EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 21, 2014

Editorial: A look at what others are saying

The following are excerpts from editorials in other newspapers across New England:

When he started out running for president of the United States, Jimmy Carter would stop people on the streets of New Hampshire and introduce himself to total strangers.

Rare indeed was the person who had even heard his name, much less knew that the former nuclear engineer had once been the governor of Georgia.

Carter’s longshot bid was a classic “grassroots” effort -- an attempt to get a little something to take root on a surface where nothing was growing before. In today’s political world they call it gaining “traction.”

When Carter, a Democrat, knocked on doors in New Hampshire in the early going -- long before his campaign had anything in the way of traction -- people were a little suspicious when they saw him standing there. He had no staff and no surrogates to send in his stead. It was just he and the missus. That’s as grassroots as it gets.

Fast forward to the present day, when many Democrats are pinning their hopes on another candidate some would like people to perceive as a “grassroots” candidate. They would like Hillary Clinton -- a former first lady and Secretary of State -- to ride out of the fog of history and succeed Barack Obama as president of the United States.

“We were set up to build a grassroots movement across the country to a urge her to seek the presidency in 2016 and demonstrate to her if she decides to do this there is a groundswell of national support for her,” said former Clinton family associate Craig Smith during a visit to The Granite State.

Hillary Clinton may yet become our nation’s first woman president, but the suggestion that Smith’s group, “Ready for Hillary,” represents some kind of “grassroots” movement to bring her into the presidential race is absurd.

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