New Hampshire Democrats: Syrup sucking squirrel watchers?

Bill Clinton was in town the other day and reiterated his support for New Hampshire’s current primary status. Taking the liberty of speaking for his wife as well, he said he opposed adding another caucus or primary between Iowa and New Hampshire.

The people in this state who have any real interest in the political scene need to brace themselves: sooner or later, New Hampshire will be relegated to the political back row where most people think it belongs.

It must have been 20 years ago that I listened to one of the SNL news commentators rant about New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary status. To paraphrase, he wondered why the fate of the Union should be left to a bunch of “syrup sucking squirrel watchers?”

It was a good question. And very funny. I think I rolled off the sofa laughing so hard that I hurt my stomach. In any case, that probably wasn’t the first shot over the bow, but there have been many more since then. Call it unrelenting.

The New Hampshire primary works. “Retail politics” has a place in our electoral system and New Hampshire is the best example of it. It matters that voters can go to a primary “event” and meet a candidate drinking a Coke in someone’s backyard along with a grand total of six other voters and ask a question about health care or Iran and get a response that is not entirely scripted or weenied into a meaningless TV sound bite.

That opportunity certainly means something to me, and it means a great deal to many other voters in the Granite State. I realize that it must seem merely quaint to outsiders, a relic of a political process that started dying the day political consultants realized they could swing more votes via the mass media than by shaking cold New Hampshire hands or kissing our colicky babies.

Like the unrelenting floodwaters that pounded us last spring and summer, the pinky ring crowd, the media moguls and political consultants will not go away. It is inevitable that the damn will give way and that New Hampshire’s political clout will be washed into the mainstream and be lost forever.

It would be a damn shame if we let that happen.

A year ago we said Bill Clinton’s affairs were still an issue.

It was just a matter of time, wasn’t it?

First Trump brought it up and today (1/3/2016) one of New Hampshire’s GOP lawmakers brought it up during Hillary’s campaign visit to Derry. Bill Clinton’s affairs are still on the minds of a lot of voters old enough to remember.

Having lived in New Hampshire for 30+ years, I can vouch for the fact that the state’s legislature is much too large, which means too many weird people get to play politics or just generally make asses of themselves in public. That’s what Katherine Prudhomme O’Brien, a GOP legislator from Rockingham did today. She made an ass of herself. Unfortunately, many voters have similar questions about Hillary’s public response to Bill Clinton’s affairs.

CNN reported that “O’Brien’s shouts were inaudible to most in the audience because a chorus of Clinton supporters repeatedly booed her, but after the event, the lawmaker said she was trying to ask the 2016 candidate about her husband’s sexual impropriety decades ago.”

We all knew this day would come and we should expect more circus events like O’Brien’s in the months ahead. The best that can be said is that Hillary knew this was going to come up during the campaign and handled it by shutting down the questioner.

About a year ago I wrote a post for the Hillary Clinton Quarterly about Bill’s affairs and pointed out that our public recollection of the impeachment hearings and his pathetic testimony was not going away. Certainly not during Hillary’s presidential campaign.

To save you the trouble of looking up the story, here is what I wrote:

Bill Clinton’s Affairs are Still an Issue

I wish I could forget about Monica Lewinsky, the stained blue dress, the cigars, and BJs in the White House.

By and large, I was pretty happy with the Clinton Administration. After decades of mental abuse at the hands of Reagan and Bush Sr., it was a relief to have a president that I agreed with on most policy issues. Then there was the Hillary Factor — for me, obviously, another plus.

Then I read today the story of Genarlow Wilson, a young man serving 10 years in prison for having oral sex with a girl when they were teenagers.

According to the AP story, what Wilson did was against Georgia law. They have since changed the law, but at the time he committed the nasty deed, Georgia said it was a felony for teens to have consensual sex.

Now they want to release Wilson, but D.A. David McDade has released a video of Wilson having oral sex with a 15 year-old and intercourse with another teen at a New Year’s Eve party. Some are accusing McDade of distributing child pornography because the participants are underaged.

I am writing about Wilson not just because his case is troubling in its own right; I am bringing this up because it makes me think of Bill Clinton.

Consider this: Georgia sentenced a teen to 10 years in prison for a sexual act that Bill Clinton also committed in the White House. Sure, Monica was not a minor and was a very willing participant. But that’s besides the point. What’s relevant during this presidential season is that other voters will make a similar connection to Bill Clinton every time they read a story like the one about Wilson. And that’s not good news for Hillary.

Like many with my political beliefs, I have tried to forget about all this. “Bad judgment” is how I have excused Bill Clinton’s affairs. Pardoning him that way is easy when you look at his successor, who has shown such bad judgment on so many issues of far greater consequence.

Still, the images of Bill Clinton’s disgraceful behavior in the White House just won’t go away.

The most famous quotation from Bill Clinton’s presidency won’t be about health care, or Bosnia, or Iraq, or the economy. It will be the lie he told a national audience on January 28, 1998, when he said: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

 

Who’s old? Fallon can’t walk without falling down!

So Jimmy Fallon thinks Hillary Clinton is old? What is just a “wee bit” ironic is that Fallon can’t walk down the street without falling down and breaking something. I never heard of Hillary having this problem.

Part of the problem, according to Tonight Show insiders, is that Fallon drinks himself into a stupor, partly a reaction to all the “stress” of doing an hour-long talk show.

Anyone who has watched Hillary on the public stage knows she is a vigorous, animated, sober woman. Fallon should consider following her example, rather than his show biz cronies.