Ron Paul

Enough About the Democrats Already

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The Politico's Ben Smith was blogging live, and his full debate wrap-up is here.

– Adam Krauss of Foster's Daily Democrat (who filed, by my count, 15,029 stories last night) found the NH Democratic chairman (more with him here) and local radio legend Arnie Arnesen disgruntled with the debate setup.

Prominent talk show host Arnie Arnesen labeled CNN the debate's "loser" because it "made a decision for the rest of us that they (Clinton, Obama and Edwards) were going to remain the top-tier" candidates.

Those three candidates were seated next to each other and frequently framed in the same shot, especially, it seemed, at the beginning of the event.

Everyone I talked to was pissed about the hypothetical or "raise your hands" questions, a marked difference from the last GOP debate, when the candidates happily put on their VR helmets and gamed out an episode of 24.

– Jarid at the invaluable Buckeye State Blog (it started as an Ohio blog, but he's camped in NH now) taped a few people with Ron Paul signs chanting "9/11 was an inside job."

I didn't spend much time with the protesters/rallyers last night. The 9/11 Truth squad was small and didn't chant anything while I was there. The Code Pink squad was small, too, about half the size of the groups that hit D.C. events. When I started snapping photos, one of the ladies spotted my press badge.

"Can I have your press pass?"

"What? No. I need this to cover the event for my magazine."

"I could cover the event! I could write something for ya!"

I asked her what she'd do if I gave her my badge; unfortunately I got a boilerplate answer about how the candidates need to be confronted with the truth. "You'll ask this politely?" "I'll ask it honestly."

I had to break the news that the press pass took us into an entirely different room than the debate hall, and that ended the conversation.

UPDATE: I've gotten a few questions about whether I saw Eric Alterman get arrested. No, almost nobody did. As Alterman explained, he went to the spin room while the debate was going on, when the main floor where the candidates and their spinners would be appearing was mostly empty. The only commotion was on a VIP balcony which wouldn't fill up until after the debate and on a set of bleachers where "citizen journalists" who'd won a contest to cover the debate were sitting. Alterman went up to the balcony and got a drink from the open bar. His arrest occurred before journalists poured into the spin room from the press center.

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  1. “Can I have your press pass?”

    “What? No. I need this to cover the event for my magazine.”

    “I could cover the event! I could write something for ya!”

    Anybody ever been to any kind of place with a large number of homeless anarchist hippie kids? That’s almost exactly how they act. They’re a little more petulant, though.

  2. “Anybody ever been to any kind of place with a large number of homeless anarchist hippie kids? That’s almost exactly how they act. They’re a little more petulant, though.”

    Having gone to college in West Philadelphia and now living in Austin, I can’t seem to escape the presence of those dirty, often trust-funded, little miscreants. For alleged nonconformists they do seem to adhere to a rather rigid code of dress, hygiene, and ideology.

  3. Jarid at the invaluable Buckeye State Blog… taped a few people with Ron Paul signs chanting “9/11 was an inside job.”

    I’m a huge Ron Paul supporter. But I’m starting to get very annoyed at the 9/11 Truthers hijacking his campaign. When he fails to win the nomination, I won’t be blaming the Michigan GOP, or Thompson, or Fox News. I’ll be blaming the 9/11 Truthers who were more concerned with their paranoid delusions than in getting a good man elected.

  4. I had a gutterpunk tell me I “couldn’t just ignore [her]” on the street in Eugene once…I just ignored her.

  5. Alterman will be blabbering about this for months. Kill me now..

    But wouldn’t I like to get some “brusque” treatment from this one

    http://store.thenationmart.com/diofrekavahe.html

    OH BABY

  6. So, we know the truthers weren’t actually Ron Paul people.

    Dave, and idea if they were actual 9/11 Truthers confused about the ability of the Ron Paul name to make them appear mainstream? Or anti-Paul Republicans trying to dicredit Rep. Paul?

  7. Ooooo, did I open the door to Eugene, OR bashing?

    Favorite Matt Groening Eugene bash?
    Mine is the Futurama episode where Bender calls the bum planet Eugene.

  8. Joe,

    Are you seriously accusing the RNC of trying to discredit a worrisome candidate by spreading disinformation about him in NH?

    That would be completely unprecedented!

  9. shockcorridor,

    Preach it, brother! I went to college at UT. Nothing used to piss me off more than some dragworm panhandling for change wearing a hundred dollar pair of Doc Martens. You want money? Sell your pretty shoes. I’m wearing dollar flip-flops from Academy and you’re wearing Docs. Make better spending choices.

  10. tarran,

    Funny, but no, not the RNC. There are plenty of “keyboard commandos” out there who would consider such a trick to be a really good comeback when accused of chickenhawkery.

    “I AM fighting the War on Terror! I pulled a dirty trick on Ron Paul!”

  11. For the record, I also don’t remember anyone reading me my Miranda rights

    Rights? Alterman must have thought he was in Canada or something.

  12. “7:54: Blitzer asks several people who are not Hillary Clinton what, as president, they’d “do with Bill Clinton.” And then Barack tosses it to Hillary Clinton.”

    How does she NOT say, “Pick out china and rub my shoulders?”

    I totally would have said that, even if I was going to appoint him Sec Def.

  13. Dave, and idea if they were actual 9/11 Truthers confused about the ability of the Ron Paul name to make them appear mainstream? Or anti-Paul Republicans trying to dicredit Rep. Paul?

    I didn’t see them, Jerid did. If I had seen them I would have tried to find out. I don’t want to speculate about what they actually think, which is why I referred to them as “people with Ron Paul signs.”

  14. what, as president, they’d “do with Bill Clinton.”

    Ignore him?

  15. If Bill Clinton ever becomes First Lout, his President-wife would be constrained in her choice of appointments. Congress passed an anti-nepotism statute after our experience with AG Robert Kennedy, which means that the other candidates would have more leeway to appoint Bubba to posts than his spouse would.

    Kevin

  16. I had a gutterpunk tell me I “couldn’t just ignore [her]” on the street in Eugene once…I just ignored her.

    Eugene’s panhandlers seem to have thrown off all but the slimmest veneer of pretense of need.

    At the 11th Street exit of the McDonalds by Fred Meyer, a woman stood with a cardboard sign reading “HUSBAND HAS BROKEN LEG AND CANNOT WORK – PLEASE HELP.” Sometimes, the apparent husband, on crutches, but with no cast or other broken leg signs, would man the corner instead. I started to wonder how long it generally takes a broken leg to heal, since they worked that same corner for the better part of a year.

    But that’s nothing compared to this one:

    At the River Road off-ramp from Beltline, I saw a trio of college-age filthy hippie sorts sitting around begging for money from the occupants of the cars waiting to get through the light. Their cardboard sign said “OUT OF GAS AND HUNGRY.” They sat by a duffel bag sitting at the corner, snacking on chocolate-covered cherries. At least two of them were – I shit you not – listening to iPods while panhandling.

    You can’t live here without building up a resistance to hard luck claims.

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