Visiting New Hampshire during primaries?

I went to a campaign event during the last election cycle. "Went" is somewhat misleading, because my boss invited the candidate to tour my place of employment and give a speech/take questions from the media. The notice sent around the office beforehand made it clear that not showing up would be noticed.

When you see that stuff happening on TV, pretty much all of it is scripted to the last detail. If they take questions from the audience, the people asking are generally vetted first, sometimes even planted by the campaign. If politics learned anything in the past 10 years, its that you don't want a "Joe the Plumber" moment that paints you into a corner.

In my case, my boss had everyone show up on the shop floor, where we stood behind the candidate in the usual tableau. The guy came and pressed the flesh with everyone (note: you're nothing in politics if you don't have enough memory to recall if you shook hands with someone yet -- this guy made certain not to miss anyone) before giving his speech for the assembled media. He took a few softball questions that were on-message, and then he toured the facility. From start to finish, it was clear the whole thing was planned to the last detail. Camera angles, questions, where people would stand, the whole thing. Hollywood couldn't have done a better job.

So come to NH if you want to see the spectacle, but don't expect to have any grand moments. Candidates hate surprises. Probably the best towns will be Manchester and Nashua: they're the biggest towns in the state, and they both have easy access to major highways into Boston and vicinity. There will be the occasional town hall in a surrounding town, but you won't have to drive more than about half an hour. Above Manchester, the population thins out rapidly, so most candidates stick to the lower 1/3 of the state where they get the biggest bang for the buck.

Also know that any republican is going to skip campaigning in Massachusetts -- that state votes very reliably democratic (they've had a veto-proof democratic state congress since the 80s, and even the republican governors they occasionally elect are RINOs (Republicans In Name Only)) so the GOP tends to write that state off early, and even most democratic candidates don't do much there, because why do they need to "shore up" a candidate in a state that's pretty much a sure thing? So if you wanted to visit the Bay State while you're here, go for the museums and the local attractions, not the politics.

/r/newhampshire Thread