The more things change, the more they remain the same.
New Hampshire is not Iowa- not even close geographically or politically. Asserting their independence in political persuasion and not being willing to be dictated to by the polls, the people of New Hampshire put another face on the 2008 presidential race- actually two old faces rebounded back to life. The primaries resurrected Senator John McCain and revived Hillary Clinton in their bids to become the next President of the United States.
Looking back, McCain’s candidacy was given up for dead this past summer and only a few hours prior to the primaries Clinton had almost given up hopes of winning New Hampshire. Now look!
What in the world happened? That’s what the media is asking. How could the polls be so dead wrong, after projecting Barack Obama to win the Democratic primary by as much as double digits?
In a state full of independent and undecided voters, the polls were far ahead of the people in crowning Obama over Clinton. These are people who have a tendency of making up their minds at the 11th hour. The poll projections were more of an insult than a predictor of their voting behavior.
But some people read the polls like reading the stars, and maybe this is what gave Obama a false sense of confidence. He could see the star of the East and feel the winds of change at his back. “You can feel it in the air,” he declared. Where? For sure, it was not in the unseasonably spring-like air of New Hampshire. Maybe, instead, it was an inflated hope of a landslide for a most unlikely presidential hopeful- in defiance to the northeastern political season.
When the air settled: Thump! That was the sound of Obama hitting the ground, back on earth, his magical balloon shot out of the air by a UFO.
This was not the same old teary-eyed Hillary Clinton. This was not the same old over-the-hill John McCain. The only tears this night were tears of joy and a de ju vu for the comeback kid. And, for all the money its worth, Mitt Romney bought himself another silver medal in this hotly contested political marathon.
Is everybody happy now? They should be. Now everybody’s got a piece of the pie, except John Edwards. Five different winners in three states: Obama and Huckabee in Iowa, Clinton and McCain in New Hampshire, and Romney in Wyoming. That says it all.
BOYS & GIRLS, we got ourselves a ballgame and every vote counts.