Flotsam & Jetsam

Hope for all of usDuring the late ’60s and early ’70s, one of the riddles to the universe was how in the heck someone like the world-class schmendrick Henry Kissinger could be seen with a bevy of beautiful women on his arm, including Jill St. John, Gina Lollabrigida, Marlo Thomas and Gloria Steinem (yes, it’s true).The answer, according to Dr. Kissinger at the time: “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.”Well, apparently even being out of power doesn’t hurt. Consider a recent scene in which none other than former Supreme Court Justice David Souter — never, at least to F&J’s recollection, on People magazine’s list of the sexiest men alive — was spotted dining with a couple at the Granite Restaurant in Concord.While at their table, it was reported to F&J, a woman described as “a voluptuous blonde” approached the retired justice and “asked for his autograph like he was Mick Jagger.”
Or, perhaps, Henry Kissinger.
Play it again, JohnAt this point in time, to use a well-worn Nixon era phrase, it’s not clear whether John Lynch will run for an unprecedented fourth term as New Hampshire governor. (WHY anyone in his or her right mind would want to do that is another matter entirely, of course.)But what is clear is that — no matter the potential openings Republicans are finding in the races for Congress, the U.S. Senate and Legislature — the guv is standing pretty tall in the eyes of state residents.At least that’s according to a recent Rasmussen Poll, which put his approval rating at 66 percent. Not exactly the kind of number that gets potential opponents chomping at the bit, no matter how much talking they’re doing.Exhibition seasonThe Belknap County Republican Committee didn’t do GOP Senate hopeful Kelly Ayotte many favors when she spoke at a recent gathering.Ayotte, who’s apparently playing to whatever is left of the center of the Republican Party in New Hampshire, was left to field a series of questions from audience members that didn’t exactly play to her strengths as the state’s first female top law enforcement officer. In fact, the questions — ranging from whether she supported a budding effort to empower states to nullify acts of the federal government to several attempts to get her to offer the audience red meat on abortion, gun rights and same-sex marriage — seemed to take her out of her comfort zone.In fact, the ex-AG didn’t really get the crowd going until the end of the session, when one member of the audience congratulated her for successfully prosecuting and obtaining a death sentence for the killer Manchester police officer Michael Briggs. It was the one time the room erupted in applause.
F&J TOTE BOARDCharlie Bass: The former Republican congressman will reportedly announce by the end of the year whether he will run for either the U.S. Senate or House.Mike Castaldo: The Dover resident and anti-poverty activist says he’s weighing a run for the Republican nomination in the 1st C.D.Sean Mahoney: The Republican National Committeeman and publisher of Business NH says he’s “seriously considering” running for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination.Susan and Steve Duprey: The high-powered lawyer and her equally high-powered developer husband have a difference of opinion in the GOP Senate primary: Susan D. is backing her law partner, Ovide Lamontagne and Steve D. is backing Kelly Ayotte.Judd Gregg: New Hampshire’s senior U.S. senator agrees to take a vacant seat on the Senate Banking Committee.Robert Giuda: The Warren Republican and former three-term state rep says he’ll be announcing his candidacy for the 2nd C.D. nod next month.Colin Van Ostern: The former head of the Dems’ 2008 coordinated campaign joins Anne McLane Kuster’s bid for the 2nd C.D. nomination as campaign manager.It’s been making the rounds…• Forget the phony “Palin Lite” epithet — some folks are starting to call Kelly Ayotte “Shaheen Lite.”• Marital bliss, or actually the lack thereof, could rear its ugly head in a key political race next year, maybe sooner.• Considering the state of the Republican Party in the 2nd C.D., Charlie Bass, their last best hope, would fill that role again in 2010.• It’s entirely possible, for reasons beyond anyone’s comprehension, that Paul Hodes will get away with the summertime impression he left off dodging those “town halls” over the summer.• At the recent New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association auction could be spotted N.H. GOP Chair John H. Sununu — whose family was one of the sponsors of the event and who had the highest bid on two items — and Senate President Sylvia Larsen — whose husband is an adviser to the council and bought nothing.• Why is the state laying off people at the Department of Employment Security as a money-saving move and using employees from other agencies to make up the manpower shortage when federal money is paying the salaries in the first place?• Katrina Swett wowed the crowd at the recent Amherst Dems’ Labor Day barbecue. Anne McLane Kuster, not so much.• State Dems must feel pretty flush if they can hire a second press secretary, bringing staff to eight.