Obama Picks Up the Other Half of a New Hampshire Power Couple

120607 obama Obama Picks Up the Other Half of a New Hampshire Power CoupleNot huge, but this is a good pick-up for Obama in NH:

Gary Patton, the Democratic municipal chairman in Hampton, New Hampshire and the husband of the Rockingham County Democratic chairwoman, had been grappling with a choice between Hillary Clinton—who has a long list of official endorsements in the area—and Barack Obama. He’s chosen Obama. Patton uses his column in the latest edition of a local newspaper, The Atlantic News, to explain his endorsement. He defends Hillary against suggestions that her personality is “unpleasant,” but then writes:

In my mind, however, a more serious charge can be leveled against Hillary Clinton—not only is she experienced, she is too experienced and partisan to change the long-standing, ingrained political warfare between Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C. Clinton has been part and parcel of that stalemate for many years. The impasse is reminiscent of the endless trench warfare of World War I, where despite repeated infantry assaults by both sides, the front lines barely moved. Clinton’s partisan political experiences and mind set could perpetuate the political deadlock of which the American public has long since tired.

In New Hampshire, it has been news just about anytime Hillary hasn’t won the endorsement of a party leader or elected official. One of her first acts as a candidate was to hire virtually the entire New Hampshire Democratic Party staff, hoping their personal and professional connections would compel other influential Democrats to sign on. Her campaign has also assigned high-level staffers to court desired endorsers. Patton’s Hampton, one of the state’s few coastal towns, has around 15,000 people—good-sized by New Hampshire standards. His wife, Lenore, previously endorsed Obama, but the Pattons have split in their endorsement decisions before.