A Way With Words

Memorable moments along the campaign trail.

During the 2010 campaign in N.H. we heard a lot of new phrases from candidates we should probably write down for posterity. So as we look back at the year we consider some of the new terms in our state's political lexicon. They don't call election years the silly season for nothing.

Granite GrizzlyWhen former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin bestowed her endorsement on a candidate, she was noticeably fond of picking female conservatives. She called them "Mama Grizzlies" because, like the Alaskan bears, they took care of their cubs in times of trouble. But when she endorsed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte in June she gave it more of a local flavor. She said Ayotte was a "Granite Grizzly."

Shockingly LiberalAlmost out of nowhere Rye businessman Bill Binnie entered the political scene spending millions of his own money and by mid-summer even his opponents believed that he was winning a scrappy four-way race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination. Then a local conservative organization put out an ad calling the pro-choice Binnie "shockingly liberal." The label stuck and derailed his bid.

Mystery moneyFormer Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta found himself in a Republican primary for Congress that included a guy who looked poised to spend nearly a million dollars against him. This is when Guinta began giving his own campaign hundreds of thousands of dollars he said was his, even though he had been in government for years and didn't appear to make that kind of money. He later amended his personal financial disclosure form to show a bank account worth about a half million dollars. His Republican opponents and eventually Democrats went after the "mystery money" because it seemed to show up out of nowhere and Guinta wouldn't provide bank statements to prove he had had it for years.

ObamacareThe term referred to the new healthcare bill signed by President Obama in the spring and it was used so often that local newspapers used the term in stories without even hinting at the political subtext behind it.

Man with a spaceshipFormer State Rep. Bob Giuda, of Warren, probably regrets one campaign stop in his run for Congress. Speaking to high school students in Nashua, he was asked about his stance against gay marriage. "What's going to happen next? Men and sheep? Women and dogs?" he said. The students felt the comment was insensitive. When The Telegraph called, he tried to apologize, but made things even worse. "I should have chosen my words more carefully," Giuda said. "I should have said man and a telephone pole or man with a space ship." Try again?

Tomatoes the size of cantaloupesAt a key WMUR-Union Leader debate for Republican governor in September, longshot candidate Frank Emiro, of Londonderry, was asked about his economic plan for the North Country. The first words out of his mouth were so random they've become keepers: "Oh, about 30 years ago I had the best tomato I've ever ate out in Alliance, Nebraska. It was the size of a cantaloupe."

Oh, memories. NH

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