Media pundits are always more interesting to listen to than political hacks. Thus, it was a special treat when the Manchester Chamber of Commerce served up four media analysts at last week's legislative dinner.
To a man (and woman), they all seemed shocked that Ted Gatsas (who was supposed to hire me as his press secretary--only a joke susanthe!) announced a month or so ago that he will not run, that there's still too much to do in Manchester (like keeping the budget in under the spending cap, hopefully).
The four media pundits didn't seem to think Republicans have really fallen in love with Ovide LaMontagne, the most likely nominee in the absense of Gatsas.
None, however, was willing to speculate just who might step up to the plate.
Since then, two names have surfaced, one in reality; one perhaps only in my mind (or the mind of my sources).
Defeated Senatorial candidate, millionaire Bill Binnie is toying with the idea. While his moderate stand on abortion seemed to turn off many Republicans in the waning moments of the Senatorial primary (won by Kelly Ayotte) in 2010, Binnie could capture enough moderte Republicans to sneak past the tape if LaMontagne and equally conservative (perhaps even more conservative) Kevin Smith split the red meat vote.
Word is that Smith is raising tons of money, so he will certainly syphon off a large share of the right wing fringe vote, and hey, how many right wing fringe voters can there be in the party?
Wearing my Gatsas For Governor hat (a gift from Senator John Gallus), I headed for City Hall when the House session ended early today. Please, Ted, please, reconsider, I begged. Apprantely, no means no, at least with Ted, at least for now.
If not Binnie, then how about a former governor? Maybe it's my mind playing tricks on me, but a source told me that he or she (lets protect anonymity here) ran into the former Governor at church on Easter Sunday. When he or she expressed lack of enthursiam with the current GOP field and told Merrill that he or she wished he'd run governor again, he reportedly said, "So do I."
If Steve Merrill wishes he'd run, then why not run? Once a friend of Union Leader publisher Joe W. McQuaid (read Roger Simon's book Show Time for the blow by blow account of how that friendship ended), Merrill was a popular governor, and people were as stunned when he decided not to run again in 1996 (leading to Jeanne Shaheen's whomping of Ovide) as they are now with Gatsas taking himself out of the race.
Pundits, run Steve Merrill up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes!
I no longer think what I write here just goes into a void. When I mentioned former Union Leader writer John Clayton as a potential candidate (a great rumor), his former paper picked it up and ran with it. When I blogged here about Bill O'Brien's "Stalinist" tendencies, a radio reporter today asked me to flesh out the term "Stalinist" (I willingly complied of course). When I blogged that Republicans had hoped to use a pro gambling vote to haul in campaign contributions, it was picked up by a Valley News columnist.
You can always quote me here, media. I don't want to scoop myself with interviews in other less esteemed outlets,, but once it's here, it's in the public domain.
Maybe I'm not just whistling in the dark here. If church talk means anything, Steve Merrill is ready to run...no I won't mention the church...that would be too close to giving away a source, but you can probably google it.
Merrill or Binnie?
My money (were gambling allowed in this state) would be on Merrill...although he certainly is no Ted Gatsas.
G4G12. That's my bumper sticker (Gallus again), and I'm not giving it up, just yet.
Gatsas? Merrill? Binnie? Republicans are not happy with Ovide and Kevin...or John Clayton, but then he's probaby a Democrat.