If you’ve never seen John McCain speak in New Hampshire, you probably should. Not because I expect he’s going to present some new policy idea or take the president to task, but because you can’t really say you lived in New Hampshire until you have.
Between his two presidential runs, Sen. McCain arguable campaigned more in New Hampshire than any other national politician. I covered him in 2007 when he had that crazy campaign collapse turned victory, thanks to the fact New Hampshire seems to really love the guy — or at least New Hampshire Republicans, as was pointed out to me on Sunday.
If you’re one of the many who has seen McCain speak to a small room, town-hall style, where he answers any question no matter how crazy, you’ve also heard McCain’s jokes. He doesn’t have many, but the ones he has are not bad the first time you hear them. But they go steadily downhill upon repeating. Here are a few, roughly transcribed:
When people ask me what I did after I lost the election, I tell them I slept like a baby — sleep for an hour, wake up and cry, go back to sleep for an hour…
I like to tell the story about the two guys in the prison chow line, where one says to the other, “I liked the food in here better when you were governor.”
and the sticker
I told that joke in Illinois, but it didn’t go over well.
McCain spoke on Sunday in Concord for an event honoring the late N.H. Sen. Warren Rudman and the opening of a policy center named in his honor. Here’s the story, for Associated Press.
OK, so it’s only raining on the Seacoast. I still could use a snow day. Here’s a short BNAD.
— Lack of traffic continues to trouble Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. JetBlue is likely a promising development, but a Manchester source told me almost a year ago about these talks. Another story about this issue ran in the UL in the fall.
— James Pindell analysis on the Hagel confirmation. He notes Sen. Kelly Ayotte benefits from taking tough stances on Obama-backed votes because it earns her cred — and spots on the Sunday morning talk shows. (I also would suggest not being so wooden or sounding like a talking-points machine would help Ayotte too.)
After all the hub-bub about Hagel, his confirmation vote sure did end in a whimper. Pindell is the only NH reporter I could find this morning who wrote about it.
— Another story I can’t believe more people haven’t written about is Rep. Mark Warden doling out some unsolicited relationship advice during a House committee hearing on lowering assault penalties in some cases. Here’s the quote, via Ben Leubsdorf:
“Some people could make the argument that a lot of people like being in abusive relationships. It’s a love-hate relationship. It’s very, very common for people to stick around with somebody they love who also abuses him or her,” said Warden, a Republican who represents Deering, Goffstown and Weare, during a meeting of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, according to a video provided by Granite State Progress, a liberal advocacy group. According to the video, Warden added, “Is the solution to those kind of dysfunctional relationships going to be more government, another law? I’d say no. People are always free to leave.”
Perhaps NH’s news editors agree with Manchester Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, who said yesterday, “the Monitor was simply trying to gin up controversy by focusing on Warden’s comments.”
“The House voted 276-75 Wednesday to approve House Bill 535, which makes the white potato the state vegetable.
The bill had its genesis at the Derry Village School, where students researched the origins of the white potato in North America and found it was first planted in a field near the school in 1719, in what was known then as Nutfield.”
— Garry Rayno
When I saw the headline in the New Hampshire Union Leader, my first thought was, ‘Is the potato even a vegetable?’ According to nutritionists in the United Kingdom, it mostly is, sort of.
This bill certainly seems easy to support, especially since New Hampshire is the first state to plant the delicious tuber. Generally these children-submitted bills tend to pass. I have found that making a big to-do out of them just makes the people complaining look like a bunch of party poopers. Best to pass this bill quickly so the Legislature can move on and the everyone can forget what they just voted for.
I would, however, have to also agree with Rep. James Parison, R-New Ipswich, who prefers broccoli as the state veg.
“Making the white potato the official state vegetable sends a bad message to our children who should grow up knowing good food should be dark green and taste terrible,” Parison said.
Nothing like a little tough love from the Granite State.