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Dan Tuohy's Granite Status: Mass. Dems to canvass for Clinton


January 20. 2016 8:57PM




Hillary Clinton’s surrogate hit parade picks up speed Saturday with a gaggle of Massachusetts Democrats arriving to canvass for her.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh returns to Manchester, where he will join New Hampshire state Sen. Donna Soucy at the North End Montessori School in Manchester for an event at 10 a.m.

Four other campaign events are on the Clinton schedule, including U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., appearing with state Sen. Bette Lasky, D-Nashua, in her home city and with Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester, in the Queen City.

U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., will join state Sen. Dan Feltes, D-Concord, at Clinton’s campaign office in Concord at 1 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., is set to appear with state Sen. David Watters, D-Dover, in the Garrison City at 1 p.m.

And U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, will hit the stump on behalf of Clinton in Exeter on Saturday morning.

U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., will also be north of the border for Clinton.

And maybe some tax-free shopping?

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(Granite Status published Jan. 21 continues below here:)

Clinton won't call Bernie by name, but his presence is felt all the same

BILL CLINTON repeatedly needled his wife’s rival, referring to him only as “Hillary’s opponent,” telegraphing a sense of urgency for the one-time front-runner.

He said he wouldn’t comment on the merits of Bernie Sanders’ single-payer health care plan — right before dissing it as “a recipe for gridlock.”

“I know we’re in a hard fight here and I know we’re running against one of your neighbors,” the former President said Wednesday at a rally in Concord. “I trust you to make this decision.”

Nineteen days from the first primary, the Democratic presidential race is nothing like the smooth sailing forecast for the former Secretary of State.

Another sign of the pell-mell primary season: Sanders opened up a 27-point lead over Clinton in the latest poll by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

The expectations game is in overdrive already. John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman who appeared in Concord, reminded supporters that a third of Granite Staters make up their minds in the final week.

The Clinton campaign has dismissed the polls as meaningless. It contends Republicans are “aiding Sanders candidacy” because they know he’s an easier general election match-up.

Clinton and Sanders supporters are slugging it out online.

Democratic National Committeewoman Kathy Sullivan, a former state party chairman, incurred the wrath of a few Sanders supporters after Sunday’s Democratic presidential debate when she tweeted, “I really get offended when Bernie Sanders says what is wrong with the Democratic Party. He is a guest in our house.”

Bill Siroty, a Sanders supporter, jumped all over that. “You have to read it for what it is,” he told Granite Status. “Desperation.”

In a phone interview, Sullivan said she was referring to Sanders not acknowledging in the debate that former DNC chairman Howard Dean was the architect of the party’s 50-state strategy.

“I think people are reading a bit too much into it,” she said. Sullivan said she wasn’t saying that Sanders, a U.S. senator elected from Vermont as an Independent, isn’t a Democrat — just that he’s new to the party.

The DNC, and New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley, welcomed Sanders with open arms last year. Buckley even stood with Sanders when he filed to be on the Democratic primary ballot.

Any attempt within the party to try to stain Sanders’ standing as a Democrat will backfire, according to former state Sen. Burt Cohen, a longtime supporter.

“Hillary went from thinking this was going to be a cakewalk to recognizing that this is not a cakewalk, by any stretch,” Cohen said.

Clinton’s campaign has long said the Granite State would be a close contest. But did they expect such a bruising one?

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DAVID CURRIER, a former state senator from Henniker, has endorsed Marco Rubio for President.

Currier, managing member and founder of Henniker Brewing Co., was a convention delegate for President George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. He’s met with several Republican presidential hopefuls, including John Kasich this week, following former New York Gov. George Pataki suspending his campaign.

Rubio, who is scheduled to speak to the Americans for Peace, Prosperity and Security forum at UNH-Manchester this morning, has picked up two other big endorsements: former Nashua Mayor Don Davidson and Beno Lamontagne, a North Country leader who was Coos County chairman for Mitt Romney.

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FORMER New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman Fergus Cullen is endorsing Ohio Gov. John Kasich for President. He sees Kasich as the Republican with the best chance of winning in 2016.

In an announcement today, Cullen said his decision was based partly on electability.

"I've seen a dozen candidates in person over the past year, attended at least 20 town hall meetings and hosted house parties for four candidates," Cullen said. "I didn't prejudge anyone and like most New Hampshire voters, I didn't rush into a decision. Governor Kasich has an unmatched record of winning elections and of advancing a conservative agenda, not just talking about it. I appreciate the positive and inclusive tone he maintains on the campaign trail. If a Republican is going to win in November, we need to attract voters, not repel them. John Kasich can carry New Hampshire in a general election and I don't think most of the other candidates can."

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SNOW OR NO snow, the New Hampshire Republican Party’s #FITN Presidential Town Hall will go on as planned this weekend. Former Vice President Dick Cheney is the big speaker Friday night at the Radisson in Nashua. Eight presidential candidates will take turns speaking to nearly 1,000 during the program on Saturday. The two-day event is also a major fundraiser for the state GOP. State committee members will get a “free ticket to a once-in-a-lifetime FITN experience,” thanks to Citizens For Responsible Energy Solutions becoming a grassroots sponsor, according to a letter GOP Chairman Jennifer Horn sent Republican State Committee members. The worst of the potential northeaster in question looks like it will miss the 603, but belt the Washington Beltway.

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REPUBLICAN Donald Trump makes his fifth visit this year on Monday. He’s at Farmington High School at 7 p.m. He continues to see big crowds and have some memorable or unique exchanges with audience members.

At Concord High School on Monday, a police dog let out a yelp in the back of the gymnasium. “What was that, was that a dog?” Trump asked. A man shouted out, “Hillary.” Trump chuckled. “It’s Hillary,” he said. “Only in New Hampshire. First it was a screechy dog, then it was a very serious dog, right. That’s all right. Take good care of your dogs.”

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QUICK TAKES:

• “LIVE FREE Or Die Tryin.” Republican hopeful Rand Paul’s “Students for Rand” and his outreach team are mustering volunteers for an 11-day get-out-the-vote push, starting Jan. 30.

• Former congressman and state Supreme Court Justice Chuck Douglas has endorsed John Kasich for President.

• Republican Carly Fiorina will be the only Republican presidential hopeful to address the “March for Life” in Washington on Friday, recognizing the anniversary of Roe V. Wade.

• Republican Ted Cruz wraps up his five-day New Hampshire tour by greeting supporters today at 3:30 at Theo’s Pizza in Manchester.

John Kasich, who toured Henniker Brewing Co. on Tuesday, sampled their newest brew, “Miles & Miles,” a dry hopped pale ale named in tribute to New Hampshire’s very own astronaut, Alan Shepard. Kasich joked, “How ‘bout beer for everyone.”


Dan Tuohy covers politics and government for the Union Leader and Sunday News. Email news and information to dtuohy@unionleader.com. Follow on Twitter: @tuohy

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