By Andrew C. Bome
Published January 07, 2008
(Editor's Note: Andrew C. Bome is in New Hampshire for the US presidential primaries and agreed to write a journal for those Raise the Hammer readers who are interested in following US politics. -Ed.)
I am now typing away at Logan airport waiting for my flight to Buffalo. I thought that before I left I would give my thoughts on the New Hampshire primary process in general and some predictions for tomorrow.
One thing that I have heard is people questioning why it is that the New Hampshire primary is the first in the nation. Who said they could be first in the nation and why should we care about its results?
As to why they are the first, it is an accident of history. While you might find a state that is more representative of the whole nation, say Missouri, I do not know whether you would find a state that would take its responsibility as the first in the nation more seriously.
I was absolutely impressed by how seriously the folks in New Hampshire took its political process. I told you about the Friday night session with Bill Richardson. 100 people spent their Friday night talking to a guy who the day before got 2 percent in the Iowa caucuses and is not likely to continue running past Wednesday. I don't think you would get that to happen in Ontario.
On Saturday I was in a tavern style restaurant that had lots of televisions turned to the football games - this is NFL playoff football. At 7:00 p.m. all but one of the televisions were turned to the debates. A bar owner who tried that in Ontario would likely be hurt by the patrons.
At the Chowder with Chuckabee event, I talked to a 12-year-old boy who asked me whether I had seen the debates. He told me, proudly, that he had seen both the Democratic and Republican debates. I am a certified political geek, who spent approximately $500.00 of my own money to go to New Hampshire to watch the primary action, and I cannot say that I would have watched four hours of political debates when I was twelve.
In Concord, I saw one pub (The Common Man Tavern) that advertized a primary night party. Would any bar anyplace else in the world do something like that?
Finally, the local Manchester classic rock station (101.1 on the FM dial) said that they would be having reporters at the polling stations during the primary voting. Would Q107 ever do that?
Maybe the political parties should replace the current primary system with something else (say a national primary); I do not know where I stand on that. Until they do, however, I think that New Hampshire should remain the first primary in the nation. The people of New Hampshire know that being first carries with it a great responsibility. They take this responsibility very seriously.
I saw all of the democratic front runners. While Hillary Clinton says a lot of the right things and says them with conviction, there is genuine excitement whenever Barack Obama speaks. When they hear him speak they know that are in the middle of making history.
Somehow Hillary Clinton has not been able to convery that sense, despite the fact that her election would be just as historic as Barack Obama's. I believe, and poll numbers back me up on this, that Barack Obama will have a substantial victory on Tuesday night.
On the Republican side, I met fewer candidates and was not able to see Mitt Romney at all in person. The polling numbers indicate that John McCain will win the primary, Mitt Romney will come in second and Fred Huckabee will come in third.
I am also willing to predict that Ron Paul will beat out both Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson for fourth.
As for the general election, things are looking really bad for the Republicans. The Democrats consistently got more people to their events than the Republicans did. I got to shake John McCain's hand because only about two dozen people were waiting to shake it.
I couldn't shake Hillary Clinton's hand because there were about two hundred people waiting to shake her hand in an overflow room.
Unless something happens to cause the Democrats to self-destruct or the Republicans to significantly improve, this is going to be a really bad year for the GOP.
On January 20, 2009, we will see President Barack Obama take the oath of office to be the 44th President of the United States of America. I might take the day off to see the inauguration.
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