June 13, 2011

IT'S A TWO MAN RACE:

McQuaid’s Debate Prep: The publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader analyzes the GOP presidential field. (Brian Bolduc, 6/13/11, National Review)

Joe McQuaid, publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader — the widest-circulating newspaper in the state — is blunt, plainspoken, and unapologetic. Consider his take on Sarah Palin.

“I don’t think she’s in the race at all,” he tells National Review Online in a phone interview. “And considering the way she’s dealing with New Hampshire, I would tell her that’s probably good that you’re not going to be in the race, lady, because you’re not dealing with the people the way New Hampshire people like to be dealt with — which is actually to talk with them.”

I remind McQuaid that he’s previously argued New Hampshire is quirky and some candidates have won the state without ever setting foot in it: Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 and Henry Cabot Lodge in 1964, for example. “Those are the exceptions that prove the rule,” McQuaid replies. “But which one of us in this piece is going to suggest Palin is the new Eisenhower?”

When Rudy Giuliani stopped by McQuaid’s office two weeks ago, he received an unusual welcome from the publisher. “I threatened him with a baseball bat and told him to decide [about a presidential run],” McQuaid recounts. “But he didn’t quiver.”

Despite McQuaid’s menacing glare, Giuliani — “the Hamlet of the Republican party,” McQuaid calls him –is skipping tonight’s debate at Saint Anselm College. Sponsored by CNN, local station WMUR-TV, and the Union Leader, the contest will feature seven candidates: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum. But the politicians who are playing coy — Giuliani, Jon Huntsman, and Palin — frustrate McQuaid the most.

“Even if you decide not to run, there’s no loss in being at the event and seeing how you do and what the public reaction is,” he counsels.


And provided that Governor Pawlenty wins IA and keeps close to Mitt in NH, it's a one man race.


Posted by at June 13, 2011 6:22 AM
  

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