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Dining With McCain Fans

By Joel Achenbach
NASHUA, N.H., 8:45 a.m.--Just ducked into Joanne's Kitchen and Coffee Shoppe, a landmark (read: older than the White Mountains) diner on Main Street. It's a converted trolley car, moved here, according to waitress Kathy Flis, from Massachusetts in 1927. Lots of laminated black-and-white photos and news clippings on the walls. Fifteen stools. Eight booths. Cheap food. A guy a few stools down just said, "Didn't die last night, because my name's not in the paper."

You know it's a good joint because the former mayor, Bernie Streeter (he left office just yesterday), is sitting in the back booth, talking politics. Streeter's a McCain guy.

"It really shifted about seven days ago," Streeter says. "The McCain people are really coming out of the woodwork. They realize the guy they supported eight years ago is in a horse race."

That would be with Mitt Romney, who'll be at the country club, talking to Rotarians, at noon. Rudy Giuliani's going to be right down the street at Jackie's Diner (much newer place) at 11 a.m.

And McCain just had a brief rally, hardly more than a photo op (cameras may have outnumbered citizens), a block away, on the steps of City Hall, where John F. Kennedy made his first campaign stop on Jan. 25, 1960. It seemed like half the news crews were from some exotic land. Spanish newspaper reporter Carlos Fresneda of El Mundo said that his country was "obsessed" with the Hillary Clinton candidacy and the possibility of the first woman president, but suddenly everyone's talking about Obama -- "There's a lot of talk that Obama is the black JFK."

A familiar face in the Nashua crowd: Dave Tiffany, the antiwar protester who grilled McCain on Thursday night in Derry, showed up again and this time shook the candidate's hand, thanking him for "letting me fulfill my role in this election." Tiffany would never vote for McCain, but said, "He's a really nice man." He hopes McCain clocks Romney tomorrow.

Polls show a tight race. Romney did very well last night in the Republican debate/forum, according to the pundits gathered at the Wayfarer bar afterward. But my friend David Von Drehle of Time magazine thinks it's remarkable how much trouble Romney has been having lately with Republican voters: "Filled up the dish, put it on the floor, and the dog just won't eat it."

Cross-posted to Joel's Achenblog.

By Washington Post editors  |  January 7, 2008; 10:51 AM ET
Categories:  Joel's New Hampshire Diary  
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"Filled up the dish, put it on the floor, and the dog just won't eat it."

God, I miss Drehle in the Post! It's almost worth subscribing to Time (not quite.) And no, I'm not David's mom.

The Post should have fired that loser Weingarten and kept Drehle. It's been confirmed (see Washington Post letters) that Gene is not funny.

Posted by: sstackwick | January 7, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I am a registered Independent -- I would vote for McCain because I don't want another 9/11 attack and I think taking the fight to the terrorists is much more preferable to the alternative -- any more questions?

Posted by: JakeD | January 7, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

McCain is a warmonger - why would independents like him?

He would have attacked Iraq regardless of WMD's

McCain says lets stay in Iraq for 10,000 years!

And he used to be a reasonable guy! What the hell happened to him?

Finally I give you

McCain vs McCain on Iraq

Posted by: hannibal81 | January 7, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

John Edwards (at least 43 threads) vs.
John McCain (who may win New Hampshire at only 31 threads) so far:

Posted by: JakeD | January 7, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse


There have been multiple threads on Edwards since Iowa -- one of them labeled him "The People's Candidate" -- how many more do you think he deserves?

Posted by: JakeD | January 7, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Has Edwards dropped out of the race? There has been hardly any mention of him in the Washington Post since he took second in Iowa?

Posted by: joglander | January 7, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

To add my two cents to this article, it's interesting to see the break-down of those who support each of the Democratic front-runners. Obama seems to be preferred by independents, and it'll be interesting to see how women will choose between him and Hillary. Check for an interesting and somewhat unusual survey of the characteristics of each of the Democratic candidates' supporters.

Posted by: pelin.andreea | January 7, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

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