Wednesday, January 09, 2008

There’s an old New Hampshire Primary tradition that the eighteen registered voters way north in the state in the little village of Dixville Notch stay up and vote starting at one minute past midnight. In the morning, other voters and interested parties check the results as some sort of weathervane to the way the state might go. The vote from Dixville Notch this year:

John McCain 4 votes
Mitt Romney 2 votes
Rudy Giuliani 1 vote

Barack Obama 7 votes
John Edwards 2 votes
Bill Richardson 1 vote

The good folks in the Notch got it sort of right on the Republican side but didn’t take any part in the major news of the Primary, which was Hillary Clinton’s big come-back in the face of the Obama groundswell of support and adoration.

Hillary says she found her true voice here and it may be true. In the last couple of days she became far more personal; the breakthrough may well have been her hour-or-more sitdown with a group of voters talking one on one and softening a bit. I think the pressure on her as the sole female candidate to be strong and in command may have come over as hardness and lack of emotional access previously.

ABC News this morning had some revealing figures on the female vote in this state, a vote that Hillary has NOT been able to reliably call her own anywhere in the country (there was a memorable moment at a McCain public appearance before Iowa when one woman asked him “how can we beat The Bitch?). Women overwhelmingly voted for Hillary over Obama here, with the pro-Hillary percentages getting higher the older the women were. On the experience question, women voted for Hillary over Obama by a 71% to 5% landslide (these figures are all based on exit polls).

As for Obama, he’s still loved, but many of those supporters who created almost-unprecedented mobs at his public appearances may not have been old enough to vote, or didn’t vote, or love him but feel, as I do, that he would be better off as the vice-presidential candidate this time, in preparation for the big job in eight years.

Speaking of vice-president, I was surprised to see that there were two vice presidential candidates on the Democratic ballot and one on the Republican—and here he is:

This is Republican state Senator Jack Barnes, who represents Rockingham County where I now live. He’s an ultra-right wing businessman who owns a couple of area McDonald’s restaurants, and a staunch homophobe. He’s also entrenched. Fritz has had a number of contacts with him over the years--everything from meeting with him as part of a group advocating gay rights, watching him nod his head and say “uh-huh” a lot—and then do absolutely nothing; to writing him in protest of his policies and anti-gay votes, and getting either a dismissive reply or no reply at all.

When civil unions for gay men and lesbians were established here, Boston TV news shows had a clip of him practically purple with fury--foaming at the mouth would hardly be an exaggeration. Should Barnes be running for re-election in November, it will be a pleasure to cast my vote against him.

Romney never came close to winning this Primary. John McCain was the Republicans’ sweetheart from the get-go. As to Romney’s reaction, he indicated that we’ll have him to deal with in this race for a long time. Should his contributions dry up, he can just dig into his many, many millions. What’s interesting is that his media blitzes, outspending all the others by up to 700%, haven’t gotten him a win so far. On the honesty/credibility question, voters here chose McCain over Romney by a wide margin. The word is getting out and people are finally beginning to listen.

Significantly, a sizable majority of the state's Independent voters declared for the Democratic ballot.


A major January thaw is underway, and the new house is full of activity. This will almost certainly be the last day for the plasterers. They have a relatively small amount of the great room left to do, followed by a huge clean-up. J, the Aga engineer, arrived very early today and we met him at 7:15 up at the house. Fritz did a lot of cleaning and neatening in the kitchen area in preparation for him. The base had been prepared by the general contractor and the first heavy cast iron pieces began coming in about 7:30.

It will be a long day for J but, by the time he leaves, the Aga will be structurally complete, the propane feed hooked up, and the pilot light set and ready to go for whenever we actually get to move in and fire it up.

The Aga as of noon today, with J about to take a lunch break.

OH that AGA looks GREAT already! I bet the first kettle of water for tea will be fabulous! just think hot water all day! The B&B I stayed at in Scotland had a gorgeous huge RED Aga and I fell in love!

I agree with you about Obama - VP would be the perfect spot except I doubt he would take it with Clinton as the Pres... although what a coup - first woman pres and first black vp.

I was very moved to see her open up in the last 48 hours - its REALLY what we need to see from her - all of her friends have said that is her true side and were trying to get her to let go ... it started in that debate Sat night... i really liked the way she handled the "don't like you" question - and it was even better after that lame response from Obama - who looked as if he was about to fall over any minute from exhaustion - well, they all did (except the "golden boy" Edwards).
Jack that the guy whose McDonald's you pointed out to me....the one who came to the Center for a city party or something....and hob-nobbed with the gays.....THAT Jack Barnes?
Guess what I'm making for dinner guessed it! Complete with squash just the way my friend Fritz made 'em.
Isn't it all so satisfying as it comes together? As much mess, work and headache as it was when we rebuilt this house from the inside out, it was wonderful as it all started to come together!

Enjoy the process. I have no doubt you'll enjoy the finished product!
Poor ole Jack is the current face of the Republican Party. Bitter old men yearning for some past time when all was right with the world.

It's nice to see the house taking shape. Sometimes I wish I lived in New Hampshire, just so I could throw swanky parties for presidential candidates every four years. I'm not sure how many of my brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews (all New Hampshirites for the most part) even vote.
Mr Barnes has a sour puss on his face. why are virtous people so sour looking?
btw, will, jack barnes was on the republican ballot as a candidate for vice-president. when i saw it, i nearly puked on the pile of ballots. no...i haven't lost my mind & registered republican - i worked the election as assistant moderator.

kitchen & the aga looks amazing!!

mr barnes has a sour look on his face because he's just a nasty, sour old man.
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