Enough with all the bullshit about how much New Hampshire residents
know about politics. And about how everyone who lives here has had
numerous dinner dates with each of the candidates, in which they've
discussed Iranian nuclear proliferation over porterhouses. It's
nonsense, and if you don't believe me, then ask any average
“undecided” voter what they think of Rick Santorum's foreign
policy, or Ron Paul's vintage collection of Nike Airs.
New Hampshire folks by and large aren't Iowa stupid. But my
experience here is that the media loves to exaggerate their political
astuteness, and that in turn, they relish the label much
more than they like reading up on the issues. When you're told how great
and smart you are as much as Granite Staters are every four years,
you're just bound to believe it.
first full day up here started with a Jon Huntsman walk-thru of the
Puritan Backroom in Manchester. He should have come in and met some
of the salt-of-the-earth mashed potato eaters, as none of the few
people who I spoke with had ever heard of him. But instead the
candidate ordered lunch, posed for some pics, and then split for his
to use one anecdotal observation to gauge the buzz around a
candidate, but not many onlookers at the Puritan seemed to give a
shit. There were maybe five signs in the place total; the wait staff
couldn't wait to get it over with; when Huntsman failed to enter his
own party (the event was billed for the Backroom, but he got take-out
up front), no one really seemed disappointed.
I wasn't the only one there who'd also gotten word that three Ron
Paul supporters were on Elm Street in downtown Manchester riding
horses holding Tea Party flags. I couldn't wait to get the fuck out
of the Puritan, waiting for the one GOP candidate who's not prone to
despicable racist and homophobic craziness. We bounced right after
Huntsman, and hit the strip in stride.
wasn't at the Occupy the Primaries camp on Elm Street but 10 minutes
when word shot around that a march was about to break. More on the
New Hampshire Occupy scene later on and all through the weekend, but
I'd be remiss to overlook their massive presence. Eight years ago
when I came here, “bloggers” were the big story. Four years ago,
it was still “bloggers.” This year it's sure to be Occupy.
to get off my feet for a minute, I brought the Phoenix squad
to J.W. Hill's, which is located right in the heart of Manch, and
directly next to the Occupy camp. I expected to rap about candidates
with locals, maybe even get a read on the race from my server. But
unfortunately, every tube in the place was tuned to the Bruins game.
I guess they're the undecideds everybody's talking about.