Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 9, 2008
POLITICS: New Hampshire Memory Lane

I could swear I posted this years ago, but it came to mind on the morning after a crafty veteran pol defeated a people-powered insurgent in NH in the face of polls showing the contrary . . . Let's just say it's a reminder that in Democratic primaries, not all is necessarily as it seems on the surface.

Vice-President Al Gore may have won the 2000 New Hampshire primary - and subsequent primaries, which fed on the New Hampshire-generated momentum - thanks to a traffic jam. At least that's what many Democratic operatives with experience in New Hampshire seem to think. Today, when people look back at the 2000 Democratic-primary season, the prevailing memory is of Gore trouncing former New Jersey senator Bill Bradley. But he beat Bradley in New Hampshire by just four points, a relatively narrow margin of 6395 votes. The bulk of these votes - more than 3000 - came from Hillsborough County, home to Nashua and Manchester, as well as abutting suburbs like Bedford, Goffstown, and Merrimack. This is a small, relatively compact area where political foot soldiers can provide the margin of victory. And, many believe, during the last New Hampshire primary, they did.

As late as 3 p.m. that day, Gore operatives had access to exit polls showing the vice-president being defeated by Bradley. They also learned that while Democratic voters were voting in large numbers for Gore, independents, many of them upscale suburban voters, were voting for Bradley's sophisticated brand of liberalism. Knowing that Bradley's strength came from tony tech havens such as Bedford, the Gore team organized a caravan to clog highway I-93 with traffic so as to discourage potential Bradley voters from getting to the polls. (Michael Whouley, a chief Gore strategist, recounted the Gore team's Election Day field efforts at a Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics symposium, and his comments are included in a book compiled by the Institute titled Campaign for President: The Managers Look at 2000. He knocked down the rumor that they considered overturning an 18-wheeler to clog up traffic.) The caravan - spoken of with awe by operatives who worked on the campaign - had the desired effect. It was harder for Bradley voters to get the polls.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:06 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Wow, that Gore story is so bad, it's almost a thousanth as bad as Swift Boating Kerry, and maybe a millionth as bad as Katherine Harris denying so many in Florida the chance to have their votes count, or a billionth as bad as Ohio in 2004.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at January 9, 2008 1:12 PM

Nice try Daryl. In Florida the so called suppressed votes were mainly from felons, who under state law were ineligible to vote in the first place. And don't forget that Gore didn't want to count the absentee votes from oversees. Those votes were mainly the from military who opposed him.

And if the Swift Boat ads were so untrue why didn't Kerry release his military records? He made his service in Vietnam an issue, therefore it was fair game to examine it.

This example is almost as bad as Democrat operatives in Milwaukee slashing the tires of Republican vans in 2004. Or the dead rising to vote in Chicago every election.

Posted by: The Deacon at January 9, 2008 1:26 PM

Are the memories of the Bush Years always going to be so diverged from the reality of the Bush Years?

Posted by: Nicholas B at January 9, 2008 1:30 PM

"it's almost a thousanth as bad as Swift Boating Kerry."

...has Kerry - or anyone - yet gone down to Texas to prove the Swift Boaters wrong and collect the one million dollars offered by T. Boone Pickens back in November?

Posted by: Maryland Conservatarian at January 9, 2008 3:51 PM

Think of the greenhouse gases emitted by that traffic-clogging caravan... shameful. :)

Daryl, I'm sure our dear governor here in Washington State is thankful that Democrats don't actually have the voting-related scruples you credit them with.

Posted by: Joel B. at January 9, 2008 4:47 PM

Anybody who thinks either party has voting-related scruples is almost too gullible to be allowed to vote :)

Posted by: Jerry at January 9, 2008 4:50 PM

Crank, my opinion is that you should stick with baseball.

Would Jesus be a Conservative Republican, Crank?

Posted by: ddd at January 9, 2008 5:02 PM

ddd:

There's an option at the very top of the main page that says "Click here for Baseball-only Content." Click it, bookmark that page, and you'll never have to read a political post by Crank again.

Jerry:

agreed.

Posted by: Joel B. at January 9, 2008 5:36 PM

Jesus would be a Dodger, I think. He still makes it to old timer day on occasion. What a farm system they used to have.

Or maybe he was an Expo, before they went South. Those Canadians! So virtuous!

Posted by: Henry at January 9, 2008 6:03 PM

In 2004, I was working in Easton P.A. and saw a greyhound bus with Kerry/Edwards stickers all over it. College kids from Lafayette were hanging out waving banners. I wonder if that bus was used to block traffic from the conservative community I was in?

It was close. And considering that more people voted for Kerry in Philadelphia than there were registered democrats, it makes you wonder.

There was alot of talk about how close John Kerry came to winning Ohio, but little do people realize that George Bush came closer to winning PA than Kerry did in Ohio.

Posted by: Baseball Etc at January 17, 2008 10:25 PM
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