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A natural occurrence: John Kerry, days before his victory in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary, and a Granite State road sign, with its uncanny likeness to the presidential hopeful.
Will You Be My President?
In New Hampshire, the Democratic candidates made their offers—and voters tried to decide which one had the goods to take back the White House

Campaign Notebook
by Travis Durfee

Photographs by Travis Durfee

It’s the electability, stupid. That was the qualification on most everybody’s mind leading up to last week’s New Hampshire presidential primary. The candidate in question may have a terrific voting record, a strong military background, sound populous rhetoric or just be a handsome young devil, but the question on everyone’s mind was, Could he beat Bush?

“The most important thing is that we’ve obviously got to get Bush out of the White House,” said Cherri Sherblom, a medical transcriptionist from Pittsfield, N.H., who was candidate shopping over the weekend. “There are so many things that Bush has screwed up that we really need someone in there that can change it around.”

New Hampshire voters are in an unique position when comes to determining which candidate they feel meets that criteria, as residents of the Granite State have such easy access to the candidates so early on in the presidential-election cycle. Every candidate but Al Sharpton spent the weekend stumping in New Hampshire—Rev. Al spent the majority of his time gearing up for South Carolina’s primary on Feb. 3. By the time the candidates roll in to New York for our primary, 15 other states will have chosen their candidates to run for the White House. New Yorkers, and voters from 10 other states, get their chance to vote on March 2. By then, the field will have been narrowed, the candidates’ platforms will have been honed to a well-rehearsed, market-tested rhetoric, and face time with the individual candidates will be slim, if it exists at all.

The weekend before the primaries, I spent three days zigzagging the state of New Hampshire to capture as much primary circus and splendor as possible. The trip spanned some 700 miles of New Hampshire highways and back roads, past “Moose Crossing” signs and exits designed solely for state-owned liquor stores. The journey followed six of seven Democratic presidential hopefuls to diners, middle schools, community centers and colleges, as the candidates attempted to woo New Hampshire voters. What follows are my thoughts on what the candidates were offering last weekend.

Same as it ever was: Joe Lieberman.

Joe Lieberman
Portsmouth, N.H.
Friday (Jan. 23), noon

Joe Lieberman decided to skip the Iowa caucuses in favor of devoting all of his campaign’s energies to a strong showing in the New Hampshire primary. For his efforts, the candidate received endorsements from four of New Hampshire’s major newspapers, including the nod from the state’s largest, Manchester’s Union-Leader. Despite all that, polls throughout the weekend showed that Lieberman wasn’t registering much more support with Granite State voters than Al Sharpton or Dennis Kucinich. Joe and his supporters were unfazed by this Friday when the candidate took to the streets of Portsmouth for some glad-handing at a few local eateries.

As “Integrity One!”—the painted charter bus carrying Team Joe around the state—idled on Main Street, three dozen or so paid supporters and volunteers bounced, cheering and chanting with signs in hand, awaiting the candidate’s entrance. A majority of Team Joe stood to one side of the bus’ door, creating what must’ve looked like a wall of support to anyone watching from home. In reality there was only a smattering of press and Lieberman’s campaign staff on hand.

Lieberman spent a few minutes inside the first restaurant asking for votes on Tuesday, then exited to answer questions from small swarm of reporters covering the event. The candidate spoke for a little over five minutes, and stayed true to the path he has forged thus far: Joe Lieberman is a responsible, moderate Democrat who is tough on security and supports an array of social causes.

“The Republicans don’t want to run against me because they can’t run their normal anti-Democratic games,” Lieberman said, in his characteristic drawl. But Joe, doesn’t that mean that they think you’re not a Democrat?

“They can’t say I’m weak on defense, because I’m not. They can’t say I’m a big tax-and-spender, because I’m not. They can’t say I’m weak or a flip-flopper, because sometimes to the displeasure of audiences I say the same thing everywhere I go,” he continued. Did anyone tell Joe that Democrats are looking for a compelling candidate?

Lieberman then went on to quote President Bush, who has apparently said that the Connecticut senator is the candidate he’d least like to square off against in a presidential election. To put it a little differently, Lieberman is trying to use the president to campaign for him.

Is Lieberman actually expecting Democrats to take Bush’s words at face value? I’d bet the president would love to see Lieberman win the Democratic nomination. After all, if a candidate that uninspiring were to win the nomination, it’s not too hard to imagine a bunch of left-leaning Democratic voters going for Nader again, or maybe not voting at all.

Lieberman’s handlers ended the interview and the candidate headed off to a bagel shop down the street. Most of the reporters headed to their cars.

Hi, my name is Howard and I’m a recovering rageaholic: Howard Dean.

Howard Dean
H. Charles Larracy Auditorium, Keene Middle School, Keene, N.H.

Friday (Jan. 23), 6:30 PM

Despite Howard Dean’s repeated comments that he was unashamed of his exuberant display of emotion in his much-maligned nonconcession speech following a poor showing in the Iowa caucuses, there was no doubting that this was a subtler, more refined Dr. Dean in Keene, N.H. He didn’t yell, didn’t roll up his sleeves and, though he criticized their platforms, he never once mentioned another Democratic candidate by name. Although the candidate’s public persona had undergone a facelift, no sea change in the candidate’s ability to draw a crowd could be determined from the number of people who turned out to hear Dean speak.

The school’s auditorium could hold approximately 1,100 people. It was packed, and another 200 to 300 Deanizens overflowed into the school’s cafeteria. Dean later announced tonight’s rally was his largest crowd ever in New Hampshire.

Dean’s was a town-hall-style meeting, with a speech followed by a question-and-answer period for audience members. Unlike Lieberman’s event earlier in the day, Dean’s evening rally was full of what appeared to be actual New Hampshire voters out to hear a candidate’s platform. Anne Clement, of neighboring Walpole, fell into that category.

She came to Dean’s rally as an undecided independent voter, a hot commodity in the days leading up to the primary. Although she wanted a leader who would be respectful of the current administration, and Dean has been anything but, she was willing to look past the candidate’s choice words for the president to hear what he had to say about health care. Clement lived in Vermont when Dean was governor and wanted to hear how Dean would bring his health care proposals to the national level.

“What I’m about to describe is not reform,” Dean said. “What I want to do is expand the plan to include everybody and then we can have a big fight, after everybody is already in the program, about how to reform the system. . . . I really don’t care what kind of system we have as long as anybody’s in it.”

Dean unveiled his plan to insure every single American by expanding the current system of government-provided health insurance: Anyone under 25 can receive free, existing health insurance from the government. For a family of four with household incomes below $33,000 a year, all family members will be eligible for free government health insurance. Adults over 65 will receive a prescription drug plan. Self-employed people will be able to buy in to the same insurance plan used by members of Congress.

At this point in Dean’s address, Clement was sitting up on the edge of her seat, listening intently. In an age where an edited newsreel becomes a late-night punch line, which for some determines whether a candidate is fit for office, Howard Dean proved he could play more than one note. He has toned down the fiery rhetoric, but he is still a charismatic speaker capable of delivering a message, his message.

“I see George Bush gave his State of the Union address the other night,” Dean began, matter-of-factly. “On top of other things, he’s promised us another trillion-dollar tax cut on top of our half-a-trillion-dollar deficit, and he’s promised us a trip to Mars,” Dean said, railing off a list of the president’s expansive spending initiatives that have led to a national deficit greater than Reagan’s. “Even the Democrats say you can have a middle-class tax cut and they’ll promise you health insurance, full funding of special education and k-12 education, and scholarships for college.” He pauses.

“You know why 50 percent of the people in this country don’t vote?” Dean asked. “It’s because politicians talk like that before every election, and when they get elected they can’t deliver.” The audience erupted in applause. “Right on Howard,” shouted a voice from the crowd.

“The truth is you can’t have a tax cut, have health insurance, help pay for college education, help k-12 education, help pay for special education,” he said. Dean went on to tell the crowd that he won’t cut their taxes. Dean said that his international trade proposals, which would mandate that our foreign business partners employ accepted U.S. domestic labor and environmental standards, may lead to higher prices on the products they buy.

“I need your help on Tuesday,” Dean said, and Clement was clapping vigorously. Dean closed his address and headed off to the overflow room to take questions from the few hundred who watched his address on a television set in a cafeteria. Clement and a handful of others followed.

Mr. President, I’m crushing your head: John Edwards.

John Edwards
Soda Shoppe, Laconia, N.H.
Saturday (Jan. 24), 12:30 PM

They say that if you want to make a meal look big, you put it on a small plate. If such was the strategy considered by John Edwards’ handlers for the candidate’s appearance in Laconia, they succeeded.

Some 200 onlookers, journalists and supporters crammed into this wee downtown eatery to hear the candidate speak Saturday. Despite the sub-freezing temperatures, crowds formed around both of the restaurant’s big bay windows as folks just looked in, unable to hear a thing. Photographers and reporters were backed up into the kitchen, foiling the staff’s attempt to keep the orders moving. Standing in front of the juice machine, I had to help serve drinks if I wanted to keep my spot. And I didn’t spill a drop, I’m proud to say.

Now, New Hampshire voters may take pride in the fact that their state holds the nation’s first primary, but Saturday’s event ratified the importance of the Iowa caucuses. There is no way this many people, maybe more specifically this many news people, would have shown up had Edwards not done so astonishingly well in Iowa, placing second. Edwards would’ve continued to receive a little ink here and there, but now there is speculation that a strong showing in the Feb. 8 primaries, many of which take place in the South, could propel him toward the top of the pack.

What Edwards has going for him is . . . well, by gosh, he just seems such like a nice guy. Supporters say they like the former personal-injury lawyer’s positive vision, but above all else it’s the way he presents himself.

“I think he is more empathetic than the other candidates. He’s the people’s candidate,” said Jane Flanders, a Laconia resident. Her husband was an ardent supporter as well. “I just like the way he talks,” Fred Flanders said. “It’s not doublespeak.”

To watch the man in action is a spectacle in and of itself.

“My campaign is not based on the politics of fear. It’s based on the politics of hope,” he said with a slight Southern lilt, gently pumping a clenched fist. “If you give me a chance to take this fight to George Bush, I’ll give you the White House.”

Like he’s working a jury for a settlement, Edwards oozes compassion as he works a room. The candidate leaned forward to take questions from the audience, tilting his head to the side and nodding as they spoke. Edwards often employs emphatic hand gestures when he speaks, but relies more heavily on emotional facial expressions when speaking directly to a questioner. He never says “I feel your pain” out loud, but his exaggerated squints speak loud and clear.

“He does come across as a good fighter, and you can see it in the way he talks. You know he has the experience as a trial lawyer, and his confidence really shows,” said Carl Sherblom, a self-employed wetland scientist form Pittsfield.

Edwards gave his standard “Two Americas” stump speech, promising to rid Washington of the ever-creeping influence of big corporations and lobbyists. He offered up a fair share of seemingly sound policies, like offering young adults willing to work a part-time job one year of free college tuition to any public school, allowing prescription drugs to be imported from Canada, and giving tax credits for people looking to make a down payment on a house. Toward the end, he answered a question regarding his proposal to combat AIDS worldwide from a questioner on his right.

“You know people always think about Africa, and it’s such a serious issue there, but it’s not just Africa, it’s Russia, it’s India, it’s—” the candidate paused as a woman behind him got up to leave. “Thank you for coming, by the way. I really appreciate it. It was wonderful to see you,” he said, ever the Southern gentleman.

“You have my vote,” the woman said.

“Thank you,” the candidate bubbled. “That’s what I want to hear.”

You might not know me, but I want to be your president: Dennis Kucinich.

Dennis Kucinich
The Littleton Diner, Littleton, N.H.
Sunday (Jan. 24), 1:30 PM

‘We all have the dre-e-e-e-e-am. Now imagine the dre-e-e-am team,” harmonized the redheaded man and woman, Dennis Kucinich’s opening act, over canned hip-hop beats spewing from a synthesizer and a tabletop amplifier. Earlier, the duo, who wore red-and-white zebra-striped “Patriot Pants” and matching blue T-shirts with sequined Kucinich for President emblems, were humming and playing the flute. It was very new-agey in the Littleton Diner Sunday afternoon.

Kucinich arrived a few minutes later, and though he smiled and shook hands with the diners’ patrons, he appeared frustrated. Who could blame the guy, really. Here he is pushing similar ideas as candidates Edwards, Wesley Clark and John Kerry (universal pre-k by age 3, greater UN involvement in Iraq, no privatization of social security), and he’s polling as well as Lieberman, yet he hardly receives any recognition in the mainstream media.

Sadly, Kucinich is even forced to defend his own record on such boilerplate Democratic issues as the invasion of Iraq.

“I want to read a quote to you that comes from Sept. 4, 2002,” Kucinich said, reading the transcript of a fiery speech he gave against the buildup to war with Iraq. “This was the leadership I brought to the nation as we were sliding toward war, and this is the kind of leadership I’ll bring to the White House.” Maybe it is his modest campaign finances, maybe it his more radical ideas (like creating a cabinet-level Department of Peace or withdrawing from the WTO and NAFTA), but as far as the media are concerned, Kucinich’s campaign is already over.

Though Kucinich trudges on in spite of media indifference, the candidate’s supporters are faced with a difficult quandary: In a year when the stakes are so high, should they vote their ideals, or for the candidate who stands the best chance of unseating the president?

“At first I think, why should I draw the line this year? I’ve always voted for my principles,” said Natalie Woodroofe of Littleton, N.H. “But the more I think about it, the risks are so dire this year. Considering all the havoc [Bush] has wreaked on this country over the past four years, think what he’ll do with four more. And he won’t even have another election to hold him accountable.”

Following the candidate’s address Sunday, Woodroofe posed her predicament to Kucinich.

“Help me out. No presidential candidate I’ve ever supported has ever been elected,” she said, as knowing/supportive/empathetic laughter spread throughout the room. “I voted for McCarthy, McGovern, Ralph Nader in 2000.”

“So did I,” one man announced, shaking his head.

“So did I,” another chimed in. This was beginning to sound like a support group.

“What is the responsible thing for me to do on Tuesday?” Woodroofe continued. “I want Bush out of the White House.”

Not missing a beat, Kucinich said he was in a singular position to challenge the president on the invasion of Iraq, having voted against the war resolution. But then again, he’s a politician: Could you really expect him to acknowledge her fears that this might not be the year to follow her conscience?

“You in New Hampshire can change the face of this election,” Kucinich said in closing. “The question I pose to you, is how much change do you want? How much change do you want?”

General ideas: Wesley Clark.

Wesley Clark
New England College, Henniker, N.H.
Sunday (Jan. 24), 4:30 PM

It had been a tough week for the general. Wesley Clark, like Lieberman, decided to skip the Iowa caucuses and focus his campaign’s energies on a strong showing the nation’s first primary. With a sizeable war chest and the other candidates flaying each other in the Midwest, the general set up nine campaign headquarters throughout the tiny state of New Hampshire. Clark’s poll numbers steadily crept upward, and New Hampshire seemed it was like his for the taking. But the story quickly changed when the other candidates showed up from Iowa. It was now John Kerry, not Howard Dean, whom Clark was chasing.

Clark baited Kerry to join an ill-advised pissing match over the candidates’ military careers, the general insinuating that he had done more for his country then the Massachusetts senator, who served as a lieutenant in Vietnam. Much to his credit, Kerry declined to enter the fray. A poor showing at last week’s debate (where Clark became so frustrated by one of the moderator’s questions the general accused him of carrying out a Republican agenda) set off a series of political missteps, and all of a sudden Clark’s future looked to be on shaky ground. Things got so bad for Clark that eBay bids for his maligned argyle sweater, which the candidate donned earlier in the campaign to soften his image, dropped from $16,000 to a mere $5,404.

But at least 300 of the nearly 500 people who showed to hear Clark speak at New England College wouldn’t bow their heads because of their candidate’s recent slide. Granted, they were all paid staff or eager volunteers, but they were still enthusiastic. Too eager, actually. The crowd actually seemed kind of like the wife who’s just been told her husband is cheating on her right before the big Christmas party. She goes anyway, knowing that her absence would cause an unnecessary scene, but in trying to act normal she overcompensates, raising speculation.

The Clark folks were just way too peppy for a political rally. They were dancing in the aisles. Clark volunteers were prompting the audience to do the wave. It was silly. That all of the gaffing, nylon barriers and PA equipment read “Political Production, Inc. Washington, D.C.” in bright white letters wasn’t unexpected, but it served as another piece of evidence that this would be the most obviously ready-made campaign event I would visit.

When Clark finally took the stage, he stressed one thing above all else: family values. But I think he stressed them a little too much. To Clark, everything was a family value. When Clark said that funding universal pre-k was a family value, I was with him. When Clark said his $100 billion jobs program was a family value, I knew where he was going. When he said that reinstating environmental proposals rolled back by the Bush administration was a family value, I thought it was a stretch. But when he said that the first thing he’d do as president was issue an executive order to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada, and that that was a family value, I thought he was taking it a little too far. When he went off saying that those were “the kind of family values that we as Democrats should own,” and that “no Republican should have those values,” because they were “our Democratic party family values[!],” I knew I was right.

Not to knock Clark, who seemed to be a genuinely nice man, but he is a political neophyte. His performance in Henniker made it painfully obvious that Clark’s credentials—a four-star general, a former NATO commander, a Rhodes scholar—carry more water than his political prowess. Methinks he’d make a fine vice president.

John Kerry
Martin J. Flanagan Community Center, Somersworth, N.H.
Sunday (Jan. 24), 9 PM

John Kerry had a decided advantage heading into Tuesday’s primary: You can’t move in New Hampshire without bumping into his likeness. Kerry’s profile is a ringer for the Old Man of the Mountain, the craggy, natural-rock formation that looked strikingly similar to the profile of a human face (sadly, the Old Man crumbled in May 2003). The Old Man is New Hampshire’s state symbol, and it appears on every Granite State license plate and state-route road sign. There is no telling what kind of effect seeing such an uncanny rendering of a political candidate had on New Hampshire voters, but I’m betting it was pretty significant. He did win, didn’t he?

Kerry’s event was supposed to begin at 7:30 PM, but the candidate showed up an hour and a half late. While potential voters waited, Kerry’s New Hampshire campaign managers, Jeanne Shaheen, the state’s former governor, and her husband, Billy, answered questions about Kerry’s campaign. Max Cleland, the former Georgia senator, was also on hand to speak to voters.

“John Kerry will . . .” Shaheen said, beginning an answer to an audience- member’s question.

“That’s right Jeanne, what John Kerry is going to do for this country . . .” Billy followed up.

“John Kerry is starting to piss me off,” said a man seated behind me after about an hour of this.

That fewer than a dozen of the roughly 500 people who filled the community center left before Kerry arrived was a testament to Kerry’s pull with New Hampshire voters. Kerry, who apologized profusely for his tardiness, said he was going to keep the address brief since it got started so late. But the candidate was still taking questions and talking to voters at 10:30 PM, rebuffing one of his handlers’ request to wrap things up.

It’d had been a hell of a two-week stretch for Kerry. Earlier this month he was chasing Howard Dean, whom polls showed Kerry trailing by a double-digit margin. Sure, he was sensible and had a good record, but Kerry wasn’t coming across well with voters. His campaign was thought to be dead on arrival.

Maybe the other candidates thought so as well. It seemed that at least Howard Dean did; the candidate focused much of his energies pulverizing Dick Gephardt in Iowa, and Kerry crept from third to first. Dean’s reaction after he did so poorly in Iowa likely sent voters running Kerry’s way. They’d dabbled with the candidate who made them feel good, but now they wanted the security of the solid one they could trust. Leading up to Tuesday’s election, bumper stickers and lawn signs spread across the state bearing what would prove phrophetic: “Slept with Dean, Married Kerry.”


Tilting at Dubya

Twenty-four hours on the campaign trail with two of New Hampshire’s Republican fringe candidates

By Travis Durfee

It’s less than a week before the New Hampshire presidential primary, and candidates are employing different tactics to woo voters in the lobby of the Keene State College student center. A Dennis Kucinich volunteer stands behind a table full of her candidate’s position papers, interactive CDs, stickers and lawn signs. The woman is offering welcoming smiles and hellos to students bustling in for lunch or out for class.

A table for two candidates at the other end of the lobby espouses a different approach. A blow-up likeness of George W. Bush giving the thumbs up in a flight suit, complete with an elongated nose and an “Impeach Me” sticker taped to its back (the name tag reads “Bushoccio”), lies on its side on an all-but-empty table. A few “Vote Bosa” business cards and a thin stack of 3-by-5-inch, lemon-yellow “Buchanan for President 2004” cards rest next to Bushoccio. A large piece of oak tag resting on an easel reads, “Hear Republican Presidential Candidates Speak Today!”

“Have you heard him speak before?” the woman behind the table asks, pointing to the Buchanan cards, not waiting for an answer. “He’s very interesting and he’s right that way,” she says pointing in the same direction as the arrow.

Although most of media’s attention was trained on Democrats in the lead-up to this week’s New Hampshire presidential primary, there was, technically, another race in town—the battle for the Republican nomination. George W. Bush may be our sitting president, but he still had to win the support of New Hampshire Republicans—a feat he failed to accomplish in 2000, losing to John McCain.

Richard Bosa and John Buchanan are two of 13 candidates challenging George W. Bush for the state’s Republican nomination. New Hampshire election law makes it pretty damn easy to run for president: Fork over $1,000 and you’re on the ballot.

A cross-section of the 2004 Republican ballot introduces us to candidates like John Donald Rigazio, a convenience store owner from Rochester, N.H., who has campaigned mostly by running his position papers—typed letters, actually—as full-page ads in the state’s largest newspaper. Another candidate, Robert Haines, also of Rochester, recently had his campaigning cut short due to a parole violation and subsequent jail sentence. What sets Bosa’s campaign apart, the candidate will tell you, is his tenure as an elected official. Bosa was the mayor of Berlin, N.H., population 10,000, from 1996 through 1998.

Today, as they have for the past month, Bosa and Buchanan (no relation to Pat) are crisscrossing the state to introduce themselves to New Hampshire voters. Though they are technically running against each other, a common goal unites their campaigns—getting Bush out of office. Or as Buchanan puts it: “Mayor Bosa and I are going to ruin this asshole’s career. Bush has no idea what he’s up against.” On this point I tend to agree.

Buchanan sits at a round cafeteria table strewn with shredded lettuce, cabbage and carrots in the back corner of the student center. Thumbing through a massive three-ring binder, Buchanan, 53, prepares to address the small crowd of reporters and lunching college students. Bosa, 63, of Portsmouth, N.H., sits in a chair not too far away.

“Hello, my name is John Buchanan,” the candidate begins. “I am the investigative journalist from Miami who found in September at the National Archives the declassified documents that prove that the grandfather and great-grandfather of this president were Nazi traitors to their country who should’ve been tried for treason.”

What’s most disorienting about Buchanan’s presentation isn’t just that he’s saying such things, it’s that he does it so casually. In a straight, six-o’clock-newsman’s voice, Buchanan lays out these accusations like it’s assumed that everyone knows what the hell he is talking about. “Oh right, the Bush family Nazi connection. Of course.”

Before you really get a chance to wrap your mind around what he is saying, let alone think of ways to verify it, Buchanan is off explaining more—often too much, Bosa says—about himself and his candidacy. Like the endorsement he claims to have received from the attorney representing the alleged “dirty bomber,” Jose Padilla. Or his insatiable appetite for marijuana; Buchanan professes that it is his annual goal to smoke his body weight in dope.

“He acts like an asshole,” Bosa says of Buchanan. The former mayor has taken Buchanan under his wing, hoping to mold a political protégé. Bosa is an old hand at this sort of thing by now: 2004 marks his third attempt to win a presidential nomination in the Granite State. “He’s been confronting people. Yelling in their faces. You just don’t do that,” Bosa says, referring specifically to Buchanan’s recent confrontation with Jayne Millerick, New Hampshire State Republican Committee chairwoman.

Last Thursday, Buchanan stormed the committee’s office in Concord, N.H., unannounced, demanding volunteers to help him setup a phone bank.

“I am a presidential Republican candidate,” Buchanan bellowed, stating that he deserved the same support from the state GOP as the president. Millerick, who looks to be in her last trimester, saw things a little differently.

“Our committee has a long history of supporting a seated president in an election year,” Millerick explained. At this point Buchanan lost his head and began screaming at Millerick, asking how she could support a “Nazi war criminal,” to which Millerick rolled her eyes.

“Did you read the Bush-Nazi documents! Did you read the Bush-Nazi documents?” Buchanan shouted over Millerick’s multiple requests for him to leave the office. Two young Republicans eventually formed a wall between Buchanan and their chairwoman, and Buchanan exited the office, still shouting. “God Bless America, you fascist assholes.”

“They’re looking for a defense from the beginning. They’re looking to discredit you,” Bosa says from experience. For Bosa this run for office is much like the other three—no help from the local Republican committees, no coverage from the local media. The best you can do is go into this office with a witness, preferably a reporter from out of town, and explain your candidacy and your demands, he says. You never want to fly off the handle. “You go in there acting like a wacko and you’re done.”

Bosa takes a slightly different approach than Buchanan to receiving attention in his quest for public office. Bosa prefers retail politicking—visiting hardware stores, VFW posts and diners to shake hands and give out a few of his business cards. Bosa has focused his pitch quite nicely, too: “Hello, my name is Dick Bosa. I’m running for president to stop this country’s loss of manufacturing jobs.”

Bosa preaches this message from his experience serving as the mayor of Berlin from 1996 to 1998. A paper mill that was one of the town’s largest employers closed its doors and moved overseas during his tenure, leaving hundreds jobless. The former mayor blames international trade agreements like the WTO, NAFTA and GATT for the loss of similar jobs across the nation.

Bosa said it would be his first priority after winning the election to abolish these trade agreements, but that idea comes with a bit of irony. Bosa is employed by the very sort of multinational corporation he so maligns; he is a sales rep for Sacmi, an Italian firm that sells machinery to foreign manufacturing plants that make caps for soda bottles. A photo album in Bosa’s home is filled with pictures of the candidate visiting manufacturing plants in Asia.

But Bosa is quick to point out similar incongruities in the life of his opponent George W. Bush.

“He was born in Connecticut, raised in Washington, D.C., educated at Yale and says he’s a Texan. Well I spent time in Houston, so I guess I’m a Texan, too,” Bosa says, showing off the black leather cowboy boots, trench coat and cowboy hat he’s sported from the beginning of the campaign. If he does well in the New Hampshire primary (well would mean the vote totals for all the fringe candidates combined equaling that the of the president), Bosa says he plans on taking the campaign to the president’s home state.

“I’m going to embarrass him in Texas,” Bosa predicts. “He’ll leave New Hampshire limping.”

Tuesday’s primary results as of press time Wednesday, Jan. 28, as reported by the Concord Monitor: George W. Bush—26,911 votes; Other—4,021 votes.



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