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: 1
- City Matters: Another storm, another chance to do your part for your city to do the right thing - 2
- City Matters: Manchester man wants apology from police - 2
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: Crossing guards endure rush hour rudeness - 8
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: Readers come through for frustrated Penguin Plunger - 0
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: Special Olympian says price to Plunge too high - 4
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: Manchester celebrates Martin Luther King legacy - 1
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: Innocence lost, justice delayed - 0
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: Dig deep in NH history to find reason for slippery sidewalks - 6
- Mark Hayward's City Matters: Tiny Tim's delivery makes the show - 0
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Firefighters battle blaze at Pittsfield pizza plant - 0
- Allen Lessels' UNH Notebook: Wildcats, Hogan not finished yet - 0
- Little Green has quartet of contenders for New England wrestling championships - 0
- Roger Brown's High School Basketball: Madness has arrived - 0
- Monarchs: Let's play three - 0
- Another View -- Diana Lacey: Union Leader editorial got gas tax hearing all wrong - 2
- Obamacare's new trick: Only temporary relief - 7
- Banning cell phones: Impulse shopping in the House - 4
- Cannon Mountain skiers head to Paralympics - 0
Obamacare's new trick: Only temporary relief