Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Big Mo

The last three presidents who didn't win New Hampshire in the primaries were Clinton, Bush, and Obama.

So in the last 24 years, New Hampshire hasn't picked the winner.

New Hampshire is supposed to be all about "retail" politics.  I heard it again today, in a news story on the radio, as the "reason" why New Hampshire has the first primary, and why that is so important.  Because you can't do that kind of politicking in Texas, and that kind of politicking matters.  Except Donald Trump held big rallies, the kind he could have held in Texas.  And tonight he won New Hampshire decisively.

As I go to sleep, Bernie Sander has a 20 point lead on Hillary Clinton, and so he is the "winner" in New Hampshire.  And yet the AP tells me Sanders gets 13 delegates tonight, and Clinton gets 15?  And people were complaining about the outcome of the Iowa caucus?

So what does "winning" in New Hampshire mean?  Big Mo?  Last guy who claimed that was George H.W. Bush.  In 1980.

In this age of super pacs, the early votes don't even winnow candidates.  What imperative is there for Jeb! to drop out anytime soon?  He's got plenty of money to spend.  So does Cruz, who was bested by Kasich.

Tell me again why we care about Dixville Notch?  Or Iowa, for that matter?


  1. As presidents Dukakis, Kerry and, very arguably, Romney show, what New Hampshire is about many years is who is a politician often mentioned on WMUR, its only large TV station in the New Hampshire coverage of neighboring states and has name recognition.

    I think the Sanders thing, though, is more like McGovern and a sign that people are, indeed, fed up with the politics that Republican courts have given us as they prevent any attempt to get big money out of elections and so out of politics. Dukakis said, as many remembers, the fish rots from the head, the United States certainly has, if the Supreme Court, allegedly the wise intellectual branch of the government, can be considered a fish head.

  2. The McGovern comparison is not a favorable one...

  3. George McGovern was one of the most decent people to have ever run for the presidency, he was also one of the least likely to win the election. To some extent his win was a result of Republican dirty tricks, it was in New Hampshire that the fascist William Loeb did a lot to sink any viable candidates.

    A member of my family is a big Sanders supporter and so callow that he says that if Sanders doesn't get the nomination he'll vote for Trump (he assumes Trump will be the nominee). A lot of the Sanders support is by people who are young and ignorant just as a lot of Trump supporters are old and ignorant, only it works better for Republicans than it does for leftists. They win elections with their lowest common denominator.

    I think that the idea that Bernie Sanders is going to make Hillary Clinton scared enough to go left is rather naive.

    I do, on the other hand, think that she and, especially, her husband playing with the fat cats has harmed her more than it's helped. Some of the same old same old names she has on her campaign has probably hurt a lot. It's not 1992 anymore.

    I suspect that by March 3 New Hampshire will be safely forgotten for another three years, though I fear it will be more like three weeks after the inauguration.

  4. I agree on McGovern. And can't help but notice this morning that Hillary's "outreach" to black voters is to go to Flint, Michigan this week.

    Bernie is going to Harlem this morning, to meet with Al Sharpton. Maybe he can work in a photo op with Beyonce, while he's at it.