I was up in Concord, NH yesterday morning when Barack Obama referred to Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy as “Bush-Cheney Lite.” No matter what I might think about the exchange during the YouTube debate on Monday, there’s no question that Obama’s willingness to meet with the despots of Iran, Syria, Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela is electrifying the progressive grassroots, particularly in New Hampshire. The campaign knows this and is attempting to exploit it on the trail. I write the following in The New York Sun today
“Mr. Obama’s event here, hastily but efficiently organized, appeared to be an attempt to capitalize on the energy generated by his exchange on foreign policy during the YouTube debate on Monday. While New Hampshire has historically been an independent-minded state, it took a lurch to the left in 2006, when voters elected Mr. Hodes and another Democrat, Carol Shea-Porter, to the House of Representatives. They also elected a Democratic governor, John Lynch. Both branches of the state legislature became Democratic for the first time in more than a century as well. Mr. Obama, during his brief speech, emphasized that changing tide as he made the case that he represented a new beginning.
Area voters were notified Wednesday afternoon of the event in Eagle Square, in the heart of downtown Concord and directly in back of the Illinois senator’s local office. The foci of the Obama campaign appeared to be on providing an effective visual for local television cameras – Messrs. Obama and Hodes, both without suit jackets, standing in front of a crowd of enthusiastic supporters – and collecting personal information from newcomers to the campaign. Building a strong field organization, which can identify and turn out voters, is a key to victory in January’s primary contest. At least 20 young members of Mr. Obama’s team canvassed the crowd with clipboards and cards for attendees at the rally to fill out. While Mr. Obama participated in the aforementioned telephone press call with national reporters, he did not choose to approach local reporters covering his speech, opting instead to sign copies of his books and work the crowd.”