"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hillary Is Here

Please Note: This report is in no way an endorsement!

The phone started ringing at 7 p.m. last night (Friday), and kept ringing. By 8:30, I had 3 offers of VIP tickets to Hillary Clinton's appearance in our capitol city.

Although I'd intended to spend a quiet Saturday at home with the Chap and the girls, I agreed to accompany a fellow State Rep to the Hillary-fest. Because it was "historic"--Hillary's first incursion into the Granite State since declaring her candidacy. A decade ago, the last time she was here, she stopped by to help re-elect her husband.

This weekend she came solo.

Confession time. I would happily have traded the single VIP Hillary ticket I accepted and the two tix I declined for a single admission to Barack Obama's Monday evening event in a nearby university town. On the other hand, it's entirely possible I can score a special seating ticket for his town hall meeting, if I try.

The candidate started her busy day in an economically challenged town way up North, then worked her way down state. The doors of the high school opened at 1:15, and we were admitted to the gymnasium where the high school band was playing with great enthusiasm.

My section was definitely the place to be. I was ushered to the 5th row of the VIP area, among many other state legislators--mostly female. The crowd was made up of boomer men and women, some senior citizens, and lots of high school kids. I spotted plenty of civilian acquaintances in the bleachers and elsewhere.

Promptly at 2:00, our State Senate President took the stage and made some remarks. She then introduced a newly-elected U.S. Congressman (mine, in fact), who entered with the candidate.

Hillary addressing the crowd. She uses a lot of hand gestures.

Secret Service dude in the front row.

Hillary listens attentively to a question from the audience.

Needless to say, I wasn't the only photographer present!

According to CNN's report, attendance was 2000 persons. Sounds about right to me. There was no vetting, which explains why not all the questions were softballs.

With the egregious front-loading of the primaries and caucuses, by this time next year we'll have two Presidential candidates, and will be faced with the longest Presidential campaign in history.

I picked up one piece of swag--a campaign button with a photo so unflattering and scary that I recommend the campaign withdraw it from circulation immediately.

I'm doubting this was market-tested. If so, I shudder to think what the other options might've been!

While I was hastily proofing this post, my phone rang. Here we go again! A representative from the campaign of New Mexico's Governor Bill Richardson, another Presidential hopeful, invited me to an event next Saturday.

I am not making this up!

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