Thursday, March 15, 2007

Granite State Quickie: DiStaso To Take On Bosses(?), A Huckabee House Party & Why John Edwards Makes Us Feel The Way Graham Greene Must Have Felt

The Granite State's political class is in a tizzy over maintaining New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation status.

With good reason.

And while we feel that Wyoming is a far greater threat to NH's power than Super Tuesday (kudos to eyeon08 for recognizing this angle before us), it's going to take time to sort this all out.

But New Hampshire's Governor Lynch isn't taking any chances and has already begun circling the wagons, which he did last night with a panel discussion at St. Anselm's College on the importance of first-in-the-nation status.

The Nashua Telegraph's Albert McKeon has the story here.

Note the quote by John DiStaso, political scribe at the Manchester Union Leader, bemoaning the potential impact of Super Tuesday:

"Granite State voters can thus no longer do what they always do, said DiStaso, and back long-shots."
New Hampshire loves a long-shot, no question about it.

Imagine our surprise then when we learned that Democratic Presidential Candidate (and long-shot) Mike Gravel has been banned from participating in a New Hampshire debate being hosted by CNN, WMUR-TV and The Manchester Union Leader.

A long-shot banned from participating in the Primary process by DiStaso's own news organization?

Drudge is running the story, but can it be true?

If New Hampshire is serious about keeping its reputation as a "retail politics state" (and thus its first-in-the-nation status) we cannot imagine why anyone would ban a two-term Senator from participating in a debate.

We imagine DiStaso can't either. Truly.

And we expect that at this very moment he is chatting with all parties to insure that NH remains a place where long-shots can be heard. Truly.


Last night we attended a Mike Huckabee house party in Bedford at the home of Doug and Shannon McGinley.

About 75 people showed up to listen to the former Arkansas Governor give a stump speech and take questions on National Security, charter schools, taxes and government spending.

The former southern fat boy was a huge hit with the (very) Republican audience.

For NH Primary voters upset with McCain-Feingold, Mitt Flops and Hiz Honor's liberal social stances (as well as the fact that Rudy is going to build nothing but a token campaign for the NH Primary, THAT story is starting to STICK) Huckabee is a very attractive alternative.

We LOVE the guy. We've been saying it for months.

But don't ask us, ask the numerous Republican Party officials and activists who showed up to chat with the Governor and have their picture taken.

Huck's campaign is (more or less) in place in NH and now he's going to get to introduce himself to voters.

Money Primary? Yeah, we know.

But we still feel we'll be telling several in the Gang of 500 "we told you so" in late July.


Today we attended John Edward's speech on ending global poverty at St. Anselm's college.

John Edwards is one of those candidates that makes us wish we only had to vote with our heart and not with our head.

The statistics Edwards rattled off about poverty in America (and the world) are revolting - 37 million Americans live in poverty, 47 million Americans with no health insurance, 1,000 high schools in America where 1/2 the students will not graduate.

On and on.

And all this in a country where we are able to muster the resources to pay basketball star Kobe Bryant $2,000 dollars per SHOT on the basketball court (total yearly salary/total shots per season). That's per shot. Not per basket.

Throw in the fact that America, which represents 5% of the world's population, consumes 25% of the world's resources, and you begin to understand why us consumers have such a serious national security problem on our hands.

What's the the total of our defense budget vs. everyone else?


To combat global poverty Edwards proposed a 4-part plan - 1. Make primary education available for the whole world, 2. Massive support for preventative health care in the developing world, 3. Expand political and economic rights across the globe and 4. a Presidential Cabinet-level Secretary to handle fight poverty and coordinate the programs.

Our heart loves Edwards (and so will Democratic Primary voters). Truly.

But our head is not so sure.

It's not that we are knee-jerk anti-tax (although the 33% bracket is a BITCH)

It's that if Edwards (or anyone) is going to go on a crusade to save the world (and we love crusades) we are willing to help pay for the crusade IF someone managing the crusade can explain to us where and why our tax money will be better spend on this crusade as opposed to (failed) past crusades.

The devil is in the details. And we got the sense today listening to Edwards that the details are still being worked out.

The good news is that there is still a long time to go.

We look forward to hearing more from Edwards. Our hearts and our heads.