Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"New Hampshire open to Hagel bid"

There's another good piece in the Lincoln JournalStar by Don Walton. The article he quotes and refers to is here at the Concord Monitor. Here is a section from Walton's piece:
New Hampshire beckons.

Its curtain-raising 2008 Republican presidential primary is wide open, the Concord Monitor suggested in an editorial last week.

“And we’ll see if Sen. Chuck Hagel, the potential GOP candidate most helped by last Tuesday’s spurning of the Bush war policy, can light a spark,” the newspaper stated.

Hagel hasn’t even decided yet whether to strike the match, but a decision is coming in January or shortly thereafter.

A little pre-primary primer from the Monitor, the moderate newspaper voice in New Hampshire:

* Independent voters may choose either the Republican or Democratic ballot and can be the decisive factor, as they were in 2000 when they flocked to John McCain.

* McCain, who has veered away from the role of “maverick truth-teller” and is a supporter of the war, is not the McCain of 2000.

* Charisma counts, and Rudy Giuliani could catch a Republican wave.

* “The personal connection still matters most in New Hampshire,” where candidates must make their pitch and answer questions in living rooms, diners and town hall gatherings.

Lesson: If you want to win New Hampshire, you have to come. And return. And return. And return.

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