Saturday, March 31, 2007

Romney's Schedule

Here is the schedule for Mitt Romney. Romney will be in the state on Tuesday, April 3rd.

Romney Forum in Keene
Date : 3 April 2007
Event Description: Join presidential candidate Mitt Romney at a community forum in Keene
Where: Colony Mill Marketplace, Food Court, 222 West Street, Keene
When: Tuesday, April 3rd from 8:30 - 10am
Cost: None
Contact: Please RSVP to Kristin Van Horn @ 836-0141 or by email
Email :
More Info :

Peterborough Meet & Greet w/Romney
Date : 3 April 2007
Event Description: Come and meet with presidential candidate Mitt Romney
Where: Peterborough Diner, 10 Depot Street, Peterborough
When: Tuesday, April 3rd @ 10:45am
Contact: Please RSVP to Kristen by calling 836-0141 or by email
Email :

Romney Forum in Derry
Date : 3 April 2007
Event Description: Join presidential candidate Mitt Romney for a community forum in Derry
Where: Adams Memorial Opera House, 29 West Broadway, Derry
When: Tuesday, April 3rd from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Cost: None
Contact: Please RSVP to Kristin Van Horn @ 836-0141 or by email
Email :

Thompson's Visit

Former Wisconsin Governor and HHS Secretary, Tommy Thompson, will be in the state from April 4th-5th. Here is what I have been able to find so far:

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

7 p.m. - House party at the home of Commissioner John Stephen, 33 Currier Drive, Manchester, NH

8:30 p.m. - NH Political and Conservative Leaders Dinner, Piccola Italia Upstairs Lounge, 815 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101

Thursday, April 5, 2007

7:30 a.m. - Boys & Girls Club, Foundation of Friends 5th Annual Breakfast at the Radisson Hotel Manchester, 700 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101.

8:30 a.m. - The Charlie Sherman Show, WGIR-AM, 195 McGregor Street #810, Manchester, NH 03102

10:10 a.m. - WSMN AM interview with Host Jennifer Horn at 1 Indian Head Plaza, Temple Street, Nashua, NH

"Ask Mitt Anything"

On Tuesday April 3rd, Mitt Romney will host the first "Ask Mitt Anything" forum. The campaign is touting the events has "an opportunity for local residents to ask the Governor questions in a town hall setting about his policies, ideas and vision for meeting a new generation of challenges." The event is free and open to the public. Here are the details:

5:00 p.m.
Governor Romney Hosts "Ask Mitt Anything" – Derry Community Forum
Opera House, Adams Memorial Building
29 West Broadway
Derry , NH

Friday, March 30, 2007

At Least They Like Her Hair

Photo is: ©Chris Fitzgerald/

James "The Primary Source" Pindell reports from the Clinton event that the crowd loved her new haircut. In fact, a teacher loved it so much she publicly told the Senator that "it is more Hillary Clinton than Dorothy Hammel." Here is the full article:

CONCORD, N.H. – As New York Senator Hillary Clinton spoke with a teacher's union group about her plan for universal preschool and health care, one teacher stood up to say she liked Clinton's haircut.

“It is more Hillary Clinton than Dorothy Hammel,” said Kelly MacDonald, an English teacher at Manchester Central High School, to Clinton.
That prompted Clinton to spend more time than she usually does joking about her changing hair styles.

“There is so much fascination with my hair that I told Bill when he was president that if he wanted to get some international incident off the front page I would change it,” she said.

Clinton spoke for over an hour to 300 delegates at the National Education Association’s New Hampshire chapter. One of the leaders of that group is a close friend of Clinton’s, former Ambassador Terry Shumaker.

Clinton will be in Boston tonight for a campaign fund-raiser.

Gravel To Speak at Franklin Pierce

Mike Gravel, who represented Alaska in the United States Senate from 1969 through 1981, will deliver a Tuesday Briefing in the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce College on April 3, 11 a.m. to noon. The public is welcome to join us in the studio or via webcast (the link will be posted at on April 3).

Is Hirshberg Joining The Edwards Campaign?

It appears that Gary Hirshberg is being actively recruited by John Edwards. Hirshberg is a former Vilsack supporter and prominent New Hampshire activist. During Edward's last visit to the state, March 15th, Edwards met privately with Gary Hirshberg at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. Furthermore, the former North Carolina Senator is scheduled to tour Hirshberg's Stonyfield Farm yogurt plant in Londonderry. Is Hirshberg joining the Edwards campaign?

McCain To Open Manchester HQ

John McCain's New Hampshire campaign will officially open their headquarters on Saturday, April 28th. The headquarters opening will be taking place at 10:00am. McCain's new digs are at 250 Commercial St., Suite 3007 in Manchester. A VIP speaker and more details will be released in the coming weeks.

Campaign Watch

The Concord Monitor's Campaign Watch has the following information.

• John Edwards, accompanied by his wife, Elizabeth, holds a town hall forum at Concord High School, noon.
• Edwards holds a town hall forum at the University of New Hampshire's Memorial Union building, Durham, 6:30 p.m.

• Mike Gravel speaks to residents and local fifth-graders at MainStreet BookEnds, 16 E. Main St., Warner, 1 p.m. Call (603) 456-2700 for more information.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Dodd Moves Pierson

Chris Dodd has added a new person to head the New Hampshire desk in Washington DC. Mat Pierson is moving from the campaign's operations department to the New Hampshire political desk. Maura Keefe said that "Mat Pierson's extensive work in field organizing is going to be essential to Senator Dodd's New Hampshire campaign, and his knowledge of the delegate selection process is a great catch for the campaign."

Clinton's New Hampshire Advantage

Chris Cilliza, of The Washington Post, has a piece entitled, "Hillary's New Hampshire Edge." Here is the story and a link.

"No candidate running for president in 2008 has a bigger target on his or her back than New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). Every appearance Clinton makes is scrutinized, every speech is parsed.

Under this harsh microscope, it's easy to overlook the successes Clinton has had since declaring her bid for president.

No success is larger -- and more unnoticed -- than the campaign team Clinton has recruited in New Hampshire. Talk to unaffiliated Democrats who know their way around the Granite State and they will tell you that Clinton's team is far superior to those of Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) -- her two main rivals for the nomination.

Clinton's biggest coup was securing Nick Clemons as her state director. Clemons came to Clinton directly from his post as executive director of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. In that position Clemons oversaw Democratic takeovers of both of the state's U.S. House seats and the re-election of Gov. John Lynch (D). In 2004 he served as state director for Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) winning New Hampshire primary effort.

Clemons was highly coveted by several of the top-tier campaigns and his decision to go with Clinton was cast by political insiders as the first major development of the 2008 New Hampshire primary season. He has since recruited several other Democratic operatives with ties to Lynch.

The most important Lynch aide to join Clinton is Liz Purdy, who managed the governor's first successful race in 2004 and then oversaw his transition team. Purdy, like Clemons a New Hampshire native, was a consultant to Lynch's 2006 re-election. Prior to her work for Lynch, Purdy headed up Gov. Jeanne Shaheen's (D) fundraising in 2000 and then served as deputy campaign manager for Shaheen's unsuccessful 2002 Senate campaign.

Clinton has also scooped up several coveted endorsements from New Hampshire elected officials and other party activists. The most recent came from Bill Shaheen -- husband of the former governor and a major player in his own right. Shaheen was regarded as one of the key free agents in New Hampshire after serving as Kerry's state chair in 2004 and Al Gore's co-chair in 2000. (Shaheen's endorsement has created a bit of controversy but both sides insist it's much ado over nothing.)

State House Majority Leader Mary Jane Wallner is also supporting Clinton, a key endorsement in a state where there are 400 state House members (yes, you read that right) -- each of whom is courted incessantly by presidential contenders. In the days following Wallner's endorsement earlier this month, 16 more state House members signed on with Clinton.

Clinton's early staffing and endorsement victories in New Hampshire are already producing results. Check out Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh's glowing review of Clinton's speech to the "100 Club" earlier this month.

Organization is everything in presidential politics. Clinton made major strides to bolstering her team in Iowa earlier this week by winning the endorsement of former Gov. Tom Vilsack and clearly has the best operation in New Hampshire. Does this mean she is a shoo-in for the nomination? Absolutely not. But, what it does mean is that those observers predicting Clinton's downfall already are vastly misreading the reality on the ground."

Is New Hampshire A State of Denial?

GreenMountainPolitics1 can't help but wonder, is New Hampshire is a state of denial? They begin the post by stating "We can't help asking if New Hampshire's political class is just a bit too nonchalant about its ability to protect New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary status after the '08 election." For the full post and all their other observations, check here:

GraniteGrok Speaks To McCain

Yesterday, the GraniteGrok participated in a blogger conference call with Senator John McCain. Here are some his observations and a link to the post:

"The most immediate observation I have of McCain is that he does come off as a rather regular, genuine man, and he is quite comfortable with ordinary people. Additionally, he allows unscripted, unscreened access for questions and comments, both friendly, and not. That, in and of itself, separates him from several other candidates."

Updated Obama Schedule

Here is the updated schedule for Barack Obama:

Manchester , NH -> Keene , NH

Manchester, NH
No Public Events

Keene, NH

Closed Press

Keene State College
Spaulding Gymnasium
229 Main St
Keene, NH
Doors Open: 6:00 PM
The event is free and open to the public. The public is invited to RSVP at

Concord , NH -> Rochester , NH -> Portsmouth , NH

Concord , NH
No Public Events

Rochester, NH
George J. Maxfield VFW Post
43 Highland Street
East Rochester, NH 03868
Doors open: Noon
The event is free and open to the public- due to space limitations, RSVP required by phone: (603) 668-2008

Portsmouth , NH
111 New Hampshire Ave
Pease International Tradeport
Portsmouth , NH 03801
Doors open: 2:00 PM
The event is open only to guests invited by the Portsmouth Herald.


Here are some new endorsements:

Reps. Sally Kelly of Chichester,
Sid Lovett of Holderness,
Nancy Warren
Deborah Billian of Rochester,
Jim Powers of Portsmouth
Jim Kennedy of Exeter
C. Pennington "Penn" Brown of Epping

Former state Sen. Bob Flanders, R-Antrim

Trouble In McCain Camp?

John McCain's New Hampshire campaign is getting a small shake-up. McCain's national field director reports to The Union Leader that Sarah Crawford will be moving from a regional position to be the deputy campaign manager in the Granite State. Dennehey said "We need another seasoned hand to organize our political operations and volunteer efforts in New Hampshire."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Rudy at Wentworth

Almost forgot to put up the trip information for Rudy. So far there's one public appearance. On April 3rd, Giuliani will be speaking at the Wentworth by the Sea Hotel in New Castle. Hizzoner will be speaking before the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce at 7:45am.

Gravel & WMUR

Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel will be in Manchester on Monday, April 2nd. Gravel will be participating in the "Conversation with the Candidate" series on WMUR. The event will be taking place at 9:00 am.

Dodd's Schedule

Senator Chris Dodd will visit New Hampshire on Tuesday, April 3, and Wednesday, April 4, making stops in Laconia, Concord and Manchester.
Preliminary schedule:

Tuesday, April 3

6:30 p.m.
Meet and Greet with State Senator Kathy Sgambati
Taylor Retirement Community
Woodside Room
227 Ledges Drive

Wednesday, April 4

10:00 a.m.
Town Hall Meeting with Concord High School Students
Concord High School
170 Warren Street

1:45 p.m.
Roundtable Discussion with St. Anselm College Students
St. Anselm College Institute of Politics
100 St. Anselm Drive

2:30 p.m.
Guest Lecture at St. Anselm College Business and
Society Class
St. Anselm College Institute of Politics
100 St. Anselm Drive

Edwards Returns With His Wife

John Edwards will be in New Hampshire on Monday, April 2nd. Edwards, and his wife, will appear at a town hall meeting at UNH-Durham. More from James "The Primary Source" Pindell:

"Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards will return to New Hampshire next week with his wife for the first time since announcing her cancer has returned.

John, his wife Elizabeth, and their two young children will appear at a town hall meeting Monday night at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. He will be in the state at the same time that Barack Obama will be holding an event of his own.

Details about the Edwards' visit to UNH are expected to be released by his campaign later this week."

Clinton Speaks at NEA

Senator Hillary Clinton will be speaking to the National Education Association of New Hampshire, on Friday, March 30th at 2:00 p.m. in Concord, NH.

Tancredo's Upcoming Visit on April 4th

Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo will be in the state on Wednesday April 4th. Tancredo will be speaking at Daniel Webster College and the Hunt Community Home. Here is the trip information:

Who: Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO)
Date: April 4
When: 11:30-1:00pm
Where: Daniel Webster College, Nashua
Cost: $30.00
Contact: For more information call 224-5388 ext. 116
Event: Hosted by the NH Business and Industry Association

Tancredo Gun Meet & Greet
Date: 4 April 2007
Category : General Calendar
Event Description: Come and meet presidential candidate Tom Tancredo.
Where: Pete's Gun and Tackle, 2 Dracut Rd., Hudson
When: Wednesday, April 4th from 12:00-1:00 pm
Cost: None
Contact: Team Tancredo @ 603-622-0044
Email :
More Info :

Who: Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO)
Date: April 4
When: 6:00-7:30pm
Where: Hunt Community Home, Mary Meeting Room, Corner of Main St. and Allds St., Nashua
Cost: Suggested Donation $5.00
Contact: RSVP to Liz at 689-5013 or email
Event: Pizza with Nashua GOP and Tancredo

Richardson's Schedule

Add Bill Richardson's name to the list of presidential contenders who will be in the Granite State, in the days leading up to Easter. Richardson will be the state from April 4th-5th. Here is his schedule:

April 4th

8:00 am
Bill Richardson holds meet-and-greet
Consuelos Taqueria
36 Amherst St.

Bill Richardson will hold Town Meeting
Simon Center Great Room
New England College

Bill Richardson speaks at Dartmouth College
Alumni Hall
Hanover, NH

April 5th

Bill Richardson holds Town Meeting
Littleton Community Center
Littleton, NH

Bill Richardson speaks to school assembly
White Mountain Regional School
Whitefield, NH

Bill Richardson holds meet-and-greet
Tea Birds Café
Main St.
Berlin, NH

Bill Richardson holds Town Meeting
Benz Center
Center Sandwich, NH

Romney To Host Community Forums on April 3rd

Mitt Romney will be in the state on Tuesday, April 3rd. The former Massachusetts governor will be hosting community forums in Keene and Derry. The Keene forum will be at 8:30am at the Keene Food Court in the Colony Mill. Later that afternoon, Romney will be at the Derry Opera House at 4:30pm

Shaheen: Clinton Endorsement Not Tied To Ambassadorship

The always astute Phil Elliot of the AP, clears up the whole Bill Shaheen-Hillary Clinton endorsement story. Yesterday, the Internet was filled with stories of an apparent quid-pro-quo between Bill Shaheen and Hillary Clinton. Various writers argued that in exchange for his endorsement, Clinton would give Shaheen an envoy role in the Middle East. Here is Elliot's story:

Also, check out Blue New Hampshire for their side of the story called "Bill Shaheen and the Scoop That Wasn't";jsessionid=764DE700A3DF37666F23C46E2D0826D3?diaryId=616

Having Note Withdrawal? Check "New Hampshire Presidential Watch"

It appears that politicos inside the beltway are having "note withdrawal." The New York Sun writes "Just as the political season is heating up, operatives, analysts, and even reporters are left scrambling for their fix of the daily Internet news roundups that detail every hiccup on the presidential campaign trail and on Capitol Hill." This news is a reaction to ABC's The Note and NBC's First Read, changing their formats. "New Hampshire Presidential Watch" has the answer to their prayers. Just join our mailing list by e-mailing me at: Also, be sure to check here everyday for presidential updates.

Smith: Obama Bucks New Hampshire Way

On the eve of Barack Obama's third New Hampshire visit, Ben Smith wrote an article entitled, "Obama Bucks New Hampshire Way." Smith, of The Politico, argued that Obama's campaign is not a traditional Granite State campaign. In fact, the Jim Demers promotes Obama's uniqueness and appeal to non-traditional primary voters. Ned Hels, former state chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, and Obama supporter, said "What the campaign is about is trying not to go through the traditional routine." The campaign's approach to local officials, Helms said, is "an invitation for engagement rather than a courtship for endorsement." The full article can be read here:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Kucinich Itinerary

Here is a press release on Dennis Kucinich's upcoming Granite State visit.

Presidential Candidate Congressman Dennis Kucinich returns to New Hampshire twice in April, on April 4th and 5th and April 14th and 15th. On April 5th he will speak and meet the public in the rotunda at the New Hampshire Art Institute, 148 Concord Street, Manchester, from 7 to 9 PM. See below for his complete itinerary. Kucinich and his wife, Elizabeth, are recently returned from a quick trip to Europe where among other things he spoke with members of Parliament about the Iraq war and addressed a large anti-war rally in London, and she visited the wounded at Landstuhl Military Hospital, attended the winter meeting of the Democrats abroad, and took part in a peace march. Mrs. Kucinich was joined by NH campaign co-ordinator Christina Kraich-Rogers, a native of Germany. On the fourth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, Congressman Kucinich has asked his fellow Americans if it is time to consider impeachment of members of the Bush administration. For more information on this visit or to schedule an interview please contact either NH Campaign Coordinator Christina Kraich-Rogers at or Pat Frisella NH Media Coordinator at

April 4th
7:50AM - Bedford Village Inn - Politics and Eggs breakfast
10AM - Breakfast with Kucinich for students at IOP, St Anselm College
Noon - Simon Center Great Room, New England College, Henniker
2PM - WMUR, Channel 9 - Conversation with the Candidate
7PM - NECN with Jim Braude on News Night

April 5th
8:30 Call in radio interview with Woody Woodland, WSMN, Nashua
9-10AM Laura Knoy, The Exchange, WEVO NHPR
12:30 - Main Street Book Ends, 16 East Main Street, Warner
2:30 - Lincoln Financial Group, Concord
4:30 - Women Making a Difference, Amherst
7-9PM - NH Institute of Art , 148 Concord Street, Manchester - Town Hall Meeting

April 14th
11:30 - 2PM - Oyster River HS, 55 Coe Drive, Durham - World Café at theTeaching Peace Conference
7PM - Auburn - Presidential Forum

April 15th
9AM - Portsmouth - Union Event

Hart, Buchanan Defend NH Primary

Last night, the New Hampshire Political Library honored Pat Buchanan, Gary Hart and former Bush Chief of Staff Andy Card. All three honorees defended the New Hampshire primary and argued its status is critical to the primary system. Pat Buchanan, GOP winner of the 1996 primary, said ''If you hold a national primary, it'll be a validation of a Gallup poll,'' While, former Colorado Senator Gary Hart ''It's so silly for California to think that by moving forward, they'll see more of the candidates.''

Obama Returns To NH

Barack Obama will be in New Hampshire on Monday April 2nd and Tuesday April 3rd. Here is his schedule. More details will become avaliable shortly.

Manchester , NH -> Keene , NH
Afternoon: Manchester (no public events)
Evening: Keene
Details to be released shortly

Concord , NH -> Rochester , NH -> Portsmouth , NH
Morning: Concord (no public events)
Afternoon: Rochester and Portsmouth
Details to be released shortly

The event in Portsmouth will be a "Community Meeting on Health Care with Barack Obama." The community meeting is scheduled to take place at 2:30 p.m., at Seacoast Media Group's new corporate headquarters at 111 New Hampshire Ave., Pease International Tradeport. Anyone interested in attending may contact Seacoast Media Group Executive Editor Howard Altschiller at (603) 570-2202 starting today between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets will be allocated on first-come, first-served basis.

The Incredibly Irrelevant New Hampshire Primary?

Day by Day states are jockeying for prime primary positions. While, this occurs the man pulling all the strings, Secretary Gardner, keeps us waiting in anticipation. It now appears that both Nevada and South Carolina are shaking up things up. The Nevada GOP has crossed party lines and joined their Democratic rivals. Politicos better start to book their Las Vegas hotel rooms because Nevada's GOP has decided to move their caucus to January 19th, 2008. The GOP is worried the attention the Dems will be receiving would detract from their caucus. Are you worried yet?

If not, continue reading...

South Carolina politicians do not want to left out on all the fun. In fact, in response to Florida moving its primary to January 29th, South Carolina is contemplating moving up its primary. Currently, it is scheduled for Saturday February 2nd. Katon Dawson, South Carolina GOP chairman, said “We will change our date as often as we have to to remain the first-in-the-South primary."

Is New Hampshire becoming the incredibly irrelevant primary?

Another Set of Debates

The presidential debates just keep coming. Now it appears that NECN, NBC, Darthmouth and NHPR are teaming up. The four players will be hosting the debates at Darthmouth College on September 26th and 27th. The debates will be 90 minutes and appear on both MSNBC and NECN. Don't worry, if you do not have a TV, the debate can be heard on NHPR. The debates will be moderated by Tim "Meet the Press" Russert.

Monday, March 26, 2007

When Will NH Primary Happen? Andy Smith Knows

UNH's Andy Smith, think Dante Scala only with hair, will be delivering a lecture on the changing Primary calendar. Smith will discuss the primary schedule and New Hampshire's role in the process.

Summary: UNH Survey Center's Andy Smith and the changing Primary Calendar
Description: First, Second, or Third in the Nation: The Importance of New Hampshire and the Juggling of the Primary Schedule
Wednesday April 11, at 7 p.m.
Speaker: Dr. Andrew Smith is the Director of the UNH Survey Center. The Survey Center is a non-partisan, academic, public opinion research center for governments, not for profits, and faculty researchers. Dr. Smith is also an Associate Research Professor in the UNH Department of Political Science.
The Survey Center is nationally known for its election polling and has consistently conducted the most accurate polling in New Hampshire elections. This talk examines New Hampshire's role in the presidential nomination process, the impact of frontloading, and the potential impact of the new Democratic primary schedule for 2008.
Where: DURHAM Town Library (not UNH!) Durham NH 03824
When: Wednesday April 11th, 7:00 PM - 09:00 PM

Draft Gore Movement Grows In Granite State

The Draft Al Gore movement is starting to organize in the Granite State. One group will be meeting in Nashua, the other in Manchester. Here are the details of the meetings.

Summary:Join fellow Gore supporters at the Nashua Gore Group meeting this month. Learn how you can help encourage Al Gore to run for President.
Description:Visit Manchester/Nashua/Concord DAG for more information.
Where: Nashua Public Library, 2 Court St. Nashua, NH 03060
When: Wednesday, March 28th 7:00 PM - 08:30 PM

Summary:Join fellow Gore supporters at the Manchester Gore Group meeting this month. Learn how you can help encourage Al Gore to run for President.
Description:Visit Manchester/Nashua/Concord DAG for more information.
Where: Barnes & Noble, S. Willow St. Manchester, NH 03103
When: Thursday, March 29th 7:00 PM - 08:30 PM

Kucinich's Journey

Here is the schedule for Dennis Kucinich. The Ohio Congressman will be in the state from April 4th-5th.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007
7:50 a.m. - Kucinich speaks at the Politics and Egges Breakfast at the Bedford Village Inn, Bedford, NH.
10:00 a.m. - Kucinich meets students in the IOP reading room at Saint Anselm College, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester, NH 03201.
12 p.m. - Kucinich meets students in the Simon Center Great Room at New England College, Henniker, NH.
6:00 p.m. - Kucinich holds Town Hall style meeting in Conway, NH.

Thursday, April 5, 2007
12:00 p.m. - Meet and Greet with Kucinich at Main Street BookEnds in Warner, NH.
2:30 p.m.- Kucinich speaks with employees of Lincoln Financial Group, Concord, NH.
7 p.m. - Kucinich holds Town Hall style meeting at Institute of Art, Manchester, NH.

Still Early For Supporters To Join Race

Recently, The Keene Sentinel did an informal survey. The found that a "couple of dozen office holders in Cheshire County, a politically liberal and independent jurisdiction that in prior primaries gave strong support to Democrat Howard Dean and Republican John McCain, indicates that more than two-thirds of local politicians remain uncommitted." Current Cheshire County commissioner Jack Pratt called the race "very fluid" and said that people are still meeting the candidates and shopping around for a candidate to support.

Easter Week Is Going To Be Busy

Just got word that Chris Dodd will be in the state on April 4th. So far the only announced event is a meeting with St. Anselm College students. From April 2nd-5th, the following candidates will be in New Hampshire.

-Dennis Kucinich
-Chris Dodd
-Rudy Giuliani
-Tommy Thompson
-Mike Gravel
-Bill Richardson

Also, Hillary Clinton will be visiting this Friday, March 30th. Senator Clinton will be delivering a speech to the National Education Association of New Hampshire on March 30, 2007 in Concord at 10:30am.

Let The Insanity Begin!!!

Blogging With The Straight Talk Express

Matt Lewis, a Town Hall columnist, spend the weekend "blogging the straight talk express." Here is an excerpt from his article:

DURING MY TIME IN NEW HAMPSHIRE , McCain was never asked a single time (by a regular citizen) about campaign finance reform or the gang of 14. It occurs to me that many of the issues that hurt him inside the Beltway aren’t hurting him out in the states (which, is a good argument for why political analysts should venture out into the states, once in a while).

After the Littleton event, Soren Dayton (of and I interview some of the folks in attendance. Every one of them now says they are supporting McCain. Every single person tells me they are impressed by the fact that he is so “real.”

One fellow (a Baptist Preacher who had served in the Legislature) had, in the past, supported Gary Bauer and Alan Keyes. Now, he’s supporting John McCain. That strikes me as odd, but also proves my point that McCain is closer to conservatives outside the Beltway than he is with the insiders.

Romney Names Granite State Staffers

Mitt Romney has announced his New Hampshire staff. Team Romney is headed by Jim Merrill, while Jamie Burnett will be the campaign's political director. In a campaign press release, the Mittster said "The team we have assembled in New Hampshire represents years of campaign experience in the Granite State. I look forward to working with them as we continue sharing our vision for bringing real change to Washington and putting conservative principles back to work."Here is the full list and their bios.

Jim Merrill – State Director: A New Hampshire native, Jim spent over two years on the staff of former Governor Stephen E. Merrill. In 1999, Jim joined the campaign staff of President George W. Bush, later serving as Statewide Field Director for Bush's successful 2000 general election campaign. In 2004, Jim was appointed NH Grassroots Co-Chairman for President Bush's re-election campaign, and also served as legal counsel. A Manchester attorney, Jim served as legal counsel to the campaign of a NH Governor, and is past legal counsel to the NH Republican State Committee. In 2004, Jim was honored as one of New Hampshire 's "40 Under Forty", which recognizes rising leaders in the state.

Jamie Burnett – Political Director: Jamie joins the Romney campaign from the office of Senator John E. Sununu (R-NH), where he most recently served as the Senator's Legislative Director in Washington , D.C. In 2004, he took a brief leave of absence from the Senator's staff to manage the Nashua Republican Victory Office. In 2002, Jamie held the position of Statewide Field Director for then Congressman Sununu's successful campaign for U.S. Senate. Jamie also previously served on the legislative staff of Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH). Jamie grew up on the New Hampshire seacoast, and attended undergraduate and graduate school at the University of New Hampshire .

Kristy Stuart – Field Director: Kristy worked as a Legislative Aide at the New Hampshire Senate for nearly four years serving the Finance and Capital Budget Committees and assisting the Finance Chair. She took a leave of absence and worked as a Political Consultant during the 2004 election for Senators Bob Flanders, Bob Odell, Andy Peterson and Tom Eaton. She was office manager at the Republican State Committee from 2001-2003. Kristy began in politics as an intern for the McCain for President Campaign in South Carolina as a student at the University of South Carolina .

Scott Scheid – Coalitions Director: Scott joins the Romney campaign from California , where he most recently served as the Regional Field Director (Sacramento Region) for the California Victory '06 effort. Prior to that, Scott worked as the On-Site Campaign Manager for former Republican Congressional candidate Eric Roach.

Emily Cantin – Field Representative: Emily most recently worked as a scheduler for former Congressman Rob Simmons (R-CT). In 2006, Emily took a leave of absence from her position to work in the field on the Simmons re-election campaign. She is a 2005 graduate of Saint Anselm College.

Mike Hamilton – Field Representative: Mike comes to the Romney campaign from Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican polling firm based in Alexandria , VA , where he was a Project Director during the 2006 election cycle. He started at POS as a Research Assistant in 2003. Mike is originally from the Boston area, and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2003.

Jonathan Page – Information Director: Originally from Bow, Jonathan spent seven years with the New Hampshire State Senate, working for the Republican Leader for three years and the Republican President of the Senate for four years. Jonathan was the Director of Operations for the 2002 Keough for Governor campaign, and in 2004 was the manager of the Gatsas for State Senate campaign.
Kristen Van Horn – Office Manager: Kristen joins the Romney campaign from the Manchester Sports Council, where she most recently served as its Executive Director. Previously, Kristen worked on the staff of former Governor Craig Benson specializing in constituent services. Kristen also served as Scheduler and Volunteer Coordinator for Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta.

Lauren Daigle – College Coordinator: Lauren, a senior at the University of New Hampshire and native of Stratham, presently serves as Chair of the UNH College Republicans and President of the UNH Students for Life. Lauren has served on the NH College Republicans State Board for the past two years, and has been nominated for the 2007 UNH Student Leader of the Year award.

Hunter: Beware of China

This weekend Duncan Hunter was in the state warning voters about a rising Chinese threat. Hunter called China a rising military power and urged Congress to reform U.S.-China trade deals. In Keene, Hunter said "A trade deal is a business deal between countries and our country made a bad business deal."

Today, at St. Anselm college Hunter continued his Chinese warnings. Speaking before a crowd of students and curious voters, Hunter used two chairs to demonstrate unfair Chinese trade practices. The San Diego Congressman also said that if elected president he would complete the border fence in six months.

***©Chris Fitzgerald/***

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Richardson, Edwards Upcoming Visits

Here are two future visits for those interested in Bill Richardson or John Edwards:

From April 4th through the 5th, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson will be in the state. No details yet on his schedule

On May 12th, John Edwards will be the keynote speaker at the Carroll County's Grover Cleveland dinner.

Unity08 Hopes To Make An Impact In Prez Race

Former independent Maine Governor Angus King hopes to have an impact on the 2008 presidential race. Not has a candidate but as an active supporter of the non-partisan group Unity08. King told the Portsmouth Herald that "It all comes down to what are the choices and who the parties put forth versus who we manage to put forth. This is not an experiment; this is for real and we think it can happen." The Herald article also said that "Unity08 is a new concept, not a political party. It hopes to improve the discourse in the existing Democratic and Republican parties and to encourage leaders to compromise. Unity08 is now accepting applications for "delegates" across the country who will spread the word about the concept. In the spring of 2008, the organization will hold an online "convention" where the delegates will vote for a presidential candidate, likely a prominent centrist Republican or Democrat." For more information on the group check out their website at:

Could a Hagel/King ticket be out of the question? It certainly would make things interesting.

Ambinder Follows McCain

Here are the posts from The Hotline's Marc Ambinder. He followed McCain through the Granite State's North Country.

March 23, 2007
The Roadshow: New Hampshire
MEREDITH, NH -- The Straight Talk Express rumbles to life tomorrow morning in a converted church parking lot about 56 miles and an $120 dollar Queen Anne's cab ride north of Manchester. Sen. John McCain is here on a make-up mission. A week ago, his progress got stuck in the snow. He'll make a day-long arc along the feeder bands of Lake Winnipesaukee (that's where Mitt Romney summers) with town hall stops in Littleton, North Conway and Plymouth.

It's not an Express. It's a Local. McCain is bringing several campaign aides from headquarters along for the trip. They're supposed to watch McCain interact with reporters and reporters interact with McCain. Save your money: he calls us "jerks" and we say "please sir, can I have another?" The A-tier reporters get personal ribbing by McCain. It's a "sign of affection."

Believe it or not, McCain is still the guy to beat in New Hampshire. Not a single reputable poll has shown him behind other Republicans. (Right, Mark Blumenthal?) It's fair to say that his nomination quest will be an exceedingly uphill slog if he doesn't win the state he won in 2000. I don't think he has to win Iowa, but I'll save those thoughts for an Iowa trip.

March 24, 2007
The Roadshow: McCain's Now Optimistic About Iraq
Littleton Republicans greeted Sen. John McCain like an old friend, and he returned the favor. He was (a), on time, and (b) full of energy. Some of his self-protective senior advisers blanch when they read news reports about how McCain, eight years older, seems slower, more hesitant, less springy. How do these reporters know? Do they measure the reach of his hand gestures and compare it to old video footage?

Regardless, McCain was spry. And he was optimistic. A reporter asked him whether he was now optimistic about the future of Iraq. "I think it's fair to say that I'm optimistic," he said. He ticked off a list of reasons why (a pacified Sadr, more clean neighborhoods, better intelligence, more cooperation between U.S. and Iraqi troops, etc). And he'll have the chance to confirm his optimism first-hand when he visits next week. He blasted House Democrats for passing "an intellectually dishonest" troop withdrawal bill that was "laden with pork." It's "the most shameful" thing he's ever seen as a Senator.

"We will win," he told the Littletown crowd. It's not a line he would have used a few months ago.

He was asked about the Iranian capture of British troops. America, he said, should be prepared to used "very stringent" measures if they're not released. After a lengthy discussion about campaign finance reform initiated by conservative blogger Matt Lewis, McCain grew tired one of one line of questioning about public financing. When ABC's Terry Moran asked him how much he thought his campaign would cost, McCain shook his head. "I don't want to talk about... you know, I'll just talk about anything else you want, but I'm bored with this one."

Roadshow: New Hampshire, North Of Manchester
LITTLETON, NH -- There are Republicans in New Hampshire north of Concord. Really. "As far as I know," one Republican said to McCain, "you're the only candidate who has gone past Concord. All of the other candidates think there's nothing north of Concord."

Technically, Rudy Giuliani's roadshow wandered up here and Mitt Romney summers on Lake Winnepisaukee. But most candidates confine their appearances to the vote rich region from the northernmost limits of the Concord city line, South. Only about 25 percent of the state voters live among the lakes and in the small towns among the White Mountains to the North. They tend to be more socially and economically conservative than Republicans who live in the suburbs of Massachusetts.

When voters dumped Reps. Charlie Bass and Jeb Bradley from office last November, Grafton County was one of the few to stay Republican. McCain's NH campaign has about a half dozen organizers working full-time in this region. McCain has noticed that voters up here ask him more questions about the economy than voters in Manchester. Everyone mentions the closing of the timber mills in Berlin. They haven't come back. Sen. Hillary Clinton has proposed converting paper mills into energy producing facilities that process ethanol. McCain said it "sounds like a good idea." (Wood can be a profitable source of ethanol.)

Voters up here take pride in their independence (duh), but major endorsements matter more here than they do a hundred miles to the South. It's harder to organize up here. That's why McCain's campaign is trying to recruit Laconia high school football coach Jim Fitzgerald. He's a two-term state rep. who knows how to put together a campaign

Rudy's Manager Tracks McCain
BERLIN, NH -- Seen at at least three McCain events in New Hampshire today:
Jim Wieczorek, the campaign manager of Rudy Giuliani.. (He even clapped a few times.)

At one point, John Weaver ambled over and introduced himself and offered to let Wieczorek ride about the Straight Talk Express. Wieczorek politely declined.

Also: a polite video-camera toting tracker from ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney's

McCain: We Won't Meet Fundraising Goals
GRAFTON CO., NH -- Sen. John McCain said his presidential campaign would not meet its fundraising goals this quarter, and his campaign advisers acknowledged that ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney may wind up raising more.

"We're going to pay a price for it because we got a late start," McCain told reporters in New Hampshire. "We're not going to meet the goals we had." He later said he did not know whether Romney would outpace him, but his advisers did not downplay that possibility. They also did not rule out finishing first.

McCain contends that his exploratory committee's opening in December and the rush of the busy holiday season did not allow his campaign to begin fundraising in earnest until January. But once that month began, owing in part to a busy Senate schedule, McCain attended only two fundraisers and only two in February. There are twenty scheduled for all of this month, and another twenty in April.

"These are moments, none of which at the end of the day impact winning the nomination," said John Weaver, McCain's chief strategist. "We're on track to do that. Every campaign would trade places with us. We wouldn't trade places with anyone else."

Some Republicans estimate that Romney, whose network of friends, business contacts and party donors is expansive, could accumulate more than $30 or even $35 million this quarter. McCain is not likely to raise in excess of $30M, according to Republicans outside his campaign who have been given the unofficial estimate. Neither Weaver nor any other McCain aide would hazard a guess about their first quarter tally.

A Romney spokesman noted that McCain had recruited more major Bush donors than any other candidate, and possesses a large direct mail list from his earlier presidential campaigns. The Romney spokesman said that McCain was trying to artificially lower expectations.

If Romney reports a higher fundraising tally on April 15, he'll not be faulted for bragging about his strength after what his aides acknowledge was a rough start to his campaign.

Both campaigns agree that two numbers due by mid-July -- six months worth of receipts and the amount of money remaining in their accounts -- are better diagnostic indicators of their candidate's viability.

Romney, in particular, will be burdened with the expectation that he ought to keep pace with McCain and end the half-year with at least $30 to $40 million in the bank. Both campaigns worry about their high burn rates. They both pay the salaries of more than 100 full-time staff members and numerous consultants. Romney even has several field organizers in Florida, placed there when the campaign presumed that the Florida Republican Party would schedule a straw poll for the fall. They ultimately did not.

McCain: North Country Needs Assistance and Understanding

John McCain's views on Iraq took a back seat, as the Arizona Senator visited New Hampshire's economically stagnate North Country. McCain told reporters "They are frustrated and angry and sad. "I understand that. I really do." In Plymouth, McCain told the crowd "This is an area that is really a heartland but needs some assistance and understanding." McCain also criticized the Democrats for passing an Iraqi troop withdrawal bill. The Arizona Senator told the crowd in Plymouth that "It's one of the most shameful things I've seen. I'm sorry to tell you, this is one of the most shameful things I've seen in my 24 years in Congress. It's disgraceful."

Whitefield, New Hampshire, USA 03/24/2007 John McCain holds an antique flintlock pistol, once considered a gentlemen's weapon, during a campaign stop at Village Gun Store. His visit occurred on a day he campaigned in northern New Hampshire. The video person in the background is from the ABC news program, Nightline, which photographed his day of campaigning. ©Chris Fitzgerald/