Wednesday, February 28

New Hampshire, the state that ‘appoints’ presidents

New Hampshire fears the end of its era. For more than a century, this tiny state, a splinter falling from Canada and sinking into New England, has anointed presidents and destroyed political careers. But if the Democrats have their way, a new political dawn looms over Nevada, with its desert and casinos, and New Hampshire may well slip into the irrelevance of the old glories. Democrats meet December 1-3 in Washington to decide the order of their 2024 presidential primaries, and for the first time in decades are seriously considering replacing New Hampshire with Nevada as the first state to hold primaries, after the chaotic caucuses in Iowa, which are more like assembly meetings where the truth is that almost anything is possible. The new Democratic deals annoy voters like Jeb Mills of Dover, who says that at 56 he has shaken hands with just about every president he can remember, since Ronald Reagan, with the exception of the current one, “because he campaigned in the heat of pandemic and it was not exactly lavished by the state ». “It seems that the Democrats do not know our laws,” says this mechanic during a Sunday walk on the Portsmouth pier. “And furthermore, they risk losing this status for generations and generations,” he adds. »Write down what I say«. It’s not just any warning. First, it’s true that New Hampshire’s state law says its secretary of state must call the primaries earlier than all other states, and the governor, Republican Chris Sununu, is determined to do so. And on the other, primaries aside, the state has been voting for the Democratic candidate in the general elections since 2004, giving him its 4 electoral college votes. There are not a few voters here like Mills, who despite being registered as a Republican, did not vote for Donald Trump in the 2020 general elections, and does not plan to do so again now. Standard Related News Yes Biden: doubts about an octogenarian who wants to run for re-election Javier Ansorena The age of the Democratic leader would now be a less relevant issue if he had not repeated his intention not to retire in recent months «The thing about the guys with horns storming the Capitol cannot be forgiven, whatever party you are“says Mills, referring to the January 2021 insurrection, the attempt to perpetuate Trump in power by a mob in all kinds of costumes. It’s a general feeling here in New Hamsphire. Many Republicans in this state already have other referents, such as their own governor, who has taken courage and dared to ridicule Trump, publicly calling him »crazy«. And in the by-elections almost three weeks ago, New Hampshires turned their backs on the Trump candidates, and that certainly brought success to the Democrats, but also to a new batch of conservatives led by Sununu, just 48 years old. He aches here in and around Portsmouth at the prospect of losing his spot on the very front line of the primary. Any of the inhabitants of the state knows, they recite it almost by heart, that since 1920 this has been the first state to organize primaries, which were won by Republican Leonard Wood, who had been a major general in the war with Spain and governor of Cuba after American victory. It is true that Warren Harding ended up prevailing at the Republican convention that year in Chicago, but since then, more than a century ago, it has been New Hampshire where primaries have been held for the first time. A talisman for candidates That is why this state, with barely a million inhabitants (what amounts to a neighborhood in New York or Los Angeles) has been a talisman for many candidates who have seen how their luck changed here. Especially the Republicans. The most recent, Trump himself. He arrived at the 2016 primaries like an elephant in a china shop, not being taken seriously by the party, more of a joke than anything else. He lost the Iowa caucuses, but won New Hamsphire, and from there to the White House. The same thing happened to Mitt Romney in 2012 and to John McCain four years earlier. Iowa, with its intricate and heated caucuses, usually chooses one-night stars, the Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee or Ted Cruz of life, who later go into the background or third place, or simply disappear. For this reason, we vote conscientiously, never lightly. Scott Rogers learned it from his grandfather. At 32, this Portsmouth commercial writes down on a piece of paper the candidates who deserve his vote at the local, state and national level. He puts together a complex patchwork of names from Democrats, Republicans and independents, according to what they stand for and promise, not his party, and with that he goes to the polls. He has gone with all the winners: Republican Gov. Sununu, Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan, Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas. “This is not a time for jokes,” Rogers says, with a laugh. “And, of course, the cat peeing thing was too much, if you think about it it’s not a joke.” Rogers refers to one of the most hilarious episodes of the campaign in this state. In primaries for the Senate in this state, Trump managed to impose his candidate, a retired general, Don Bolduc, who turned out to be bizarre in his convictions. He first denounced an electoral fraud of which there is no evidence, but later he withdrew. He seemed to gravitate towards seriousness, seeking a centrist vote, until he took to denouncing that cat-peeing services have been installed in public schools because more and more children identify as feline transgender, and the Democrats want to help them in their species transition. “Now there are little hairballs in the classrooms, I’m not making this up,” he said. “It happens in Derry, for example.” The truth is that it was a fabrication, and schools in Derry and elsewhere vehemently denied it. The strange campaign that General Bolduc carried out, with the cat peeers, was his political end, for the moment. A Republican voter in the 2020 primary EFE The Republicans had a strong candidate for that New Hampshire Senate seat. This is the same governor Sununu, considered a centrist, who did not hide his interest in moving to Washington after three terms. His admirers saw him later making the leap from the Capitol to the White House, like Biden, Obama and many others. But Trump got in his way, and luck has led him in other directions. The truth is that in 2016 and 2020, Sununu supported Trump. However, she broke up with him after the looting of the Capitol. He has publicly called him “misinformed” and criticized his claims that those who participated in that failed 2001 insurrection should be pardoned. After refusing to let Trump come to New Hampshire to campaign for him, he joked over dinner earlier this year about the former president’s state of mind. “He’s crazy as hell,” he said, laughing. Immediately, Trump mobilized his followers. Corey Lewandowski, a loyal employee and achiever of the former president, who headed his campaign in 2016, first searched for gubernatorial candidates to run in primaries against Sununu, but failed. Later, Trump was content to block his way to the Senate, with Bolduc, a candidate out of nowhere and chosen by him who surprisingly won the primaries, by less than 2,000 votes. Rebel voters But here the mythical power of Trump is not felt as such. Governor Sununu, described by ‘Politico’ as “the only Republican Trump can’t touch”, has a popularity rating above 60% and has been confirmed for a fourth term, something very rare in this condition. He has also achieved it with 57% of the votes, percentages similar to those of new stars of the party such as Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida. Today, Sununu is considered one of the best positioned for the 2024 primaries, Trump means. Everything indicates that he would have the support of his own state in primaries, an excellent political springboard, since at the moment it is the first state to hold them in both parties. Republicans are not planting to change their voting order. Standard Related News Yes The 2024 battle starts with Democrats and Republicans without clear leadership Javier Ansorena The two major parties in the US are at a dead end: neither Biden nor Trump are good options but want re-election At a recent conference in Las Vegas, with other party leaders, Sununu asked his party to turn the page, to stop supporting “crazy, incapable of winning” candidates, that is, those who bear the stamp of Trumpism. Regarding the former president, he stated: “He is no longer going to have the financial support that he had before, he is not going to have the internal support that he had before. And therefore, there is an opportunity there. That political weakness is… blood in the water for some.” In other words, Trumpism is surrounded by sharks, and he may well be one of them. The decision to stand up to Trump has served Sununu well here in New Hampshire. The state’s motto is “Live Free or Die,” and these voters love to feel in permanent rebellion, able to simultaneously take on the powers that be like the Trump machine, with its Mar-a-Lago headquarters, or all the power of Joe Biden in the White House, with his attempts to alter the established order so that a state where the unions have an exorbitant weight, like Nevada, advances them in the primary race for the left. Of course, as Mills, the Dover mechanic, said, they will not forget if the Democrats end up unseating them from their privileged position, and it may be that for this reason they will end up as opposed to Biden as they are to Trump. That decision, however, has not yet been made, and there is still the possibility that the current order will be maintained, as it has been for a century.

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