EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire Elections

December 18, 2011

N.H. primary activity slows this week

Will the presidential campaigns take a Christmas vacation from New Hampshire?

Jon Huntsman Jr., former governor of Utah, holds a Town Hall-style forum in Plaistow tonight.

Huntsman is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. at Timberlane Regional High School, 36 Greenough Road.

Otherwise the candidate schedules, as of Friday morning, looked pretty quiet for the week leading to Christmas.

That could be a sign the long holiday weekend, and preparations for it, are halting public appearances.

Shades of 2000. Campaigns expressed great frustration that year, because the New Hampshire primary fell the Tuesday after the Super Bowl.

No one accomplished anything on Super Sunday, political activists recall.

And, we'll stick our necks out here, Christmas is a bigger deal than the Super Bowl.

Next week most campaigns — Huntsman would be an exception, with his Granite State focus — should spend the bulk of their time in Iowa, with the there Jan. 3.

New Hampshire will be the center of the political universe from Jan. 4 through primary day, Jan. 10.

Event for candidates who are lesser-known

Sad that Buddy Roemer, former governor and congressman from Louisiana, and Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, headline tomorrow's Lesser-Known Presidential Candidates forum at Saint Anselm College.

This event is a sideshow really meant for — How to put this diplomatically? — the fringe candidates.

Roemer and Johnson are accomplished leaders who held statewide office and won re-election from their constituents.

They deserved regular spots in the debates. But dim bulb organizers thought it a bright idea to base debate inclusion on polling numbers.

Sure, they would have added two more voices to the debates. But debates have been crowded before. The campaigns of 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1988 are just a few examples of fields as large as this one.

Reaganites for Romney

Primary followers of a certain age had to chuckle last week when the Mitt Romney campaign announced Reaganites for Romney.

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