New Hampshire

January 10, 2012

I've got it, or possibly a bad cold, and so does my 18 year-old son. My daughter's coming down with it too, I think.  So I'm taking most of today off. I'll check in later as the New Hampshire results start to roll in.

Dylan Ratigan on an Exciting New Form of Online Gaming
January 10, 2012

I’ve been making my way through Dylan Ratigan’s new book, Greedy Bastards, and can report that it includes a number of truly sensible thoughts on everything from health care to energy policy. (Also, there’s the occasional cultural nugget I somehow missed—like the fact that butlering has apparently become a major U.S. growth industry.)  But one of the more intriguing ideas comes courtesy of Dick Grasso, the former New York Stock Exchange chairman who was ousted in 2003 amid a compensation scandal, and who Ratigan spoke with for the book.

Is N.H. Really Going To Give Mitt A Pass?
January 09, 2012

SOMERSWORTH, N.H. -- At several points the past couple days, I thought of a great line in the Concord Monitor's "un-endorsement" of Mitt Romney in late 2007, when, in advance of its endorsement of John McCain, it ran an entire editorial specifically opposing Romney: "When New Hampshire partisans are asked to defend the state's first-in-the-nation primary, we talk about our ability to see the candidates up close, ask tough questions and see through the baloney.

Is Ambassador Humblebrag On The Move?
January 09, 2012

KEENE, N.H. -- If Jon Huntsman, Jr.

Live Free or Die of Boredom: Why This Is the Least Exciting New Hampshire Primary Ever
January 09, 2012

Rochester, N.H.—Having emerged unbloodied Sunday morning from the weekend’s debate double-header, Mitt Romney barreled down Route 101 at more than 80 miles an hour towards a noon rally at the Rochester Opera House. (I can verify the speedometer reading since the Romney campaign bus zoomed past me in a 65-mile-an-hour zone and I tailed it until it turned off the highway). The front-runner’s haste was understandable, since Romney wants this primary inscribed in the record books before his double-digit lead vanishes.

Romney is Wrapping This Up
January 08, 2012

I've spent the last few days arguing that there’s only one plausible way to make Mitt Romney sweat this nomination contest: Rick Santorum has to beat expectations in New Hampshire so that he comes into South Carolina with a head of steam and consolidates the anti-Romney vote there. To do that, Santorum doesn't need to win New Hampshire, where Romney is all but assured of victory. But he does need to finish well ahead of Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich, who constitute the rest of the contending pack.

Let The Veepstakes Begin
January 08, 2012

MEREDITH, N.H. -- There are two days still left to go before the polls close in New Hampshire, but Mitt Romney is on a victory lap. At his rally today in Rochester, he brought on stage not only his wife and rock-jawed sons but also their lovely wives and picture-perfect kids, as if it was already the election night party. And he has embarked on what certainly looks like the auditioning of possible running mates. This evening, he appeared with Chris Christie.

Mitt Romney, Much Obliged
January 08, 2012

What better person than the French-speaking Mitt Romney to lay bare the pure beating heart of noblesse oblige. Sunday morning's NBC debate in Concord, N.H. was a vast improvement over the ABC one the night before -- it occurred to the non-Romney candidates that they might want to train their fire on the man who's up 20 points in the New Hampshire polls. Their focus trailed off as the debate progressed, but Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich did manage to produce a revealing exchange at the outset regarding Romney's motivations to enter politics.

The Great Granite State Getaway
January 08, 2012

ROCHESTER, N.H. -- Four years ago, the Republican candidates for president met for a final debate before the New Hampshire primary. Mitt Romney had been the presumed frontrunner but was no longer -- he had been embarrassed by Mike Huckabee in Iowa and was facing a resurgent John McCain in New Hampshire. Yet his rivals could not resist going after him, even in his weakened state. They ganged up on Romney in a tag team, taking turns with their shots and cackling in glee whenever someone else landed a hit.

New SC Numbers Show It’s All About NH
January 06, 2012

Today brought three new South Carolina polls:  Romney leads 37 to 19 for Santorum and 18 for Gingrich in this CNN/Time poll. Romney leads 31 to 24 for Santorum and 24 for Gingrich in this ARG poll. And Romney leads 27 to 24 for Santorum and 18 for Gingrich in this Rasmussen poll. The numbers jump around, but they all point overwhelmingly to the same conclusion: The only way Romney is going to lose South Carolina—and therefore earn himself a bona fide fight—is if the Santorum-Gingrich vote gets consolidated.