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Berkeley in New Hampshire- Wes Clark
Wes Clark yesterday in New Hampshire | 1/25/04 | Deep FReep

Posted on 01/26/2004 7:44:05 AM PST by Deep Freep

Another missive from deep within the belly of the beast. It's Deep Freep, right in the middle, the heart, the soul of the Clark campaign as it stumps in New Hampshire.

With less than 48 hours until the New Hampshire first in the nation primary Dean is apparently self imploding, Kerry and Edwards looking to surge further ahead, Lieberman & Koo, uh Kuci, (sounds like something Charo used to say), oh,  you know, that Denis guy from Ohio, both in single digits. Now I remember! Koo Koo Kucinich. Anyway, General Wesley Clark decided that he would come back to friendly territory at New England College.  

This little report isn’t going to be about his policy rants. Except he repeated what’s been reported in the Concord Monitor "…We’ll bring the troops back from Iraq, hunt down Bin Laden and al Queda. We’ll protect America from these terrorists " No this is more about the behind the scenes things that one sees going on before during and after an event like this. 

I arrived early just to wander around and see what I could see. The “roadies” were catching a quick cold sandwich in between setting up the stage and chairs that took up 3 quarters of the gym. Everyone seemed to be of purpose and focus. The satellite trucks started rolling in and the technicians and the college workers were all about making just the right impression. Moving banners and signs for the right angles for the cameras all to put the best face on.  

The crowd started showing up around three for a four-ish event. I took a seat over in the corner to watch and not be watched. I felt like a lone red dot in a sea of blue (a color I still think was intentionally reversed by the media), just like New Hampshire compared to the rest of New England in the last general election. I sat in awe of the young impressionable minds full of good intent and naievety caught up in the frenzy and excitement.  

All the usual suspects were there. The pro-choice crowd was putting stickers on anyone that would let them. Of course, I think Wes's stance on that allows the mother the ability to recall offspring at anytime, so those people had better be careful.  The radical environmentalists were there in their bright orange jumpsuits, probably made of man-made fibers and dye tested on animals.  Soon the room filled to standing only, becoming about 90 degrees in the gym even though it was -5 outside.  

The biggest surprise to me was once the crowd was at capacity, out came the signs. Now, you would expect the standard roadside campaign signs. I’m not talking about that type of finished, sign shop perfect ones.  I’m talking those wonderful hand painted signs. "Fence sitters for Clark", "Independents for Clark", "Students for Clark"…"Dummies who can’t make their own signs cause we’re too lazy for Clark",  with a big arrow pointing towards these guys. Sorry, that was the one I wanted to make. All those signs were made by, handed out by and collected afterward by Clark volunteers. What I mean is, they are the PROPERTY of the Clark campaign. So now when you see a Clark rally, see if you can spot the same signs over and over again. Amazing, after going to dozens of these rallies for different campaigns I thought I’d seen it all. Nope.

Before Clark came out to speak, we were entertained by a group of volunteers that looked like they got their training from the Mickey Mouse club. Remember, Mickey Mouse is a trademark and copyright of Disney and produced Britney Spears and Christina Aguillera, so here it goes …."I say Wesley, you say Clark, Wesley Clark"…Got that clever routine? The music ran the gambit from blues to rap to reggae. The lyrics of Bob Marley’s "Stand up, Get up, Stand up for your rights" reverberated through the gym with the cheerleaders up front encouraging people to stand up.

Then it was show time. The college provided a backdrop of college students and younger children in front of a HUGE flag backdrop. Something just doesn’t sit right with me when I see our flag used as a wall ornament, or worse, a prop. ALL politicians do it and bothers me. OK, that was my soapbox, now onward. Before General Clark came out we were treated to speeches by the General's wife, the wife of a comrade of his that died in the Balkans, Rep Charlie Rangel and Mayor David Dinkins. For the last two, is the theory something along the lines of "New Hampshire, New York, whatever....They both have the word 'New' in them"! Now I know it’s nice to bring along dignitaries to spice up your rally, but these two? What on earth was he trying to do? Get the minority vote in NEW HAMPSHIRE! New Hampshire has less than 1 % minorities in the entire state. Somehow I can’t figure that one out. Perhaps Wes knows less about New Hampshire than we could even imagine.

Clark came out did his what’s now common shtick of claiming that what’s going on down in Washington is not family values. And what he’s proposing is family values. Like that’s a something new. It was politics as usual. Promise a chicken in every pot, lower taxes and more federal spending.  I wish I could say there was something that stood out about this stump. A "Dean Scream", would have been nice. Perhaps a couple magic tricks? I would have even been happy with a Clark address that didn't involve that constant "drone yell" at the audience like he was addressing the United States Deaf Consortium. Nada. No change.

After about an hour General Clark took some questions. Same old stuff. Then, the same as he came in ,he worked the rope line as he made his way out the back. I guess that was a magic trick. Within 15 minutes all that was left were the stragglers, the loyal volunteers and the roadies tearing down the stage and chairs that they had just put up a few hours before. In less than 48 hours, New Hampshire will experience the same  few moments in the spotlight every 4 years and then the politicians and pundits are off to the next primary or home to care to their wounds. So on Tuesday night as you're watching the returns, think of us. 


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2004; clark; nh; wesleyclark

1 posted on 01/26/2004 7:44:06 AM PST by Deep Freep
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To: diotima
2 posted on 01/26/2004 7:46:46 AM PST by abner (In search of a witty tag line... found it! < go there or be square!)
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: Deep Freep
When you said Berkley in New Hampshire, my first thought was that you were in Keene...guess Henniker has flipped too.
4 posted on 01/26/2004 8:35:59 AM PST by Katya
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