Having just spent the weekend pounding on doors for his presidential candidate, Gov. Chris Christie, Somerset County Republican Party Chairman Al Gaburo supplied a good and apt description of New Hampshire politics.
“My wife and I each weekend try to figure out which movie or restaurant we want to go to,” said the party chair. “In New Hampshire, couples try to figure out whether they’re going to a political event with Christie, Bush or Rubio.
“For somebody who likes politics, it’s the Super Bowl,” he added.
The striking thing about the experience of the New Hampshire Primary is the intimacy of it and the value of each person in a fundamentally American process. In the words of Governor Christie to a roomful of Granite State voters a few days ago: “You are the most powerful people in the world right now.”
That American energy is overwhelming.
Gaburo grew up in Raritan, where every election was a street fight. You went door to door and sometimes you tripped over rival campaigns along the way.
The state of New Hampshire reminds Gaburo of Raritan.
It’s the same observation Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37) had of the state: the feeling of small town, local politics stretched across the length of a whole state – on a presidential-sized canvas.
“We used to deluge voters in Raritan and that’s the way people are feeling in New Hampshire right now,” said the chairman. “Just deluged by politics.
“You left there soaring high,” added Gaburo, reflecting on his departure from New Hampshire on Sunday night.
As for tonight’s outcome, the Somerset County chairman said he encountered a sufficient number of independent voters and saw sufficient significant energy from the campaign of his candidate, coupled with Christie’s scintillating debate performance on Saturday night, to give him confidence in the battling New Jersey governor.