In recent weeks, one Presidential hopeful or another could be found chatting and glad-handing residents, or hosting “town hall” question and answer sessions. All just down the road or across town or in the community next door.
And that’s only going to increase, even as the field of candidates shifts, with some regular visitors dropping out and the front runners likely to beef up their appearances.
Welcome to New Hampshire, where every four years, the campaign visits escalate in advance of the first-in-the-nation Presidential primary.
We encourage you to take a personal look at the candidates, check out the person behind the public relations hype, and hear for yourself whether your views match up to the promises of the men and women who want your vote.
In the next few months, you should be able to see many candidates in person. We urge you to make time to do so. We live in a state that gives us the opportunity to vote for a candidate based on our personal impression, not what a paid promoter wants us to think. That’s an opportunity residents of other states can only envy.
Regardless of your party affiliation, see them all. Hear for yourself what they are saying, if for no other reason than to know your opposition.
But the clock is ticking. Winning or losing in New Hampshire doesn’t seal the fate of any candidate, but it definitely plays a significant role in what will happen in other states in the months ahead. And most importantly, it factors into who will be on the ticket for the coming election.
So ask some questions. Not about smaller government, ending health care reform, cutting the deficit, defeating ISIS, or just a general attack on Obama. We need specifics.
How does a candidate’s religious views impact his or her decision making? How will a candidate propose to “fix” Social Security in laymen’s language – and do people really want such change? What about Syria? And when?
Ask real questions. If you don’t get real answers, keep asking. And failure to answer says something important as well.
By virtue of residence in New Hampshire, the significance of our vote resonates from one coast to the other, from the border with Canada to the border with Mexico. But only if we care enough to vote intelligently. And that means asking tough questions and making up our minds for ourselves.