The 2nd of three posts on Donald Trump in Derry NH. Part 1 (The Pros & semi Pros) is here.

Once the people started arriving I went toward the main entrance. There were solid metal barriers separating the two sides of the entrance with a table to process people with tickets. The only way to get to one side vs the other was through the entranceway of the building.

Since I was on the ticked side I asked the people there first, however none of the 25 or so people there were interested. Perhaps is was the hat and scarf in 90 degree weather, or perhaps it was a reasonable distrust of the media but they all declined. So I went through the double doors to the other side. That side was for the handicapped and volunteers. There was a man named Ken happy to share his views.

If Ken’s voice sounds familiar to you that might be because he was shouting out a lot during Mr. Trump’s speech later that day.

Once the people saw from my interview with Ken that my interviews were straightforward and I wasn’t out to trap or spin anyone people were happy to talk. Shirley was next

That she changed her registration to vote for Trump was significant to me.

Trina, a Trump volunteer (and a big fan of my pal Pam Geller) was supposed to be next

But she was delayed briefly by a phone call so I talked to Jim and Lana before her

It’s worth noting that of that first four only Jim & Lana weren’t ready to pull the lever for Trump.

At this point I went back to the other side and in the twenty minutes or so that those interviews took the crowd had more than tripled and with the influx of people came many people willing to talk to me, one of the most interesting was a 13-year-old boy who had, for his birthday asked his mother to take him to see Donald Trump

Another surprise was Luke. He has come up from Maryland to scope out colleges and decided to detour after checking out Dartmouth to see Trump. He even had a copy of his book (which he would end up getting signed during the speech).

However more typical were people like Bruce


and George:

What was interesting was as soon as I would talk to someone near the end of the line, the line would get longer and I would continue down the line doing interviews. EVentually I took a count of the line and Elena was #307

To be sure there were some interviews that were different. David had come with his brother and I didn’t realize at the time he apparently had a handicap. There was another fellow a young guy who called himself Ryan R Ryan who seemed to me to be trolling but since I made an open request for interviews I uploaded rather than erased them.

At the end of the line was a 2nd line for people who didn’t have tickets. Based on what Fred had told me their odds of getting in were pretty slim but that didn’t stop me.

The first person I talked to was Cheri, who believe it or not was a Hillary person but was considering Trump

I asked her about the email scandal but she thought it was much ado about nothing (proving Neo Neocon right)

I then talked to Nancy who was all in for Trump

and Richard

who was going to wait till he heard all the candidates before making a final decision.

By this time I headed back toward the press area it was getting closer the time of the Trump press availability. On my way back I did my last and in one sense most interesting interview

But the most interesting interview which was Carl

Who said he was interested in Trump but as a 3rd party rather than a GOP candidate, but it remains to be seen if the Donald can change his mind.

If you watch the interviews above you’ll notice several consistent thoughts

1. People consider Trump a truth teller.

2. People like that he’s politically incorrect

3. People really like his immigration stance

All these things were in my mind as I checked the time and headed back to the press room to get ready for Mr. Trump’s arrival…

Update: Matt Lewis not withstanding Those people didn’t seem dangerous to me


The only pay I get for any of this comes from you. My annual goal is Twenty Two grand which will give me a nominal living doing this.

For a Donald Trump the 22K that would cover my expenses for the and the extra $10K that would pay for the roof, car, floor kitchen and bathroom repairs that I had to put on plastic would be nothing and if my traffic was the size of a Drudge getting enough people to kick in to cover those bills would likely not be an issue.

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Olimometer 2.52

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Here is Ted Cruz’s speech from the YAF event in Nashua NH last friday

He took a few questions after his speech:

On creating political opportunity

On Standing with our allies:

and on replacing Obamacare

I also got the reactions of Seroach

and Michael

The crowd seemed to like what it saw, the only question is will the others who follow do better?

You don’t think of CPAC as something you give someone as a gift but that was the case with Martha.

I ran into Martha several times at CPAC 2014 and she was able to give me a hand in a crisis the day of my broadcast. In that short time she went from interview to acquaintance to friend.

I look forward to seeing her at CPAC next year and hopefully meet her husband and shake his hand for being almost as lucky as I am.

At the Twin city tea party meeting this week Ben Selecky of PANDA (people against the NDAA spoke concerning his groups opposition to the anti-terror rules since 9/11

I’m much more of a hawk than Ben and his group given the state of the world but it’s fair to say that an administration willing to the IRS against political opponents will not hesitate to use even more draconian measures against them.

The PANDA site is here and there is one line from their front page I have to comment on

Since the mainstream media has all but ignored the NDAA, we’re getting the word out a different way: Through music.

Ah the innocence of youth, don’t you know there is a Democrat in the White House and not just any Democrat. Barack Obama, the first black president. The ONE™

You can’t expect the media to report on a group that suggests an administration run by a Democrat, let alone the first black president, is opposing civil rights any more than you can expect them to treat racist remarks by democrats, as if they’re news
and if Hillary Clinton or any Democrat wins in 2016 expect mean more of the same.

But take heart, once a republican holds the White House reporters all over the country will suddenly discover PANDA and the NDAA and decide it is the biggest threat to the rights of Americans since the Alien & Sedition acts and you won’t be able to hide from the cameras pointed your way.


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Speaking of change its the first day of March and we’re coming off our biggest shortfall ever for our monthly goal just under $500 shy of the mortgage.

However there is also a weekly paycheck goal which took a back seat due to the mortgage shortfall, we’re only $115 shy there and with the rest of the day to do it, that’s entirely doable.

5 $25 tip jar hits will give us that consolation prize and get us started toward making the March goal.

We’ve never failed to meet payroll & Mortgage two months in a row (in fact we’ve only missed them by any significant amount twice in 13 months). Let’s get March off to a good start to so that doesn’t happen now.

dc stills 030Monday night I found myself on a bus rolling south to cover the Exempt America from Obamacare Rally. It was an event that didn’t draw the numbers it once did but also didn’t get the attention it deserved.

dc stills 005

The setup crews were there at 6 AM and they were lucky in the sense that they avoided the scorching heat at least at the start (they would not be so lucky when it was over) The Massachusetts group I traveled with had arrived first and scattered to some degree to visit members of congress & check out museums. I noted that there were signs from previous protests still left in the area:

dc stills 006

Syria would have some resonance during the day.

As the stage setup continued people started arriving. The first people I interviewed were from Tennessee and Tin Ship Productions

they reminded me of an early TN version of Granite Grok shooting the raw video.

My basic plan was to interview as many people as possible who were here as activists since they are the story while covering the speakers and maybe snag an interview or two there as well.

Next I met Quinn from Florida

At this point a press area was being set up. Along with Janet I went in and ran into Steve Bannon of Breitbart who were streaming the event and had a stage area set up.

dc stills 025

He would handle the heat during the day a lot better than I would.

the next interview would be with Dan Terado who I connected with Steve’s people

As Dan’s work becomes known the left is going to absolutely hate him

after a trip to the Rayburn building where I discovered congress’ bathroom ARE nicer than most people’s houses it was back to the interviews with Nancy & Carol

who aren’t buying what Sam Nunn’s daughter is selling followed by Harry from Florida:

Who thinks stopping obamacare is a longterm task followed by Ginny from Minnesota who told me when it comes to crazy liberal Massachusetts can’t compete with her state:

Followed by Ron from St. Louis

This seemed to follow a pattern, I kept running into people who came on their own as opposed to organized form either DC or a national tea party.

Jenny Beth Martin was the organizers and despite working harder than anyone in sight was kind enough to give me some of her time:

It always seems to be strong women who lead in the tea party and that leadership drew people like Ron and his wife from Illinois.

They haven’t forgotten who could have delivered us from Obamacare and did not under pressure.

Next was Ron from North Carolina

Who was followed by Alan

and Randy both from the Seneca Tea Party from South Carolina

One of the speakers for the day Dr. Juan Torres was mixing with the crowd

The most reluctant interview of the day was Mary from California:

She came farther than anyone else to be here, but while she came the longest distance of those I spoke to Nora was the most outspoken.

the Orioles are lucky to have such a fan.

my final interview was Jim T from Ohio:

After Jim I finished my count there were 3200 people with people continuing to flow in. By the time Ted Cruz spoke the crowd had managed to get up to about 5000 but that peak didn’t last long.

This rally didn’t have GOP party support and you didn’t see big names like Beck invest their effort or money into it so the numbers certainly didn’t compare to those heady days when the GOP saw the tea party as their ticket back to a majority and were happy to help. But the message these faithful had to the party was similar to the one they gave three years ago:

dc stills 009

That’s a warning worth heeding


Olimometer 2.52

It’s Thursday and this weeks paycheck quest has been dismal. Less that $100 toward my $305 weekly goal and paycheck.

To those new to the site I make my living asking 15 readers every week to kick in $21 that pays the mortgage.

I don’t follow the party line so that doesn’t draw the party bucks and the left certainly isn’t going to back a conservative site.

If you think the voices of the grass-roots are worth putting online in this way please consider kicking into DaTipJar below


I’m Still looking to crowdsource my radio advertising. If you want more info click this link and see how you can promote my radio show while making up to to $400 for yourself.

I was planning this interview for later in the month but given the Syria crisis this interview popped into my head:

Hir fought in the Hungarian Revolution, he knows what oppression is and he knows what living under Communism is.

If you are a person who complains about life they could take a lesson from this man.

My first interview at the RNC event in Boston was Dr. Ada M. Fisher author of Common Sense Conservative Prescriptions:

rnc still wed 3 002 I first met her because she noticed my toe shoes and commented on them and that began our conversation. She has an easy way with people and after the interview while we sat down and talked, she proved to be a rather popular person with committee people who walked by. She had a very easy manner and person after person came by to give her a few minutes of their time.

After registration she came back down and posed for me with a copy of her book.

Dr Ada Fisher MD

You can Buy it here.

I spoke to Patsy & her Daughter on Day 2 of CPAC

These are the moments when I wish my sons were with me. This young lady is EXACTLY the type of person I want my sons to take home.


Olimometer 2.52

Still 7 6 tip jar hitters away from my weekly paycheck of $300, care to shrink that number a bit?

The first of several ex-post-facto CPAC videos that will continue till they are all up

The internet was slow in the main hall, so the uploads were a real problem but with the sheer volume of people in the zones

Here are more people in line day one at CPAC

and the rest of the line

Remember this was the line at 8 AM on day one more than an hour before anything actually took place, so when people tell you conservatives are on the run, are dead is a failed experiment, don’t buy it.

Repeated video fixed

While I was at the Niki Tsongas event I met Stephen Twining of the Sons of Union Veterans who spoke to me about the organization and some Civil War History.

You can find out more about the Sons of Union Veterans here

As you might guess there is a such an organization for the Confederate side of the aisle as well. You can find them here.

Wednesday Congresswoman Niki Tsongas came to the Fitchburg Public Library for her first event in Fitchburg since being sworn in as the representative in congress for the 3rd district.

tsongas 001

The event: “Congress on your Corner” consisted of one on one (or two on one) meetings with various constituents from the district.

tsongas 002

The format was surprise to most of the people who arrived expecting a town hall-style event. At least one person who came decided to leave thinking the format was not conducive the type of open public debate she was looking for.

Personally I think the one on one setup is a good idea. Most people don’t get a chance to meet their representative in congress let alone get private time face to face.

The event was announced through robo-calls (I received one myself), through the local paper. and via her site. I arrived about 30 minutes early and only a handful of people were waiting but by the time Congresswoman Tsongas arrived the crowd continued to grow until it was well over 35.

Local Pols were well represented no fewer than 4 members of the Fitchburg City Counsel attended. Mayor Lisa Wong was there, and State reps Jen Flanagan & Steve DiNatale also came.
tsongas 004

Congresswoman Tsongas met the local pols en mass near the start She commented those meetings are important because “…they are tasked with managing the affairs of the community.”

tsongas 008

Due to the number of people there about 3 minutes were allocated per person (or pair who choose to go in together) but even with a short period of time the I think it’s a good thing for voters to meet their member of congress one on one.

Local republicans were well represented. A regular guest to my show Mary Lotz had some time with the congresswoman and was unimpressed

People had different agendas, the Local Imam Bashir Uddin Mehmud & his son came to introduce himself and the local Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to the congresswoman while Robert Landry had a question concerning film-making in Devens. Both were interested in a local congressional office in the city.

The Press was well represented, the Worcester Telegram and the Sentinel & Enterprise were both there talking to both voters and Congresswoman Tsongas. When the event was over the Congresswoman gave me a few minutes of her time.

She did say she would be doing town halls both standard and electronic.

Her aides were very cooperative (one is a HUGE Dr. Who fan) and the Congresswoman took some time to speak to me as she left. As one of her constituents I stressed cutting spending first on the budget.

I’m sure over the next two years we will be disagreeing a lot and I’ll be calling her on those disagreements but as for this event, I think it was a proper use of her time. There is no more important thing a member of congress can do than meet with the people who elect them.

In keeping with my last posts here are some tweets from those trying to create change in Egypt:

The Big Pharaoh


Rasha Abdulla


Seif Moussa:

Marie-France Lakah


Ahmed Ezzat

and one tweet from a person named Melinda Carter who asks a great question:

I’d love an answer and the people in Egypt risking their lives fighting the Muslim Brotherhood would too.

BTW here is a handy dandy map of some of yesterday’s marches

I’m currently inside the Verizon wireless arena as the public is just being let in to see Mitt Romney for the final NH Rally before election day, but before I came in I talked to the people in line. A gentleman from security told me the lines were the size Obama drew when he came here with Oprah four years ago.

I’ll be updating this post as I continue to upload interviews, but I think the story here are the people who waited in the cold to get in and see Mitt Romney the night before an election

I talked to Marty First

Then Fred who says he is a democrat:

Expect MANY updates

Karen and Nicole



The most interesting person I would speak to didn’t give her name, she was an undecided voters to attended one Obama rally and came to see one Mitt Rally to make up her mind

But there is also Deb

And Tilvana (not sure if that’s spelled right)


A group of folks held signs of Ovide Lamontagne one consented to an interview

I did a quick pan of the line outside

It would be several hours before people would come in.

Update: Here are the outside photos from last night Continue reading “The People waiting to see Mitt Romney in Manchester NH election eve”

From Friday to Saturday at St. Joseph Church in Medford:

there was a 24 hour Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

For the defeat of Question 2:

Locally where there is daily adoration there is normally one or two folks (sometimes as high as 3) praying, when I came into the church I found two lists. There were 30 people on the list who had come to pray,

After this interview I found a 2nd sign-in sheet that showed a total of 47 by this time.

When I got back we realized that I hadn’t asked at all about question #2 So Geraldine talked about why she opposed it

We shot two different videos to cover all she wanted to say.

Question two is going to cost Massachusetts a lot, in terms of society and I have some advice if it happens.

I’ve already advised my sons to leave the state when they can to get a future. In a one party state where the government stifles business and innovation there is no future for them here.

But if you are 50 or over if question 2 passes, get your affairs in order and get out of this state over the next few years. I’ll stay and fight, somebody has to, but if this passes, don’t wait because if I lose my fight then by that time a generation will have grown up thinking it is acceptable to dispose of the elderly if it saves a buck. Don’t wait until they decide you are obsolete.

]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

After the debate between Tom Weaver & Jon Golnik I stopped by Espresso Pizza and ran into some young people who are participating in the YMCA Summer Basketball program:

I talked to the young men involved.

The most important line from this interview is the bit about staying out of trouble.

This is another example of the YMCA doing yeoman’s work.

One might think this is a minor thing, but from little things like this come bigger things later.

At 10 a.m. when I arrived the Dirt Parking Lot was already full as volunteers in golf carts shuttled new arrivals to the entrance way to the event.

A Romney volunteer named Rick Christie was driving one of two golf carts. He had been a Romney man back in 2008 and was delighted to see him at the top of the ticket today.

After Rick Dropped me off I spoke to a group of Romney Volunteers at the main entrance.

It was very apparent that unlike last year’s event in Concord the Volunteer staff was more relaxed as a lot more of the grass-roots were involved.

I talked to a familiar face Sheriff Scott Hillard who I’d interviewed in the past.

We talked about the inexplicable decision of the Obama Campaign to adopt Elizabeth Warren’s Language and how that decision may be a sing of the insular nature of the left.

At the press check-In table again the contrast to the events before the Governor secured the nomination was apparent. The tension of the primary campaign was gone and people freely discussed the current events of the campaign. We chatted as I signed in and talked about Mitt Romney.

One of the men noted Mitt was generally a very reserved person but once he got to know you tends to open up. This is an excellent description of the campaign as Romney seems to have grown on the stump, particularly when he has the company of his wife but especially since the conversation turned to small business a topic right in the campaign’s sweet spot.

There was already a line of people waiting to enter. One of them a young man named John with a Scott Brown T-Shirt immediately stood out and we talked

Again the topic of Elizabeth Warren came up. It makes one wonder if the President’s adoption of her speech might boomerang into the Massachusetts Senate race to the benefit of Scott Brown.

This was the first time I had encountered the Secret Service at an event since I started as a blogger (although I had run into them at a Palin event during the 2008 campaign. I don’t tend to travel light so the emptying of my pockets, bags etc looked like something you might see if Tom Baker or Harpo Marx every passed through such as checkpoint.

One in the press area (It’s amazing to see the difference four letters “W-C-R-N” have in a situation like this). I started to get settled. As usually the reporters were spending the majority of their time talking to each other and smoozing as might be expected of people who had seen event after event every day.

I choose a spot where I could see each person as they entered so I could grab a shot

Or an interview

For most of the press this was not a source of excitement, the traveling media had seen Mitt over and over. There was however a little bit of excitement for the media: Ari Shapiro of NPR apparently had used some kind of tape to hold his power supply together and when he plugged it in to the Surge protectors the resulting combination of smoke as everything shorted out quickly drew people with earpieces.

It turned out to be a minor thing and the source of a few laughs, even from Ari who rushed out and found a replacement power supply at a nearby Staples (Thanks Mitt!) making it back with 30 minutes to spare.

The waiting continued as people kept arriving about 250 chairs were set up for the public.

I spotted a fellow with a Mitt Sticker on his hat so naturally he had to be interviewed.

His observations on Mitt’s evolution in dealing with the public is something that people who have covered him have observed for a bit.

As we got closer to the starting bell the Secret Service checked everyone out, various members of the press photographers looked for the best stop for their shots and I explained my Virbram five-finger shoes to Steven Alex Miller of the NY Post.

As it got closer to the start time and the sun got hotter people became more antsy, volunteers went into the crowd giving out water.

While this was going on I noticed what looked like (to me) a Franciscan Friar being escorted to the area behind the stage.

And then everything changed.

Congressman Charlie Bass who had been behind the stage came out and sat with the crowd and to everyone surprise the first person introduced was Anglican Priest Fr. Christian Tutor who offered a prayer for the dead in Colorado

He was followed by Senator Kelly Ayotte, her words were less of a political speech and more of the intro to a memorial service

She was followed by Governor Romney, his words were exclusively about the event of early this morning in Colorado

Gone was the speech no doubt planned for the small business setting, instead it was all about what was most precious in life. The Governor spoke for less than four minutes.

When he was done the people seemed a bit confused as if their time in the hot sun would be for only a few minutes of a speech, but they were soon to find out they were wrong.

Governor Romney, Senator Ayotte and Fr. Christian formed a receiving line

and greeted each person as they left in turn.

as if it was a wake for fellow Americans.

They greeted every person in turn, without photos or autographs or any of the normal political trappings other than the secret service on the job

As the line moved I briefly talked to Congressman Charlie Bass (R-NH) about the event

Then returned to the press area. As the last person left the line I called over Fr. Tutor who consented to an interview, while I was shooting Governor Romney came over and thanked him

Fr. Tutor explained he was contacted only 30 min before the event. That suggests the change in tone was decided in the final hour before things took place

At this point I headed back, as the buses came to take people to the parking area I spoke to a member of the crowd about the event.

As for myself, some might debate if Mitt Romney can fix the economy, if he will be conservative enough or what kind of justices he might appoint to the court, but today we discovered something important about the Governor. At a time of crisis and national tragedy, he certainly proved he could be presidential.


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come in. I saw a young man in a Scott Brown T-Shirt and It seemed to contain more of the Grass roots and
Ari Shperio

Kyle had never attended a tea party event before.

He is a student at Worcester State University who came to cover the Worcester Tea Party event for his school newspaper

I interviewed Vee who owns a fashion shop in Massachusetts as the bus stopped at McDonalds The Ray Kroc Memorial Media Center.

Is it just me or are African Americans who were actually born in Africa more likely to be conservative?

BTW the uploads on the bus are dead slow, I have a bunch of other photos and videos to post but it took nearly 3 hours just to get this one up so this might not be done till after I get home.

One of the joys of this experience have been the assorted people I’ve had the pleasure to meet. Yesterday at the first Santorum event I spotted a lady who had a doll in her hand. I was confused as to the reason for this until I spoke to her. Apparently she is a doll maker and her story is fascinating.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to talk to anyone else at the Santorum event or did I have time to do so at the Paul one as Stacy wanted to beat the traffic that the crowd would produce on the narrow road, so I didn’t really have much of an encounter to talk about until we hit the Santorum HQ in Manchester.

Stacy being Stacy took a great interest in everything there

but circumstances and rules prevented an interview so it was off to the Radison for an appearance on Michael Graham’s show on Radio row:

After the show Stacy went off to find a bar and access to college football which has no interest to me. I found myself sitting with an occupy leader who consented to an interview:

Even though he was aware of my opinions concerning the occupy movement we got along fine in the 3 hours we worked next to each other. I later went downstairs to stretch my legs when I ran into Michael Steele. He had a hard time moving as every few feet people wanted to talk to him, but he consented to an interview for me anyway:

As I went back upstairs I ran into Brenda a democrat who also consented to an interview:

From there I went to the bar, I was given a table in the far back where next to me sat a bunch of occupy people who for reasons I haven’t quite figured out seemed to take a liking to me. It turned out one of them had an encounter with Mitt Romney that she described to me:

It is not gallant to talk about a woman’s age but I must compliment this lady who’s looks belie her age and congratulate her husband.

We talked for a while as did several of the occupy people with me when I gave a Buddy Roemer supporter the chance to make his case that the debate people didn’t give to his candidate:

I was sitting next to a table when one of the people volunteered that a gentleman had been featured in the Union leader as a collector of buttons so I interviewed him:

From that point a collection of people made a pilgrimage to the table as everyone from reporters from the Boston Phoenix to radio hosts found me interesting, but I managed only one interview

I spent the rest of the day in that same chair uploading as Stacy celebrated his Tide victory until at 2 a.m. the crew setting up for morning Joe arrived and my day at the bar ended.

Before the Morning Joe Town Hall I interviewed quite a few people

Andy the sound man



And a pair of Brothers who are also undecided voters

and I talked to two people on camera at the end of the event

I have more video with Q & A and their opening statements etc and I’ll get that up as time permits meanwhile here is my complete photo gallery from the event. If you see yourselves in any picture feel free to download it for yourself.

After the debate I approached James Lileks

and Jonah Goldberg

Jonah at the end of a long day

asking for interviews, both declined as they were “talked out” but James and I had chatted during the breaks in the action and Jonah consented to the photo you see. One must remember that while it was a fun event for many, this was work for them. Pleasant work perhaps but work.

Stacy, Mike from Granite Grok and I, joined by a gentleman named Peter who we were debating the issues with, went to the Bar to have a bite and talk more.

To my surprise there was an inordinate amount of press there from Dianne Sawyer to Howard Fineman. You could not go 3 feet without tripping over someone who the informed would recognize.

As I didn’t want to interrupt people eating nor photograph them as they did so I left them be while the four of us talked about what we saw, however a few people came over and we had an occasion to chat.

Pete, Stacy and Jake Tapper

Jake scolded me for not e-mailing him as we discussed but I’d been flat-out and just didn’t have the time, the concept that I didn’t have time to e-mail him is on reflection an amazing thing.

Mickey Kaue and Stacy

I had never had the pleasure of meeting Mickey Kaus till tonight, he is a nice guy but the odd think I noticed was his business card, not because of any fancy design but the paper stock was the heaviest I ever felt on such a card. Odd the things you notice.

Pete meanwhile managed to get pictures with Dianne Sawyer (It is quite astonishing how beautiful she is up close), and several other media stars from Mary Matalin to some of the NRO guys. Donna Brazile had only a second but came over and I snapped this shot:

You might ask why am I not in any pictures, I don’t really do posed pictures myself

Pete however had a field day, if you follow this stuff this it was something to behold so many people from so many prominent TV networks and national publications and blogs.

But the title of this post is the most important person in the bar, I saved his picture for last:

Meet Joseph the man who matters the most

Joseph has never been on TV, you will not find his byline in any national magazine or blog but he was the single most important person that I met. You see Joseph is a resident of NH and a voter who plans on voting in the NH primary and it is his decision and thousands like him that all of the press in the room are dependent on for our stories.

I talked to two other such people who might have competed with Joseph for that honor but one was a democrat who will not be voting Tuesday, and the other declined to comment. Joseph said he was undecided. I gave him my card and asked him if he could e-mail me when he makes up his mind.

There were at least 50 journalists in the room with Joseph, people who have honed their craft over decades, but to my knowledge he wasn’t asked that question by anyone else. Granted they were off the clock but in my mind that question is the reason for being there.

If I get that e-mail from Joseph and he gives me permission I’ll tell you what he decides and why, but never forget there may have been a lot of celebrates in that room, some of who make a considerable amount of money, but on Tuesday next, none of them will matter as much as he.

Update: Instalanche, got this up at 4:15 a.m. (not scheduled written) woke up at 8 and then off to NH once debate is done, looking forward to morning Joe Town Hall tonight, glad Pats have a bye.

In all of the attention the candidates get we often forget that it is the voters in the end that matter. Here are some assorted videos from two events on Friday of people making the case for their candidates:

Let’s start with the Ron Paul supporters at the early rally, there was Chris the Emcee:

Next there were 4 guys from Jersey who gave me their time:

The willingness of people to travel for Paul reminds me of Sarah Palin.

Next was Paul from Greenville

the Savages father and son are both vets, both from Worcester and both for Paul

The most familiar face for me among Paul supporters had something to say

And there was Carol from Worcester who was taken aback I think by my support for Santorum

Her argument and answer was a very good one that I hadn’t considered. there was also a group of students from RI who are all democrats who came up as a project:

When I went to the Crowne Plaza event I talked to Leonard who supports Gingrich

And rep Lynette Peterson who like me is for Santorum:

And Maryann who likes Santorum but loves the Knights of Columbus

My camera ran out of memory when I started the interview so this is take two, she talked about seeing Harry Truman that’s a ways back.

You may agree or disagree with any or all of these people but you owe them the respect due to people in a republic who are getting involved and making their voice heard. They are the ones doing the work. Would that more of the country got informed and involved.

I took video of parts of the Q & A with Santorum in Windham NH:

On Crony Capitalism

On American Values

And Individualism

On SOPA he took two questions

and then one from Issac

On the cost of tuition

On faith in the pubic square:

I also talked to people there such as these two ladies

Issac who asked the SOPA question:

Connor a student there to do a report

I ran into some old friends:

I do apologize BTW to them but I got to bed at 4:30 and will make a Paul event today somewhere.

And finally talked to a gentleman from Texas up to see how NH does it.

My base report is here, Stacy McCain’s is here and Roxeanne’s liveblog is here

I wasn’t the only member of new media covering the debate in Hanover Tuesday:

Dartmouth GOP Debate Highlights from Channel 6 News on Vimeo.

His site is here. It is very good and very sleek the two young men involved have done a great job but I give a lot of credit belongs to these two ladies:

Interested and involved parents make a world of difference.

After I left my bench I walked by the Hanover Inn, a prominent and beautiful place right on the common: It looked like it was tailor-made for filing

It's a hard knock life for the press sometimes

There was an open area on the patio that was prepared for an event so naturally I took a picture:

The forbidden image

Just after I took the shot a young man told me I was not allowed to take pictures. As I was on a public sidewalk and it was a public open area I informed him that, yes I was. A gentleman who I didn’t recognize backed him up. It was an amazing display of arrogance that I positively delighted in defying.

From there I took a look at the area where the debate will take place:

As you might guess the place is full of both activity and security:

Nobody gets to see the wizard not nobody not no how!

but it seemed to me that people were in general a lot more relaxed that you might expect for one of these events.

At the Common I ran into Carl Cameron again who held an impromptu talk for some visiting students from VT.

That last remark of his make a bunch of bloggers punch the air. Quite a few people posed with Carl after the talk

He was very generous with his time, you can’t help but like this fellow.

I spoke to one of the young ladies Katie who listened to the talk.

I wish I could have seen my face when she said that Mitt Romney was too socially conservative for her.

I then talked to two couples who were very excited to see Mr. Cameron and the debate, they were just up from Florida for Vacation and shared their views with me:

We had a lovely conversation when I saw some young reporter types, asked to interview them and they asked to interview me so the idea was we would interview each other but when I wouldn’t give my questions in advance they demurred, however an activist named John was less shy:

I found a second couple near the outdoor Bloomberg stage they were from Massachusetts and were for Mitt all the way:

I’ve actually seen Romney since the last time they met him and has really moved in the direction they were hoping for.

As I interviewed them I noticed a makeup person in the background. When she opened up her cases it looked like a surgeon or a safe cracker preparing his tools. I was intrigued, asked for an interview and was granted one

It struck me that she was really grateful that her hard work was noticed, but as a rule there is a lot of hard work done by a ton of people in this business that is never noticed or appreciated.

The most interesting person by far was this fellow:

What can you add to that other than the picture gallery?

Update: Yup I miss-typed “public” that was funny

Michelle was dishing out some awesome food at the Assumption Greek Orthodox Festival in Manchester where I was covering Rick Santorum.

Ironically just after the interview Rick Santorum greeted her at the food line

My last video from the debate night was my interview with Glenn Morton on his book Passing Obamacare

This is basically an insurance problem so a guy who knows insurance might know a solution better than a fellow blaming ATM’s for unemployment.

Glenn’s blog is here and you can buy his book here.

I know, I know this really should have gone up last night but I got home very late and had to bring the kid to school early.

First the Candidates

Winner: Michelle Bachmann without a question.

Doreen Marie Costa (R-RI) Supports Bachmann

Bachmann not only made the only real news of the day (her official filing) she was poised and confident and had strong answers. She clearly stated what we know. Obama is ripe for the taking. Most importantly where the left (read MSNBC/Chris Matthews/Scarborough et/al) have tried to portray her as a nut in the past the reality has been quite different and people who are not hockey fans saw that clearly. As a person not in the top 3 or 4 in the polls she needed to give people who like her a reason to believe she belong in the top-tier and she did so.

Morning Joe's Favorites before the "Bachmann is Crazy" meme died

In the Free speech area her people liked her. I spoke to a Rhode Island State Rep who talked about how GOP women are treated by the MSM and she was very strong for Michelle, this woman is going places.

Let’s go down the line

Newt Gingrich started very slow (bad news in NH since most of the people watching were watching early and changing to the Bruins game) but he finished VERY strongly. His second half was classic Newt, strong positions, solid beliefs and a willing to not mince words. He makes his staff look bad for leaving but as there was not a single sign for Gingrich in the free speech zone. It is likely not enough to get him in the top-tier but it does allow him to continue.

Rick Santourm:

NH State Rep (right) and Santorum fans
although a national figure for a while, he needed to be seen more, the Hockey game hurt him the most because many NH voters did not see him. He was passionate and talked his record and was very strong on the life issue. Basically he needed face time and made the most of what he had. A good performance not a breakout one. He likely helped himself and the surprisingly large contingent of supporters in the “free speech zone” would likely agree

Mitt Romney Romney’s answers were crisp clean and polished as befitting both a front-runner, he made only one mistake and that might not have been perceived. Mitt’s entire reason for being there is he can “Beat Obama” yet he maintained that everyone on the state can beat Obama. His biggest problem on the stage was the problem in the free speech line, the question was asked “Why Romney” and I got a “Why

these Democratic protesters will be a headache for Romney
not?” but his biggest problem was the large organized democratic contingent that made up about a quarter of the people there who mockingly complemented Romney because of Obamacare. He however had a good night in the sense that the Bachmann victory keeps the Romney nomination equation expressed as:

(conservatives+ Tea Party) / (Bachmann + Cain + Palin) = Romney Nomination

The most telling line afterward. During a call with Little Miss Attila after the debate she mentioned Mr. Attila, a strong social conservative said if he didn’t know about Romneycare he would have been very impressed by his presentation and answers. Unfortunately for Romney that will not be the case among republican voters, but realistically Romney is going to win NH and if he doesn’t do so by at least double digits he is in trouble. I would also have expected a stronger Romney presence in the zone with his money and local support, that might suggest support is broad but not deep.

Tim Pawlenty Pawlenty’s did the worst of all the candidates in the sense that he needed to set himself up as the Romney Alternative and just plain didn’t. His answers were not bad and were in many ways pretty good but just the way that he carries himself lacked excitement. When the most memorable of the night is hitting Joe Biden and complementing Sarah Palin you have a problem. I also didn’t see any T-Paw people in the free speech spots, that’s not good.

I called Little Miss Attila during my drive home as I know her as a big Pawlenty supporter she agreed that his answers were fine, (she was more impressed with them than I was) but conceded the strategic decision to not go after Romney might have been a mistake. It will be interesting how it plays in an Iowa sans Romney but in NH that is an issue.

Ron Paul was classic Ron Paul, advancing classic Ron Paul issues and making some strong blunt points about certain realities. His line about delivering 40k babies was very good and played well, nationally he didn’t advance his campaign for the presidency, but in NH from my conversations with voters the concept of an authentic person who believes what he believes is important. His followers in the free speech zones were strong and committed. Nothing took place in the debate to expanded his support beyond that base, but the expanded tea party power in the state gives him the potential to expand quietly. I have a feeling he isn’t really running for president so much as running to remain a national niche figure. He wins that race hands down.

Herman Cain
had a very good night.

Herman Cain leaves the spin room
As the person running 3rd (2nd without Palin) he gave a performance to prove he belonged in the top-tier. He not only answered well but challenged CNN’s King when he tried to misquote/spin him. A good solid performance, proving not only 1. The last debate win was not a fluke. but also: 2. He can hold is own in the expanded field. His supporters in the free speech line had clear answers on why they supported him and I briefly spoke to the candidate after the debate, he was pleased with his performance, as well he should be. This man is going places and the nomination is certainly not out of reach. He has cemented himself as both a strong GOP voice in the future or as a serious contender for either spot on the GOP 2012 ticket.

The Debate and CNN

The CNN tape with camera covered against the late rain
First of all the silly questions, (spicy or mild) were just absolutely foolish (and it was slightly unfair to the other candidates that Mr. Cain’s question involved Pizza an area of expertise for him) It was noted by a lot of people on Twitter than John King did his best to steer the debate away from the economy where Democrats lose to social issues where he believes they win. John Notle nailed it on twitter:

“Hi GOP: There’s a good reason Dems don’t submit to Fox News debates. Not cowardly, smart. Please learn.”

Last time the press didn’t vet Obama, this time they will try not to vet the economy. We can expect more of the same from the MSNBC debate, however Miss Attila pointed out he exceeded her admirably low expectations. I did like the questions from the town halls and the legal immigrant’s question laid the difference in stark relief between “opposing immigration” and opposing “illegal immigration” King’s counter spin not withstanding.

Johnson supporters make their case
Others: At the free speech line there was a contingent of Gary Johnson supporters talking about his exclusion from the debate. There were adamant that he belonged on the stage and people in the crowd generally agreed. I was surprised at the number of people he had in the “Free Speech Zone” . It’s worth noting their argument for Johnson seemed to be a utilitarian one, (he can draw Democrats look at NH). One could make that same case with Pawlenty.

The Press: Although they had the advantage of the room and the internet (until I managed to ummm ‘connect’ remotely to the CNN network) they made the same mistake that they did during the Scott Brown business. They didn’t talk to the undecided voters that were available all around them.

What’s the point of having a room, a power supply and a box lunch if you don’t talk to people like him:

Why wasn't the press interviewing guys like this? You know Undecided NH voters

or him

Local voter who the press ignored

or them:

Votes just waiting for a reporter to ask questions!

I made it a point to go back to some of the people I talked to and asked if the press had at any time during the day approached them. Not a single one did. C’mon guys!

And one more thing about the press; why weren’t more members of the press wearing fedoras like this:

Talk about looking hot and cool at the same time!

Speaking of the woman in that last photo I had a fascinating conversation with her. She is a freelance photographer and talked on the difference

You can't take pictures in here, it's the press room!
between what she does now and her years as a regular staff member at a paper I think her story would be a great one to tell and frankly she belongs on a blog to augment her work. Just a few minutes talking to her showed she has great things to say and stories to tell.

That being said it was nice to spend some time with Kerry Pickett and Dave Weigel. Both of who are a pleasure to actually be with. Also enjoyed time with John LaRosa and company who I hung with a bit at CPAC. They where rather cool and of course my regular guest Brian Henchey who unlike me was credentialed in the press room while I sat on

Dave Weigel has an eye for news
the ground behind the building writing, posting and snarfing CNN’s internet. Weigel will be doing some good old-fashioned shoe leather stuff today in NH so keep an eye on his site.

There will be plenty more of these debates in the future. The real contest at this point is fundraising. Bachmann & Cain will get a lot of it from this debate, Newt and Santorum might get a small bump (Santorum’s pro-life answers will help) but that is the game. Romney is ready for a marathon and it will be a question of who will fall by the wayside over time.

Still can’t get in but managed to get on the net using my super secret DaTechGuy powers to provide an update without a trip to McDonalds.

Got back to the campus 15 minutes after posting, (would have been faster but road construction is slowing things down quite a bit) Since I couldn’t get into the key building or get any kind of credential, I decided to do the next best thing. Find and interview voters.

I talked to all types of people from students, security people, locals, janitors and passers by including one young man who was volunteering for the Santorum campaign. He was the only local I talked to who had already picked a candidate.

Generally most of the people not working the election were planning to watch the Bruins this evening (some of the engineers were already working on how they would be able to catch the game) but all said the candidates had a shot at their votes, it was a question of position and honesty. The biggest thing that seemed to matter to those planning on voting (and several told me they were not) was consistency. They didn’t want to be lied to.

I asked the questions about the best NH campaigner they had seen and got Clinton and Reagan as the latest answers. So far none of the new guys had stood out to the people I spoke to other than the Santorum volunteer.

One final question I asked everyone I talked to on campus. “Has any reporter asked you what you thought?” The unanimous answer was no! It was Scott Brown’s victory party all over again. A lot of what you will see tonight is going to be highly choreographed by the campaigns (at least as much as possible) and spun to their best advantage. The one thing that can’t be are the voters. Once the supporters show up it will be impossible to figure out who is a plant and who is not. So the time to be asking voters is right now.

Yet in a campus with reporters everywhere you go nobody has thought to ask any of the voters I’ve talked to their opinion. I’ve asked a select few to contact me when things are all done to let me know if that changes. It will be interesting to see if the people paid to tell the story choose the processed food or the fresh stuff.

John Farmer tell about the Veterans Brick Memory Walkway in Fitchburg.

Remember he will be happy to take labor as well as cash. BTW he is also involved in Wreaths Across America another worthy cause.

Here is the Sentinel & Enterprise story on the day.

You might remember A few days ago when I was asking people at the pump what they thought of gas prices and what has been happening with them.

Yesterday in between running errands at City Hall, two Banks, the Cable place and the Mall and going door to door for advertisers I took the liberty of asking people everywhere I was the following two questions:

1. “How high do gas prices have to go before it will affect how you vote in the 2012 elections?”

2. “What should be done to bring down gas prices?”

One person said $6 a gallon, two people said $5 a gallon 2 said it wouldn’t affect their vote but expressed dismay at the price at the pump. Every Single other person I talked to, and I talked to dozens, said it was already past the point for them.

Oddly enough only one person was willing to go on camera:

There was more of a variety of solutions, one person suggested a price cap, one said release the strategic reserve, another said hit the oil companies hard. the most common answer? Drill!

Remember this is a mall in Massachusetts

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again forget $4 or $5 gas. $3 gas is going to be a bridge too far for Obama in 2012 no matter who he runs against..

Directly after yesterday’s show I headed to the 11th annual Catholic Men’s conference in Worcester. As usual it was packed. Also as usual there was a lot to see. UPDATE Photos we’ve got Photos

You can find plenty of examples of Catholic dislpay

No Catholic event would be Catholic without a statue of our lady:

You can't go wrong with our lady

Continue reading “Photos and videos from the Catholic Men’s Conference yesterday”