Cloak and dagger Republican primary fight in New Hampshire
Posted on January 5th, 2012

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Deepened fissures in the US Republican Party, particularly among evangelical and economic conservatives portend a vicious do or die electoral battle in New Hampshire next Tuesday, the very first Primary election meant to pick a nominee to face President Obama.  The leading contender Mitt Romney would without doubt face five challengers besieging him with a vengeance””‚a blood-splattered political butchery rarely seen in any US primary.

The probability of uniting under a single viable candidate to oust President Obama seem a far cry judging by the mere 8-vote margin of victory Romney had in the Iowa Caucus last Tuesday against what seemed like a second tier candidate Rick Santorum.  The Libertarian Ron Paul came a close third while former Speaker Newt Gingrich came fourth.  Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann and Jon Huntsman were distant also-rans.

The present highly charged situation in New Hampshire was described by many as the prelude to a probable massacre of the leading candidate Romney by the grievously incensed New Gingrich-former Speaker-who saw a barrage of negative Ads by Romney that decimated his early lead in Iowa.  Santorum may also be poised to join that vengeful slaying of the dragon trying to paint Romney as a brutally callous establishment candidate with low probability of defeating Obama in the general election in November this year.

As Romney arrived in New Hampshire, it was no warm climate “”‚ and not only because the Arctic chill had plunged New Hampshire into a deep freeze but also because candidate Jon Huntsman, who skipped Iowa was already there, campaigning across New Hampshire by himself.  He did not exactly roll out the red carpet for his fellow Republicans.   Welcome to New Hampshire,” he said at an event Tuesday night. “Who cares?”

The candidates have packed schedules during the first six days, including two debates this weekend, the first since before the Christmas break and a chance for the candidates to reframe their arguments given the Iowa results.  The temperature would obviously rise as the six rivals battle trying to winnow out each other””‚what New Hampshire primary had done for decades.

Gingrich leading the charge

Despite his lowly fourth place finish in Iowa, Gingrich pledged to press forward stating “there will be a great debate in the Republican Party before we are prepared to have a great debate with Barack Obama.”  He pledged to raise the intensity of his criticism of Romney.  He went further and stated that Romney had distorted facts and his conservative credentials could not be trusted.

Judging by Gingrich’s schedule–a town hall meeting in Concord plus a post-lunch town session in Laconia and a public interview at “”‚all in one day after arriving,  this would be a marathon foray into a state that many had so far considered a strong pocket borough for Romney who had a 47 percent approval rating as I write.

Gingrich wasted no time aggressively swatting back with the slogan that “Romney is a Massachusetts moderate posing as a Conservative,”  He criticized “Romneycare” health plan delivered as the governor of Massachusetts stating that it included taxpayer-paid abortions and put a Planned Parenthood segment on it and an official had served on a state health board.  He called these “red-cape issues for social conservatives.”

Rick Santorum may also have reason to follow suit and the Gingrich-Sanctorum duo may ultimately portray the essence of the socio-religious political ethic of the Republican Party contrasting it to the Massachusetts brand of conservatism.   The Saturday debate would be crucial to the final outcome of the Primary delectation in New Hampshire.

The six candidates are scheduled to have over 100 meetings in places like Plymouth, Littleton, Lancaster and Meredith.   Santorum would be criss-crossing the state without missing a single precinct as he did in Iowa. Ron Paul supporters have arrived in their thousands in New Hampshire.  Romney announced his plans to carry on in his businesslike manner with reportedly a very large army of supporters on the field.   Jon Huntsman has covered most of the state already and announced plans to address gatherings at several places like Concord, Pittsfield, Barrington, Manchester and a meeting at his campaign headquarters.

Where would all this lead to?  The next two primaries are in North Carolina and Florida where the three or four candidates remaining after New Hampshire would be vying for large number of primary delegates that would unlimitedly decide who the Republican nominee going against Obama would be come November.  Things may cool down a little as bigger states have larger territories and AD markets to cover.  But for now it looks like a free-for-all, a demolition derby where only the steadfast would prevail.

The underlying dichotomy that separated the hardened bedrock socio-religious alignments of the Republican Party from the more fundamental capitalistic principles that characterized Conservatism often portrayed a collision course.  Things get manifested in a brazenly hostile manner as Primary reason draws near when a party nominee had to be picked.  Somehow the hatchet gets buried as the need to fight the Democratic Party incumbent becomes the pre-dominant urge.  Then things revert back to the tendentious rivalry.  We are witnessing one of the more virulent eruptions as New Hampshire goes to vote.  The pack just started its mud wrestling said a cynic.

 

3 Responses to “Cloak and dagger Republican primary fight in New Hampshire”

  1. callistus Says:

    No responses. No one seems to be interested in this article.

  2. jimmy Says:

    Brilliant article Mr. Fernando
    It does not matter which right wing nut win the primary I am sure Obama will win Presidency again on Nov 4th
    I can not imagine Philip how could these right wing nuts are against the Tax loopholes the rich enjoy
    President Obama is a smart guy and truly care for middle class and poor
    There are many christians like me support Democrats also

    If Mitt wins the primary it will be a tough battle eventhough Obama will win eventually
    Many independents will vote for Obama as you know In USA presidency is decided by Independents

  3. Christie Says:

    A republican president will be good for us not a Democratic one. There is too much established indian influence on the Democrats.

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