Dispatches from NH Primary

Sunday report, Feb 7

The Lisa Wexler Show takes it on the road, accompanied by producer Danielle Costa and board op James Forte

Sunday Notes:

Rubio

Crowds build at MCkelvie Intermediate School, Bedford NH to wait for Rubio. Word is 1100 people showed to Nashua for pancake breakfast early this AM. Rubio joked about last night’s weak performance at debate.

Packed crowd in Bedford, tons of press. People here to observe, not all committed to him, but many are. Rubio says his message is for people living paycheck to paycheck. Talks about student loans , parental values, strong families, undoing damage of Obama. Says we have a selfish generation of leadership and we all may have to retire at 68.

Rubio says Obama divides the country , but he won’t. He will be the president
of people who disagree with him. Memorable line: “I have a debt to America. I will never be able to repay”

Crowd listening but not roaring. Sounds like another stump speech but performed well. Rubio looks young, fit, energetic.

When asked about Supreme Court ,Rubio says he wants more judges like Thomas and Scalia. Crowd goes for that answer.

Kasich

Onward to smaller but still sizable crowd for John Kasich at Nashua Comm College. Kasich is friendly and approachable enough to take a picture with me as he enters. Patient, too.

The governor opens with stories of addiction, cancer , personal stories of pain and hope.
Hundreds of volunteers from Ohio arrived in the state to support him. I’ve spoken with at least 6, each of whom came because they think he is doing a great job in Ohio. All are men.
Memorable line :”We have to slow down because we have so many people around us who are so lonely and they live right next to us. Can’t we slow down and listen ? ”

Kasich takes questions from the crowd. On abortion, he says the only exceptions he believes in are rape, incest and the life of the mother. He turns around the answer to stress his support of pay equality and child care for working moms. Throws in that this issue is not a litmus test for him in choosing judges.

Against the wall stand Mike Barnicle and John Heillman. I take a picture .

As I leave, my reflection is that John
Kasich reminds me of Henry Fonda in Gore Vidal’s “The Best Man”. He would be a fine president, but he probably won’t make it .

Bill Clinton

By 3, we are at Milford MS, waiting for Bill Clinton . No chairs for anyone except a few of us lucky press. Feet and back starting to ache after standing all day- this kind of thing requires a special kind of stamina. Or flats . I end up sitting on the floor with my back against the wall. Apparently I started a trend.

Sizable crowd , guessing around 150. Music notable for anthems of powerful women. “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson seems an apt fit.

Chris Matthews in the room, leaning against the wall.

Bill Clinton enters. He is gaunt, pale, white- haired and hoarse. But he’s still got it. When he starts speaking, you can hear a pin drop.
Memorable line: “When I got elected it worked out pretty well for you , didn’t it?

“When you realize you have more yesterdays than tomorrows you want for other people to live their dreams.”

Pres. Clinton talking about bringing down cost of health care, refinancing student loans, lots of platitudes.
Defends Muslims in America.
Defends gay rights.
Says next president will have 1-3 seats to place on the Supreme Court. Says Hillary wants to reverse Citizen United case, and will go to a constitutional amendment to reverse it.

Cleverly takes on Bernie Sanders without ever mentioning his name. Not once-, I was paying close attention. Bill goes after Bernie re looting info from DNC. Says Bernie drove the car away after the DNC left the keys in it ..
Bill says Hillary believes in going after bad actors in the system, not in changing the system . As opposed to the opponent, who is unrealistic.

Memorable line: “The New Hampshire I knew would not have voted for me if I had done what the opponent did. ”

Closing theme: “Hillary always makes something good happen”.

After an hour, in which I admit to closing mr eyes here and there, we take ourselves to the Radisson to partake in a group media Super Bowl party.

Hoping snow will not get in the way for tomorrow’s festivities. Broadcast starts 4pm.

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