Political Standing For Aug. 19, 2011
As originally appearing in WMUR's Political Sccop Blog

by James Pindell

Saturday 7:15 a.m., WMUR’s Primary Scoop. My guest this week is State Rep. Ken Hawkins (R-Bedford). Hawkins had the amazing fortune of endorsing Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign last Thursday only to have Pawlenty drop out of the race three days later. We are almost scared to ask who he likes now.

Sunday 10 a.m., WMUR’s CloseUP. This week, host Josh McElveen digs deep on federal budget issues in separate segments with the Concord Coalition’s Bob Bixby and Congressman Charlie Bass. Bass by the way, gives his opinion on the Congressional “super committee” and what to make of Rick Perry with a little primary history lesson. And just like it was 2010 (or 2012?), following Bass is his former Congressional primary opponent Jennifer Horn. She was probably the most publicly active Pawlenty supporter, and now that he is out she discusses what’s next.

Picture Of The Week

The Tick-Tock: Jack Be Nimble vs. Jack Be Quick

A week ago today, three big things happened at the Republican state party. There have been different versions of what played out. We have compiled a comprehensive blow by blow of what took place. You can read the detailed report here.

Questions For The Weekend

Which former Democratic State Senator asked if Rick Perry is worried about falling off the (flat) Earth while he travels the country questioning science?

Is former New Hampshire resident Mike Brunelle actually going to get around to officially resigning from his seat, or is he just waiting to see when there is a Right to Work vote?

Why is Fran Wendelboe in these Jack Kimball stories? Do reporters just have her on speed dial every time there is criticism of a Republican State Chair?

So if he really isn’t “Ambassador” Gregory Slayton, what are we supposed to call him?

How much will the party play in Will Wrobleski’s unemployment benefits?

Is it true that Michele Bachmann isn’t paying her local staffers anymore? Or is that just a sign.

Who spends more time looking over their shoulder: Carol Shea-Porter or Jack Kimball?

Why did Kimball exclude the NHGOP Vice Chairman, Senate President, Speaker of the House, and several area and county chairs from the email he sent after he was forced to call an emergency Executive Board meeting?

If the Draft Lynch movement remains just grassroots, will it be effective?

Will someone tell Chris Buck that D.J. Bettencourt always holds an after party after the Young Republicans summer event and to be happy that the House Majority Leader moved back his party’s start time, even though he doesn’t have to?

If EMILY’s List really wants to have Frank Guinta in their sights, then wouldn’t it be helpful to actually have a picture of Guinta, and not Will Infatine on their website?

For Those Keeping Track

The last two major campaigns Bruce Keough and John Lyons backed: Tim Pawlenty for President and Bill Binnie for U.S. Senate.

UP

Terie Norelli: The House Minority Leader is elected to president of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

NH Journal: Well, they are getting what they want aren’t they? They drove an internal Republican Party fight more than the Union Leader ever did. And by going after a Republican they become more feared in the party and can argue their legit status to Democrats.

Politics and Eggs: After 15 years it is without question THE must do event for every would-be President.  It delivers great crowds, the national press loves it, and oh, those wooden eggs!!!  Kudos to the NHIOP and the New England Council for keeping it going.

Pam Tucker: The deputy speaker does not often seek the spotlight, but after a trip to Austin last week, she landed the biggest political event of the week at her house. Normally a candidate might choose a more public format to announce his candidacy in the First-in-the-nation primary state, but Rick Perry chose the Tucker home and Pam got to choose 200 of her “closest friends” to attend and hob nob with the Texas Governor on his big day.

Colin Van Ostern: The Democratic strategist wunderkind is taking the early steps toward an Executive Council run. We are the first to get the link to his Facebook campaign page. “Like” it if you are into it.

Fergus Cullen: The former Republican chair was invoked in a lot of the Kimball conversation this week in the “well, Fergus isn’t looking so bad” or “the last time we looked at these chair removal rules were in the Fergus era,” but he is getting what he wants these days: publicity. He did an hour on New Hampshire Public Radio, was quoted in the Washington Post and POLITICO, and last Sunday a quote of his was read on Meet The Press.

Executive Council: They actually had a real hearing on a Department nominee and discussed state policy. When nothing else seems to be working like it should at least they are (and probably living up to the adjective) archaic.

Ron Paul: He has momentum. With a sit down interview on WMUR and front page treatment from the Concord Monitor you cannot argue that New Hampshire media are ignoring him.

NH Young Republicans: Their lobster bake this weekend will become ground zero for both sides of the Kimball debate. That sells tickets.

Rick Perry: Sure there were some rocky moments, but few presidential candidates ever get off to this kind of start in New Hampshire. With a smooth hand behind the wheel, Perry not only got covered and protested, but he did the diner stops and the unpublished stops like the gathering in Nashua at Rep. Pete Silva’s house or the gathering in Concord with 40 people at O’Streaks in Concord.

PUSH

Team Pawlenty: No one had anything bad to say about Tim Pawlenty or his campaign team in New Hampshire. The candidate and his staff were well respected in the Granite State. The campaign ended abruptly to most people’s surprise. Many, if not most of team Pawlenty have had ample outreach from other campaigns and most have or will shortly land on their feet, suggesting their talents and work were well admired, even if their candidate didn’t catch fire.

Will Wrobleski: His exit is clearly complicated.

DOWN

Annie Kuster: Leaving aside the structural challenges Bass has for a moment, now is the time when it can be officially said that her early and strong loving of President Obama could mean trouble. With speculation that the economy is on the verge of another recession, Obama having low approval in the state, and with it becoming increasingly clear among Obama-ites here that we won’t be seeing much of him in the state, this is becoming a problem. Which ad will be more devastating: the one that says “seven term Republican Congressman Charlie Bass,” or the one that says “Obama’s biggest NH supporter Ann McLane Kuster?”

NH House: Like it or not, they own the state budget.  It was supposed to produce jobs. The 600+ jobs already cut by hospitals and another 725 early retirements at Dartmouth Hitchcock make the last minute raid on the Medical Enhancement Tax look terribly misguided and very bad policy. Yes, it was Lynch’s idea first.

Jon Huntsman: Rick Perry sure showed Huntsman how to launch a presidential campaign.

Michele Bachmann: By canceling her two trips to the state, she is giving her supporters here a chance to size up Rick Perry instead of locking them down after the Ames victory.

DOUBLE DOWN

Jack Kimball: Not all of the the problems at the state party are his fault. Throughout his tenure this site has actually been sympathetic. But the guy he fired this week didn’t sign a petition to create a third political party. After all of the drama, that is what the vote to remove him will be all about.

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