Program note: Anderson Cooper anchors 360 live from the campaign trail in N.H.tonight at 10p ET.MANCHESTER, New Hampshire
- My boss has one hard and fast rule about campaign coverage: NO DINERS! And I guess that makes sense. Hounding the breakfast crowd at the local greasy spoon is the ultimate political coverage cliche.
But honestly, in frozen-over cities like Des Moines
and Manchester, voters don't exactly roam the streets in packs. They're in their cars, in their homes or in dineresque
establishments. But "NOOOO
DINERS!" I'm told. Well fine, then.
So we're driving through the snowy landscape, when I spy about a hundred people gathered on a hill with sleds. To you, they'd probably look like parents and kids, sledding. To me, they looked like NEW HAMPSHIRE VOTERS NOT IN A DINER! So up the hill we climbed (no, my boots aren't waterproof; yes, I fell more than once). At the top, we found Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and lots of uncertainty about Tuesday's primary.
have been deluged with ads, robo
calls and mailings for months. The people on the slopes expressed no small degree of frustration. But it was also clear these voters are very tuned-in to the race. Many folks I spoke with have been to see several candidates speak, and stayed home on Saturday night to watch the 4-hour debate marathon.
Some people say New Hampshire's role it to set things straight.... that the primaries here offer the clearest snapshot of the state of the race. Unlike Iowa, the election here is a good old fashioned all-day vote. Nothing like the esoteric caucuses
Folks here pride themselves on their fierce independent streak. These libertarian Yanks call 'em as they see 'em. And tomorrow, their voices will be heard.
-- Claire Brinberg