The Battle for New Hampshire

Elizabeth Edwards Says John Did It For John


It certainly seemed last night that John Edwards had thrown his lot in with Barack Obama last night in his attempt to get Hillary Clinton out of the race as soon as possible, defending the Illinois senator fiercely against her criticisms.

But Elizabeth Edwards said that her husband did it, Drago-like, for himself. MORE …

Trippi on Losing It


The best line of the night has to go to Joe Trippi, the Edwards advisor who used to work for Howard Dean.

When asked if Hillary Clitnon’s venting about change had reached an anger level approximate to the Dean scream, he said this:

“I think tonight, change won, and the status quo lost it.” MORE …

Penn Says What He Thinks the Press Won’t


The enormous cluster of reporters surrounding Mark Penn dispelled any question as to whether last night’s debate was all about Hillary Clinton. It was.

With four Clinton spinners on the spin room floor (Penn, media consultant Mandy Grunwald, and spokesmen Jay Carson and Phil Singer) the Clinton campaign was clearly imbued with what Barack Obama might call “the fierce urgency of now.”

Here’s what Penn was saying, essentially continuing Clinton’s assault on her opponents’ change credentials. MORE …

Obama’s Rose Garden Debate


This was not a particularly good deba
te for Barack Obama. Of course, the same was said after many of the previous debates, and it didn’t stop him from scoring a clear Iowa victory.

Throughout most of tonight’s 90-minute affair, Obama faded into the background while Hillary Clinton confidently asserted herself with a series of specific policy riffs that buttressed her campaign’s themes of preparation and experience. MORE …

Edwards Sides With Obama, Clinton Gets Really Mad


Hillary Clinton finally got angry.

Less than a week after losing her front-runner status with a crushing loss in the Iowa caucuses, she found herself fighting for her political life on the stage of Saint Anselm College.

She went directly after Barack Obama, attacking him for what she said were inconsistent positions on health care and funding for the war in Iraq, and arguing that he had not received sufficient vetting. MORE …

Debate Summary: McCain Doesn’t Falter, Romney Brutalized


Twenty years ago, Bob Dole slipped up in a debate on the Saturday night before the New Hampshire primary — he refused to sign a “no new taxes” pledge—and saw the momentum from his Iowa triumph promptly fizzle out, handing a campaign-saving come-from-behind victory to George H.W. Bush.

Mitt Romney, whose once overwhelming New Hampshire support is collapsing in the wake of his poor Iowa showing, entered tonight’s debate in dire need of a similar stumble by John McCain, whose resurgent candidacy could extinguish Romney’s with a victory in three nights.

He didn’t get it. MORE …

Rudy Aims Low, Locals Fret


This morning, Rudy Giuliani addressed a conference of robotics enthusiasts at a competition called “For Inspiration & Recognition of Science and Technology.” (“A unique varsity sport of the mind,” reads the competition literature. “Designing and building a robot is a fascination real-world professional experience.”)

While Giuliani did receive a warm response, the attendees were ultimately there to see robots fight.

An hour or so later, Giuliani gave a speech at a packed house in Litchfield. But it was a house. MORE …

Don’t Arrive Late for a John McCain Event


John McCain was left for dead six months ago. Things have changed just a little.

The Town Hall in Peterborough, the picturesque village that inspired Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” fits 640 people. But by 11:45 on Saturday morning, 15 minutes before McCain’s only scheduled event for the day was to start, there were more than 800 people packed inside—and the angry fire marshal was at the front doors, shouting away more than a hundred more local residents and media members, a throng that spilled into the narrow downtown street. MORE …

Rudy Says He’s Going to Do Well (Enough) in New Hampshire


TI managed to grab Rudy Giuliani as he left a robotics and technology competition at the Southern New Hampshire University this morning in Manchester (he rode in on a Segway) and asked him about Hillary Clinton seeming to embrace the same February 5 strategy that he has been pursuing for months. Giuliani gave a short chuckle and said the strategies were not the same. He described his own campaign’s thinking as follows: “It’s no more complicated than this. There are 28 primaries left, whoever wins 15 or 20 of them is going to be the candidate. You cannot do it with one primary, the question is, we believe, you have to be competitive in many states and that is the strategy that we have followed.” MORE …

Bill Clinton and the Obama-Vetting Argument


Are the Clintons really in any position to lecture Democratic voters about how irresponsible of them it would be to nominate Barack Obama?

For months, that’s the game they’ve been playing—warning, in ways subtle and overt, that Obama is a novice candidate who will be mercilessly chewed up by the big, bad Republicans. MORE …

The Battle for New Hampshire