]Ok we have the raw report of the Romney/Ryan event, we have the Q & A but what really matters is what id people think about what was said?

There reactions were varied, some were just “I like Romney”

That’s what I call a booster

Clive was much more soft-spoken, (and I mean soft, very hard to hear him) but was just as impressed.

Horace really liked Paul Ryan yet he is a medicare person.

Kathy (or Cathy don’t know the spelling) came all the way from Ct.

I had Met Peter at the NRO event and for his birthday he sat with me, Stacy McCain and Mike Rodgers of Granite Grok He talked about the amount of work he put in as a volunteer

The volunteers do an incredible job and get very little credit, they deserve a lot more.

I noticed an elderly gentlemen with an incredible Fedora and went
over to talk to him, lo and behold he turned out to be former Ambassador Joe Patrone

But for my money the single most important interview was this one with Cheryl from Nashua

Cheryl is a newly retired teacher who voted for Obama last time around. This was her first Romney event and she has decided to go for Romney.

Cheryl is the voter that Obama is losing from 2008. This is the difference in the election.

Update: forgot the photos

Today after a week of antibiotics and the pneumonia under control it was time to head up North to cover another NH event, the debate between Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman

At St. Anselm College

St. Anselm

The way to the college is NH route 101, it was a valley of signs for all kinds of candidates

This one is for barbara Espinsoa

When I got to St. Anselm the first thing I noticed was the near total lack of transmitter trucks:

A borrowed truck for use by Carl Cameron of Fox

There wasn’t a big gaggle of press at first, although Joe Klein show up and ask me for directions.

I ducked into the administration building before the debate, after all colleges advertise too:

Exactly what you should see in the admin building of a Catholic College

By the time I came out a second truck showed up.

Truck #2 arrives

From there I went back to the hall where the debate was to take place. Nobody was allowed in before three and the front door was guarded by a young lady and her entourage:

Yeah, we bad...

I asked if they would like to comment but after a call to their superiors I was informed they were not allowed to talk Since they were not allowed I did what comes naturally and began interviewing other people for their thoughts. Alex, a Huntsman supporter was the first person I talked to.

After I talked to him I noticed that some people had entered the “free speech” zone, there were holding signs for Gingrich but were without question not supporters of the campaign.

Newt Hecklers

There were very loud and when I talked to David, a Romney guy you could hear them in the background.

I then discovered an actual Newt Supporter who I interviewed next

At this point an actual Newt campaign person showed up, the women were very apologetic to her but she shook it off noting it was part of the political game.

I asked the real Newt person who they were with and discovered they were Ron Paul people. I was surprised as I’ve never known Paulians not to directly push their candidate, but I should have guessed by the remarks concerning war and Israel.

Shortly after some actual Newt people showed up holding signs

Including a very familiar face from my last NH trip

Gun for Hire

He declined to comment on his migration to Newt from Cain so I went inside. Both Campaigns had tables set up Huntsman

and Newt

As I poked around the entrance way I found a 2008 Catholic voting guide

As Gingrich is a convert I asked for comment but got none, but I did interview a lady from an independent group:

And shortly afterward now that I knew who the people outside were I decided to interview them:

At this point the debate was about to start, I went inside to charge my laptop as I had no press pass or ticket, as I sat on the floor charging when author Terry Tibbets and his wife came in, (btw his book The Life and Loss of Don Hollender would make an excellent Christmas gift it’s available in paperback, hardcover and for the Kindle.) spotted me and said hello…They didn’t have ticket but as there were no shows they were able to get a pair. The moment I heard that I checked at the table and suddenly credentials or no, reservation or no I was in.

It was pretty packed. When the candidates entered they were received warmly, sat together and the round table began

Topics were handled in detail, 5 min per statement, and both sides got a rebuttal. You can likely find the entire debate online in better quality so here is a glimpse of a question on Iran.

Gingrich

Huntsman

And both

Both candidates came across as well-informed, intelligent and conservative, I’d have to give Newt the slight edge but Huntsman certainly showed he belonged on that stage.

Huntsman talked about our relationship with Afghanistan as “Transactional” Gingrich noted the odd mix of 3rd and 1st world in the area where you can leave a Four seasons and a block away there is squalor, he said the Obama administration doesn’t look at reality, on China he mentioned “We can’t count on China to match us in stupidity”, and Huntsman finished saying the US was still an example and light for the world.

I talked to many people in the crowd. All agreed they like this format, all agreed both should do more of these. I think that Newt helped himself but helped Huntsman more. Although only one person talked to me on camera this reaction was typical:

Romney was the biggest casualty, if Huntsman is considered a viable alternative to Mitt that’s where his votes would come from. I think it was a huge mistake for him to run by hitting conservatives and tea party guys early, but that’s what got him the MSM positives early.

Whoever told him that was a good way to play, sold him a bill of goods.

When the debate was done, there was a Huntsman event that I attended, but that’s another post….

Update: Interesting there are less links on the memeorandum thread about the Newt / Huntsman debate than on my rant yesterday concerning funding