One problem I ran into during my road trip was a reluctance on the part of avg voters to go on Camera. The Big Exception was in NY-24 at the Clay Town Hall candidate forum. About 75 voters came to Watch Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY) and Green Party Candidate Ursula Rozum answer questions on a wide variety of issues. Democrat Candidate and former Congressman Dan Maffei skipped this town hall as he has every previous one.

However the voters were there and talked to me. First was Ralph:

My batteries died in the middle of the interview so I shot a 2nd part

Lee had some Choice words for Dan Maffei missing the event:

One Lee talked to me the dam was opened and people queued up to speak to me, First Michael on Obamacare

Mark who had comments on High Speed Rail

And Ed on Capital Gains

I’ll have the video of the Q & A later and the Candidate’s reactions but what about voters? I talked to Gary

There is one constant theme in all these interviews, Ann Marie Buerkle accessible, and running on her record. Dan Maffei not accessible.

If this is what’s going on after two years, I think Congresswoman Buerkle will do very well come election day.

Incidentally if you are wondering why there are no Maffei or Rozum supporters were interviewed, it’s simply because none were willing to talk. I gave a general invitation to the crowd and went from person to person, I can’t make people talk to me nor will I film a “non-combatant” without permission

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.

That was the line from Rick Santorum as he was absolutely swarmed by press, and voters at the Hillsborough county event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

After the Ron Paul event Stacy & I headed to the Hotel which was loaded with local republicans,

Stacy McCain always seems to find tables like this


The press swarms Newt

And some familiar faces

Michael Graham at the Hillsborough county event

The absolute change in the fortunes in fortunes for Rick Santorum meant that when he came in, he was absolutely mobbed to the point where he almost couldn’t move.

santorum swarmed at the Hillsborough county event

But he made time for the Granite Grok folks who had made time for him when other reporters weren’t interested

Santorum signs an autograph while appearing on Granite Grok

In addition to local republicans several candidates took the stage, the first was Newt who’s appearance was brief as he had a town hall later that evening

There were no shortage of Newt Fans in attendence

Buddy Roemer was the Next presidential candidate to take the stage

Buddy Romer gives his stump speech

He made a spirited attack on big money in politics but didn’t seem to get a lot of traction with the crowd. However in my opinion even less was gained by former governor Sununu speaking for Mitt

Fmr Gov Sununu for Mitt Romney

I never saw a sitting governor more ignored, the crowd kept talking as if he wasn’t there, then again considering he claimed Romney fought Gay Marriage in Massachusetts perhaps such mendacity received its proper reward.

Meanwhile Stacy as usual got some attention from the ladies or was it the other way around?

That reaction to Santorum was what I’d been hearing a lot in the last few days.

Rand Paul spoke for his father and spoke well.

He was kind enough to give me some of his time:

He’s a lot shorter than I’d thought he’d be but he stands tall on ideas and principles

Rand Paul makes the case for his father

and made a strong case for the Paul candidacy.

Jon Huntsman’s daughters were also present,

Not only beauty but fine young ladies as well

Stacy McCain who advised them to not become Megan McCain introduced me to them and Abby was kind enough to allow an interview

Jon Huntsman may not impress me as a candidate much but seeing the way his daughters carry themselves he has certainly impressed me as a father. These are young women to be proud of, the type of women I want my sons to bring home.

For a press junkie of course part of the fun is seeing and meeting folks and today was the day

Grok, Graham and Stacy

I met Mark Steyn for the first time.

He talked to me just before I spoke to the Huntsman girls, it turned into an impromptu coffee klatch

What political fan would not want to be here? And if you weren’t here the Granite Grok crew were livestreaming.

I will follow up this post with interviews and speeches that I simply don’t have time to throw in now later in the day or in a new post, and for those Ron Paul fans out there, I do have more interviews from the Nashua event that I will be posting on as soon as I can.

Of course we will be playing some of this on DaTechGuy on Daradio today at 10 a.m. on WCRN with Stacy McCain, Granite Grok and Roxeanne Deluca listen live at or tweet #daradio

Yeah it would have made more sense to have this video up before yesterday’s Palin stuff but that was breaking news and frankly tends to drive hits faster. Since some videos were added to this post as updates I’ve included them here too:

I talked to Sue first

She later moved her setup to the main vendor area, she started near the Freedom Works counter protest spot.

Stewart was part of the anti-Romney Tea Party Crowd, in addition to commenting on Romney he gave some info on the recovery from Irene in his state

When I talked to Tom, NBC news was filming at the same time.

I’ll wager the words “Porkbusters” never found its way to a NBC camera before.

Next I talked to candidate Buddy Roemer

And later took a clip of the Anti-Romney Crowd:

And a Palin Supporter

Some Romney supporters came to talk to me as a group:

And I took a quick peek at his speech

And the Crowd during it

And Sal Russo from the Tea Party Express wrapped it up

I hope to have my second part of my writeup of the event up before the end of the day.

Update: Forgot my last clip as Governor Romney left silly me:

Update 2: Wrong code corrected

You really can’t get the idea of the kind of Draw Sarah Palin is until you actually see it.

The first thing that you note is the people come from everywhere:

And that it comes in two waves, the true believers first and then the others later

The first person I ran into was Doreen:

She was in the second row so I next talked to Eddie who was front row center:

I ventured next to the Sarah Palin 2012 booth and interviewed Steve

There was a freelance reporter who wanted to interview me. I wanted to interview him but he at first declined. So we compromised, both of us had the Camera running and we interviewed each other

He was hoping to be there when Palin announced but thought that it was the spontaneity is what really drives the coverage.

The last people I talked to was the greater Waltham Tea Party, I was having a problem with my camera so I couldn’t see what I was filming.

They loved Palin but were of the people I talked to (other than those from existing campaigns) the most indifferent to a run one way or the other.

The most interesting thing I noticed is that people generally thought she would run and wanted her to announce but Now when the speech actual was taking place and the subject came up the crowed chimed in:


Alas, they did not hear the words hey were dying to.

Will they hear those words in the future? Several months ago I thought so, but now I as I told Boots, I have no idea.

If she runs I’ll be happy to support her, if she doesn’t I have a lot of good choices available, but either way, my advice to the media, the democrats and the field should act like she is not running while wargaming as if she was.

As for her supporters I really don’t know what to say. I know that if she announces they will mobilize strongly. If she doesn’t, I have absolutely no idea what they will do.

And neither does anyone else

Update; Dave Weigel needs to take my act/wargaming advice

Author Terry Tibbetts spoke to me at the Herman Cain event in Manchester on the 19th

He also joined me for our salon at the Border, his book on College Football great and soldier Don HollederA Spartan Game: The Life and Loss of Don Holleder is available in paperback, hardcover and for the Kindle.

I actually saw Nickel both at the Santorum appearance and at the Cain event on Friday

He also attended the Saturday Straw Poll that I was unable to make due to the Salon at the Border.

Rep Steve Smith comments on Herman Cain at his November 19th Manchester Campaign opening:

I think the question about NH vs Mass. should be repeated to each pol from each state

Some of the first members of the General Public to show up were these Ron Paul Fans who spoke to me

I’ve talked to a lot of voters here who disagree with Ron Paul, but I’ve yet to talk to a single one who doesn’t believe he is sincere or dishonest in his beliefs. That is worth an awful lot in NH.