Showing posts with label John DiStaso. Show all posts
Showing posts with label John DiStaso. Show all posts

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Calling Bullsh*t On The Union Leader


6 weeks ago we wrote about Democratic candidate Mike Gravel being excluded from a June 3rd New Hampshire debate sponsored by the Union Leader (UL) newspaper and CNN.

The UL and CNN stated that they excluded Mike Gravel from the debate because "Gravel is a 3rd tier candidate nut".

Or something like that.

As New Hampshire's chattering classes are scared silly that the Granite State is going to lose its first-in-the-nation status after '08 why in God's name would the UL exclude a legitimate candidate (a former U.S. Senator who has filed the correct paperwork, participated in at least 2 other high profile debates and who is fully on the campaign trail) from their debate?

The UL's decision to exclude Gravel (or at least not formally invite him to debate) seriously jeopardizes NH Secretary of State Bill Gardner's work to keep New Hampshire relevant.

If New Hampshire is the last true "retail" state where "unknown" candidates can compete on the strength of their ideas then a candidate who campaigns in NH must expect to be able to campaign in a Union Leader debate as well.

They must.

Otherwise you undercut the legitimacy of New Hampshire as a retail state.

Question to John DiStaso: How much of a "must-read" will your little column continue to be at the national level if New Hampshire's Primary gets gutted? Time for you to be nervous? Maybe get out on the campaign Trail? We're just saying.

Which brings us all the way around to yesterday's Union Leader editorial.

You've got to give the Union Leader editorial board credit - they are hemorrhaging influence and political clout but they still write as if it was the grand old days of the 1940s.

Yesterday's UL editorial actually had the stones to criticize Clinton and Obama for not participating in the same debate that the UL won't let Gravel participate in:

That is going to be the nature, we suspect, of what will be the longest presidential campaign ever. It is going to be different. It is likely to ebb and flow. It is likely, therefore, for the candidates to at times assume that the electorate is a lot more familiar with their campaigns and stands on issues than is actually the case.

New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary will again play a crucial role, but it also will change. The push by so many other places to crowd us out has already meant that candidates' time is more and more divided, with a lot of it being spent elsewhere.

The two best-known Democrats, for instance, draw big crowds when they are here, but that doesn't mean many likely primary voters are clued in on their positions or nuances thereof, the clarification of which will be crucial in this crowded and well-groomed field.

So we can't fathom why Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are saying "no" to giving a wide New Hampshire audience the first real chance to see them in debate with other contenders here on Sunday, June 3.
Like we said earlier. Stones.

We certainly hope that Obama and Clinton decide join the debate in June. INCLUSION is a good thing for NH's first-in-the-nation status.

Therefore, we think that the Union Leader should just shut its mouth on this issue.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Granite State Quickie: DiStaso To Take On Bosses(?), A Huckabee House Party & Why John Edwards Makes Us Feel The Way Graham Greene Must Have Felt


The Granite State's political class is in a tizzy over maintaining New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation status.

With good reason.

And while we feel that Wyoming is a far greater threat to NH's power than Super Tuesday (kudos to eyeon08 for recognizing this angle before us), it's going to take time to sort this all out.

But New Hampshire's Governor Lynch isn't taking any chances and has already begun circling the wagons, which he did last night with a panel discussion at St. Anselm's College on the importance of first-in-the-nation status.

The Nashua Telegraph's Albert McKeon has the story here.

Note the quote by John DiStaso, political scribe at the Manchester Union Leader, bemoaning the potential impact of Super Tuesday:

"Granite State voters can thus no longer do what they always do, said DiStaso, and back long-shots."
New Hampshire loves a long-shot, no question about it.

Imagine our surprise then when we learned that Democratic Presidential Candidate (and long-shot) Mike Gravel has been banned from participating in a New Hampshire debate being hosted by CNN, WMUR-TV and The Manchester Union Leader.

A long-shot banned from participating in the Primary process by DiStaso's own news organization?

Drudge is running the story, but can it be true?

If New Hampshire is serious about keeping its reputation as a "retail politics state" (and thus its first-in-the-nation status) we cannot imagine why anyone would ban a two-term Senator from participating in a debate.

We imagine DiStaso can't either. Truly.

And we expect that at this very moment he is chatting with all parties to insure that NH remains a place where long-shots can be heard. Truly.

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Last night we attended a Mike Huckabee house party in Bedford at the home of Doug and Shannon McGinley.

About 75 people showed up to listen to the former Arkansas Governor give a stump speech and take questions on National Security, charter schools, taxes and government spending.

The former southern fat boy was a huge hit with the (very) Republican audience.

For NH Primary voters upset with McCain-Feingold, Mitt Flops and Hiz Honor's liberal social stances (as well as the fact that Rudy is going to build nothing but a token campaign for the NH Primary, THAT story is starting to STICK) Huckabee is a very attractive alternative.

We LOVE the guy. We've been saying it for months.

But don't ask us, ask the numerous Republican Party officials and activists who showed up to chat with the Governor and have their picture taken.

Huck's campaign is (more or less) in place in NH and now he's going to get to introduce himself to voters.

Money Primary? Yeah, we know.

But we still feel we'll be telling several in the Gang of 500 "we told you so" in late July.

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Today we attended John Edward's speech on ending global poverty at St. Anselm's college.

John Edwards is one of those candidates that makes us wish we only had to vote with our heart and not with our head.

The statistics Edwards rattled off about poverty in America (and the world) are revolting - 37 million Americans live in poverty, 47 million Americans with no health insurance, 1,000 high schools in America where 1/2 the students will not graduate.

On and on.

And all this in a country where we are able to muster the resources to pay basketball star Kobe Bryant $2,000 dollars per SHOT on the basketball court (total yearly salary/total shots per season). That's per shot. Not per basket.

Throw in the fact that America, which represents 5% of the world's population, consumes 25% of the world's resources, and you begin to understand why us consumers have such a serious national security problem on our hands.

What's the the total of our defense budget vs. everyone else?

Exactly.

To combat global poverty Edwards proposed a 4-part plan - 1. Make primary education available for the whole world, 2. Massive support for preventative health care in the developing world, 3. Expand political and economic rights across the globe and 4. a Presidential Cabinet-level Secretary to handle fight poverty and coordinate the programs.

Our heart loves Edwards (and so will Democratic Primary voters). Truly.

But our head is not so sure.

It's not that we are knee-jerk anti-tax (although the 33% bracket is a BITCH)

It's that if Edwards (or anyone) is going to go on a crusade to save the world (and we love crusades) we are willing to help pay for the crusade IF someone managing the crusade can explain to us where and why our tax money will be better spend on this crusade as opposed to (failed) past crusades.

The devil is in the details. And we got the sense today listening to Edwards that the details are still being worked out.

The good news is that there is still a long time to go.

We look forward to hearing more from Edwards. Our hearts and our heads.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

McCain's NH Team Welcomes Tancredo's NH Team To Their Neighborhood, Fight Breaks Out Over Use Of The Word "Illegal"


DiStaso breaks Big Fish. GreenMountainPolitics1 breaks Guppies.

Today we learned that McCain's NH Campaign Office, located on the 3rd floor of 250 Commercial Street in Manchester, has a new neighbor.

Tom Tancredo, who is also running for the Republican nomination for President, is taking over office space right across the hall from McCain.

Our spy, who saw Team Tancredo stringing Razor Wire along the hallway, was told by Tancredo's campaign staff, "Good walls make good neighbors."

Yikes.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Barack Obama's New Hampshire Office "Opening"


NH campaign managers have it tough (so do the communications directors who clean-up after them).

Every Wednesday afternoon John DiStaso, on deadline for his must-read Thursday Granite Status column, starts calling NH campaign managers to see who's got what.

Good little campaign managers, who know the routine cold, have plenty of exclusive and tasty nuggets for DiStaso to gorge on. Everybody gets happy and everybody gets fed.

Bad little campaign managers, who are still figuring out how the NH media works, panic when they realize (usually late Wednesday afternoon) that they don't have anything for DiStaso because they didn't plan correctly.

Which forces John to go hungry. And John doesn't like to go hungry.

So bad little campaign managers do what they do and feed DiStaso artificial nuggets.

And hope that no one looks too closely.

It's not fact. It's not fiction. It's a Quick Take. Generally tasteless, meaningless and not very good for you.

Case in point, this artificial nugget from yesterday's Quick Takes:

Barack Obama's New Hampshire campaign today will open its state campaign headquarters at 60 Rogers St., Manchester. It's described as a "big, bright office" of about 8,000 square feet in an old office building tucked between Hayward and Harvard streets.
The only accuracy in this artificial nugget is the street address and the word "bright" used as an adjective.

We actually took a quick drive up to Obama's "open" office yesterday. We thought we would introduce ourselves, get a bumper sticker and congratulate his staff on being the first Big Six office to open in NH.

Not to be.

We arrived at Obama's campaign office at 3pm to find it locked tight, empty of any office furniture and lit only by sunlight (the nugget got that right).

No staff. No phones ringing off the hook. No excitement. And you can forget bumper stickers.

In other words, no open office.

We would also point out that there is no way that Obama's office is 8,000 square feet.

Team Hillary should call bullshit on that.

Obama's NH office is "open" only if it's being used as a holding area for visitors to the Probation Office located across the hall.

We hate artificial nuggets. And we're still hungry.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Chris Dodd Goes To Keene! (actually he doesn't but we do learn how professional Dodd's campaign staff really is) And Other Odds & Ends


Some things we would like you to remember as the New Hampshire Primary hits warp speed -

The Gang of 500 likes The Big 6 - McCain, Giuliani, Romney, Clinton, Edwards and Obama.

GreenMountainPolitics1 likes the Big 4 - McCain, Huckabee, Edwards and Dodd.

The Union Leader likes Chris Dodd and gives him good press (which he deserves).

GreenMountainPolitics1 does to (which everybody deserves).

We think the fact that Senator Dodd's campaign staff sent us a personal and timely email notifying us of today's Keene event cancellation bodes well for the Senator quickly moving out of single digits in a state where everyone knows everyone and everybody talks. We think that RUDEy might want to Note Dodd's NH behavior. Even if we are only a humble Blogspot blog.

Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (a/k/a Kos) and Bull Dog Pundit (of Ankle Biting Pundits) believe that Hillary Clinton's Iraq Answer "Problem" is new news. So does a lot of dead weight in the Gang of 500.

GreenMountainPolitics1 says, "Only if you consider 'new' news something we've been writing about for 4 months." Please give the link time to load, there is a lot of "new" news there.

John Edwards likes this sort of talk.

The Dean of the New Hampshire Press corp, John DiStaso, writes in his latest Granite Status column of the sounds of silence coming from McCain's NH operation.

GreenMountainPolitics1 believes that McCain's NH Campaign Manager, Jim Martin, and his Field Director, Bryan Bernys, know exactly what they are doing. We expect the two of them to put on a clinic during Cindy McCain's visit tomorrow.

Finally, we look forward to meeting New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson for the first time at a house party in Tilton tonight. We plan on asking him to sign our Bible, The Way To Win.

We also plan on asking him if the ghost of Wen Ho Lee has chased him all the way to the Granite State.

Scary!