Today I visited Nashua Community College for a Rick Perry BBQ & speech coming just after his official announcement.
The event was at the Nashua Community college on Rte 101A in NH. I always feel odd here because back in my college days a lot of this area was woods before the great migration from Massachusetts took place.
The first person I interviewed was a state Rep from Derry named John Potucek.
His line about waiting for a line to inspire him really struck me. There are an awful lot of GOP candidates and potential candidates and I suspect that for most people there are 2 or more candidates who are on their A+ list Another 2-3 who would be rated B+ to A at least half a dozen who are solid B’s and with a few C’s and a couple of F’s (You’ll get the chance to vote on that on our newest poison poll soon). I have a real feeling there are a ton of voters who are just like him waiting for something to force his choice but not sure what.
Meanwhile the setup continued with people preparing the stage while the group that would be cooking the hamburgers and the dogs got to work to feed the expected crowd.
The event was scheduled for 4 p.m but the governor was coming down from a previous event from the lake country about an hour north. Meanwhile press starting to show up setting up both across from the state and the Granite Grok team who are the first people you should check out when you are looking at NH politics. I started to speak to Steve MacDonald
but in the middle of the interview Mike Rogers which made for a rather odd interview.
Within a few minutes Mike showed up and began their setup with a table and tent to keep. They kindly invited me to sit there but I decided to stay in the cafeteria where I had set up a small area to upload video and stay charged. Heading back there to upload some video I interviewed a VFW member Paul Chevalier one of several vets highly visible vets in attendance.
It was clear that Perry as one of only two vets in the race (the other being Lindsey Graham) was going to go lot on the vet card. Meanwhile people started eating
As the vets started upstairs for the private meeting with the Governor I noticed several people who I saw at the FITN some of which were at the Laconia event, first I spoke to Vito of the Vito and Vito show
And then I talk to Mona of Politichicks who in addition to talking about Perry has been covering the police situation in NY
I then spoke to Kate who is now working at the Daily Signal
I think she has great potential. I counted about 200 downstairs and by the time the vets came downstairs and more people showed up by the time Gov Perry came downstairs the numbers were about 350
The governor mixed with the crowd before his speech and it’s not everybody that has a medal of honor recipient on the stage with them. Perry than gave his speech.
He spent a good amount of the speech talking veterans affairs and his record on the issue. He compared Barack Obama to Jimmy Carter and our current situation to 1979. It’s something that a lot of us have been saying for years, but frankly other than his Texas record (which is very strong) the speech wasn’t anything that inspiring.
When the speech was over he again dived into the crowd and I found myself with mixed feelings I was there to cover Rick Perry and get a question or two in but I must confess I had never seen a Medal of Honor let alone a person wearing one in the flesh and I considered heading toward but as you might guess he was almost as popular as the governor.
So I repositioned myself toward the area where he was leaving & started my camera with the intention of asking: “The MSM is doing their best to define the GOP field to the public, what is your plan to define yourself before they can do it to you?” once he finished with the crowd, however once he was beyond the crowd & and I started to ask my question he simply continued to walk, I tried to continue my quest as I’d done walking questions with Gov Huckabee & Jindal but Gov Perry silently accelerated away from me to his waiting car about 10 yards away.
It was an excellent impersonation of Hillary Clinton and was quite a contrast to both Senators Cruz & Carson who had not only taken questions from the crowd at events I covered but had taken questions from reporters & bloggers.
But in the end my annoyance doesn’t change the fact that as a Vet with a much more conservative record that Lindsey Graham can hope he has a strong card to play in the primaries and no amount of him running from me changes the fact that for his 14 years as governor of Texas his policies have caused both businesses and individual to run toward his state.
That’s quite a record and in a sane world would be a logical counter to the media defining him as a buffoon the last time around (whoever convinced him to run for president while on pain meds should be hung). However given the electorate’s willingness to ignore reality & believe the MSM’s memes on both Romney & Obama it might take some effort to change that meme. That could make him a much weaker candidate that he deserves to be.
How he counters that will determine if he gets any farther than the last time.
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