No one cares if you grew up in New Hampshire
One of the lessons from the 2012 elections in this state is a lesson from previous elections that somehow is never learned: Voters do not care if you grew up in, were born in, or have lived a long time in New Hampshire.
When Ovide Lamontagne kicked off his campaign for governor, he ran an ad in which he declared, "I'm New Hampshire." On the campaign trail he would make the point that he knows the state and its values because he was born and raised here. Voters opted for Maggie Hassan, who was born and raised in Massachusetts.
In 2008, Republican Joe Kenney's primary message was that he was a New Hampshire native who understood the state better than John Lynch, who was... born in Massachusetts. Kenney got clobbered.
In 2005, Manchester Mayor Bob Baines, a Democrat, ran against Republican Alderman Frank Guinta in part by repeatedly pointing out that he (Baines) was born and raised in Manchester while Guinta was from New Jersey. Guinta won.
About 60 percent of New Hamshire's population was born out of state, and that has been the norm here for years. By 2008 a fully quarter of Granite Staters had emigrated here from Massachusetts, according to a UNH study. And yet candidates for office continue to hurt themselves by running on the I'm From Here platform.
Every time a political candidate talks about growing up in New Hampshire, he or she tells a majority of Granite Staters: I'm different from you. That message also tells most New Hampshire residents that the candidate views them as something less than a "real" Granite Stater. Though it is not intended this way, it comes across as condescending and nativist. It is a losing argument. No one aspiring to political office in New Hampshire should ever use it. And yet, it's a safe bet that we'll hear it again before long.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Milford Bible study group to meet on Sept. 10 - 0
- Hundreds attend Mass for slain journalist from NH - 1
- St. George Greek Orthodox pastor heads west - 0
- Pope calls Foleys to offer his condolences - 0
- Inaugural organ concert at Wolfeboro church Aug. 27 - 0
- Knights of Columbus assists with Manchester church renovations - 0
- Religion calendar for NH, beginning Aug. 21 - 0
- St. Luke parish in Plaistow to hold yard sale - 0
- Manchester educator explores history of anti-semitism and the Holocaust - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Goffstown's Bourque impresses; Memorial, Bishop Guertin, Pinkerton win in Queen City Jamboree - 0
- Hanover boys soccer edges defense-minded BG - 0
- NH Fisher Cats, Pierre stun Rock Cats in 4-3 win - 0
- Helping hands for new St. Anselm students in Manchester on move in day - 0
- To market, to market: Market Basket shoppers flock on in - 0
- Nashua Market Basket employee: 'Worth every day of work lost' - 0
- NH teen killers to get sentence reviews after state Supreme Court decision - 0
- Manchester raid came 8 months after home invasion - 0
- NH killer in 1991 Smart trial seeks time with wife - 0
Enter to win tickets to see Paula Poundstone
Where is Shaheen? Hiding from you
Win tickets to see Steven Wright