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Saturday, January 7, 2012

New Hampshire Primary

Living in New Hampshire provides an unbelievable peek into presidential primary candidates in a way perhaps only our friends in Iowa or maybe South Carolina can appreciate. Let's say ...it's really up close and personal as only the New Hampshire primary can be!

When we lived in NY or Connecticut or even Michigan and Maryland we rarely had such access to these candidates. Here in New Hampshire we have any number of opportunities to sit and ask questions, shake hands, have a cup of coffee and get to know a candidate. Staffers often reach out to us to ask us to host a coffee at the Colby Hill Inn to give our neighbors a chance to hear what the candidates have to say. On the other hand, we've seen some gatherings where the questions make us cringe....ah, maybe a little embarrassing, but definitely straight forward.

Primary campaigning is rough stuff for the candidates. Their big campaign buses may have all of the bells and whistles but even though New Hampshire isn't that large, attending 6 to 8 events a day can be grueling work and the buses are a common sight on I-93.

This morning we listened to Mitt Romney at a campaign rally in Derry, New Hampshire . Political candidates are almost like Rock Stars these days. On his way out of the rally, with rock music blaring, he was asked for photographs and autographs and he faced comments including everything from "Beat Obama" to "I'm from Bloomfield Hills " (my favorite as I am from Michigan too!) to questions on Cuba, North Korea, jobs and health care-- and this was as he was trying to exit the building! Here at the Colby Hill Inn we love the New Hampshire primary every four years. We get to interact with politicians, media, campaign staffers and students of political science and journalism. The buzz for many months and especially the final weeks leading up to the primaries is all politics all the time. The economy takes a big jump for those weeks including everything from hotels, inns, restaurants and local advertising.

St. Anselm in Manchester has an amazing media center and is the focus of the ABC News debate this evening. What a great opportunity for New Hampshire residents to watch the debate live and watch history happen.

We hope you'll take a look at the news next Tuesday when New Hampshire heads to the polls as the first primary in the nation . We're here in our quaint part of New Hampshire watching all of the campaign activities with interest ourselves and doing our small part to provide a great home away from home for our guests. To stay on the safe side and rather than get into any political conversations with our guests--we keep it to...."Would you like more coffee?" Hope you have a great January.

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