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On the Trail: Bernie’s back, get-out-the-vote hits high gear and 2020 flirts

  • Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., meets supporters at a rally in support of a candidate for Senate Jacky Rosen and other Nevada Democrats, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher) John Locher



For the Monitor
Thursday, November 01, 2018

Sen. Bernie Sanders returns to New Hampshire to headline a get-out-the-youth-vote rally at the University of New Hampshire in Durham at noon on Sunday, just two days before the Nov. 6 election.

The independent senator from Vermont is also scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. at a gathering at the Brookside Congregational Church in Manchester hosted by the New Hampshire Youth Movement and Rights and Democracy groups.

Sanders has been crisscrossing the country in recent weeks, headlining get-out-the-vote events in advance of the midterm elections. But Sanders is also running for re-election for another six-year term representing Vermont in the U.S. Senate. He has campaign rallies in his home state sandwiched around the Sunday events in New Hampshire.

The senator’s return to the state that holds the first primary in the race for the White House will spark more speculation about his 2020 intentions and whether Sanders will launch another bid for the Democratic nomination. He easily beat Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire’s 2016 Democratic primary, launching him into a marathon battle with the eventual presidential nominee.

Sanders was last in New Hampshire on Labor Day, when he keynoted the annual AFL-CIO breakfast for the fifth straight year.

It appears Sanders will not be joined at his two New Hampshire events by members of the state’s all-Democrat congressional delegation or the party’s gubernatorial and congressional nominees. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, 2nd Congressional District Rep. Annie Kuster, 1st District Democratic nominee Chris Pappas and gubernatorial nominee Molly Kelly joined U.S. Sen. Cory Booker last Sunday as he made three stops to get-out-the-vote event in New Hampshire. But on Sunday, while Sanders is in Durham, Shaheen, Kuster, Kelly, Pappas, and Sen. Maggie Hassan will be in Manchester, at a New Hampshire Democratic Party canvass kickoff.

Final weekend push

Kuster and Kelly team up with the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s women’s caucus Friday evening at True Brew Barista in Concord’s Bicentennial Square for a get-out-the-vote rally with more stops still in the works.

Pappas has three stops in Conway and North Conway on Friday afternoon, before heading to campaign events in Wolfeboro and Rochester. On Saturday, he’s campaigning in Manchester, Laconia and Dover.

Gov. Chris Sununu will headline a get-out-the-vote rally at Eddie Edwards’s campaign office in Manchester on Saturday morning. Meanwhile, Edwards will campaign in Conway on Friday and in Alton and Manchester on Saturday. Sunday, the 1st District GOP nominee holds events in Hampstead, Derry and Londonderry.

Second District GOP nominee and state Rep. Steve Negron will campaign (in order of appearance) in Loudon, Concord, Plymouth, Ashland, Woodsville, Haverhill, Amherst, Nashua, Milford, Hudson and Salem at multiple stops over the weekend

Nurses say Pappas is right for the job

With just a few days to go until the Nov. 6 election, 1st Congressional District Democratic nominee Chris Pappas is getting backed by the American Nurses Association PAC.

The endorsement by the political arm of the ANA, which represents more than four million nurses nationwide and 1,200 in New Hampshire, was first reported by the Monitor. The backing came on the first day of open enrollment for people to sign up for health care coverage through the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

“I’m proud to have the support of the American Nurses Association. I will always stand with our hardworking nurses who dedicate their lives to keeping people healthy and saving their lives,” said Pappas, who’s serving his third term on the state’s Executive Council.

“Chris Pappas is the champion we need in Washington,” said Joan Widmer, a longtime New Hampshire resident and member of the American Nurses Association. “He will fight to reduce premiums and out-of-pocket costs, lower the price of prescription drugs, defend protections for people with pre-existing conditions and other crucial benefits secured by the Affordable Care Act, and work to expand coverage to more Americans.”

Did Hickenlooper jump the gun?

Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper sounds like he’s moving closer to a run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Hickenlooper headlined a get-out-the-vote rally in Plymouth and campaigned with Democratic gubernatorial nominee Molly Kelly in Manchester on Wednesday. He started his day in the Granite State by campaigning with state Senate District 16 incumbent Kevin Cavanaugh and Executive Council District 4 Democratic nominee GreyChynoweth at Robie’s Country Store in Hooksett.

That’s where Hickenlooper appeared to jump the gun, telling two employees that he was running for president, before walking back his comments. His political action committee later explained that the governor was joking and that he had not yet made a decision.

“In terms of 2020, we’re certainly looking at it and most of the Democratic candidates are from the east coast or the west coast. They’re not too many from the middle of the country. And not so many that have been a major and have been a governor and have started a business,” Hickenlooper told the Monitor , during his one day trip to New Hampshire.

The term-limited governor said an announcement would happen after he finishes up his second term.

“I think we’re going to wait until February or March to make a final decision but we’ve certainly been spending a lot more time thinking about it and I think getting more excited.

Hickenlooper shared that his wife may be even more enthusiastic about his potential than he is right now.

“The first thing you do is look at your family’s desires and security. I think my wife might be more excited than I am. She’s a businesswoman, has her own career. But she loves this country, loves politics. And she’s ready to go I think,” he said.

Swalwell stops in N.H.

Rep. Eric Swalwell of California says he expects to decide on a White House run as 2018 turns into 2019.

“I want to see how we do in the midterms, kind of take a pulse of the country. See where the country is,” the 37-year-old, three-term from congressman California explained.

“It’s a big decision,” he added. “But I would expect that decision would happen right at the turn of the year.”

But sounding like a presidential candidate, the member of the House Intelligence Committee added that, “I think that our country does need new energy, new ideas, a much needed new confidence. And that’s something I think in my experience growing up, my work in the Congress, my work as a prosecutor, my work in the Russia investigation, has shown that I can bring.”

Swalwell headlined a house party at the Portsmouth home of state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, campaigned with 2nd District Rep. Annie Kuster in Concord and Nashua, and met with 1st District nominee Chris Pappas before headlining the Manchester Democrats pre-midterm election dinner.

Swalwell referenced the movie Rocky IV in explaining what kind of Democrat it will take to beat President Donald Trump in 2020.

“I think the winning 2020 candidate for us, I don’t know if anyone’s seen the movie Rocky IV, ignore the fact that it involved the Russians, how timely that is. But you have to be able to throw a punch, take a punch, and at the end of the fight, you need to have a very divided crowd, country, rooting for the winner,” he said.

In his interview, Swalwell took aim at the president.

Asked if Trump’s divisive rhetoric is fueling a toxic political environment that critics of the president say is feeding violent acts like last week’s massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue and the pipe bombs sent to prominent Democrats as well as other Trump critics and CNN, Swalwell said “I think the president’s rhetoric is inspiring these attacks. He continues to create a permissive environment where people think it’s okay to demonize a free press, where it’s okay to demonize your political opponents.”

“He certainly did not pull the trigger in that awful tragedy and he did not send the bombs. But the way that those two individuals have talked on social media, it sounds a lot like the way the president talks,” he added. “I think we would all like to see a president, Republican or Democrat, as someone our kids could look up to and could unite and heal a divided country and instead he seems to just pour gasoline on the fire.”