The Campaign Spot

Reality Catches Up to Two New Hampshire Democrats

I’m out of D.C., but the more-lengthy-than-usual Morning Jolt continues. A taste of today:

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Hey, go figure, those flinty New Hampshire voters aren’t warming up to the health care bill like the Democratic pundits predicted: “If the experience of this state’s two Democratic House members is any indication, the raw emotion and mistrust emanating from last summer’s congressional town halls never really went away. Instead, the unrest simmered over the ensuing months only to return to a boil when Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and Rep. Paul Hodes, who is running for U.S. Senate, returned home to meet with their constituents here during the first week of the Easter recess. Their public events provided a bracing reminder to Democrats that the political pivot from health care to economic and financial issues is going to be much more arduous than they expected.”

One of my friends once described a New Hampshire town hall was a bunch of big guys in plaid shirts with three days’ growth, all wanting to hear that they weren’t going to get taxed. Yes, there’s some spillover from Massachusetts – you know, that state that used to elect Democrats – but this state isn’t Vermont and never has been. Nobody goes to New Hampshire because they want to replicate the experience of living in New York or Boston or with heavy influence from Washington. They go up to those small towns with cold winters because they want everybody else to get out of their faces. Accordingly, the local sentiment is often quasi-isolationist and so Hodes and Shea-Porter were able to harness anti-Iraq-War sentiment to toss out some Republicans in 2006, and as usual pretended to be something besides useless Pelosi-bots when asking for the job three and a half years back. Well, no hiding now, Carol and Paul.

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