Monday, January 26, 2004

NH Predictions

Kerry 29
Dean 27
Edwards 17
Clark 11
Lieberman 9
Kucinich 5
Sharpton 1
Other 1

More stories from the campaign trail in New Hampshire. Check out the links to the left for previous campaign stories.

Signs, signs, everywhere signs
DPW workers in Concord were seen pulling up signs around town this morning. But just a few hours later, new Dean signs were up everywhere, heavily borrowing from Dennis Kucinich: "Hope not Fear: Vote Dean."
While walking to the Wesley Clark mini-rally this afternoon in Concord, I noticed a man standing at the corner of Main and Centre streets with a sign that read: "ANNOY THE MEDIA: VOTE DEAN." He got a lot of honks.
Speaking of Kucinich, he was the butt of jokes all afternoon on the Howie Carr show - which got worse after he cancelled his appearance for Tuesday. But Kucinich verbally spanked ED Hill on FoxNews this morning by sarcastically asking her if she was sick of talking about polls when the people wanted to talk about lost jobs and lack of health care.
"Well sure," ED replied.
"Why are you doing it then?" Kucinich asked.

Blocked from the Dean rally
In Manchester, Howard Dean's rally was so packed at the Palace Theatre this afternoon that people were standing around outside in the freezing cold. Dean's security allowed press people into the theater entrance. But theater security refused to allow the press into the "over capacity" theater. Left standing outside: Channel 31 from Lebanon, WTTK radio, newspaper reporters, including yours truly, and other television networks which were not identifiable.
Over at the Holiday Inn across the street, Talk Radio News Service [TRNS] was hunkered down in the foyer, giving 20 different talk radio hosts the chance to talk to some of the pols campaigning through the Granite State. According to Adam Sharon, an organizer of the "Radio Row," this was the first time TRNS had done a primary. They have done political conventions and inaugurations in the past.
"It has been wonderful," he said, noting that there were no technical failures. "It's been pretty amazing - what we promised, we delivered."
Just finishing up their show were Deb Hamel-Kearney and John O. from "Morning News w/John & Deb," a Keene-based radio show. The duo said the political scene in New Hampshire keeps them busy.
"We have a lot going on," John O. said. "We have state elections, the primary ... one year the governor's doing the budget. The next year, he is campaigning."
Hamel-Kearney said she got into talk radio after running for office. At the time, John O. was doing a solo show. But after Hamel-Kearney lost her race by a few votes, John offered her a co-host slot.
On the primary, John O. said, "New Hampshire has a level of integrity. People here are really hands on. They ask the important questions and [can detect] the b.s. factor."
Like a lot of duos on talk radio, the two have divergent views: Deb comes from the right; John from the left. But that doesn't mean they fight a lot.
"I come to this show not as a radio person but from the Chamber of Commerce," Hamel-Kearney said. "We get along with each other because we understand that there is a middle ground. We're not cookie-cutter. We ask stuff. We ask what people think."
"Morning News w/John & Deb" can be heard on WKBK 1290 AM from 5:30 to 9 a.m.

Clark talks quick
Wesley Clark was over 40 minutes late to his sparsely attended rally in Eagle Square in Concord. He spoke for about two minutes, signed some autographs, and then ducked into a local deli for some coffee.
Clark's voice was hoarse - which is probably why his speech was so short.
Behind cheers of "Wes will win," Clark said, "Tomorrow is the big day. We've been working. We've been waiting. We've been meeting people all up and down this state. This is the first election I have been in because I'm not a politician. I am a leader and I need your support to bring a higher form of leadership to Washington."
Clark said because he was a southerner and not a part of the Washington establishment, he could win the White House.
"You need someone who is not an insider," he said. "The problem is in Washington and I'm not part of that problem. I'm part of the solution."
Clark said he would work to end the control special interests have over Washington and make the nation better for future generations.
"Yes, we can do it," he said. "Let's get 'em out there and do it. Go knock on doors."
Seen at the Clark rally: Washington Post columnist and super-liberal E.J. Dionne and The Nation writer and FoxNews analyst David Corn.
Both Corn and Dionne were quite friendly, chatting with people at the rally. Dionne said he was doing a story about the candidates' military service. However, he quickly disappeared after we were approached by a Clark fan who overhead Dionne and myself discussing Clark's possible involvement with the Waco debacle. The fan called it a conspiracy theory but then went on a tirade about how the Bush administration allowed the Sept. 11 attacks to occur. He pointed to a Web site by Alex Jones called "Prison Planet". Its byline?
"The earth is being turned into a prison planet."
I found Dionne's behavior to be a little strange. As a reporter, I am curious about everything I see and hear and I like getting into conversations with people who might have differing views or theories. Dionne, walking away with the look of fear on his face, instead of engaging in the conversation, was a bit peculiar. What's there to be afraid of? Aren't you a little curious about these things? Why be afraid of voters with outlandish viewpoints? Nah, too inside-the-beltway to look beyond the cocktail party safety conversation net. Too bad. The Clark kid seemed well-briefed on his theories.
Also at the Clark rally were Dick Osborne, the former owner of WKXL 1450, the city's oldest radio station, former Nader 2000 activist Carol Hargrove, and Arnie Alpert, a progressive activist with the American Friends Service Committee. Alpert was handing out leaflets to the media about a new New Hampshire Fair Trade Campaign statement supported by 30 different state organizations. The theme? The majority of Americans are critical of the government's trade policy.
"The failed NAFTA model must be replaced by new rules that respect workers, the environment, and human rights both here and abroad," Alpert stated on the press release.

Clark admits to targeting civilians in Balkans
Wow, this is huge: ["Democracy Now! Exclusive: Wesley Clark Admits Targeting Civilians In Yugoslavia"]. Now, will anyone have the balls to ask him whether he helped train the ATF to kill the Branch Davidians at Waco when he was in command of Ft. Hood? The silence is deafening.

Dirty tricks
Dean blames Kerry, Democrats worry about Republicans: ["Dean Hits Kerry's Judgment, Raises 'Dirty Tricks'"].
Dean spokesman Jay Carson said Monday that New Hampshire supporters of Dean had received phony campaign material by fax and e-mail that distorted Dean's positions. In Michigan, the campaign blamed Kerry allies for a flyer it said had lied and distorted Dean's stands on environment, energy, gun rights, the death penalty and higher education.
And then there is this from Karen Hicks of the Dean campaign on Sunday:
Today, Karen Hicks, Dean For America's New Hampshire State Director, made the following statement:
"In recent days, our campaign has been hearing reports from New Hampshire voters that they are receiving:
- phone calls early in the morning and late at night;
- "robo calls" from soulless machines, not calls from considerate people;
- calls claiming to originate from the Dean campaign but do not;
- and even harassing calls and bigoted messages.
Let me be very clear. The Dean campaign does not call New Hampshire homes before 8:30 am or after 8:30 pm. Our calls are made by respectful people, not droning machines. Our callers tell the truth.
We call on the other campaigns to make the same commitments. We are grateful for the extraordinary engagement of New Hampshire's people in this race. But our campaign believes that everyone deserves some peace, some respect, and a truthful message."

'Shoot Quayle'
I remember hearing about Kerry dropping this line. It was pretty funny: ["Kerry's 'joke' could haunt him"].

After NH
The Boston Globe has reporters in future primary states:
Yvonne Abraham reports from Missouri, where all eyes are now: ["Momentum may be key in Missouri"]. Rumors have been floating around the Web that Gephardt is on the verge of endorsing John Kerry. No announcement yet even if FoxNews reported it. Another pundit suggested that Kerry could be dangling the VP slot in front of Gephardt. Let's hope this rumor isn't true.
Rick Klein's in South Carolina, where Clyburn plays coy: ["Clyburn plays S.C. kingmaker in quest for black vote"].

Matthews says war was wrong
["Chris Matthews: 'The French were right'"]. It was a little strange seeing MSNBC's Chris Matthews backtracking on his attacks against Dean. Matthews, and members of his panel last week, pummelled Dean for his screech after the Iowa Caucuses. Howard Fineman was particularly vicious. Shockingly, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough defended Dean on the panel. But now, Matthews has had a change of heart. And on Imus this morning, he admitted he - and the media - were wrong to attack Dean for the screech.
I have always thought that Matthews was a big John Kerry fan. I watch his show a lot and repeatedly I have heard him say, 'Where is John Kerry ... why is Kerry faltering ... etc.' So, it really wasn't any surprise that Dean got attacked by him. But this turnaround is a bit weird.

Polls elsewhere
In Michigan, according to EPIC/MRA with Gephardt out, Kerry shows strength: John Kerry with 37 percent, Howard Dean with 14 percent, Wesley Clark and John Edwards at 10 percent, Joe Lieberman with 5 percent, the Rev. Al Sharpton with 3 percent, and Dennis Kucinich at 1 percent. Michigan is a big fair trade state. Kucinich should be higher.
American Research Group posts new numbers in Arizona, Oklahoma and South Carolina: In Arizona, Kerry has 24 percent, Clark has 21 percent, Edwards comes in at 15 percent, Dean sinks to 10 percent, and Lieberman is at 7 percent. In Oklahoma, Clark has 23 percent, Edwards has 18 percent, Kerry comes in at 17 percent, Lieberman at 10 percent, Dean at 8 percent, and Kucinich and Sharpton at 1 percent. In South Carolina, Edwards has 21 percent, Kerry at 17 percent, Sharpton at 15 percent, Clark at 14 percent, Dean at 9 percent, Lieberman at 5 percent, and Kucinich at 1 percent.

Other stuff
How about this?: ["Top Ten Responses To -- 'I Love Kucinich But He Can't Win'"]
Ralph Nader "pretty close" to making up his mind: ["Ralph Nader considering Presidential run"].
Is this a great prank or what?: ["White African-American boy not 'black' enough for award"].
Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown better get a hold of this quick: ["Report says Oakland pimps getting younger"].