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Political Tourists Flock to See Democracy in Action

By Juliet Eilperin
WINDHAM, N.H. -- Call them political tourists, the men and women who have trekked to New Hampshire from their home states to see the candidates in person, even if they can't vote for them.

Donna Horton said her partner Lou Maurelli -- whose jacket was emblazoned with stickers from the campaigns of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former senator John Edwards, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Democratic Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- said New Hampshire gave them a chance to view the presidential hopefuls in a way they couldn't in their home state. "You don't get access to the candidates in New York," said Horton, a Democrat.

George Baker, an independent from New Canaan, Conn., and Paul Bryant, a Republican from New Canaan, said they were planning to hit at least four campaigns yesterday -- Huckabee's, Romney's, Obama's and Clinton's. If they were lucky, they hoped to make it to see Sen. John McCain and Rep. Ron Paul.

"That will be tight," Baker said.

"That's the equivalent of winning the lottery," Bryant said.

They've done it before: Baker saw McCain in 2000, and even got to shake George W. Bush's hand before he became president.

While it makes sense that New Englanders would be willing to make the short drive to the Granite State, even D.C. area residents have made the schlep this weekend. Galen Stocking and Lauren Judy of Arlington have been doing the rounds, checking out Huckabee as well as Obama, Edwards and both Hillary and Bill Clinton.

Judy said she was particularly amazed at Hillary Clinton's ability to take so many queries from voters on Saturday during a town hall meeting. "I was really impressed at Clinton's ability to answer questions, and her grasp of policy," she said. "She had a five-point plan for everything."

But Maurelli, who heard Clinton's husband speak Saturday, said he wished this year's political lineup was a little different. "After hearing Bill speak, I was thinking, 'Can I vote for him?'"

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 7, 2008; 10:41 AM ET
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We do not see the real emotion on Hillary's face due to all the botox. I watched carefully many of her videos on youtube. The muscles on her forehead and cheeks do not work as they are expected. This is caused by trying to cover up frown lines using botox. No wonder Hillary appears as a plastic faced woman devoid of expression and energy.

Posted by: JohnMcCormick | January 8, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

If tourists were there in N.H. today they would have gotten a view of Mrs.Clinton all teary eyed saying "It's not easy. It's not easy." She added, "This is very personal for me. It's not just public. I see what's happening. We have to reverse it."

Now let us look at this scene. I can understand certain emotions. But if our president is going to cry while dealing with Russia, Iran, Pakistan, North Korea or Venezuela what message would that send. How effective can that president be?

Now Hillary lost Iowa. Polls suggest she will lose N.H. That is only 2 of the 50 states. If she is already crying about losing the two states, she will be creating a river of tears on Feb 5th. Let's get FEMA ready for the flood control.

Crying on the death of someone is not a sign of weakness. Crying when hearing the news of a dear one inflicted with a life altering disease is not a sign of weakness. But crying when the poll suggests your opponent is ahead of you is a sign of weakness.

So much for her toughness that was projected by her camp. Hillary aint no Margaret Thatcher. She is no iron lady. She is just a wife of an ex president whose ego was proped up by the media. Is she turning into another Britney Spears? Only time will tell.

Posted by: ChunkyMonkey1 | January 7, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

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