Flotsam & Jetsam



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What’s his encore, ‘The Aristocrats’? Add the name of Mike Huckabee to the list of Arkansas governors who make you wonder what the citizens of the state are thinking - if anything — when they enter the polling booth. According to a report by Adam D. Kraus in Foster’s Daily Democrat, Huckabee - a former pastor, mind you — peppered a recent appearance at the Strafford County Republicans’ picnic with humor, or what passes for it in political circles. As Kraus reports, most of Huckabee’s half-dozen or so jokes elicited some laughs, though “one left some people unsure whether they should laugh or stay quiet.” The setup for that one involved a niece being told by a doctor that a stroke left her uncle with brain damage, but his heart was in good condition. The punchline has the niece exclaiming, “Oh my, we’ve never had a Democrat in the family before.” “I could only get away telling that in this state at a Republican gathering,” added Huckabee. Perhaps. He can’t handle the truth It takes quite a bit of heavy lifting to make the Union Leader and publisher Joe McQuaid sympathetic figures in these parts, but professional blowhard and know-it-all Bill O’Reilly has managed to accomplish the near-impossible. O’Reilly somehow managed to come to the conclusion after allegedly reading an editorial by the paper about studying options in toughening the state’s child sex abuse laws that the newspaper was “opposed” to toughening the law. Perhaps he needs remedial help with his reading comprehension, because, as even the most casual reader of the NHUL will tell you, such a stance is as far from the newspaper’s reality as a Fox cable TV buffoon drawing a conclusion based on logic, reasoning and, well, facts. The beauty part was an appearance by McQuaid to challenge O’Reilly’s charge that the paper was run by “cowards.” The publisher barely got a word in edgewise as O’Reilly huffed and puffed through a near-soliloquy in a seven-minute segment that was supposed to be an interview with McQuaid. In fact, the talk show host blasted so much hot air during the segment that you couldn’t help think that his slogan shouldn’t be “I’m Looking Out for You” but who’s looking out for him? Point and click Ask professional pollsters, and they’ll tell you online polls are worth as much as the paper they’re written on. So considering there’s no paper involved, you get the point. That’s why a presidential poll that emerged late last month conducted by NHInsider.com left plenty of heads being scratched - not because of the results, but because who would have thought that Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana would have enough of an organization to mastermind a poll-stuffing operation? Bayh miraculously mustered 37 percent of the votes in the “Insider’s Poll,” followed by Madame Hillary at 26 percent. The usual suspects trailed, from former presidential candidate Wesley Clark, at 9 percent to Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack’s 4 percent. While the results were touted as showing Bayh’s “strength” in New Hampshire, they really make you reach a different conclusion: The computers must not be plugged in yet at Clinton Central. Making the rounds... • Why would Seacoast Democrat Gary Patton tell a gathering of the Rockingham County Democrats that the party has found someone to challenge Executive Councilor and natty dresser Ruth Griffin, but say the candidate didn’t want to reveal his or her identity until November “for personal reasons”? • Wouldn’t you love to be in a poker game with Tom “Are You Bluffing” Eaton? • Could it be that John Lynch is actually developing a backbone? Ask John Stephen. • Is it a good or is it a bad thing that the New Hampshire Union Leader has launched a search for a PR/image consultant to head up its efforts to “rebrand” (their word) itself? • Sure Chuck Morse wants to be Senate president, but so do 23 others. F&J TOTE BOARD
CHUCK MCGEE: Sure was nice of those Republicans to let him twist in the wind -- and now do time in Brooklyn - over the phone-jamming fiasco, but pay three quarters of a million bucks to help former RNC official Jim Tobin fight the charges against him.
TOM RATH: Who else in America could be a Republican national committeeman and head both nhforjohnroberts.org and the law firm representing alleged phone-jamming mastermind Jim Tobin?
KAREN HICKS: The Shaheen aide-turned-international political consultant raises a stink in NYC over her $18,000-a-month fee to head up a mayoral candidate’s petition drive. Besides, wasn’t Howard Dean against all that money in politics?
JESSE BURCHFIELD: Chuck McGee serves time in the slammer for phone-jamming, but the former campaign manager for Burt Cohen’s derailed U.S. Senate run faces only a fine and no time behind bars for his links to Cohen’s evaporated campaign funds.
DAVID WHEELER: The former state representative, senator and executive councilor moves on to his latest public office: a member of Milford’s Traffic Safety Committee.
ROBERT FLANDERS: The Senate’s new majority leader ever-so-delicately places a shiv in Bob Clegg’s back during an interview with The Keene Sentinel.
LOGAN DARROW CLEMENTS: The emperor of eminent domain flies across the country to drum up even more unnecessary publicity over his plans to develop David Souter’s property - but doesn’t have the guts to knock on the justice’s door to talk to him.
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