New Hampshire

Just Call Him Barack O'Tarmac
January 26, 2012

What is it with Barack Obama, contentious blonde political rivals and airport tarmacs? Obama's testy encounter yesterday with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer out on the blacktop at the Phoenix airport put me in mind of his famous showdown at Reagan National Airport with Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primaries.

The Guy Who Fires You
January 25, 2012

Randy Lavallee is a proud member of the American working class. A New Hampshire resident, he works as a calibration inspector for a jet-engine plant just across the state line in Maine. Four years ago, the plant went through a downsizing that resulted in the layoffs of one-sixth of its 1,600 workers. After the cuts, Lavallee told me, the “CEO and management got big bonuses.” I met Lavallee, 58, recently in Rochester, New Hampshire, where he lives.

The Inheritance
January 25, 2012

It’s not quite right to say that the hundreds of millions of dollars Mitt Romney amassed as a private equity baron were the cause of his South Carolina drubbing. But they didn’t exactly help, either. Newt Gingrich trounced the former Massachusetts governor among just about every demographic group that might nurse a grudge against a slick quarter-billionaire.

An Ethnographic Theory Of The GOP Primaries
January 24, 2012

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Shallow Figure, Winner's Paid
January 23, 2012

If you haven't read it already, I recommend Jonathan Martin and John Harris' Politico piece about the "perfect mess" that Mitt Romney has created for himself by being so...darn perfect.

Can Newt Repeat His Success in Florida?
January 22, 2012

After Newt Gingrich’s smashing victory in South Carolina yesterday, here’s my wagering advice: You can still put your money on Mitt, but don’t bet the farm. Not this year. The results for Mitt Romney weren’t pretty.

SC Was All About Romney's Weakness, Not Newt's Strength
January 21, 2012

The story of 2011 was that Republicans had a frontrunner they weren’t in love with. Mitt Romney spent the entire year below 25 percent in national polls; a new Mitt alternative surged ahead of him every few weeks, only to collapse when it turned out he or she couldn’t pass an eighth grade civics class. The pundits concluded from this that Romney’s grip on the nomination was tenuous and that, even after his (apparent) Iowa win, the race was a lot less stable than it looked.

South Carolina Shoots The TV
January 21, 2012

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Romney Under Pressure: Not A Pretty Sight
January 21, 2012

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Let’s hope Mitt Romney recovers from his South Carolina detour and wraps this thing up soon, because I’m not sure the agitated ghost of George Romney can take much more of this. And no, I’m not referring to Mitt’s refusal to follow his father’s lead and release a dozen years of tax returns. I’m talking about his attempt to ratchet himself and his rhetoric ever higher to satisfy a sullen GOP electorate. Romney’s diagnosis is on target: one Newt Gingrich voter after another today told me that what they prefer about him over Romney is his ability to tell it straight.

Why Does the Media Keep Underestimating Newt?
January 20, 2012

CHARLESTON, S.C.—Thursday night’s four-top GOP debate made it official: The South Carolina primary has become a referendum on Newt Gingrich. Just 10 days after he was left in a dustbin labeled “Yesterday’s Man” after dismal finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, Gingrich has confounded the experts yet again. The oft-derided and consistently under-estimated House speaker has now bested Jesus in his sheer number of resurrections—an association that can only help as the South Carolina primary vote looms.

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