The Sunday Political Brunch -- January 8, 2012

Curtis Shields Peterson in New Hampshire.jpg

(Salem, New Hampshire)

Well, it has been quite a week! I spent three days in Iowa for the caucuses, two days in Providence to pack clean clothes, and am now in New Hampshire for the primary. For political junkies, it doesn't get any better!

"Laughed 'til I Cried" -- Saturday night at Saint Anselm College, I sat with reporting legends Mark Shields, left in the photo, and Gordon Peterson, to the right, along with producer Rebecca Cooper. Al Hunt, Gwen Ifill and Steve Scully all dropped by, too. We shared war stories from the campaign trails and from years of reporting in Washington, DC. My sides hurt from laughing at all the stories, and it reminded me of why I got into this business in the first place.

"Where's the Beef?" -- That classic line from the Wendy's TV commercial was stolen by Democrat Gary Hart in 1984, as he challenged Walter Mondale for the nomination. It stung Mondale badly and launched Hart into the national spotlight. Saturday night, I again thought "Where's the Beef?" during the GOP debate. It had been billed as a slugfest, with all the challengers planning on teeing off against frontrunner Mitt Romney and his Iowa second-place finisher Rick Santorum. It never happened. There were a few mild, glancing blows between Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and others, but no knockout punch. In a word, it was boring!

"Did I Speak Too Soon?" -- Okay! Saturday night's ABC News debate was a snoozer; but when I woke up Sunday Morning, the candidates were blistering each other - particularly targeting Romney - on NBC's "Meet The Press" debate! What happened in the course of eight hours? I suspect some campaign managers kicked their clients in the pants and said, "Get in there and fight!"

"Holy Christie!" -- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was in New Hampshire today, stumping for his pal Mitt Romney. When some protesters in the crowd began to heckle, shouting "Christie kills jobs," Christie fired back: "Really? Something may go down tonight, but it's not going to be jobs, sweetheart." The crowd roared its approval at the blunt Jersey rhetoric. People like this guy's gruff candor. It's no surprise how many people want him to run for President some day.

"Giving No Quarter" -- Saturday night, in the ABC News Debate Spin Room stood Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. The Spin Room is supposed to be for candidate surrogates and press who must be credentialed to get in (and believe me the police checked our credentials and were tossing out people without them). The fact that the Democratic Party leader got in and did nothing but attack Romney tells you just how worried the White House is about the the prospect of an Obama-Romney match up.

I'll be in New Hampshire all week. As always, to comment, click the button at if you have comments or questions!

OMG! Just saw Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's interview with Chris Wallace. What a foaming-at-the mouth, fanatical party hack she is! Every time Wallace attempted to ask her a question about Obama, she began her response with "Well, Mitt Romney...." Can we ever expect any of these people to simply answer a direct question in a direct manner?

I was just watching Megyn Kelly interview Rick Perry, and I could hardly believe his blatant use of the "class" card. He spoke of how Mitt Romney is so wealthy and never had to worry about pink slips, except whether he had enough for all the people he was laying off(for Bain Capital) - unlike, Perry said, the people in Gaffney, SC. I've decided that Perry is not only a bit on the dumb side, but also a typically cynical politician. It's incredible how the pols opposing Romney blithely dismiss the fact that a venture capital company is responsible for making money for its investors, in fact, has a moral responsibility to them to make money and how these same pols also dismiss the fact that 70 percent of Bain's companies made money and added jobs. Only failing socialist countries keep operating companies which aren't viable; and, in the end, everyone suffers. Perry's stupid or cynical, or both. Take your pick!

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