On the trail: Kuster, Hassan in France to mark D-Day anniversary

  • Sen. Maggie Hassan joined a bipartisan Senate delegation to Normandy, France, for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion by Allied forces during World War II. —Courtesy

  • U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster stands for a photo over the beaches of Normandy, France on Thursday. Courtesy

For the Monitor
Published: 6/6/2019 5:47:33 PM

For Rep. Annie Kuster, traveling to France to attend the 75th-anniversary ceremonies commemorating D-Day hit close to home.

Her late father, Malcolm McLane, was on patrol during D-Day and received a Purple Heart for his service in World War II.

“It is deeply humbling to be in the spot where, 75 years ago today, hundreds of thousands of brave Allied soldiers risked and gave their lives to begin the liberation of Europe from the evils of Nazi control,” the four-term lawmaker who represents New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District said. “Their selfless service turned the tide of the war and bent the arc of history towards freedom.”

She said citizens around the world will be forever indebted to them.

“Today, I’m also thinking of my father Malcolm who flew over the beaches of Normandy on D-Day,” Kuster said. “He was a figure larger than life in my family and his service continues to inspire me to this day.”

Her father flew 72 missions in his P-47 fighter plane before being shot down in the Battle of the Bulge on Christmas Eve in 1944. He spent the last six months of the war in a German prisoner-of-war camp.

McLane wrote a letter home describing his experience on D-Day that was printed decades later in the Monitor in 2004.

The massive landing of U.S. and Allied forces on the beaches of Normandy was a crucial moment that marked the beginning of the end of the European theater of the World War II. It led to the eventual liberation of western Europe and the defeat of Nazi Germany.

But it came at a cost, as more than 6,000 American troops died on June 6, 1944 as they waded through waist-deep waters, facing fierce enemy gunfire while they stormed the beaches.

Another member of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation, Sen. Maggie Hassan, was also in France on Thursday as part of a congressional delegation to Normandy to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

Like Kuster, the senator’s father also served during World War II, fighting in the bloody Battle of the Bulge.

“There are few more powerful reminders of the loss of war – as well as the bravery and sacrifices of our armed forces – than what transpired on D-Day,” Hassan said in Normandy. “I am profoundly grateful to all who served that day, and in all the days before and since, so that the rest of us could live in peace, prosperity, and freedom.”

Hassan, Kuster and other members of the bipartisan delegation mingled with D-Day survivors.

“It was the honor of a lifetime to thank them on behalf of my country and the people of New Hampshire,” Hassan said.

2020 Democratic long-shot grabs the spotlight 

Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney – who’s made more campaign stops in New Hampshire this election cycle than any other contender – warns that the Medicare-for-all bill supported by many of his rivals for the 2020 nomination “is bad policy and bad politics and will help get Donald Trump re-elected.”

Delaney said in an interview with the Monitor that when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told him to “sashay away,” the increasing influential progressive congresswoman from New York “basically told me to quit the race because she disagrees with my approach to create universal health care.”

Delaney, a former three-term congressman from Maryland who’s far more moderate and centrist than most of the other nearly two-dozen Democratic White House hopefuls, sparked a chorus of boos from the audience this past weekend at the California Democrats annual convention when he declared that “Medicare for all may sound good, but it’s actually not good policy, nor is it good politics.”

Ocasio-Cortez then took aim at Delaney, saying in a tweet that it was time for him to “sashay away.”

“This awful, untrue line got boo’ed for a full minute. John Delaney, thank you but please sashay away,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

The next day Delaney challenged the congresswoman to debate him on the issue.

“Hey @AOC, we have the same goal, universal healthcare for everyone, we just have different ways of getting there. Healthcare is the #1 issue for voters, so let’s debate the way forward. Any show of your choosing. Healthcare is too important for tweets, we need real discussion,” he wrote on Twitter.

“I simply said ‘if you feel this strongly about it, and since health care is the number one issue affecting the American people, why don’t we debate it,’ ”Delaney told the Monitor.

Ocasio-Cortez turned down his invitation to face off.

“Intolerance to different ideas is part of the problem,” Delaney said. “And that is something I think that is getting very dangerous and concerning in the Democratic Party right now.”

He also spotlighted that having a Democratic nominee who supports Medicare-for-all “makes it really hard” to defeat Republican President Donald Trump in next year’s general election.

“There’s 150 million Americans who have private insurance and most of them like it. And I think the Republicans are not going to be afraid to talk about this and they’re going to pound it over the American people’s heads and make them afraid that the Democrats are going to make them lose their health insurance,” he said.

Booker says his new plan will help Granite State renters

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Cory Booker unveiled a plan this week to provide affordable and safe housing to Granite Staters and people across the country.

At the heart of the New Jersey senator’s proposal is a tax credit for those who are spending more than 30 percent of their before-tax income on housing expenses.

Booker’s campaign – pointing to Columbia University research, spotlighted that the tax credit would help more than 82,000 families in New Hampshire, which adds up to a median credit of $4,000 per family.

The Granite State’s enduring an affordable housing crisis, with the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority telling NHPR that the vacancy rate in the state for multi-family home rentals is hovering around one percent, which is the lowest in the region.

Gillibrand, Britton team up

The increasingly influential New Hampshire Young Democrats are getting a helping hand this month from two high profile people.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York – a Democratic presidential candidate – and actress Connie Britton – known for her TV series roles in Friday Night Lights and American Horror Story – are teaming up to headline a ‘grassroots fundraiser’ on the campus of Dartmouth College next Friday, June 14, to benefit the political organizing group.

“These kind of events play a huge role in funding our youth organizing efforts across the Granite State, particularly as we head into the 2019 city races. It’s really exciting that Kirsten and Connie are stepping up to support us,” New Hampshire Young Democrats president Lucas Meyer told the Monitor.

Gillibrand and Britton – both Dartmouth alumni – will be in Hanover as the school holds class reunions. And for Gillibrand, the Hanover fundraiser is one stop during a busy two-day presidential campaign swing in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state.




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