Now is when living in New Hampshire becomes a pain.
Is it the snow? The ice? The cold? Wind, darkness and the price of home heating fuels?
It's constant phone calls from Presidential campaign staffers asking how we intend to vote in the upcoming primary.
Has anyone figured out whether such tactics actually help by a few percentage points? Because most New Hampshire residents I know hate the damn phone blitz. It's enough to make you want to ream out the candidate you like, let alone one you don't. They may be trying to create awareness, but there's awareness and there's awareness. You may become aware that someone just brought in a tray of your favorite cookies, or you may become aware that someone left a screen open and the house filled with annoying mosquitoes. A New Hampshire resident would have to be blind, deaf and imprisoned alone in a tiny vault not to know who's running in the damn primary. The obscure, whacko candidates who can't afford ads can't afford annoying telephone staff, either. So no one is handing out exciting new information here.
I can tell you right now that the perfect candidate is not out there. And I know from long experience that what they say to get elected most likely will not turn out to be what they do. The road to Washington is paved with well-expressed intentions. Many of them are laudable. But not one single candidate shares my position on every issue. So I'm compromising, as they will have to compromise when one of them actually takes office. It almost doesn't matter who you vote for. By the time all the analysts get finished pissing in the data, no one will even be able to say for sure what the electorate hoped to get for their trouble based on how many voted for whom in the primary field. No one seems to examine the results based on each issue as represented by each candidate to get a sense of what the voters might have liked to find all in one. We always end up making a deal with ourselves first, deciding what we're willing to give up in return for electing someone with various other qualities. Often what we have to discard was not unimportant, it just lost out by a whisker. But does anyone ask us anything once the election is over?
We'll hear from the candidates again the next time they're feeling us up for another vote.