wrong, but you end up with squabbles over which is which. Technicalities is the best we can do. Anyway.)
Now that New Hampshire and Iowa are both over with, it’s somewhat remarkable that the so-called “Party of Inclusivity” has ended up with four old white people (more…)
It’s past midnight. Primary Day has come and gone in New Hampshire, and (unlike in Iowa) we have a clear winner: Bernie Sanders.
We actually have three winners, if we include the Mayor In Waxwork. Amy Klobuchar’s come-from-behind resurgence to a 20% return is enough to get her taken seriously going forward, which makes her the real story of today. If she can sustain that momentum through either South Carolina or Nevada, she’s suddenly a top contender. (more…)