US Politics - 2008 Election

New Hampshire Last Day - Reflections and Predictions

By Andrew C. Bome
Published January 07, 2008

(Editor's Note: Andrew C. Bome is in New Hampshire for the US presidential primaries and agreed to write a journal for those Raise the Hammer readers who are interested in following US politics. -Ed.)

I am now typing away at Logan airport waiting for my flight to Buffalo. I thought that before I left I would give my thoughts on the New Hampshire primary process in general and some predictions for tomorrow.

One thing that I have heard is people questioning why it is that the New Hampshire primary is the first in the nation. Who said they could be first in the nation and why should we care about its results?

As to why they are the first, it is an accident of history. While you might find a state that is more representative of the whole nation, say Missouri, I do not know whether you would find a state that would take its responsibility as the first in the nation more seriously.

I was absolutely impressed by how seriously the folks in New Hampshire took its political process. I told you about the Friday night session with Bill Richardson. 100 people spent their Friday night talking to a guy who the day before got 2 percent in the Iowa caucuses and is not likely to continue running past Wednesday. I don't think you would get that to happen in Ontario.

On Saturday I was in a tavern style restaurant that had lots of televisions turned to the football games - this is NFL playoff football. At 7:00 p.m. all but one of the televisions were turned to the debates. A bar owner who tried that in Ontario would likely be hurt by the patrons.

At the Chowder with Chuckabee event, I talked to a 12-year-old boy who asked me whether I had seen the debates. He told me, proudly, that he had seen both the Democratic and Republican debates. I am a certified political geek, who spent approximately $500.00 of my own money to go to New Hampshire to watch the primary action, and I cannot say that I would have watched four hours of political debates when I was twelve.

In Concord, I saw one pub (The Common Man Tavern) that advertized a primary night party. Would any bar anyplace else in the world do something like that?

Finally, the local Manchester classic rock station (101.1 on the FM dial) said that they would be having reporters at the polling stations during the primary voting. Would Q107 ever do that?

Maybe the political parties should replace the current primary system with something else (say a national primary); I do not know where I stand on that. Until they do, however, I think that New Hampshire should remain the first primary in the nation. The people of New Hampshire know that being first carries with it a great responsibility. They take this responsibility very seriously.

My Predictions

I saw all of the democratic front runners. While Hillary Clinton says a lot of the right things and says them with conviction, there is genuine excitement whenever Barack Obama speaks. When they hear him speak they know that are in the middle of making history.

Somehow Hillary Clinton has not been able to convery that sense, despite the fact that her election would be just as historic as Barack Obama's. I believe, and poll numbers back me up on this, that Barack Obama will have a substantial victory on Tuesday night.

On the Republican side, I met fewer candidates and was not able to see Mitt Romney at all in person. The polling numbers indicate that John McCain will win the primary, Mitt Romney will come in second and Fred Huckabee will come in third.

I am also willing to predict that Ron Paul will beat out both Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson for fourth.

As for the general election, things are looking really bad for the Republicans. The Democrats consistently got more people to their events than the Republicans did. I got to shake John McCain's hand because only about two dozen people were waiting to shake it.

I couldn't shake Hillary Clinton's hand because there were about two hundred people waiting to shake her hand in an overflow room.

Unless something happens to cause the Democrats to self-destruct or the Republicans to significantly improve, this is going to be a really bad year for the GOP.

On January 20, 2009, we will see President Barack Obama take the oath of office to be the 44th President of the United States of America. I might take the day off to see the inauguration.

Andrew C. Bome is a lawyer practicing in Hamilton with McQuesten Legal & Community Services. He is a self-described trivia and political geek. He traveled to New Hampshire to observe the 2008 Presidential Primary taking place in the 'Granite State'.

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By andrew (registered) | Posted January 09, 2008 at 11:09:10

I know it is a bit onanistic to comment on your own blog, but now that the primary has happened, I should actually check out how my predictions went.

1) Barack Obama will win -wrong

2) John McCain will win -right

3) Mitt Romney will come in second - right

4) Mike Huckabee will come in third -right, but only 1/2 marks for misspelling his name

5) Ron Paul will come in fourth -wrong

Out of five predictions that were testable last night, I got only 2 1/2 right; that would be about a "D" average.

I shouldn't give up my day job and go into the field of predictions.

Cheers Andrew C. Bome

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By onan (anonymous) | Posted January 09, 2008 at 11:41:09

I don't think "onanistic" means what you think it means.

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By trey (registered) | Posted January 09, 2008 at 14:46:33

No surprise on McCain. He's not a real Conservative.

The big upset was Hilary. And I'm not surprised. I think her comment was one of the most sincere comments ever made by a politician or she should be in Hollywood. Secondly you can hardly call that crying, it was blown out of proportion by the anti-Clinton establishment and it backfired when regular people expected to hear/see Hilary crying and it was a small throat thing. Maybe the US needs a leader who can be compassionate instead of bombing everywhere for a change. In the end Hilary will win, her peak-to-early needed a slow start so that she can peak at the right time again.

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By Tom (registered) | Posted January 09, 2008 at 15:10:17

Okay, how's this for a prediction.

The tickets will be: McCain - Huckabee vs. Clinton - Obama

At 71, McCain may only be in it for one term, so there could be a tacit agreement between Huck and Mac that if the former drops out shortly after Super Tuesday and endorses McCain, that McCain will not seek re-election in 2012. Guiliani has waited too long and Romney has not shown he can win despite spending oodles of money.

The Clinton family political savvy is second only to that demonstrated by the House of Tudor. Hillary Clinton has the organization and should have things wrapped up shortly after February 5th, even if Obama wins South Carolina and a few other Super Tuesday states. She would be insane not to chose him as her running mate.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 09, 2008 at 15:56:07

McCain / Huckabee: this actually makes a perverse kind of sense.

McCain has already demonstrated that he will say and do anything for the Republican party establishment while preserving the outward appearance of "maverick" independence, so he makes a good vessel into which the GOP can pour its policies.

Huckabee, on the other hand, could make an effective sop for the right-wing "values voters" on the backs of whom the Republican Party built its voting base since 1994 - in much the same way that Clinton's choice of Gore in 1992 served as a sop to progressive-left voters.

Huckabee's essentially an ignoramous, so he'd be pretty easy to manipulate.

That way, the party establishment can continue catering to the defence, energy, telecommunications, health care and resource industries while pretending to stand up for rural and exurban working class conservatives.


Clinton / Obama: having just read about the so-called "super-delegates" in the Democratic Party, who represent the establishment and get 40% of the votes, I'm inclined to think Clinton will win the nomination no matter how popular Obama is with the party rank and file.

Whether he'd join a Clinton ticket would be a good indication of whether his "change" message is authentic or merely rhetorical.

Clinton represents the worst excesses of the Democratic party establishment, which is deeply, systematically complicit in the crimes of the Bush administration (the main reason Pelosi and Reid are suppressing impeachment efforts) and maintains a foreign policy that is substantially the same as the Republican policy.

It's sad, but not surprising, to see John Edwards falling away from the lead, since his compelling message of liberation from corporate lobbyists is guaranteed to outrage the corporate media.

(Dennis Kucinich, who represents what most Americans actually want, hasn't got a chance in a media environment that uncritically accepts America's "right" to intervene in the internal affairs of other countries at will and categorically rejects the possibility that, say, government run health care could possibly cost less and work better than the for profit health industry.)

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By Tom (registered) | Posted January 09, 2008 at 21:24:19

Huckabee an ignoramous? I'm not so sure on that - of course I'm comparing the man to the current Commander in Chief, so perhaps that's not a very high measure.

Three things in his favour though:

1) He doesn't appear to be quite as wacko on illegal immigration issues as some of his opponents.

2) He, like McCain are the only two Republican candidates to categorically oppose torture of terror suspects - notably water boarding

3) He at least had the balls to call the Bush Administration on its 'bunker mentality' raise the wrath of Condi.

From all indications he does not have a very thorough grasp on foreign policy though.

Question is... would he pass Rick Mercer's 'Prime Minister Poutine' litmus test?

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By Andrew (registered) | Posted January 10, 2008 at 09:19:08

Re: Onanistic. Checked out Dictionay.com. They gave me two definitions for onanism and onanistic is the adjective form. My use of the word is the second (it's the one the one that is not "coitus interruptus"). The link is: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/o...

I refuse to make any more predictions; given my self-appointed "D" average, I should not be making predictions.

I think it is unwise to start making predictions about a republican Vice-President. We don't know who the candidate is, and the republican nomination process is really wide open. New Hampshire is a bit idiosyncratic; and projecting a clear winner from unclear past results is not a good idea. Right now, we could see any one of three or possibly four candidates take the nominations (The three would be McCain, Romney, Giuliani and possibly Huckabee).

More will become clear after the Michigan primary; if Romney loses, he is out. South Carolina will be Huckabee's test; if he can't win in South Carolina, he is out. If Giuliani wins in Florida, all of a sudden his candicacy becomes credible going into super duper tuesday. We may see a situation where after February 5, 2008, we don't have a clear nominee. That won't be the case with the democrats and that won't help the democrats as people will be talking about the republicans.

As for Clinton-Obama, that is the ticket we want as opposed to the ticket that will happen. I think it is the best ticket for the long-term future of the democratic. In this ticket you potentially have the next 4 presidential candidates while the republicans go into their wilderness mode. Whether this is the ticket that will happen is another thing; watch the name calling between now and February 5, 2008. If there is lots of it, this won't be a ticket.

There are more than two types of political. There is a big difference between saying that someone is further to the right than you and equating someone who is further to the right than you with the extreme right. That is a left wing manifestation with what I saw in the Thompson supporters who equated the democrats with the Communist party, and you know what I thought of the Thompson supporters.

Huckabee could pass the poutine test; the question would be would he pass the poutine test. Mike Huckabee is not stupid; he plays stupid. It is something about Arkansas governors; Bill Clinton did that all the time.

Cheers Andrew C. Bome

P.S. Huckabee/Rice for 2008, Obama or Clinton/Richardson for 2008

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted January 10, 2008 at 10:33:00

Tom wrote, "Huckabee an ignoramous? I'm not so sure on that"

Maybe "ignoramous" is too strong, or at least not quite accurate. Huckabee is an interesting creature in American politics - more Evangelical than Fundamentalist, and surprisingly progressive in some areas of economic justice for the poor.

In fact, more patrician elements in the Republican party castigate him for being insufficiently conservative. He actually seems, for example, to have read the Sermon on the Mount.

In that regard, he's sort of a more Messianic answer to the Democrats' John Edwards. However, the same Evangelism that informs his economic populism also leads him badly astray on other critical issues he would need to understand and address as president.

  • He doesn't believe in evolution, and based on his comment, "It is a theory of evolution, that’s why it’s called the theory of evolution," he clearly has no idea what a scientific theory is (i.e. a hypothesis that makes risky predictions and is strongly supported by a wide variety of experimental tests).

  • His anti-science runs deeper than just evolution. "Science changes with every generation and with new discoveries, and God doesn't, so I'll stick with God if the two are in conflict." America has suffered more than enough anti-scientific, faith-based governance in recent years.

  • He appears to have no knowledge of, or even interest in, global political affairs. When the National Intelligence Estimate came out arguing that Iran has not had a nuclear weapons program since at least 2004, Huckabee knew nothing about it, joked that he doesn't follow current events, and then compared it to the latest news about Britney Spears.

  • At a pheasant hunting photo op to shore up his conservative credentials, he fired a shot over the heads of the attendant media - a very dangerous no-no among responsible hunters.

  • Chuck freaking Norris. http://youtube.com/watch?v=MDUQW8LUMs8

Aside from his sometimes loony governing style, he is also deeply entangled in both partisanship and cronyism, cooking the books and lining his pockets while governor of Arkansas.

  • He never refused to accept gifts even when they represented conflicts of interest, and he ran up huge tabs in his expense account for personal use.

  • As governor of Arkansas, he arranged the early parole of Wayne Dumond, a convicted serial rapist (based on partisan zealotry - the victim was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton an the daughter of a prominent Arkansas Democrat), who went on to rape and murder another woman.

  • In general, he had a tendency to pardon convicted criminals or commute their sentences based not on clinical assessments of their likelihood of recidivism but on partisan connections, charitable contributions to causes Huckabee likes, and proclamations of salvation.

  • He also pardoned Keith Richards from a misdemeanor conviction because Richards is such a great guitarist. "People said to me afterwards, 'Governor, you'll do that for Keith Richards, but you wouldn't do that for an ordinary person.' And my answer to that is always, 'Hey, if you can play guitar like Keith Richards, I'll consider pardoning you, too.'"

  • On leaving office, he destroyed all his state files, including physically crushing 87 hard drives (83 PCs and 4 servers). To pay for this destruction of evidence, he depleted the governor's office emergency fund. (Okay, maybe he's not so dumb after all.)

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By Tom (registered) | Posted January 17, 2008 at 13:46:06

When I noted in the post last week that I thought Mike Huckabee could pass Rick Mercer’s “Prime Minister Poutine” test, I was unaware that he had already failed a similar trial. Several years ago during the taping of ‘Talking to Americans’ Mercer had travelled to Arkansas and sought the support from then Governor Huckabee to protect our ‘National Igloo’. You know...the National Igloo - our Parliamentary structure that was melting as a result of global warming.

I guess it is all over YouTube now. Do a google search of "Rick Mercer" and "Mike Huckabee" it'll be there.

Thanks Bob Wood for the heads-up. And apologies to Ryan, I guess 'ignoramous' wasn't too far off the mark.

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