August 4, 2013

Michael Cuzzi: N.H.'s ability to influence elections has gone to its head

The state's strength lies not in its 'entitled' political elite, but in the folksy nature of its primary process.

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My cynical and unpublished response was: "That might help ... but it's unlikely to seal the deal."

Don't get me wrong. There is inherently more good to the New Hampshire primary than there is bad. It's an indispensable crucible that tests the mettle of every campaign and presidential aspirant.

But to the extent New Hampshire's entitled political elite could channel a little less "This Town" and a little more, say, Rochester, the 2016 candidates and campaigns will certainly thank them.

And as for 2016 -- which, unbelievably, isn't far away -- political junkies and reporters alike are already looking for any signs that candidates are making moves to assemble a Granite State organization and line up supporters.

Nothing much is happening yet. But on the Democratic side, insiders are convinced that Hillary Clinton has it wrapped up if she jumps in.

Clinton, of course, has numerous and immense strengths. And after keeping her head down and working hard for the president, she is the likely beneficiary of the now-unified Granite State Obama and Clinton factions.

But, then again, we've also seen this "inevitability" movie before. And in first-in-the-nation New Hampshire, I've learned, anything can happen.

Michael Cuzzi is a former campaign aide to President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and former U.S. Rep. Tom Allen. He manages the Portland office of VOX Global, a strategic communications and public affairs firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at:

mjcuzzi@gmail.com

Twitter: @CuzziMJ

 

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