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Situation Fluid, Things Gettin' Slushy

[Cross-posted to the Trail]

NASHUA, N.H., 12:30 p.m. -- Rudy Giuliani (yes, he's still a candidate) just showed up at Jackie's Diner, and a handful of volunteers, sprinkled amid dozens of camera people, tried to get a chant going ("Who do we want? Roo-Dee"). To call it a feeble, lame and borderline pathetic chant would not be ungenerous. But no matter! Giuliani is only sort-of campaigning here. He's had a few events, but he's pretty much phoning it in. He's banking on the big states down the road.

"Mayor, where do you win first?" someone shouted.

"Where the voters decide that," Giuliani answered.

He used a baseball metaphor: These are only the opening innings.

In a doorway a few steps away, Giuliani adviser Ted Olson tried a different metaphor: "This is not a sprint."

It's a marathon. What matters most is what happens after New Hampshire, leading up to the voting on Feb. 5.

"How big is New York? It's pretty big," Olson said.

Further down the sidewalk stood Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster. His focus groups showed a big win by Mitt Romney in the debate last night. He said the Obama-boom will siphon some independent votes that might normally have gone to John McCain. The McCain-Romney contest is too close to call, he said, but voters who value personality will be more likely to go for McCain and those who focus on policies will be more likely to go for Romney.

The Democratic race isn't so complicated.

"What I think is that Wednesday morning a few Hillary staffers are going to be looking for employment," Luntz said. (He likes to precede a pithy comment by saying, "Here's the sound bite.") He said that in 48 hours, Hillary Clinton is going to remind voters of the tiger that got loose at the San Francisco Zoo. "And Barack Obama is going to be one of the teenagers."

--


MANCHESTER, 4:30 p.m.

Speed day on the campaign trail. Move fast, talk fast. Everyone's hitting the state like buckshot. They're going on adrenaline, coffee, and diesel, with their buses hurtling from one side of New Hampshire to another and candidates giving the dollar-store version of their stump speeches.

It's not an orderly day. There is no central event such as a debate. And the mild weather is turning everything to slush. Politically and hydrologically the situation is fluid.

John McCain, who went virtually to Vermont since we last saw him in Nashua this morning, just pulled into City Hall plaza, and croaked his core message for eight or nine minutes. He blew a favorite joke about Congress spending money like a drunken sailor ("Screwed that line up," he said), but plowed ahead to a roaring conclusion: "I will never, ever, ever as president of the United States let you down!"

Things were a little unruly on the fringe of the crowd. The Ron Paul supporters shouted "No amnesty!" Someone carried a sign saying "Bomb Iran - Vote McCain." The veteran street performer Vermin Supreme, who wears a bat-win epaulets and a boot jammed on his head (he's a kind of proto-Borat figure), wielded a megaphone as his merry band of supporters distributed somewhat inscrutable bumper stickers ("U.S. Out Of My Mouth").

All of this was in rather stark contrast to the rather staid event at the Nashua Country Club at midday, when Mitt Romney, one of the few people in the room not wearing a jacket and tie (he wore a nice crew-neck sweater), efficiently made his pitch to Rotarians. He brought with him a large board listing 12 things he's going to do as president, including such rather daunting tasks as "End Illegal Immigration." His persona is Mr. Fixit.

A woman asked him what he'd do about the "extreme overpopulation of pets in this country," and he handled it perfectly. First, make fun of own ignorance of issue. Next, make clear that one is sensitive to concerns. Third, outline mental processes for solving problems of all kinds. He used the word "data" a lot. By the end of his answer, many a Rotarian was surely persuaded that in a Romney Administration all pets will be wanted and loved.

It's not a full day in New Hampshire without at least one house party. John Edwards had one in the early afternoon in the tony suburb of Bedford. The small crowd gathered in the driveway, standing on melting snow or around a smoky firepit. The icicles on he eaves dripped steadily. A peek into the house revealed a celebrity on hand: Tim Robbins. And there's his lovely wife, Susan Sarandon.

She told reporters she didn't presume to tell anyone how to vote, but would be happy if somehow she helped Edwards get an extra 30 seconds of airtime.

Robbins said he's frustrated by the way the news media portray the race as an Obama-Clinton face-off. But no matter what happens, he said, Democrats will pull together in November:

"We're going to give the Republicans a vacation from Washington, DC."

Edwards rolled in on a bus dubbed the Main Street Express. He's been on a marathon campaign tour that went all night and included events at 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. somewhere in the frozen north of the state. "I've lost all track of time," he said when he popped out into the slush.

He talked quickly, but added a new line that I hadn't heard: He said that no matter what happens Tuesday, his fight on behalf of the working class and the middle class is the work of his lifetime and he'll be in this race through the convention, "all the way to the White House."

When Newsweek's Jonathan Alter asked him if that meant he'd keep campaigning even if he didn't win a primary, Edwards said emphatically, "I will win primaries."

But what if you don't, Alter persisted.

"I can't accept that premise," Edwards said.

another snowy scene.jpg

[Photo by Paris Achenbach]


By Joel Achenbach  |  January 7, 2008; 5:48 PM ET
 
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Comments

It was a beautiful sunset!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 7, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I find it hard to believe that there's a single piece of ground in N.H. that hasn't been trampled on by reporters/candidates/citizens escaping for candidates/reporters.

It's still a beautiful picture.

Posted by: Davem_va | January 7, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm impressed by the pace of these kits. Makes me wonder what they've been slipping in the pie.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 7, 2008 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Lovely photo, I hope Ms. Achenbach continues to make them.

I have come to the conclusion that I don't have the energy and stamina necessary to follow a campaign, much less be involved in one.

Posted by: Slyness | January 7, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Joel, your posts from New Hampshire have been terrific. I have been thoroughly entertained and informed by them. The kits and boodles of the past few days have been superior. Love all the photographs, your daughter and her friend did a great job. I aspire to take better pictures. I find a digital camera is not a big help in this regard.

The 24/7 coverage of the NH primary has infected our local news here. I think every available reporter who isn't covering the Patriots is up there. I'm going to be very happy when it's over. I don't know how the candidates keep up the pace. I'm not surprised that Hillary got a bit teary, although I wonder if it will hurt her a la Muskie way back when. I hear Obama's room had no hot water last night. I wonder how often the candidates wish they could just pack it in and go home to sleep in their own beds.

Posted by: Bad Sneakers | January 7, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

I like Ohio Sate tonight, or at least hope it is a close game tonight.

Have fun everyone!!

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 7, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's going to bite Obama and they're going to shoot her?

Obviously, I'm confused.

Posted by: dbG | January 7, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm just glad we've got Joel providing the real skinny on...

on...

*sniffle*

My old stomping grounds!!!

*verklepmt*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 7, 2008 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, tear in my eye...

SCC: verklempt

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 7, 2008 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Why has no one campaigned in Hampton Beach, where I spent two glorious weeks each summer of my youth? Is the Casino closed?

Posted by: Maggie O'D | January 7, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you, dbG. What the?

Posted by: lilith in ga | January 7, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Parkin' lot
waitin'on cpdot
aha tmobile hot spot
to JA bon mots
on his dot
plus A-not


Posted by: cp | January 7, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

CP, this is cool. I'm gotta miss your posts when you get DSL back.

Posted by: Slyness | January 7, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, lilith. I really have no idea what that sound bite means. Glad to know it's not just me!

Posted by: dbG | January 7, 2008 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I am also really enjoying your coverage, but I am thinking it is January, the election is November. How is it humanly possible to report on this for 11 months, do they hold back policy statements to keep it interesting? Also since this particular primary is covered in such minutiae couldn't the rest of the country decide based on what has been said in NH?

Posted by: dmd | January 7, 2008 8:48 PM | Report abuse

I ventured over to The Trail a while ago to see a story about how Sen. Clinton had an emotional moment captured in the course of a videotaped Q & A. The comments are pretty harsh. Same for the comments regarding Sen. McGovern's op-ed piece today. Thank goodness for this civil corner and the great pictures that have been added. I reminisce about the Great White North when I see the images of NH, and how temperatures of <-10F do strange to snow and cars. You haven't lived until, at around -22, it snows in your car when you turn on the blower motor for the defroster and you have to pull the shifter with both hands until the vehicle gets to something approximating running temperature.

Posted by: jack | January 7, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Does he mean we'll first sympathize with Obama, then fault him for taunting her?

Will she tear him up, just to be euthanized later?

Both the kid and the tiger are dead, maybe this was really a comment about John Edwards.

I think the boodle comments about monkeys flinging poo made a lot more sense.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 7, 2008 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee proves his foreign policy acumen, also a good "before" picture:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfSN4fnXwKM

(sorry no captions Wilbrod)

In the Governor's defense this was taken from a much longer segment called "Talking to Americans" wherein Rick Mercer made a lot of ordinary folks sound like idiots.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 7, 2008 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Jack, it rains and I've just heard thunder in the great white north. The fog lifting from the snow closed the airport today. Rain and 50F temperature ain't right in January in Ottawa.
The boss will be on a 2 kit a day rip 'til the November election? Wow.

Posted by: shrieking denizen | January 7, 2008 9:05 PM | Report abuse

The man is a machine. I am in awe of the output.

CP losing her DSL may be one of the great contributions to American poetry.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 7, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Thunder in the winter rarely bodes well with respect to the weather in the next 48 hours, shriek. If I had some, i'd be sno-sealing the mukluks and waxing the toboggan. I had a border collie that fell apart at the sound of thunder. Garth Brooks' "The Thunder Rolls" used to send her heading for the hills.

While watching the coverage of the Iowa caucus, I couldn't help but feel a sense of the wheels coming off the Clinton campaign apparatus when the 53rd precinct voted Sen. Obama 3 to one over Sen. Clinton. The next 48 hours ought to be politically interesting.

Posted by: jack | January 7, 2008 9:19 PM | Report abuse

How many boodlers watched the Precinct 53 caucus? Had to admire that woman who went around pitching the "haven't elected a sitting Senator since Kennedy" bit to win people over to Richardson.

Posted by: frostbitten | January 7, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, frosti. She had an interesting pitch. If I were a betting man, based on the media buzz, I'd wager that a Senator will be fielded as a candidate by both parties.

Posted by: jack | January 7, 2008 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Joel, you may want to have a look at the 7th paragraph's third sentence in your 4:30 PM update, and possibly add a 't' to that "he."

Were I you, I'd blame it on your proximity to Susan Sarandon. I think we'd all understand.

On a side note, I'm watching the BCS title game between LSU and Ohio State while eating a "clean-out-the-fridge" version of my famous venison chili. [I see LSU just tied the game up, 10-10. Cool.]

As far as scheduling the 150 inch HDTV in the Bunker, don't forget the Sunday Morning Error Flynn services where we watch Formula 1 races live, just like he used to. And I'll be only too happy to cook breakfast for anyone who attends - the Bunker has a *nice* kitchen.

I heard Ms. Clinton get a bit emotional this afternoon, thought to myself, "She's *tired*." Can't blame her, either. I've been tired enough where just finding a quarter in my pocket brought a lump to my throat.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 7, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Funny you should mention racing, bc. I was taking in something like V8 supercars from Australia this weekend in between bouts of taping and painting stripes on our daughter's bedroom walls. I need to seek the rally races this season on speedchannel. Those guys are nuts. I'll bring the Neese's sausage for breakfast. I might even whip up some of my famous lead biscuits. They usually need lots of jelly.

I'm looking at Great Performances on PBS for some quiet time. It's finals week in our building and things have been hectic. The conductor is making Joe Walsh faces.

Keep my MIL in your thoughts; the chemo is really getting to her and she was hospitalized earlier this evening after her blood sugar dropped to nearly nil. She's stabilized and will return home tonight, but is having a time of it.

Posted by: jack | January 7, 2008 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I'll say a small prayer for her, jack.

Seeing OSU tonight brought to mind a friend who is also battling a recurrence of cancer. An employee of that fine institution, he has two young children and is a person I hope will be spared to us, because we need him. Good thoughts and prayers for him will also be appreciated.

Posted by: Slyness | January 7, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

A missing letter in the last kit at "who wears a bat-win epaulets" -- make that missing letter on "win" and an extra "a" preceding the word bat.

Posted by: nellie | January 7, 2008 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Did someone wave "Bomb Iran"? Let's all not forget the President left for the Middle East, today. They need to heighten security.

Posted by: Kishka | January 7, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Jack, I love those Aussie V8 supercar races. [Though I'm always amused by the idea of Holden Commedores and Ford Falcons as "supercars"] Been watching them for years on the Speed Channel, as they're shown on a weekly basis during the American racing "off-season."

I also loved watching the World Rally Championship event tape-delay broadcasts, too. Unfortunately, Speed couldn't make a deal with the production and distribution rights holder for WRC events a couple of years ago, and they haven't been seen here in the US since. Darn shame, as I've missed Seb Loeb's past couple of WRC championships (the guy's *magic*), and this year retiring former champion Marcus Gronholm gave Loeb all he could handle, but ultimately Gronholm lost the championship due to some driving mistakes and mechanical problems late in the season.

I hope your MIL's feeling better soon.

And Slyness, I'll keep your friend in my thoughts.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 7, 2008 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Kishka, you're 100% correct about needing to tighten security when the President leaves the country for the Middle East.

If we play this right, maybe we can *keep* him out.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 7, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, bc and slyness. I'll do the same for your friend as a part of my nightly meditations.

Too bad about the WRC broadcasts. I particularly enjoyed the rallys run through the winter woods in Sweden, or whatever place they took those races near the Arctic Circle. Someone would invariably launch on a scary ride into the woods. The navigators never missed a beat and seemed to babble on even as the vehicle sat hopelessly askew.

Posted by: jack | January 7, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

jack, I agree those WRC events run in the snow are spectacular. The event you're probably thinking of is indeed the Swedish WRC event usually run in late January or early February.

Good stuff.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 7, 2008 10:48 PM | Report abuse

g-nite
G-bless
'spec. J-MIl & Sly-b-loved


Memo to G: Fios pls? DSL died/ISPeeProv. is worth kittysh!t

Kay seRAH! DDay voice.

Posted by: cp | January 7, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

cp, i'm glad you've connected to your inner im poet. :-)

Posted by: L.A. lurker | January 8, 2008 12:02 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of poets, read E. J. Dionne's column for Tuesday --- it is lyrical.

Posted by: nellie | January 8, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Gorgeous photo, Paris. I am verklempt.

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 8, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Well, not too verklempt to forget to provide a sky report for Pat about the picture of a sunset in New Hampshire. In haiku. (By water, I mean snow, BTW. I just liked it better.)

I.
The sky blushes peach
With the sun at its navel
Branches bow deeply

II.
Pine feathers flutter
Purple water strewn like sand
Trees walk to the sun

Posted by: Wilbrod | January 8, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

I also saw the comments on the "Clinton's emotional moment" piece...

MAN, that's cynical, even for me!!! *L*

And very nice to see the obligatory photos from the Balsams and the Dixville Notch vote (scanning the background for Joel & his Traveling Photojournalism Show).

*gradually-subduing-a-headache-but-'cited-for-the-NH-results Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 8, 2008 5:11 AM | Report abuse

'Morning, Boodle. Hey Scotty, you mentioned the legendary Dixville Notch vote, but didn't give details. Here they are:

"The town has 17 voters -- two Democrats, three Republicans and 12 independents. Turnout was 100 percent. Four votes were cast by absentee ballot despite the fact that each voter was given his or her own booth at the town's single polling station."

"The results were:

"McCain with 4 votes, Mitt Romney with 2 votes, Rudy Giuliani with 1 vote. Those were the only Republican votes cast."

"On the Democratic side, Obama won a landslide 7 votes compared with 2 for John Edwards, one for Bill Richardson and none for Hillary Clinton."

What's interesting to me is the way the independents split: only four of the 12 went GOP. 8 of them voted for Democrats, and at least 5 of the 8 voted for Obama. Of course we *are* dealing with a sample size here that is statistically...um...nearly nonexistent. Still, way to go there, Dixville Notchians.

Scotty, Wilbrod, and some others of you: you've really gotta stop reading comments under those news stories. No good can come of it. It would be one thing if they were at least entertaining. But they aren't even that.

Anybody seen the remote for the 150-inch HDTV? I think maybe a gopher ran away with it... And if I ever find out who it was who draped that giant 10-foot doily over the screen there's gonna be he11 to pay. And whoever keeps jumping up in front of the screen trying to make a rabbit ears silouette, please knock it off. That only works with projection systems. You're just gonna hurt yourself, and the bunker home owner's insurance won't cover it if you give yourself a hernia.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 8, 2008 5:59 AM | Report abuse

'Mudge, the Dixville Notch "results" are largely irrelevant, but the fact that the country is actually VOTING (as opposed to standing around and caucusing) is always good to see.

And I'm pretty sure it was a groundhog that nabbed the remote. *SIGH*

Error in '08!!

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 8, 2008 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Note to Curmudgeon (and others), from yesterday's boodle:

Be careful what you write on those medical history forms. If you ever leave your employer's health care plan and need to purchase individual coverage, they can come back to haunt you. Your doctor may not be paying attention, but those forms can go to your insurer -- who is most definitely paying attention. Even if it was never formally diagnosed or treated, any mental health history can keep you from getting health insurance at a later date.

A quick google search found zillions of personal anecdotes, and these articles:

http://tinyurl.com/2fvmo5
http://tinyurl.com/ywapzd

Not sure how they would respond to "Ebola." But I don't think they have a sense of humor.

Just another fun example from the world's best health care system. (We put the "fun" in dysfunctional....)

Posted by: bigcranky | January 8, 2008 7:34 AM | Report abuse

G'morning, everybody. Boy, will I be glad when the New Hampshire primary is over. I'm sure they will be too.

Mudge, look under the sofa cushions for the remote. I think I last saw it on the arm on the left side, it's probably down there. Don't blame me, I don't watch the blasted thing! Besides, the lovely doily helps to protect it from all the shenanigans that go on (you guilty ones know who you are!).

Posted by: Slyness | January 8, 2008 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Wilbrod, an artist's poetic interpretation of the photo taken by a teenager makes my morning.

Mudge, I bet the sofa ate the remote. At least at my house, all our couches have a healthy appetite for those kind of things.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | January 8, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I just got blindsided. How did my name get changed to GutlessCoward? Looks like that multiple personality disorder is coming back to me. Oh no!

Posted by: GutlessCoward | January 8, 2008 8:02 AM | Report abuse

If GC is who I think it is, "blindsided" is really punny...

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 8, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Our January thaw is officially here - supposed to get into the 60's here in the lower Adirondacks. It was in the high 40's yesterday but wait! Back down to the 20's by the week-end! I'm optimistic that means we have time for ANOTHER thaw before the end of the month - 2 days is not enough time to encourage thoughts of spring.

I thought Hillary's "moment of weakness" was the most authenic I'd seen her throughout the whole campaign. I voted for her twice in NY and will vote for her in the general if she gets the nomination (tho not my first choice). Too bad she didn't understand that we never needed her to be the republican-lite tough guy, hedging her bets, trying to cover all the bases. We need passion and honesty, something Obama intuitively "got". I think the realization that it's probably too late to go that way contributed to her mini-meltdown yesterday.

BTW, pictures have been great. I'm impressed tho not surprised since my 14 yr old niece takes much better pictures with her digital than I do!

Posted by: TLF | January 8, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I showed up at my brother-in-law's house Sunday in time for the last couple of minutes of the Bucs loss. He has a 10 foot projection system. That is the way to watch football. I had to flinch a couple of times when guys ran out of bounds at the camera.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 8, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Gnomic Hi-Q
Gut for u

Will dsl bx
arrive?
if so, hi 5


Posted by: cp | January 8, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Scottynuke, GC IS who you think he is. Since I don't read newspapers, watch TV, and rarely listen to the radio, I estimate that 95% of my political knowledge comes from the A-blog. OK, so I get a twisted slant on things that go on around me.

But I would still like to get my guts back and some courage before I start posting comments like I used to.

Posted by: GutlessCoward | January 8, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

This is sad but not unexpected:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/08/AR2008010801636.html?hpid=topnews

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/football/nfl/01/08/gibbs.resigns.ap/index.html

*SIGH*

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 8, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

GS, I cannot think of a better place to acquire political knowledge than here.

Posted by: dmd | January 8, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

GC, I would add that "Twisted Slant" would make an interesting and vivid Boodle handle.

yellojkt, I haven't watched a football game on a projection system in years. Are they up to HDTV level clarity?

I'll say that I enjoyed the heck out of Scottynuke's HD system, made watching the other games on regular TV pale in comparison.

On other hand, I'm glad I didn't watch the Tenn/SD game at his place. I don't think I could bear to see an HDTV closeup of Norv Turner. Wouldn't know whether to cover my eyes or start throwing things at the TV.

Having said all that, things are looking good for Obama this morning, aren't they?

I'm not sure if he can win a general election yet, but I must confess that I'm encouraged by the NH electorate's display of naked, unadulterated Hope.

More than anything, I think that's *the* story from New Hampshire at this point.

Obama: the Great American Hope.

bc

Posted by: bc | January 8, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

The Times has a story on people who get antsy on bridges. In Jacksonville, it was noticeable that people would have panic attacks on the city's collection of medium-to-high bridges. The most spectacular case was an individual who went out of control on the high Mathews Bridge back when it had a metal grate rather than real pavement. Exited the car, fell off the bridge, rescued by passing shrimp boat.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/08/nyregion/08bridge.html

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | January 8, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

SCC GC, I am very sorry. In my defense I have kept my New Years resolution for 8 days now and am still a little foggy brained at times.

Posted by: dmd | January 8, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Joe Gibbs has resigned as Redskins coach.

Posted by: pj | January 8, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse

But I thought you'd like the dust cover, Mudge.

Posted by: nameless and running for cover | January 8, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Gibbs resigns?!
As Coach AND Team President?

Oh, crap.
Can't blame the guy for going out on the high note of a playoff season after all that happened last year.

Well, let's get out Danny's checkbook, fire up the engines on Washington NFL Franchise One and get Randle-El on board to help sign Cowher ASAP.

Unfortunately, Gibbs' cult of personality (no offense meant (ha!)) means that there's likely to be a mass exodus from the team if a new HC is brought in from the outside, and we're probably looking at several more years of mediocre football.

Oh, please for the love of Lombardi, don't let Danny hire Billick...

bc

Posted by: bc | January 8, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Good morning! Is the series of fronts bringing weather pain to the rest of the nation going to hit NH soon? I think it is interesting that the thaw hit and the situation turned fluid for the primary, then the state goes back in the deep freeze again. Metaphor or coincidence? I suppose it depends on how desperate you are for election coverage copy. Fortunately things sound interesting enough that Joel shouldn't have to go there. Keep 'em coming, Joel, good stuff.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 8, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

bc, perhaps we could convince Navy to take Billick before the idea occurs to Snyder?

Posted by: Raysmom | January 8, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

This morning The CTV news anchor said "Hilary tries to stop the bleeding" Bad, bad cliche.

bc, I will attend the Error Flynn Sunday morning service in the bunker. Back when CBC was the only sprots game in this town, they always played F 1 early early on Sundays. They followed it up with Coronation Street, but in his honour I won't even watch it.

Posted by: dr | January 8, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

I like the idea of Cowher, bc. And agree with you on Billick, too. I'm not sure there's a room big enough to hold both Snyder's and Billick's egos.

Posted by: pj | January 8, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I heard about Hillary's tears on BBC radio this morning. Why does this get so much more attention than when Romney teared up in an interview a couple of weeks ago? Hillary's seemed sincere, while I had the impression that Mitt was putting us on.

I also heard the BBC radio reporter comment that temps in NH are "frosty" this morning. Ha! It's a balmy 35F.

The scene in Manchester today is absolute chaos. Wow. News trucks on every corner, bands of sign-waving cheering supporters marching up and down Elm Street. One guy walking around dressed head to toe in Hillary signs and bumper stickers, only his eyes are visible. (I suspect he's not from around here).

Most kids in NH have the day off, as many towns use schools as polling places. Saw quite a few kids accompanying their parents to vote this morning. We get them involved in the first-in-the-nation primary at an early age.

Posted by: Manchester, NH | January 8, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

How to explain the abrupt January thaw in New Hampshire? Every election requires mud. Simple as that.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 8, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

The screen clarity was amazing. Of course, the projector cost more than his car, which still isn't as much as you'd think. His car isn't that great.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 8, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

[Reprinted from the comments to the Trail article about students walking out on Bill Clinton's speech]

This is what we get for making the race for president a beauty contest. Obama is a rock star. He's a good man, but he's winning simply because he's a better media figure than the dull, pragmatic, get-the-solemn-work-of-government-done types like Clinton, Biden, or Richardson. The question Democrats should be asking is: How is Obama going to handle the Roveian Slime Maelstrom when he reaches the general election race; and how is he going to handle a hostile Senate minority if he's elected President?

Yes, I'll vote for him if he's nominated. But we should get some perspective before we're swept away by Obama nirvana.

Posted by: jp1954 | January 8, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

bc's earlier comment about Obama being Hope, made me reflect on how the election and even possible election of Obama does much to ease the distaste that the Bush administration caused.

Star Columnist wrote exactly that this morning in more detail than I ever could. To me Obama just has that X factor.

http://www.thestar.com/columnists/article/291933

Posted by: dmd | January 8, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Such a beautiful day here! I was driving over the Girard Point Bridge, which Error hated, and thought seriously about just staying south on 95, calling TBG and instituting the first BPH-Play-Hooky-from-work-Day (BPHPHFWD). However, the adult trapped inside me switched my thoughts back to writing a new database and I ended up here, at work.

While it'll be interesting to see how Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon plays today in NH, I'm more interested in 02/05/08. :-)

Posted by: dbG | January 8, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

jp1954, i agree. that said, if he does establish himself as the front-runner, which seems likely, clinton and edwards should stay in the race and pound him continuously (in a fair but energetic way) to get him in shape for the general.

Posted by: L.A. lurker | January 8, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

dbG it was fifty some odd degrees when I woke this morning, I would have been in for a play hooky BPH as well - newspaper had the obligatory picture of people golfing yesterday with the mound of snow in the background. All our snow is gone except the piles from plows and shoveling.

What is 02/05/08?

Posted by: dmd | January 8, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Feb 5 is "Super Tuesday" when 22 states pick their delegates. It is likely that the Democratic and Republican nominees will be decided then.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/interactives/campaign08/primaries/

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 8, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Super Tuesday, primary day for a large number of states. :-)

So we have an international BPHPHFWD? Excellent!

Interesting article by Gloria Steinem in the NYT. Would a woman with Obama's experience be able to run? Probably not.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/08/opinion/08steinem.html?em&ex=1199941200&en=e3d49753c7f6da32&ei=5087%0A

Posted by: dbG | January 8, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

One problem with being out in the Boonies of HoCo is that I never get the late sports scores in the dead trees driveway litter. And that goes for the primary results. I looked everywhere on the front page for a real percentage and none was to be found. Just a bunch of pontificating and tea leaf reading while the grounds are still dripping.

I go to the WaPo.com homepage and its all some grown man crying because his spoiled genetic freaks don't dance as well as the other guy's genetic freaks. Somewhere in the news cycle we have forgotten to include the news. Who won by how much? Give a sidebar with some vote counts or something.

Jeezy peezy, who do you have to [VULGAR SEXUAL METAPHOR] to get some real facts around here?

Posted by: yellojkt | January 8, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

' get-the-solemn-work-of-government-done types like Clinton'

I've never viewed either Clinton that way, though to be honest the Mrs. far more than the Mr.

I saw a really really nice peice on Obama's grandmother in the very very a.m. She seemed nice.

Posted by: dr | January 8, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Like so many coaches who show contempt for the media- Parcells, John Thompson, etc.- Brian Billick's first job will be in the media, probably with one of the TV networks as a studio analyst. His Minnesota credentials as an "offensive genius" are pretty tattered by now.

Bill Cowher will never work for Dan Snyder. He saw what happened to Marty, and besides, he knows what a good owner looks like from his years in Pittsburgh.

Greg Williams will leave if he doesn't get the HC job. The defense will be set back if he goes.

Al Saunders will leave if he doesn't get the HC job. The offense will be set back (is that possible?) if he goes.

Personally I expect Williams to get the job and be mediocre. Campbell will struggle under a new offensive system. Several free agents will jump ship unless they are overpaid to stay. Cerrato will continue to be the Washington franchise's psoryasis- the unsightly embarrassment that never goes away.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 8, 2008 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Brian Billick - Bill Kristol of sports. A genius (just ask him) that just can't win.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 8, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I think Steinem's wrong. But she is advocating an unprovable negative thesis. You can't prove why a dog doesn't bark.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 8, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Ooooh dangerous, dbG... I probably would have gone along with it and then I'd be in trouble.

But someday will be the right day and I'll look forward to your call!

My report on last night's Hannah Montana concert... I only saw what was going on outside the Verizon Center and man, was it crazy! Little girls as far as the eye could see. Screaming little girls.

Daughter of G and her friend had a great time. They loved every second of it. They were probably among the oldest of the non-parent fans and they were there maybe even more to see the Jonas Brothers, a teen-boy band they sighed over all the way home.

Mr. G and I had a nice date downtown. We had dinner at the District Chophouse and Brewery, which was OK but not great. But the company was fabulous.

The luck didn't end with the last-minute tickets, either... we got a parking place on the street a half-block away from the Verizon Center.

Here's the Post's review today of the concert...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/07/AR2008010703797.html

Posted by: TBG | January 8, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

TBG,
And you didn't even have to go into the building. Your luck just keeps getting better and better. Buy a lottery ticket today.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 8, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I was going to post something about TBG getting lucky bit can't figure out how to do so in a dignified way.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 8, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt, I don't think you will get any election results until the polls close. Outside of maybe one or two precincts that allowed voting at midnight.

TBG, you are on a roll for the last couple of days. From the review, you should be happy you weren't inside.

Posted by: pj | January 8, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Apparently Gloria Steinem has not heard of or does not remember Shirley Chisholm. Let's see- female? check, black? check, thin political experience (4 years state rep, 4 years US rep) ? check, ran for president in 1972 and received 162 delegate votes at the Democratic convention.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 8, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

RDP, thanks for the link to the primaries map. I gather that Maryland's primary is one of the Super Tuesday's. Is that correct? I see no signs of anyone's campaign here.

Posted by: Maggie O'D | January 8, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

For a lot of reasons, including primary schedule and past voting behavior, the DC area seldom gets the kind of intense campaigning that is seen elsewhere. And, personally, I'm totally okay with that.

Posted by: RD Padouk | January 8, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Rant alert --

I watched the Today Show this morning during breakfast and was amazed (yet, not surprised) that the hyped interview of John Edwards was relegated to the second hour, *after*, of course a serious discussion of bed sheets. During the first half-hour, there was an interview with Hillary Clinton, and much discussion of her alleged emotionality. In the second half-hour, there were interviews with Romney and Guiliani. And, as noted above, Edwards gets his three seconds after the bed sheet item.

Say, do you think General Electric (parent company of NBC) is trying to tell us something? Edwards has always been an opponent of corporate greed and the massive corporate influence and intervention in government operations and policy.

As Mudge would say: (^$^&*&(*&*&***&%$&*%$@$#@! And then some.

And, k-guy -- since I haven't back-boodled, where did you get the information about Gloria Steinem's not remembering Shirley Chisholm? IIRC, Steinem was very supportive of Chisholm's campaign back in the day.

Posted by: firsttimeblogger | January 8, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The primaries for Maryland, DC, and Virginia are on Feb. 12th, a week after Super Tuesday.

Posted by: pj | January 8, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. all hold their primaries on Feb 12, one week after Super Tuesday on what is known as Irrelevant Tuesday.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 8, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Yup, I'm awaiting the Great Roveian Slime Maelstrom.

Getting street parking near the Verizon Center seems an impossibility. What a difference from the way that neighborhood looked twenty years ago! Urban planning theorists might claim the Metro made the area into a Central Location where development was inevitable, but if so, why did the area look nearly abandoned circa 1987? Is it worth braving the line to get into Rosa Mexicano?

Posted by: Dave of the Coonties | January 8, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, political watchers and friends.

I simply love the picture, PA. I could almost feel myself there. You and the other young lady are doing great work,and the experience is to die for.

Slyness, I hope your friend gets better.

Mudge, I have not seen the remote, I just love the dollies.

I saw the video of Hillary Clinton, and I thought she was very sincere in what she was talking about. I also believe some of it was just being tired and worn out. I think she tries to show how in control she is all this time, but finally did what most of us do, give way to that body, because it will have its way in the end. I think it's called being "human". Human is good, right?

I'm really feeling lousy this morning. I guess some of it is just plain old stress. The g-girl was so perky this morning. She was trying to feel the fog with her hand. It was really thick. And she was counting to thirty, and just so proud of herself. Oh, to see the world with new eyes, and appreciate the wonder!
God is good.

It is so warm here. It feels like spring, and we haven't had winter yet. This kind of weather will make one sick. Of course, I don't know what the impact is for those of us already feeling a little puny(?).

JA, loving the kits, and really appreciating the work you're putting in it. Just because I can't keep up doesn't mean the effort isn't fantastic!

Scotty, Martooni,and all *waving*.

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra S | January 8, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Re: Steinem I read her NYT op-ed attacking Obama on the experience issue. She starts off saying that if a woman with Obama's creds tried to run for POTUS, no one would take her seriously.

"The woman in question became a lawyer after some years as a community organizer, married a corporate lawyer and is the mother of two little girls, ages 9 and 6. Herself the daughter of a white American mother and a black African father -- in this race-conscious country, she is considered black -- she served as a state legislator for eight years, and became an inspirational voice for national unity.

Be honest: Do you think this is the biography of someone who could be elected to the United States Senate? After less than one term there, do you believe she could be a viable candidate to head the most powerful nation on earth?"

My point is that someone did, 25 years ago, and was taken seriously even then. Steinem is supporting Clinton, obviously.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 8, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Steinem didn't mention Shirley Chisholm, but I believe her point was "After less than one term there, do you believe *she* could be a viable candidate to head the most powerful nation on earth?"

Senator Chisholm was often quoted as saying, "I had met far more discrimination because I am a woman than because I am black."

Sen. Chisholm's campaign for President was underorganized and underfinanced. Can we say the same for Sen. Obama?

Posted by: dbG | January 8, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Dave... it was the Verizon Center (nee the MCI Center) that revitalized the area. It's amazing... in the same block as the Verizon Center there is now a Bed Bath & Beyond.

ftb... I stopped watching the Today Show the day they did a 20-minute "news" segment on the new Chevy truck lineup. I think you're definitely on to something. Now they've even added an EXTRA HOUR to the show. Ugh.

Posted by: TBG | January 8, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

k-guy, I don't mean to get into a knock-down-drag-out about this, but it was a very different era when Shirley Chisholm ran, there was a lot more revolution in the air.

It could be argued that her candidacy was as symbolic as and meaning to give a voice to the disenfranchised as that of the black men who have run previously.

I think Steinem has got it. Today, I really don't think a woman, even with Obama's considerable gifts, would have the support he's gotten.

Posted by: dbG | January 8, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I believe Chisholm was a member of the House and not a Senator. She served 4 or 5 more terms after her presidential bid.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 8, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

SCC: black woman.

I'm ignoring, of course, Condi, who has a different background.

Posted by: dbG | January 8, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

You're right, she was a Representative. Sorry.

Posted by: dbG | January 8, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

My bad. I'm a day ahead of myself. The way the news stories read, it sounds like the election has been decided and its all over but the crying.

I need to up my meds and dial down the crankiness

Posted by: yellojkt | January 8, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

And now, in local news...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/08/AR2008010801952.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Hmmmmmm... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 8, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I completely disagree. I was there in the 60's and 70's, I inhaled what was in the air, and it wasn't revolution. (The key is to hold it in a looooong time.)

As far as a gender barrier goes, I'd be willing to wager that Oprah Winfrey could have finished in the top 5 in Iowa. No one would have blinked if Liz Dole had run this time around. Condi Rice has been spoken of as presidential material and she's never been elected to any office ever.

As I said before, Steinem is supporting Clinton, and suiting her arguments to that purpose.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | January 8, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Aren't we all, k-guy? :-)

As someone who was a young female in the 60s-70s, I totally disagree.

And . . . new kit!

Posted by: dbG | January 8, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I have a suspicion that Ms Steinem would support Phylis Schafley if she was running against Sen. Obama.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 8, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I dunno...the Great Rovian Slimestorm might be put on hold for a while. First, Rove himself is pretty much out of the game and not working for any candidate at the moment (thank god). Second, according to Howie Kurtz's article, the Rightwing Punditry is very complimentary about Obama--heavens knows why, but they are. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/07/AR2008010702939.html

If the Rovestorm comes, I think it will come only AFTER the GOP has a clear frontrunner, and/or during the post-convention mano-a-mano campaign.

My gut instinct at the moment is that attacking Obama is a bad idea, especially for Hillary and Edwards. Tghe whole point of Obama's campaign at the moment is keeping things positive and hopeful and upbeat. I think John and Hillary would do better by leaving him alone and going positive on themselves, not negative on him. Then they'd just look like bullies. And at the moment Obama looks like he's got that coveted "teflon" paint job on him. Somebody might eventually scraspe it off him--but they WILL pay a price for it.

I think the anti-Obama stuff in the interim is gonna come from the usual racial nutjobs who've been out there all along, accusing him of being an al Qaeda plant and that sort of nonsense. Nobody's paying any attention to it, and at the moment the mains rightwng (Brooks, Scarborough, Noonan, Bennett, O'Reilly, Sullivan, even Limberger) seems to like him, so until their talking points shift, Obama has some clear sailing for a bit, methinks.

Why that should be I have no idea, but that's how it seems.

Then of course there's the irony that Obama's campaigning on a heavy "let's knock of the bickering crap" platform. But I'm amazed that some of those rightwingers are sitting down and singing Kum-bi-yah with him. Maybe he's right and I'm wrong: it CAN be done, after all. I'd have never predicted it, though. We'll see how long it lasts.

Of course, the good news is that the entire GOP roster is so messed up anyway, and they're all much too busy sliming each other to bother about Obama. Mazel tov.

Man, oh, man, that "huge" Giuliani bandwagon certainly did grind to a halt pretty durn quick, didn't it? Pity. *sniff sniff*

*Hey, I wonder if fake tears of sympathy could be called "fauxklempt"? I may have coined something here.*

Posted by: Curmudgeon | January 8, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

New kit

Posted by: dr | January 8, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

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