Timing is everything
You be the judge: subliminal message or neon-flashing billboard?
In reporting Minnesota GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty's upcoming visit in December to New Hampshire, the Union Leader heralded it as the “unofficial launch” of the 2012 presidential campaign season.
The article appeared on Nov. 11, just two short days before the Nov. 13 visit by U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner, who apparently only decided to spend some time in New Hampshire in November “for the waters,” to quote Rick Blaine.
Subtraction by addition
Here's one possible explanation why the state has perennial budget problems: there's an arithmetic gap.
In a fund-raising letter berating Democrats (and received by a few prominent Democrats mind you – check that mailing list, guys!) Republican Sen. Peter Bragdon avers, the GOP is “just two seats away from taking control of the Senate.”
Let's do a little fact-checking on that. “Two seats away,” according to most experts on the New Hampshire Senate would mean the Republicans had 11 seats. Thus “two seats” would give them 13-11 majority in the 24-seat Senate.
But … whoops! Republicans actually hold 10 seats at last count – and that's counting the seat held by now-former Sen. Ted Gatsas, the newly elected mayor of Manchester, and there's a special election planned to fill that seat.
Last time F&J checked 10+2 = 12. And 12 seats would mean a tie, with neither party controlling the Senate.
Further proof that talk is cheap
Perhaps the most notable result of L'affaire Lambert is that the errant right-wing blogger and erstwhile radio host has now joined the likes of Rep. Steve Vaillancourt in somehow managing to make Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley a sympathetic figure.
Lambert, as if you didn't know by now, became THE topic of discussion for almost a full 96 hours – an incredible feat in our 24-hour, ADD-hobbled news cycle – after apparently thinking that a live-streaming video camera really wasn't a loaded weapon (so to speak) and spouting off a few seconds of virulent pearls of ignorance aimed at Buckley. (After calling Buckley “a faggot,” he then entertained his audience with a 4th grade boys room imitation of a gay man supposedly walking before regressing to 3rd grade with the closing statement, “Other than that, happy birthday Ray and many more – not.”)
Chief among the ironies in this irony-filled saga is that Lambert — who has tried for years to topple political figures from their sanctimonious perches — actually succeeded this time. Unfortunately for him, he was the topplee. After his public bout of verbal diarrhea, the Granite Grok meister was first kicked off his radio show, then lost his newspaper column and then sent himself on at least temporary exile from his blog.
Of course, as in most cases of this sort, this wasn't the first time Lambert has made such recklessly juvenile comments. One primo example appeared in May. After hearing about comic Wanda Sykes' remarks at the White House Correspondents Dinner about former Vice President Dick Cheney, he wrote: “May she choke on a chicken bone or a watermelon rind. Whatever gets the job done.”)
The predictable fallout from the latest incident involved finger-pointing, apology-demanding and back-pedaling by politicos of all stripes — the usual stuff that accompanies the horse after it's already left the barn.
One other nugget stands out in the whole sordid mess: It turns out that in 2007, Lambert posted a piece on his blog after the professionally offensive right-wing commentator Ann Coulter called then-respectable presidential candidate John Edwards a “faggot.” Lambert opined that falling to such depths was Coulter's “Britney Spears moment.”
F&J TOTE BOARD
New Hampshire's Republican U.S. senator sends out a letter of support for GOP Senate hopeful Kelly Ayotte.
The professional political analyst leaves her post at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College.
The Hollis businessman becomes the fourth candidate in the GOP U.S. Senate primary, joining Kelly Ayotte, Ovide Lamontagne and Bill Binnie.
The former New Hampshire state senator and current Florida resident backtracks on his claim that he had been “hired” by the Save CMC organization to speak against the proposed affiliation Catholic Medical Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock.
Manchester's mayor-elect endorses Hooksett Republican Terry Pfaff in the race to fill his state Senate seat.
The Republican Manchester alderman, who was the object of Mayor Frank Guinta's infamous “rescue” attempt earlier this year in a city social club, loses his seat to state Rep. Barbara Shaw.
Doug and Stella Scamman:
The former House speaker and his wife agree to serve as honorary co-chairs of Republican Ovide Lamontagne's U.S. Senate campaign.
The former Health and Human Services commissioner reportedly meets with the Republican Governors Association in Washington about a potential 2010 gubernatorial run.
It's been making the rounds...
• Frank Guinta's recent finger-pointing at the state for a foreseeable fiscal problem in Manchester shows that no further proof is needed that he's ready to be in Congress.
• You'll notice that, in deciding to buy a railroad, Warren Buffett chose Burlington Northern Santa Fe and not Pan Am Railways.
• How come so much was made of the successful property tax-cap vote in Manchester, but you barely heard a peep about Claremont voters rejecting a spending cap?
• You really have to wonder what the Human Rights Campaign was thinking in honoring Ray Buckley for his better-late-than-never “marriage equality” efforts in New Hampshire, while at the same time snubbing same-sex marriage bill sponsor Jim Splaine, not to mention Governor Lynch, who signed the thing.
• You can't blame the state Democratic Party for not doing its darndest to bring down the unemployment rate – it's just hired its 11th staffer.
This article appears in the November 20 2009 issue of New Hampshire Business Review