2016 New Hampshire Primary Stuff

What follows is a hodgepodge of random spindle-clearing primary-related crap. I wouldn't blame you if you stopped reading here.

  • I attended a gathering of political junkies at the Manchester NH Radisson last Saturday night sponsored by National Review. I had previously attended in 2008 and 2012. This event is great fun, and recommended to anyone in the area who's interested.

    This year's event was run by publisher Jack Fowler, and scheduled to wrap around the GOP debate being held down the road a bit at St. Anselm's. It led off with a general discussion with Charles C. W. Cooke, Tim Alberta, and "Indispensable" Jim Geraghty. (Mr. Geraghty is not only indispensable, he's also quite funny on his feet.) Those three gave way to an NR/Ricochet-sponsored panel composed of Jonah Goldberg, Rob Long, and John Podhoretz for pre- and post-debate analysis and commentary. (Mr. Podhoretz is editor of Commentary magazine, so he's good at that.)

    I got my fanboy on by speaking briefly with Charles C. W. Cooke (I was able to tell him I liked his book very much), and Jack Fowler (who I hope I was able to impress by telling him I've been an NR reader for nearly 50 years.)

    As in previous years, I did not stay for the whole thing. (My ass flattens easily, I wouldn't have watched the debate had I been home, and the road back to Pun Salad Manor was long and dark.)

    Thanks much to National Review, and also to Skip Murphy and the other Granite Grok denizens I got to meet and sit next to.

  • Speaking of John Podhoretz, I thought his New York Post column on the NH results was insightful. After summarizing the key messaging of the winners, Trump and Sanders:

    Simple, straightforward and catchy — that’s the key. And none of it is your fault. Everything bad that’s happening, everything that makes you nervous and worried and uncertain about the future, is the result of a great wrong that is being done to you.

    JPod sees this election cycle as "the payback election — America at its worst."

    I hope he's wrong, fear he's correct.

  • Also insightful are Nick Gillespie and Joshua Swain writing at Reason, leading with this bit of trivia:

    The winners aren't even real members of the parties for whose nominations they are running.

    Nick and Joshua try to put a nice libertarian ("socially liberal and fiscally conservative") spin on this, but it's not very convincing. (Insightful, but unconvincing, is an unusual combination, but Nick and Joshua hit it.)

  • If you're feeling depressed about the results: here's (my close personal friend) Dave Barry’s 8 funniest lines from the New Hampshire primaries.

  • A little self-deprecation is in order. I took a free online course from the University Near Here on the New Hampshire primary. It was fun. Part of it involved participating on online discussions, one of which requested us to prognosticate.

    My predictions, made on November 27, 2015:

    1. Trump and Clinton will win New Hampshire. Rubio will come in a strong second.
    2. Sanders and O'Malley will win nowhere, and drop out before March 31.
    3. On the strength of his NH showing, Rubio will become the default non-Trump candidate, and other candidates will fade. Since Trump has such high negatives, he won't have a shot at the nomination, and Rubio gets it.
    4. The Rubio/Fiorina ticket ekes out a narrow win in November against Clinton/Castro.

    Practically couldn't have been more wrong! In my (slight) defense, predicting a Hillary win, in late November, was not as stupid as it sounds now. (See the Real Clear Politics polling history.) And who could have guessed that Rubio would self-immolate in the St. Anselm's debate?

    Still, I think the lesson is clear: I am not the guy you want to go to for accurate political predictions.

  • I remain mystified by Kasich's second-place showing. My best guess was in a twitter reply I made to Matt Welch last month:
  • And for another vaguely-primary related UNH connection, we had a famous campus visitor: