There’s no signed, sealed, delivered “I’m yours” deal just yet, but there are plenty of signs that U.S Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s financial powerhouse may get behind the 2020 Senate GOP primary candidacy of Donald Bolduc in New Hampshire.
Trust me, the last folks who want this story out right now are those backing Bolduc.
There’s a time and a place for everything and when McConnell wants the world to know he’s with you, he’ll let you know and he hasn’t definitively done that yet.
But there are those signs. Let’s start with the tweets of six staffers or consultants to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which have been singing the retired Brigadier Gen. Bolduc’s praises.
We’ll give you just one from NRSC Communications Director Jesse Hunt on the day of Bolduc’s announcement last month.
“@GenDonBolduc’s announcement: NH farm kid. Green Beret. Retired as Brig. Gen. 5 Bronze Stars and 2 Purple Hearts. Fought the Taliban on horseback
A leading PTSD advocate, Commanded horse soldiers in Afghanistan immediately after 9/11. Now leads fight for vets struggling with PTSD. Running for Senate,” Hunt tweeted.
Flowery enough for you?
Oh yeah. To date there hasn’t been a single tweet from any of these same folks for the other two GOP candidates for Senate, former New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien or trial lawyer Bryant “Corky” Messner.
Then there was the “Meet and Greet” the NRSC had for Bolduc a week ago last Wednesday in Washington, D.C. which led to a sit-down with Bolduc and McConnell.
No, Messner and O’Brien have had no such meet-and-greet or fireside chat with the Senate boss.
Messner told a leading Republican in the past few weeks that he did meet with NRSC folks recently and came away believing they were headed to Bolduc’s orbit.
The candidate himself couldn’t resist spilling the news about his one-on-one in remarks last weekend to the Hollis Republican Town Committee at the Fulchino Vineyard .
“I just sat with Senator McConnell and Senator McConnell was supposed to be a 10-minute meeting, it turned into a 40-minute meeting because he was interested in what I had to say about things. What I had to say about unity. What I had to say about bringing people together. Right? And I think I can do it. I’ve been there. I’ve been in those positions,” Bolduc said.
What about the Senate Republican Leadership Fund? The super PAC closely aligned with McConnell has picked sides in Senate GOP primaries of the past. Will they end up being down for Bolduc as they chose sides in spending against Don Blankenship in the West Virginia Senate primary in 2018 or the $5 million for Luther Strange in 2017 for an Alabama Senate primary?
Just what was the candidate referring to when he talked in his Hollis speech about the reaction he got after telling a story about how he once told a military superior that he “worked for” his men and not the brass?
“I got the support of the Senate fund down in Washington D.C. because I said just that. They go, ‘Well, we don’t need to talk to you anymore because that’s the kind of people we need in Congress today,’” Bolduc said.
Aides to Bolduc say the candidate did meet with many organizations during his Washington visit, but there were no commitments.
Shaheen sounds the alarm
Leave it to Jeanne Shaheen, the senior senator who’s lost only one race in a storied career, to act like she’s running scared with a frantic sounding fund-raising e-mail she sent out late Wednesday.
“This is bad, friends: After CBS reported that New Hampshire could decide Senate control, three GOP opponents rushed into the race against me in the past month. And now, right-wing groups are spending more to defeat us than all the other in-cycle Democratic senators combined,” Shaheen wrote.
“Races up in New Hampshire always come down to the wire – and, with Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight saying Senate control is up for grabs, this race is shaping up to be even closer. That’s why we can’t afford to miss this opportunity to have every dollar doubled to defend this Democratic seat.”
AFP coming to Sununu’s rescue on budget
The fiscally conservative Americans for Prosperity began an aggressive direct mail and digital advertising campaign in support of Gov. Chris Sununu’s veto of the two-year state budget and their support for Sununu fighting off any move to raise either of the state’s two business taxes.
The first mailing dropped Wednesday featured Chris Maidment, owner of CJM Co. Construction in Peterborough.
“The economy is booming but we can’t continue building the NH Advantage by punishing employers, small businesses, and workers with $135 million in tax increases,” Maidment says.
“What these leaders need to understand is increasing business taxes is not just going to affect just the largest corporations in New Hampshire, it’s going to affect small businesses, sole proprietors like myself.”
They’ve set up a web site, savenhadvantage.com, with a petition urging Sununu to reject any business tax changes.
AFP-NH is not speaking to the choir with this campaign.
The first mailing reportedly went to 150,000 homes, all of them identified as swing voters and not those pre-disposed to support or oppose this governor.
Send her home, NH style
Was that really what O’Brien wanted when his supporters at the jam-packed announcement started chanting “send her home” about Shaheen.
This demonstration came days after President Trump had seemed to denounce his supporters for chanting “send her back” about the four congresswomen of color that Trump had attacked as anti-American.
On stage Tuesday night, O’Brien mouthed the words of the chant but looked sheepish, said “thank you” and later remarked that it wasn’t clear to him where Shaheen lived, since she spent so much time in Washington.
In May, O’Brien likened himself to Trump, boasting that, like the President, he too has been called “racist,” “misogynist,” “evil,” and a “bully.”
The crowd’s raucous reaction represents some of the most conservative base support that early on could install O’Brien as the initial front-runner in a campaign destined to have all kinds of twists and turns.
For more Granite Status see unionleader.com