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Hassan's bogeyman: Oh, no! The Tea Party!
Maggie Hassan, the Democratic nominee for governor, is well-informed about New Hampshire politics. She knows that Ovide Lamontagne, the Republican nominee for governor, is neither the product, nor the favorite, of the Tea Party. But that will not stop her from saying such things every time she steps in front of a crowd, a camera or a microphone.
In her victory speech Tuesday night, she tried to tie Lamontagne to the Tea Party. In her first public event on Wednesday, she called Lamontagne the “Tea Party favorite.” Even during the primaries she was calling Lamontagne a Tea Partier. She also labeled Lamontagne’s opponent Kevin Smith and the entire Republican legislative caucus Tea Partiers, which ought to call into question her credibility on this point.
Clearly, Hassan fears running against Republicans in general and Lamontagne in particular. What to do when you know the electorate is generally sympathetic to the other side’s views? Portray the other side as something it is not.
It is sad that an otherwise serious candidate lowers herself to such silliness. Hassan is smart, accomplished and experienced. She could help lead New Hampshire voters to a wonderfully substantive debate of the issues this fall. Instead, it looks like we are going to see her point and shout “Tea Party!” ad nauseum. What a shame.
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