Primary Considerations

The Donald has a plan B — it’s called New Trumpshire




Illustration by Brad Fitzpatrick

How does an American city that claims to have the longest Main Street, sandwiched between two dead ends, become the center of the news world? It’s just one of many curiosities that inevitably comes up every four years at this time as Manchester and New Hampshire host another first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Thanks to the bulldog-like effort of Secretary of State Bill Gardner to keep us first in line, Granite Staters get a front-row seat to the circus known as the Primary. Satellite trucks line Elm Street and outnumber candidates. Publicity-seeking characters outnumber satellite trucks. It’s reality TV made for “Meet the Press” meets “Extreme Makeover: White House Edition.”

Oh, it’s real reality for sure. Who could forget Al Franken, “SNL” comic-turned-politician from Minnesota? The one-time high school varsity wrestler took down a Howard Dean heckler in full view of hundreds at the Palace Theatre. That was 2004. Franken became a Senator in 2008.

By now, every presidential hopeful has kissed every baby and tossed back burgers at every Five Guys joint in the state. Chances are you met one at a ribbon cutting or hosted one at your backyard barbecue. But now, as network TV producers scramble for filler material of New Hampshire to show the country, we will be subjected to Wolf and Greta sharing the high points of living in the Granite State.

Somebody will show how patriotic campaign bunting is affixed to a podium with made-in-NH hook-and-loop technology, aka Velcro. Another will sit at Milly’s Tavern and wax that New Hampshire boasts more than 40 craft breweries.

My money says that CBS News nightly anchor Scott Pelley straps on a helmet and rides a Segway through the Millyard to Dean Kamen’s restaurant, The Foundry, to see how Dean likes his foie gras prepared. ABC’s David Muir will slap his forehead asking, “Why didn’t we think of that?”

The world will watch network B-roll of America’s Stonehenge in Salem followed by a plate of poutine at Chez Vachon. Chris Matthews will show his kinder, gentler, poetic side as he reads from the “Road Not Taken and Other Poems” in front of the Robert Frost home/museum in Derry. An NBC drone will glide over a frozen Lake Winnipesaukee and reveal that Claude “The Invisible Man” Rains’ burial plot is in Moultonborough.

The biggest story of primary week will be that Donald Trump announces a surprising plan B. Trump will simply buy the state and award the nomination to himself. Like many other captains of industry and celebrities, he will relocate from New York to New Hampshire.

Trump’s approximate net worth of $4 billion (according to Forbes) is more cash than New Hampshire collected in tax revenues in 2013. That year, the state brought in $2.4 billion. The Donald’s dough will strike a chord with taxpayers, leaving pundits to ponder; Will New TRUMPshire still be first-in-the nation in 2020?

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