Monday, January 26, 2004

Good on-the-ground reporting from NH

If you’re looking for the on-the-ground reporting that the news media seems to be embarassed by (why cover the story when you can just tell people what to think?), some great sites you should be reading:

  • DailyKos, as with Iowa, has great reporting by folks like Jerome Armstrong, Kos, and Tom Schaller.

  • The Gadflyer. The aforementioned Tom Schaller is posting longer observations from NH than what’s going on dKos. His report on Dean’s organization today is a must-read.

  • TalkingPointsMemo. Josh Marshall is my hero — and has been in NH for nearly a week covering all of the major candidates.


  1. With 2 registered Democrats with different last names living in the house, we're experiencing campaign overload tonight. At last count, we had something like 20 calls over the course of the day. We've been "called" by every Democratic muckety muck (not really sure how that's spelled) in the state. Even my 9 year old now checks the caller ID. "Hey Dad, Joe Lieberman is on the phone. Wanna talk to him?" We got 10 separate mailers today alone. I love the whole primary thing in general, it's what makes living in NH bearable for a Democrat, but this one is different. We've never had it so close, so wild and so fun!! Tonight's WMUR (also known here as WGOP) as Dean about 10 pts behind Kerry. Zogby has him at a statistical dead heat. The Boston stations fall somewhere in between. The most telling number though, is that there are still 18% reporting themselves as undecided on the night before the election. In other words, folks, this one's a crap shoot. I'll be at Dean headquarters in Salem tomorrow morning; they've asked a bunch of lawyers to be on call in case of "irregularities". (I feel like I've moved to Honduras or something, but I guess after Florida, one cannot be too careful.)

  2. Rick thanks for the link to The Gadfly!

  3. I don't get why Kerry is winning in NH. According Rick Klaus in the prior post, Dean's people have the state divided into 260 zones with almost as many district managers, they've spent 1.15 million in the state, they have thousands of volunteers.

    My only guess is that Dean needs to target older voters. The college kids go to rallies but don't go to the polls. If you're a college kid in NH and you're reading this and you haven't gone to the poll, get off your butt and go.

    Remember, Kerry=Gore. They're the same person. If you don't want a repeat of 2000, vote for someone who can actually get the _turnout_ necessary to beat Bush. If Dean has done anything, he's drummed up turnout.

  4. What I'm hearing from all over creation is that voters are two things: 1.) scared to death that Bush will win another four years and 2.) mildly hopeful that he can actually be beaten. All of the negative press on Dean has primary voters skittish and looking for a candidate that the consultants tell them can win in November, and that, naturally, is a bland, faceless technocrat with no discernable legislative record like John Kerry.

    Political consultants, the punditocracy, and now many primary voters all labor under the delusion that only by turning elections into marketing battles--Corn Flakes vs. Special K--can elections be won. Kerry makes the "ideal" candidate because there's no there there. He's empty, hollow, and relatively attack proof because there's nothing to attack.

    What all this does, of course, is further depress voter turnout and increase cynicism in the process, ceding more control of who wins and loses elections to paid political consultants and kingmakers in the media.

    Blah, blah, blah, I'm carrying on (sorry, Rick). Anyway, Kerry is a manufactured product--all shiny and plastic and retrofitted to appeal to mass consumers. Dean is not. Until voters start voting their hopes instead of their fears, this is the sort of candidate we'll continue to get.

  5. Funeral Service for the Dean Organization/Campaign to be filmed at 11:00 titled, "How a bunch of Teeny Boppers full of Anger and Hatred can tottaly wreck a campaign....simply by not voting as usual."

  6. Record turn-out at the polls yesterday, according to the Secretary of State. Here in my town, we ran out of official ballots at around 6:00 pm, with 2 hours to go. The registrars had never seen anything like it.

    Why did Kerry win? I have no clue, I would not have predicted it. I thought for sure that all the ex-Massachusetts residents here would send him a resounding message to go home, but I was wrong. The media spent all week talking incessantly about the "electability" issue. A lot of the undecideds based their vote on that, and nothing else. There were some pretty telling interviews from voters on that point on NHPR last evening. What is remarkable though, is that Dean really had started to bounce back in the past few days. 2-3 more days would have made a big difference, I suspect. He has struck a better chord with the messaging the last couple of times we heard him speak -- less war talk, more economy, jobs, education. He managed to remind me (not that I wanted to be reminded) that my tax cut did not come close to funding the increases in my local taxes (due to NCLB) and health care costs, not to mention the cost of gas and heating oil. Anyway, it was a wild day full of hopes for these not-so-teeny boppers; now it's on to another day, another state, another fight. We won't see a candidate again until 2007!!

    ps: At $1.15 million, that's over a buck a head, but it pales in comparison to the $3.1 million Bush paid to lose to McCain in 2000.

  7. Hey Jim I have a solution for your problem.

    If you are worried about your taxes on a local level, then why don't you start voting in people who believe in cutting taxes on a local level.

    Do you even vote local? Where I live... My taxes have not been raised. Michigan has lowered taxes and then kept them the same and has another scheduled tax cut coming up.

    Locally.. The Federal Tax Cut has been great appreciated.

    And since when do we 'berate' tax cuts just because we are not getting 'enough' of a tax cut? Last time I checked.. When we are mad about not enough tax cuts.. We should be asking FOR MORE tax cuts. And frankly. We could have another 2 percent reduction in our marginal income tax rate. (as long as) we also stop spending ton of money on Democratic/Liberal Domestic Spending.

  8. Jeff,

    Thank you so much for the laugh this morning. I was in a bad mood but your hilarious post lifted it immediately.

    First of all, you clearly know absolutely nothing about the way local taxes work in my state, how our got't is run and by whom, but I'd like to thank you nonetheless for the excellent advice about who to vote into office. Your insight there was illuminating.

    Second, given that the Republicans own Congress and the White House, I am wondering how it is you come to the conclusion that the Democrats & Liberals are over-spending domestically?

    But back to the point at hand, tax cuts are fine and dandy if they get to the people who need them most. Putting $300 into someone's pocket is darned near insulting when with your other hand you are cutting benefits or creating policies that cause costs of basic services and necessities to rise. I am privileged enough to forego my tax cut, my neighbor perhaps not so much. The difference between you & me is that I believe, as does Howard Dean, that government exists for, among other reasons, to protect the most vulnerable in our society -- and right now, we do a pretty poor job of that. (And before you jump down my throat, you'd better know that in this family we put our money where our mouth is, and that $300 tax cut went to our local community charities.)